First things first. Why Lucky #13, you might ask. Well, this truck marks the 13th GMT400 bodied truck I’ve owned since 1995 when I purchased my first one, which was a 1991 SC SB sporting the 4.3 backed by a 5 speed. The love affair started there and there has been no looking back. The 13th on the list came to me with a known bad engine, but it was the exact spec’d truck I had been hunting for for nearly a decade. A C2500 2wd with the 5.7 Vortec backed by the 4L80E and a limited slip 12 bolt out back. It had to be a Standard Cab Long Bed. This one presented itself and was the perfect canvas for me to bring back a new truck for a fraction of the price of today’s Fantastic Plastic trucks.

This 1999 Victory Red C2500 is sporting a Re-manufactured NAPA L31 that I installed when I got the truck and it is still under manufacturers warranty, a completely new A/C system, all new rubber under the hood, i.e. belts, vacuum lines, and fluid lines. The truck’s transmission was thoroughly inspected, given a clean bill of health and received a conversion to Dex 6 full synthetic. The differential got a similar inspection with new seals and topped off with full synthetic gear oil. I replaced the steel rally’s with factory 8 lug aluminum rims and new 7 ply rubber on all 4 corners and reserved the Steelies for Winter Duty since they’re running nearly new Goodyear Wrangler A/T’s. All lights have been upgraded to LED and many other small cosmetic modifications like dash mat, Lloyds floor mats, dash cam and rear camera, real time engine management display compliments of Ancel OBD2 unit with GPS and Bluetooth, new door lock actuators, and new turn signal stock to return the cruise control to working order. Things remaining are replacing all of the front suspension components and a thorough once over of the brakes.

A little History lesson for those who have made it this far. In 1998, there were a little over 180,000 C/K2500 made and sold. In 1999 (the transition year to the GMT800), you could order a 2500 and 3500 in the “Classic” trim option which was the GMT400. These were exclusively assembled in Flint, Michigan. So, in 1999 there were a mere 1/10th of the C/K2500’s with the GMT400 base. Just 18,808 were made and sold. If that’s not incredible enough, once I acquired this gem of a truck, I did a full RPO code decipher using compnine, which is an online database of the GM and other make RPO (Or options in layman’s terms). This revealed that Ruby, my 1999 C2500, is just one of 37…. Yes… That’s 30 followed by 7 with a specific option group. Making this already rare truck with just 18,807 others being made and sold way down to one of just 37. The body and frame are in exceptional condition, considering I live in the heart of the Rust Belt here in Indiana. The only discernible rust is isolated to the driver’s cab corner and thanks to a poorly designed tailgate protector, the lower edge of the tailgate. The truck had a clean Carfax and the owner was very forthcoming with the truck’s blown head gasket, which made the negotiations very pocket friendly. This was imperative, since my plans were an engine replacement. So, Lucky #13 or Unlucky #13 is all in one’s perception. Did it have a bad engine? Yes, but did this open an opportunity to make the truck’s drive train like new? Absolutely. So, onto the photos! Also shown is my 1992 GMC Sierra which is #10 and my 1988 Custom that I built in 2007 which was #7, and the next to last photo is Sylvester (1995 Heavy Half C1500 with factory towing option) which was #12 and was sold to purchase Ruby #13. Last photo was #11 and named Old Blue.