Oftentimes, automakers will resurrect long-defunct badges in the hopes of capitalizing on consumer nostalgia, such as in the case of the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. The new, unibody crossover shares little with its rugged, body-on-frame predecessor, but at the least, they are both tall, relatively high-riding utility vehicles.
But here’s something you may not have known: the new, 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison off-road pickup shares its name with a long-gone GM product, although that fact appears to be more coincidence than an attempt to capitalize on nostalgia. The original Chevrolet Bison? Why, it was a Class-8 heavy-duty truck offered from 1977 through 1987, with a big, honking diesel under the hood.
The Chevrolet Bison – also sold as the GMC General – was the largest conventional-cab truck GM ever built, introduced to replace the Chevrolet C/M 90 and GMC C/M 9500 trucks. It was built at General Motors’ now-defunct Pontiac East Assembly plant, which was closed down in 2009 after nearly four decades of service.
Offered with either a 4×2 or a 6×4 drivetrain, the Chevrolet Bison and GMC General were offered with a range of diesel powerplants, including the 7.0-liter Detroit Diesel 6-71 straight-six (standard), the 9.3-liter Detroit Diesel 8V71 V8, and from 1982, the 14.6-liter Caterpillar 3406 inline-six.
Needless to say, you probably won’t be able to fit any of those powerplants in your 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, although GM’s 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine will be available as an option. Beside that, the new Bison gets all the ZR2’s standard goodies (electric locking differentials, two-inch factory lift, Multimatic DSSV dampers, etc.) and special, model-specific add-ons like 17-inch wheels with Goodyear Duratrac tires, AEV steel bumpers, an AEV intake snorkel, and five different Boron-steel skid plates.
Check back in with GM Authority for all the latest Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison news.