People have been predicting it for years, we foreshadowed it a few months ago, and on Thursday it finally happened: one can now waltz into a dealership and spoil the better part of a hundred grand on a pickup truck.
See that 2018 Silverado 3500 Crew Cab Dually up top, though? It doesn’t cost $100,000. It doesn’t even cost $50,000. It is, in fact, only $340 more expensive than a top-rung Honda Ridgeline.
This whole sordid exercise was brought on by — as most sordid exercises are — a Craigslist ad. In it, I found a 2003 Chevy Silverado 3500 Crew Cab Dually with the *ahem * 8.1-liter V8 and manual transmission. Have mercy.
While the mighty Vortec 8100 is no longer installed behind HD bowties, its 330 horsepower is eclipsed by the 360 hp found in today’s 6.0-liter gas engine offered by The General in its HD pickups. The big-block made more torque, naturally.
What caught my eye in the Craigslist ad was the inclusion of a factory window sticker for the 2003 brute (go here if the ad disappears). All that power, all those tires, all that capability was available on the dealer lot for a grand total of $34,156 including destination. This information caused me to jump out of my seat, frightening my wife and spilling my evening double-double.
Calming myself and settling back in my Ransta Red POÄNG rocking chair, I found the GM build & price tool for HD trucks. Given the noise made late last week over Ford’s $100,000 hay-hauler, you can imagine my surprise when, after speccing out a 2018 Silverado 3500 with similar options to 2003 truck, its total came to only $44,400. That’s less than a loaded Ridgeline. It’s very nearly five grand less than a check-every-box Ford Flex. Sure, it’s even cheaper than most high-zoot minivans.
Adjusted for inflation, our Craigslist find would’ve retailed for about the same amount today, give or take $1,000. Yes, both the 2003 and 2018 pickups shown here have ox-cart levels of amenities compared to the Super Duty Limited, and the bucks-deluxe model in which I relaxed at the State Fair of Texas is far more capable in many measures, thanks largely to its diesel powerplant.
Still, is Ford’s luxury truck worth a $50,000 premium over the dually shown above? Only you can answer that.
[Images: General Motors]