It usually takes several years to figure out if a car's design is standing the test of time to become a future classic. When new, the Chevrolet SSR was derided at practically every turn, largely for its retrofuturistic styling and Trailblazer-based underpinnings, but now some time has passed. Maybe it's time for a revaluation.
This week Generation Gap aims to find out if the SSR's time has finally come, but it's putting the unusual pickup against the stiffest competition imaginable – a 1970 El Camino SS 454. They are both expressive Chevrolet pickups, but one of them is a better-regarded classic, and the other remains a bit of an automotive punchline.

A stock 2004 SSR would lose easily to the high-performance El Camino, and Generation Gap has attempted to even the odds just a little with an example tuned by Lingenfelter. Its 5.3-liter V8 features a supercharger to boost power to a claimed 385 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. Getting on the throttle is greeted by a scream of blower whine from under the hood, which is actually rather impressive.

However, the newer Chevy is fighting a previous heavyweight. The El Camino packs a 7.4-liter (454-cubic-inch) V8 pumping out 360 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque through a Muncie four-speed manual. It's just one of 325 made that way for that year.

Check out the video to see if it's time to reconsider Chevy's iconoclastic folding hardtop convertible muscle pickup.


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