Hagerty.com

Unloved by the masses, the retro sport truck Chevrolet SSR is a hot collector


#1

The most amazing part of the Chevrolet SSR’s history is that it was built at all. It looks like one of those concept cars that a company does on a whim, causes some buzz in the press, gathers some crowds at the auto show, and then fades away as everybody moves on with their lives. When Chevrolet first displayed the SSR (Super Sport Roadster) at the Detroit Auto Show in 2000, nobody thought that GM would actually put the thing into production. Who would even buy a convertible two-seater pickup that looked like something the folks at Hot Wheels would come up with? As it turns out, not that many people, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Chevrolet actually did give the SSR a go with a solid five model year production run and (eventually) some legit performance cred, unlike those other early 2000s retro-mobiles – the Plymouth Prowler and Ford Thunderbird. An SSR paced the Indy 500 in 2003, and its completely ridiculous styling prompted Car and Driver to call it “part roadster, part truck, and part Van Halen, it’s a retro Yankee wrapped in concept-car spandex.”


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/27/retro-sport-truck-chevrolet-ssr-hot-collector

#2

Sorry guys. No sale . It was a POS then. It’s a POS now. Better choices available out there.


#3

I’ll still keep an eye on this market. I’m not in the demographic of the “typical “ buyer, they’ve got 30yrs on me. But I have been looking at them. I’m just waiting for the value to drop to where it should be, that is a 15yr old used (useless) roadster. Hagerty I’ll call you when they’re sub 10k!


#4

Ditto. Sub 10K is more like it. But I won’t be buying then either.


#5

Like them then and like them now.
BTW, I have one of the Inspiration Yellow ‘02 birds and love it. It’s a classic. It sits in the garage with my ‘61 and ‘65 vettes, my ‘29 roadster pickup hot rod and my ‘65 Impala 4 speed convertible.


#6

It seems that the only people that have a negative opinion about the SSR are those that have never driven or or owned one! The writer of an article like this should talk to a few owners before giving “their” opinion! I bought my 2006 new, I’m not 68, you do the math. And yes the vast majority of owners are 40 years and older. I and quite a few HUNDRED of other owners LOVE the SSR! We have an internet group that holds rallies across the US & Canada and has since 2003. I hosted a rally in Savannah last year that had 115 trucks attend from the US & Canada. There have been countless rallies over the years that have had over 100 attend. Yes, Chevy did not make the SSR perfect but those that own one have gotten together and made improvements and shared with all the other owners. These owners are not a “car club” WE are a FAMILY OF OWNERS! These Family members drive hundreds and even Thousands of miles for a 3 or 4 day rally to visit other members and show off the “improvements” they have made to there babies. Some mild, some radical. We are FANATICS about the SSR! We can be anywhere in the country and if anyone of us should break down or have a problem, 1 or 2 phone calls, someone will either have the answer to correct the problem or be there to help. If an owner should total his/her truck, 9 times out of 10 he/she will buy another one. God help anyone that should stop one of us and ask about our truck! They better have time to listen to all the GREAT things we have to say about them. All SSR owners have a “permagrin” everytime they get behind the wheel with either the tip up or going topless! SSRFANATIC.COM


#7

Just sold my 2004 Black SSR with 9000 miles got a great price. Went to a 2015 Z51 Vette. Little more power. I am 80 still having fun.


#8

BTW I want your garage! Just bought a new house (still not enough garage only 2 car) I may have to convince the wife to change its roof line when we add on to the top of the house so I can store 4 like you.
I repose the quest to you, what is the yellow car in stall 3b?


#9

My eyes never liked it either, copying something out of the early 50’s but making it look worse…I know GM did what they could to keep production levels down keeping the price up like those 2 small Vette-like cars (Saturn Sky and The Pontiac Solstice ) I could only guess when they were new how much over list price they sold for…I wish Barrette & Jackson had that up on there info charts on these cars. What it sold for as new, what the owner actually paid GM for it and how much it depreciated while they waited so many years not drinking it to sell it…In my years of going to so many neighborhood car shows I think I have only seen 2 of theses SSR’s…They do draw a crowd for a few minutes or two but it seems really useless for anything else but a conversation piece…very cramped cock pit feel and only a minimal use for anything in the bed of the truck…I’ll keep hoping that eventually like so many other specialty built cars during this time, this will remind people what GM was really doing with these programs??? Fattening their wallets!!!..Now, The BUICK GNX on the other hand : ) … I’m no MOPAR hater either but what they did with the Challenger was what the rest of the Big 3 could have strived to come out with…Make it as close to the original as possible…there are more newer Challengers on the road now then were built during its four year run in the early 70"s Way to go MOPAR!!!


#10

If the current B-J auction in Las Vegas is any indicator the SSR has a long way to go, value-wise. The two I saw on the auction went for about. 18K each.

Denny


#11

I’m not a big GM fan, Don’t get me wrong, they were a great company and indeed owned 55% of the market in its hay day. However, as of these last couple decades they’ve really fallen down, especially after they dropped Oldsmobile and Pontiac. And Saturn Division was an abysmal failure. The SST is just a poor excuse for what they could build. Also, it’s just plan FUGLY! Right up there with there HHR. I suppose you’ll be telling us those are collectable too. Boy, anything for a buck.


#12

I have owned a 1/25 & 1/64 scale model as well as the Chevrolet advertising sent to me in 2000 for the SSR. I now have owned my 04 SSR for 9 years. Amazing how divorce can make money for the good man. Funny the talk about concept vehicles & haters. Hot Wheels never made a SSR. Maisto New Bright R/C was the only toy cars made. I bought a SSR instead of a New Camaro because Chevrolet could not & would not make my Camaro as I spec out. So I paid same price for my SSR as I would have paid $17,000 if Chevrolet had let me build my Camaro. Not all the 75,000 added on to the 79,000.were trouble free. First problem was people taking out the hate on my SSR with a unidentified weapon that caused $2500 damage. The security camera in parking lot caught some haters in a newer yellow Corvette leaving the scene. Then to find a GM Dealer that knew what a SSR was. I was trying to order a part for my SSR in a Chevy Parts department. The brain dead parts clerk never had heard of a SSR. The proceeded to tell me I would need my VIN before he could look up part. Even with the VIN he ordered the wrong part. 2 big problems are electrical & heating or cooling. My speedometer never worked right. Sat in garage engine running in park & speedometer was pegged at 140 mph standing still, Then the stupid engineer that ran the exhaust right next to ABS module. Melted the solider. The engine would over heat in traffic or cruising Woodward Ave. I love my SSR. Sure some growing pains & worn out parts or not built for the performance of the SSR. I enjoy driving my Chevrolet Truck. Yes, I pay for truck plates & insurance. As for people not interested in SSR? All I have to do is put up or take down top. All are fascinated of the engineering of the moving of the multiple servos, relays, PSI fluid etc. The interior is a bit cramped & bed is too small to haul large items. let’s take a look at the El Camino. Ran in production since 1959. Lots of horsepower in the “W” motor 348 ci all the way to big 454 ci. I don’t recall in all my years, ( 61 years) never heard a el Camino owner or car nut spread any hate of interior size, Power, pick up bed size. The el Camino, Ranchero & some other small trucks could not haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood. So to Chevrolet SSR? Try it. You may like it better than your rice burner tuner. Ha Ha!


#13

It’s a great car to own and drive. My problem is, when GM went bankrupt, they sold all their parts to some guy in Texas who charges an arm and a leg for them. And if you have the bad luck to bend a fender you have to wait for someone else to total their car to find a replacement. In the meantime, insurance rates are ridiculous.