2013 SEMA Show: 1978 Chevy Silverado K10 Steals the Show

3 K10 front II

Photos by Evan Sears

Probably the most gorgeous looking pickup in the GM booth during the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show was a classic bumper-to-bumper restoration of an 1978 K10 Silverado. During the five months leading up to SEMA, a select team of GM Performance guys went through every inch of this truck with a metal polishing brush and fine-tooth comb.

The restoration team bought the old 4x4 from a farmer in Wisconsin and thought the project would be a great complement to all the brand-new 2014 Silverados and SUVs GM was showcasing at the Las Vegas show.

The idea was to make every aspect of this truck better than before, so the first thing the engineers did after stripping and upgrading every inch of the frame and suspension was to stuff a brand-new 5.3-liter E-Rod V-8 crate motor (336 horsepower and 350 pounds-feet of torque) from the GM Performance catalog (Part No. 19258004) and mate it to a corporate 4L70E automatic transmission. The rebuilt truck uses the same New Process gear-driven manual-levered transfer case that came stock with the original truck, but all the brake parts and lines have been fully reconditioned. The suspension has the truck sitting about 2 inches taller than the stock height, and it wears fit 305/70R16 tires and 16-by-8-inch wheels.

Just as impressive as the details underneath, the inside and outside of the truck are highlighted by a two-tone black-on-red-theme. The bench seat is re-trimmed with simulated leather along with red-and-black houndstooth cloth. It cannot be overstated -- the interior is immaculate, complete with all the proper, fully restored deep-barrel gauges and plastic air-conditioning and heating controls.

Of all the trucks on the GM floor, this was the one that got the most oohs and ahs. There’s no question this truck made it into quite a few SEMA highlight news stories.

2 K10 label II

1 K10 engine II

4 K10 nose II

5 K10 headlight II

7 K10 interior II

10 K10 gauges II

11 K10 controls II

12 K10 door II

6 K10 rear II



This is my favorite truck that was showcased at SEMA.

@Snapdragon McFisticuff - you can get 2-tone on an XLT unless the USA has slightly different order options than in Canada. Mine is sterling silver (dark grey) with Ingot silver (silver) lower rockers. I like the 2-tone since the Sterling silver colour is extremely popular in my town.

The new Silverado has big fender flares so I'm not sure how a 2-tone colour would fit those body lines. The Sierra has smaller fender flares so it would look better 2-tone.
Those pics are of a painted truck since GMC does not offer 2-tone on either model.

I personally like the option of 2 tone colours.

Nice truck!

But Yikes this really bad. LOL!


The truck look nice on the outside.

The interior red is a bit much. Black would have been a better colour, or even charcoal.

This is how to restore older vehicles,looking stock !

Dont like the steering wheel or ugly floor shifter,put the stock style back in and its a winner !

And not a big fan of putting newer engines in them either,but its costly to put a roller motor (rebuild your old engine and rollarize it so you can run todays low zinc motor oil..If you have a old truck/car that is stock and you run 10w30 you are ruining your motor,they changed the oil and it has less zinc in it,you need to add it in )So that being said I can see why they swap a newer motor in them,but..

At least there are no 22's and 2014 Silverado interior !

Should have a 1970 built 454 LS-6,or a old 427.

Not a fan of resto-mods like other period modified cars they dont hold up in time.

20" wheels on older vehicles look odd,shaved handles,new style interiors ruin the value of older cars,sure a shop may do one and a sucker may pay big cash for it but then I buy it for cheap and restore it stock !

Just look at the late 70's early 80's big stripes and jacked up rear ends (reason people say old cars dont handle as they resto modded them back then with a 5 foot high jacked up in the rear totally ruining the driving dynamics)

Now they put one of a kind suspensions in them and down the road nobody will be able to repair it,so bring it to stock and there are millions of stock parts for older vehicles made today.You would be surprised to know how good old vehicled drive comparred with new ones..Unless you have a worn out pile..

