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C3500 - Background

We bought our C3500 on September 16, 2003.  Our previous truck was a 1996 Silverado C3500 equipped with a 454 V8 and a 4.10 rear axle.  Boy could that thing take off.  Of course, it could pass anything except a gas station.  During it's life time with us, the 1996 never got much over 10 miles per gallon.  When we bought it, gas was still in the low one dollar per gallon range.  We decided to replace the truck when the fuel pump went out and left us stranded in a mall parking lot shortly after we moved to Huntington, WV. 

It was actually during the move that I started to think about getting a new vehicle.  We moved ourselves to Huntington from Manassas.VA.  I was towing a 20 foot trailer that I had borrowed from a friend.  The total weight might have been 6000 pounds.  Going up Sandstone Mountain on I-64 in West Virginia, the truck could only maintain about 60 miles per hour near the top.  When I stopped for gas in Beckley, WV, I calculated we were getting around 5 miles/gallon.  I started doing a little research and determined that if we were going to continue to pull a trailer with our racing operation, perhaps we should consider a truck equipped with a diesel engine.

When we decided to get a new truck, I ran into some difficultly convincing my wife that diesel was the way to go.  Back in the late 70's, her parents had owned an Oldsmobile Diesel.  You can check out a couple links here and here that might explain why based on her experiences she was reluctant to consider a diesel.

Needless to say, diesel technology had come quite a way since the 70's and after a little cajoling I convinced her that diesel was the way to go.  The choice of the Silverado was driven by two major considerations.  First, we are mostly what you'd call "Chevy People" (yes I own a Subaru (Project 300K)), but I have owned more Chevys than any other make.  Secondly, we had about 3000 dollars credit on our GM Credit Card.  We visited a couple local Chevy dealers and frankly were not impressed with how we were treated.  I was particularly unimpressed with Hurricane Chevrolet.  After our experience there I vowed I would never step foot on that lot again for anything.  They must have been doing really well since they were not even remotely interested in our business.  It wasn't until we contacted Don Hall GM Supercenter in Ashland, KY that we felt we were being taken seriously.  Although Don Hall didn't have the vehicle we wanted on the lot, they worked out a deal to get the exact vehicle we wanted.  We felt like we were genuinely appreciated at Don Hall.  Originally we really didn't want 4x4, but were convinced that having it would add to the potential resale value of the vehicle down the road.  I remember when we went to pick up the vehicle that our sale rep wanted to show us all the features; of course all we wanted to do was start enjoying the truck!

So far it has been a great journey.  As of this update the truck has delivered over 100,000 miles of absolutely trouble free service.  I really found out how good the truck was when we bought a race car from a guy in Randleman, NC and went to pick it up and tow it home.  We were able to cruise easily up the hills at 65 and our mileage only dropped to about 12 miles per gallon.  Not too shabby!
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