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American Graffiti
2005 Chevrolet SSR Super Sport Roadster
By Alain Gayot

In short: A totally cool roadster pick up.

In the 1973 George Lucas film "American Graffiti," Bob Falfa (played by Harrison Ford) drives a yellow, retro, hot rod truck that enables him to pick up girls and win drag races. With the 2005 Chevy SSR, you get a similar feeling of fame and power. The good thing is that it’s new, stock and legal, but will it keep you out of trouble with the authorities? Making good use of the vehicle's potential would require a visit to the track rather than Main Street.

Spend some time with this modern-day, roadster pickup truck, and you’ll realize that you are actually driving a sports-oriented machine. Just like many sports cars, it only seats two—in a power retractable hardtop cabin—but as a bonus you get the bed. You can haul quite a bit of stuff in the locking cargo hold, and for once the top does not interfere with trunk space. We love the sound of the always ready-to-roar 6.0 liter V8, which accelerates with seat-pinning speed. The monster wheels are controlled by an electronic traction control device, which gives the vehicle serious cornering ability.

The lines take after step-side Chevy trucks from the 1930s and are quite distinctive. Like it or not, everybody looks. You can have lots of fun driving it to the hardware store, grocery store, the beach or the golf course, but remember it’s just for the two of you. This is a great toy to add to the collection.

Warranty/Service: 36-month/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance.

Price as tested: $46,700

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 6.0-L V-8 (LS2), cast aluminum, sequential fuel injection (SFI), 390 hp at 5,400 rpm

Transmission: 4-speed O/D automatic

Safety: Dual stage front air bags, air bag off switch, side impact air bags

Top Speed: 126 mph, governor limited

Acceleration: 0-60 in 5.49 sec.

Braking: 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 70-0 mph in 185 ft.

Fuel Economy: 15 city,
19 highway

Handling: Independent front suspension, 5 link rear suspension, 16:1 ratio power steering, stabilizer bars, tuned shocks, 19"FR - 20"RR aluminum wheels, limited slip differential

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Photography: Walter Mladina

(Updated: 07/24/08 HC)