Small town America showcases one of America’s strength in the form of Pickups! Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Sept. 22, 2013 2014 Chevrolet Silverado with the 4.3L V6, the latest 6-speed AT, 3.23 final, and sporting an easy to achieve 18/24 mpgUS city/highway rating. Manufactured with pride at Fort Wayne Assembly. Fort Wayne, IN -- Last week GM celebrated a homecoming of sorts. Invited was a long list of “anybody with a GM pickup truck” that wants to come out and enjoy live music while interacting with fellow owners about old and new pickups alike. And they came out in droves. Why Fort Wayne? Possibly GMs most important manufacturing facility, Fort Wayne Assembly is located just southwest of Fort Wayne proper in Roanoke, Indiana. Opened in 1986, the plant employs approximately 4,400 and produces the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra LD and HD Extended & Regular Cabs. If you have watched our quarterly report stories, this plants product is responsible for a large percentage of the company’s global earnings! Since 1986, they have produced approximately 6 million pickups and have done so with a minimal environmental footprint. Fort Wayne Assembly became GM's first US assembly plant to become landfill-free in November 2011. To put this into perspective, GM's Fort Wayne assembly plant sends less to a landfill in one week than an average sized family in a day! In addition, it is over 20 percent powered by methane gas produced from a nearby landfill. The GM Pickup Homecoming in Pictures Orange 48 Chevrolet Thriftmaster pickup lining up for the GM Pickup Homecoming Parade in Fort Wayne, IN. Owner Dennis and Nancy Duggan, Fort Wayne locals, says, White 1955 Chevrolet Cameo with the 265 ci V8 Originally from NV it has no PS/PB, uses leaf springs up front and rear and drums all around. Owner Jim from Peru, IN loves the hinged rear spare tire access and the fiberglass wrapped spare. 1966 GMC Fire Truck with a 305 ci V6. Still the original paint and "in field" battle scars displayed proudly. Owner Tim's favorite thing is that Original Brown 1958 GMC Series 100 Fleet That is indeed the original grille! This pickup had what I consider the best interior in the show. 16 year old Evan Saucier from Bloomington, IN proudly says “it’s mine” with his father standing by and nodding in agreement. The truck is literally the fourth member of the Saucier family and possibly the only actual truck of its kind on the planet. Father Tom found the original build sheet for the Fleet 100 and it was a bare bones truck designed to compete with Chevy trucks which were $45 cheaper at the time. And in the bed was a Whizzer! First produced in 1939. In the early 40s with World War II underway, Whizzer Motors lobbed the US Government for the right to continue production of what was argued to be a great way for defense workers to travel to and from work. In 1948, Whizzer sold its first pre-assembled motorized bicycle, the "Pacemaker". Whizzer motorcycle engines would cease to be produced in 1965 and reappear in 1997 attached to Schwinn fat tire bicycles. An original yellow 72 GMC Suburban 1500 Super Custom with a 350 ci V8 and the 4 BBL Original paint and personally redone interior. Possibly the cleanest truck at the GM Pickup Homecoming! Owner Brad Diehl from Corunna, IN says his favorite thing about this Suburban is that I agree. A 42 Chevrolet Pickup truck with the original 90 hp 216 ci straight 6 The Cases, the owners, were not around to talk and to bad as this was a beauty! Light Blue 48 Chevrolet 3100 Thriftmaster... I think??? Sharp looking indeed! 72 Chevrolet Cheyenne Super with the 350 ci V8 Owned by Kevin and Julie Kelham. And it was in really good condition for a 72! Red 68 Chevrolet C10 with a 350 and Edelbrock headers Owner Randy and Paula Pearson from Huntington, IN said they brought it home in "baskets"! Paula said at first, Then she came around and added the following: Cool truck for a couple meant to own a GM truck. Sort of Blue 66 Chevy long bed step side body with 73 front and rear end, 82 250 ci straight 6 with a three speed AT Power steering was original, power brakes including discs up front. And a tilt wheel was added. While not a Show truck like those shown above, this is the most "Worked" work truck at the Truck homecoming. Steve Paske from Fort Wayne says, Hopped up Blue 65 Chevrolet Stepside with a 454 4 bbl When trucks were trucks. Live music by Hubie Ashcraft and the Drive. ******************************* ******************************* GM at the GM Pickup Homecoming Jully Burau, Chief Engineer for GM trucks. A quick 5-minutes with Jully before she had to get up on stage to introduce a long line of politicos and some well deserved individuals who received checks for their charity work and scholarships for some individuals academic work. Like me, she really likes the performance of the new 2014 4.3L V6. New mounts and total drive line integration have reduced NVH from a motor that idles at an incredibly low 540 RPM at idle. To achieve the lightest truck of the domestics (350 or so pounds lighter than the equivalent RAM or F-Series), every part was scrutinized. Little known, the hood is aluminum. Regarding the really low interior noise, driving the 2014 from Wisconsin to Fort Wayne, IN proved that it us the quietest in the industry. At least anecdotally. I have not driven the Tundra however. Triple door seals and a massive lightweight insulation engineering effort at the firewall, inner fender wells and beneath the floor help in this regard. Truck steering... They are a little loose at no load given the wide range of loads in the bed or towing they could be subjected too. It did not sound as if there will be any variable load EPS anytime soon but as Jully continued to reiterate, Q: Possibility of a higher trimmed 4.3L V6? A: "Stay tuned." ******************************* ******************************* The GM Truck Homecoming Parade Past and Present GM Pickup truck customers brought 272 trucks to the event in order to participate in the GM Truck Homecoming parade. It was a lengthy drive loop that circled the entire city of Fort Wayne, IN. The "42 in the side view." While not the most fuel efficient way to circumnavigate the city, passersby were halting in their tracks and pulling out cameras to record the miles long line of GM pickups at every turn. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado allowed 21 mpg during the parade while traversing the all-city loop. ******************************* ******************************* More about that 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT and the drive to the GM Pickup Homecoming. The First Fill Initial top off at the Gurnee, IL Shell Initial top off took 6.234 gallons after arriving full and driving 29 miles at 28.9 mpg displayed. 4.3 gallons after first click. The 26 gallon tank apparently can hold around 30 gallons. That will provide some extra range Google Map Route from Gurnee, IL to Fort Wayne, IN Gurnee, IL Shell to Fort Wayne, IN Shell The Results Final top off at a Fort Wayne, IN Shell after 211 actual miles with 6.297 gallons = 33.5 mpg vs. 34.6 mpg displayed. That is excellent! Some context to conclude the 2014 Silverado Truck Review. Overall the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT with the really nice 4.3L V6 has provided a darn decent 30.0 mpg (29.0 mpgUS actual) over the course of 350 miles of Interstate and 230 miles of city travel. That is pretty hot for a truck of this size. To maintain 40 + mpg or even 30 mpg by evoking AFM (2-cylinder deactivation), you only have a maximum of about 28 HP available. This is a lot of truck to move with that little power available. If there were 40 HP available under 4-cylinder mode, the average owner would receive much better FE. Will it beat the RAM 1500? With the right driver able to balance on a knife edge below 36% load in 4-cylinder mode, yes Pups really likes the large driver/front seat passenger volume and even the sight lines for such a large vehicle. The 2014 Silverado heading back to its own home from mine. Shown with a neat Google camera trick. Thank you GM for hosting the GM Pickup Homecoming and providing CleanMPG with a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado equipped with the 4.3L V6 and tall rear differential for us to drive to and from the event.