It’s no secret that the custom truck sector is exploding right now, with several models carving out their own niches. OBS trucks from a few decades back are one of them. For those who are unfamiliar, you may be wondering what vehicle this is and what OBS stands for. “Are You Old But Sexy?” Sounds about perfect, since many vintage vehicles are quite appealing to us.
The word, however, truly means “Old Body Style.”
This is where things become strange, since the phrase has various meanings for two groups of fans. If you ask a Ford employee what an OBS truck is, he or she will tell you something different from a Chevy employee. Furthermore, even if it relates to a certain model right now, the phrase Old Body Style is timeless.
Let’s start with the Chevy/GMC Truck side since it’s the most perplexing. Simply put, OBS refers to any full-size General Motors truck (C1500, C2500, or C3500) or SUV manufactured between 1988 and 1998. The Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon SUVs were the exception, with manufacturing beginning in 1992 and lasting until 1999 before being redesigned. The C3500HD crew cab pickup of the same body shape debuted in 1992 and lasted until 2002.
Back in the day, GM fans referred to these 1988-1998 transporters as C/K trucks, which wasn’t exactly the nicest way to describe them. Because C/K GM pickups date back to 1960, with two-wheel drive “C” trucks and four-wheel drive “K” trucks. The C10 half-ton trucks are the most prominent of the early generations, and they are more likely to be lowered, whilst 4×4 vehicles are often elevated.
Though there are many namesakes for these 1988-1998 full-sized trucks, GM insiders referred to the vehicles on this platform as GMT400. About be clear, when we mention OBS Chevy or GMC, we’re referring to the GMT400, and these vehicles are in high demand right now. There have also been other variations produced throughout the years, with the regular cab short bed type being by far the most common.
Model is uncommon
The ultimate OBS package is the 454 SS, a limited production truck (fewer than 17,000 total built) that was only available from 1990 to 1993. This fast two-door pickup is distinguished by its 454ci small block engine, which provides an additional kick in the pants. If all of this sounds appealing and you want to buy one, you should think again since prices have surged beyond $30k now that they are regarded a rare collector’s item.
The OBS Marketplace
When it comes to the market for OBS Chevy and GMC Trucks, prices have climbed considerably in recent years. You could get one for roughly $2,000 not long ago, but that has changed as many landscapers and construction workers used and mistreated several of these vehicles. Now, a quality project OBS will cost between $10,000 and $15,000.
If you’re on the market, you should surely consider the body’s condition. Even if you are fortunate enough to find a straight one, keep in mind that many of these trucks have paint that has peeled off over time.
This was a prevalent problem since GM was experimenting with water-based paints for environmental reasons, and they were having difficulty with the substance losing adherence over time. If you own a vehicle with this problem, keep in mind that you will need to strip it before repainting it.
Common GM Truck Terminology
OOBS1973-1987 Full-sized GM (Squarebody) Trucks, including R/V Trucks from 1987 to 1991 OBS1988-1998 Full-sized GM (GMT 400) Trucks, 1992-1999 Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon, as well as the 1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade and the 1992-2002 C3500HDC/K1960-1998 Full-Sized GM Trucks, including all OBS (1988-2002) models. NBS Full-Sized GM Trucks (1999-2006), Including the 2007 Silverado Classic
Stupid Chevy Fans, OBS is also available for Fords.
We’re not sure who came up with the name first, Ford or Chevy, but both exist. The 9th generation full-sized F-Series trucks built by Ford from 1992 to 1996 are classified as OBS. This would also include the Bronco vehicles from this generation, as well as large trucks like the F-450, which were available until 1998.
So, what’s the deal with these trucks? The OBS Ford trucks, like its predecessors, were constructed tough and even included a Twin I-Beam front suspension for durability and comfort when driving off-road. Aside from that, this was the last of the squarebody Ford trucks, since the model that succeeded it was drastically different and entirely rounded.
Engines are especially crucial for OBS Ford trucks since they have a selection of tremendous weaponry beneath their hoods. A 300ci inline 6 was nearly bulletproof at the low end. A 302ci, 351ci Windsor or Cleveland (depending on year), and 460ci large block were also available. The 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine, which is regarded one of the greatest diesel engines ever manufactured, sits at the top of the list.