1979 Chevy 4X4 Truck Specificationsby Vern Hee
The 1979 Chevy four-wheel-drive trucks were part of the longest running line of Chevy trucks, which lasted 14 years from 1973 to 1987. This line of truck started with dramatic changes in 1973 that revised the body, the power plants and the trim packages available. During this era, many new innovations were introduced to truck lovers and four-wheel drive was made available on all conventional trucks up to one ton.
The body that came out in 1979 had not drastically changed since 1973. The 1979 did get a new grille that was slightly narrower from the top to the bottom. The body was still designated the "Rounded Line" despite the body shape being square and boxy. A sloped side strip that ran down the side of the truck and curved side windows made the truck slightly more rounded than previous generations, hence the name. Chevy denoted all 4x4 trucks at the time with a "k." The numbers 10, 20 and 30 designated 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and 1 ton respectively. The body was offered in a fleetside style with straight sides or a flareside with a slight indentation for the wheel wells. The beds came with a 6- or 8-foot bed. The 1979 Chevy K trucks had a wheelbase of 117.5 inches for a 6-foot bed and 131.5 inches for an 8-foot bed.
The standard engine in the 1979 4x4 truck was a 250-ci (cubic inch), in-line six-cylinder with 130 horsepower (hp) and 210 foot-pounds of torque. Also available were a 292-ci, in-line six with 120 hp and 215 foot-pounds of torque; a 350-ci V-8 with 175 hp and 275 foot-pounds of torque; and the 400 ci V-8 with 185 hp and 300 foot-pounds of torque. In addition, Chevy still had a 454-ci, big-block V-8 with 230 horsepower and 355 foot-pounds of torque for added extra towing power. Also, full-time four-wheel drive was made available for all V-8 packages.
The 1979 4x4 trucks featured four trim packages starting with Custom Deluxe as the base, then Scottsdale, Cheyenne and ending with Silverado. Silverado was the top trim package offered at the time. Some items with the Silverado package included: full gauge instrumentation, full door trim panels with matching carpet, door pockets, vinyl/nylon cloth seat covers, padded bench seat and padded arm rest. Optional equipment featured items like power windows, power door locks, power steering, power brakes AM/FM radio, sliding rear window, exterior wood trim and an optional stake bed. In 1979, the gas caps on the fuel doors were hidden, and four-wheel-drive 1-ton trucks had an optional 7,500-pound rear axle available.
Vern Hee started writing professionally in 2009. He works as a reporter for the "Pahrump Valley Times." Hee taught elementary school for eight years and worked in the landscape construction field for 20 years. Hee holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Berkeley and is a veteran of the United States Navy.