Chevrolet introduced the C/K-series of trucks in 1973 and it would become Chevrolet’s longest running model pickup without a major redesign. For 15 years the C/K trucks rolled off assembly lines (Blazers and Suburbans kept the same design until 1991), meaning there were literally millions of these trucks produced. These production numbers are not necessarily reflected in attendance at major events and local cruise-ins, you just don’t see as many of these trucks as one might expect, but all that is changing. We’re seeing more and more well-built C/K-series and with examples like Kyle Atkins’ black Silverado that trend is sure to continue.
Kyle Atkins runs an automotive repair shop in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he knows this particular truck well. After all, he purchased the Silverado from its original owner in 1980. The truck left the factory with a black exterior, a red interior, and the Silverado Package that included the gold-filled trim—a design offered only in 1977. It was a sharp truck and Kyle used it as his daily driver for many years, then as a weekend hauler.
Several years ago Kyle decided his old truck could use a freshening up so he took it down to the bare frame. Starting with the chassis, every inch of this truck was brought back to better-than-new condition. The front suspension was completely rebuilt using 3-inch dropped spindles and disc brakes from Stainless Steel Brakes. Kyle disassembled the brand-new calipers to have them chrome-plated. Every other every piece of the suspension was either detailed, painted, or chrome-plated.
The stock rear axle remained in place but 3-inch lowering springs were used. The shock absorbers, U-bolts, diff cover, and brake backing dust shields have all felt the plater’s touch.
Kyle disassembled and rebuilt the original 350ci engine bringing it from the original 300 hp specs up to over 350 hp through the use of new LT1 rods, 10.5:1 pistons, and Crane valvesprings and rockers. A ’92 TPI unit sits between the original 300hp head with Painless Wiring controlling the electronic engine management. Fuel is distributed via an ’87 fuel sending unit in the stock tank, but Kyle replaced the pump with a high-performance Corvette piece. Hooker headers expel the spent gases through the stainless steel exhaust system.
Behind the highly detailed motor Kyle coupled a 700-R4 overdrive transmission with an 1,800-stall converter. The factory shifter selects the gears and a chrome driveshaft transfers the power to the rear.
While all this mechanical work was going on the body was being massaged back to flawless condition. The truck remains mostly stock on the outside with the exception of the filled stake pockets. Danny Kelly laid down the final coats of black acrylic enamel with no clear. Original side mirrors, new original taillights, and perfect trim were all added to finished truck.
Up front, the billet grille goes a long way to restyling the front sheetmetal and all the surrounding trim was replaced in the building process along with fresh chrome bumpers.
Moving to the inside, Kyle decided he wanted something nobody could buy in 1977, a truck with a black interior. To that end a black ’82 dashpad was installed along with new ’82 factory-style black carpets. New inner door panels were ordered in black and after the woodgrain was removed the door panel inserts were chrome-plated. Cecil Risden handled the black leather upholstery, completing the interior transformation from red to black.
It took over a year to completely rebuild the truck but now that it’s complete Kyle enjoys driving his truck to shows. Of course, it is not a daily driver anymore, but rain or shine this truck is driven. Of course keeping the undercarriage in pristine condition requires a lot of care, but then again that’s all part of the fun of owning a super Silverado. CT
1977 Chevy Silverado
Rearend / Ratio:
stock / 3.50:1
’77 Chevrolet 350
’77 350, Crane rockers and springs
Manifold / Induction:
’92 Chevrolet / TPI
Exhaust / Mufflers:
2” aluminized / Turbo
Fenders front / rear:
stock / stock
modified stock, filled stake pockets
Bodywork and paint by:
owner & Danny Kelly
Paint type / color:
single-stage acrylic enamel / black
Headlights / Taillights:
stock / stock
modified stock, ’82 Chevy dashpad
Material / Color:
leather / black