Difference Between Silverado & C/K Packages

by Henri Bauholz
itstillruns article image
Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Chevrolet pickups came into their own during the late '50s with the advent of the overhead V8 engine. Since 1962, Chevrolet has used either the C/K designation or Silverado on at least some of its pickup models, though today only the Silverado name is still in use. Presently in 2011, there are several gasoline versions and a hybrid pickup sold under the Silverado label.


Actually, the C/K symbol refers to a one-letter designation that Chevrolet and GMC trucks used from 1962 through 1998. The 1/2, 3/4 and 1-ton trucks pickup for these years would receive either a C or K letter, but not both. Following the C or K letter was a numerical value of either 10, 20 or 30. So in 1964, pickup buyers would have a choice of buying a C-10, C-20, C-30, K-10, K-20 or pickup. (K-30 was not available at that time). Any C pickup referred to a two-wheel, rear drive; K meant a four-wheel drive. The numbers referred to weight capacity (1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton). The straight forward C/K system remained in effect through 1998, but during those years the number system became more complex.

Trim Style

In the early '70s, Chevrolet started using colorful names and different trim styles to accent their C/K pickups. Besides a C or K, each truck came fitted with a stylish name such as Silverado, Cheyenne or Scottsdale. The Silverado trim style began in 1973 and continued through 1998. During these years Chevrolet C and K pickup models were available in all these trim styles, plus there was still a number placed behind the C or K.

The Silverado

In 1999, the Silverado was released as its own Chevrolet model and is still in production in 2011. The Silverado of these years very much resembled the GMC Sierra, but with less options. In 2003, Chevrolet went for more power with the Silverado SS, a high-performance pickup with a very powerful V8 under the hood. Then in 2005, Chevrolet took a move in the opposite direction by fitting a gas-saving hybrid engine in the Silverado.

CC and CK

Although the C/K naming system was abandoned in 1999, the Silverado along with other pickups use a CC and CK letter designation to distinguish between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. The only difference is that the letters no longer represent a series designation.

More Articles

article divider