Pre-Production Chevy Avalanche for Sale Is a $125,000 Time Capsule
Hope you like yellow Nokia bricks.
It's pretty uncommon for automakers' prototypes to make it into the public's hands, but such a car from Chevrolet escaped the clutches of General Motors and is offered for sale on Hemmings today. The Chevy Avalanche Basecamp, built in 1999 but titled as a 2002, is one of the earliest examples of the pickup, built years before it eventually went on sale. It has a number of interesting features and power from a 6.0-liter V8 under the hood.
The truck has an interesting history. It was allegedly sold on behalf of GM by Barrett Jackson in 2006 after its life as a show vehicle ended. From there, it was sold to a few private owners before ending up in Canada, where it found its way into the hands of regular people, who used it briefly as a regular Avalanche. After realizing what it was, it was sold to its current owner, who is selling the interesting early prototype for $125,000.
The truck looks almost identical to a regular Avalanche on the outside. A full camp kitchen in the bed, heated and cooled cupholders, integrated GPS, and a DVD player with screens in the headrests set it apart from a regular pickup, though. It also has some mechanical quirks that make its show car status clear as day; for instance, it has no ignition key. According to the seller, "It starts by just turning the ignition switch." Likewise, there's an auxiliary power plug under the hood to power the car's accessories during auto shows.
The combination of the bright yellow exterior and interior accents along with the dated late 90s technology proudly on display makes this truck a really cool time capsule. It also runs and drives like a normal Avalanche would. It has 1,956 miles on the odometer and its 6.0-liter engine wasn't even available in the first-generation truck, which makes it extra interesting. Power is sent to all four wheels via an automatic transmission, likely a four-speed.
Normal first-generation Avalanches are interesting vehicles, even without these unique show car alterations. Available with an 8.1-liter Vortec V8, the trucks had a midgate behind the second row of seats which allowed for the short bed to act like a much longer one. This feature was recently reintroduced on the new Silverado EV, where GM expects it to give the same increase in utility that it did back in the early 2000s.
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