To each his own...Glad they redid this looking stock,looks better then a total resto modded truck you see these days !!

Beautiful resto job. I like the red interior. It is a nice truck inside and outside and I wouldn't change a thing.

@ Larry Hebert

Larry, I have a few 67-72 and 73-87 Chevy's. Where could I find specs on the correct fasteners for things such as seats and doors and trim?

Does GM have any internal stuff that could be found?

Kids, this is a GM truck. They didn't need half billion dollar ad campaigns and incentives galore. Inside and out, THIS is the pickup truck's truck.

Nice try Frank but watch the whole video. The guy in the corvette clearly said he left off at 120 you douche bag!


The GT-500 owned it twice, the Vette guy is as big as a troll as you, saying his ZL1 & his 2014 C7 can beat the GT-500.

Evidently it didn't and therefore he is a f'ken troll. Chevy guys are the biggest f'ken losers in the racing game. Deal with it!

Enough said, peace out!!!!

"Nice try Frank but watch the whole video. The guy in the corvette clearly said he left off at 120 you douche bag!b"

After the Mustang blew it doors off, sure!

Frank, Awesome video.

Yes a truck that I can feel the road in. Ahhh the memories of that era of trucks from Dodge, Ford and GM.

Wait do I see a cassette player in the dash! Oh I am old.

Fine job, Larry. Seeing that K-10 near the new Silverado does bring out the retro syling ques of the new truck.

@big bob - when one looks at the red 2-tone section on this truck it becomes obvious as to where Chevy got the idea for those big slab sided fender flares on the GMT900's. They mimic the red portion on this truck. Those flares have been toned down to where they are a blend of GMT900 and this truck.
I've said many times that the 2014 Chevy gives me '80's flashbacks which is both good and bad. It is good because Chevy trucks of that era are one of my favorites but it may grow old fast since it doesn't seem like a fresh design.
I do like the new Silverado but as I see more of them, I am becoming more inclined to prefer the Sierra which is a more modern version of the 900 it replaces.

Wow Frank what an embarrassment that the baddest production Mustang ever built couldn't pass a base model Corvette until 120 mph lol! 662 hp vs 460... just goes to show how good the new Vette is! The Corvette is a real sports car with super car like handling... the poor Mustang is still just a one trick pony! As far as the truck... very nice! I got to see it in person at SEMA this past week.

@ CDN yep wheel is after market Grant, I didn't want it in there.
The org. was in perfect shape and I want to re use it. As for the floor shifter it is org. to the truck (1978) re chromed and bolted up to the T case linkage. The reason this truck was built was to show case the engine, trans, ECM, trans controller, exhaust manifolds, cats, and wireing harness. All of that under one part number and price. This is a way for people to build a vehicle that meets there local emmission laws, get better gas milage, have a warrenty on in most cases the most expensive part of ther vehicle, and its all been tested ready to go in one large crate to you house.
@old gm guy Most of the hardwear was cleaned, coated, or painted and then re used. Some of the hardware though we went to restorations suppliers.(classic, LMC, ect.)

Frank needs to go and spread his fanboi propaganda somewhere else. What a tool!

Larry I do not think CDN knows what a transfer case shifter is...most all have a dial now, he must have not seen the stock column shifter for the auto trans. Again fine job Larry.

Hey Larry I also have a 78 k10 that i am restoring, any suggestions on where to get good interior replacement parts like a dash pad etc?

Wow nice truck... I have a 2013 gmc sierra crew cab modified by ALC with their Z92 package. Love the truck.. I get compliments on it BUT if my '78 k20 is parked next to it somewhere.. ALL eyes are on that. Totally not stock and a Total toy... but none the less... 78 with 86 front, 91 caprice police motor, cadillac eldorado rear brakes, parts list is big and it is getting its first jeep part (steering shaft) hopefully install it this weekend...

For what it is the body is nice, pretty wrapper. The drive train is JUNK. And a 5.3l that just goes to show you how cheap GM is now but at least the upper management is getting rich putting out garbage.

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