A quick look at some Silverado and Sierra clays

I’ll tell you right up front, there is nothing ground shaking in here. The headlights and grille on one is a curious design but apart from that, variations appear mostly limited to the fenders, fixture proportions, trim, etc.

Okay, let’s see how many remember this little nugget from recent history. The GMT900s, pictured below, were introduced in late 2006 as 2007 models. Yet, the styling models, pictured later in this post, are labeled as 2008s. What’s going on?

Design Notes Lite: 2007 GMT900s

2007 or 2008?
I’m pretty certain it wasn’t a typo. GM had announced some fairly well-reported-on news in late 2005, just about two years after the following GM Design pictures were taken and, presumably, their descriptions written.

The GMT900 styling photographs came with very little information and even it was mostly cryptic. One item that appeared clear, however, was the year the trucks were planned for production. It showed 2008.

I was confused. Remember, the GMT900s were released in late 2006 as 2007 models. So what’s the deal?

During the early 2000s, the truck market cooled from white to red hot, but it was still hot. GM’s GMT800s were aging gracefully but the fiercely-competitive truck market was more crowded than ever. They needed new product and, probably more important at that time, they needed quick money.

GM therefore moved their GMT900 program up an astounding 13 months. Not weeks but months.

I found a particularly interesting article about the decision to fast-lane the GMT900 project, and some of what the teams did to accomplish the aspirational goal. The article includes quotes from Jully Burau, chief engineer for the General Motors full-size truck program, and can be accessed here: Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra: Function Trumps Form.

With all of that said, below is the first clay. It is a Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab and was taken on August 12 of 2003.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado clay 2003-08-12 profile right

So, there are a few things that are curious about this model. First, the bed is shaped quite different from what was produced, as will be shown in subsequent pictures. Next, the headlight unit has a vertical side marker lamp integrated along the trailing edge.

The other thing that stands out is that the rear right tire is flat. I’m not sure if that was a malfunction or done intentionally to alter the angle of the model.

Below is a picture of the same model, on the same date, from a rear angle.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado clay 03-08-12 right rear

This angle indicates the rear wasn’t finished yet. Compared to the production truck, shown below, the rear fender flares are more rounded, more-closely following the line of the wheel opening.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado  LT Crew Cab rear right


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