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One of the most popular used trucks for sale, a grey 2024 Chevy Silverado HD ZR2, is shown.

Silverado Special Editions That Celebrate Work, Play, and Military Service

The used pickup market is full of diamonds in the rough––rugged, capable models that are built to perform and still have plenty of life left under the hood. These pickups are built to last and, on average, boast almost twice the service life as cars, crossover SUVs, and other lighter-duty vehicles. A quick search of used trucks for sale is sure to turn up no shortage of options and great values, but what if you’re not just looking for a run-of-the-mill pickup?

Collaborations are a great way for automakers to generate interest in some of their best-selling models. As one of the country’s best-selling pickups, the Chevy Silverado has seen its fair share of innovative collaborations over the years. These models take everything there is to love about the reliable full-size pickup and add a fresh twist, creating distinctive models that are sure to turn heads. These limited edition models might come at a premium when you’re buying new, but they can be much more affordable once they hit the pre-owned market.

Let’s take a look at some recent Silverado collaborations that could soon start showing up at a used truck dealer near you and see how Chevy has managed to keep the Silverado on the tip of the auto industry’s tongue for over 20 years. From a couple of collaborations with hard-working clothing brands to a special edition Silverado that honors those who have put their lives at risk for our country, the Chevy archives are full of unique models that stand out from the rest of the lineup.

A black 2021 Chevy Silverado Carhartt Special Edition is shown parked in a barn.

Carhartt Special Edition Silverado HD (2021)

Take a truck with an unbeatable worksite reputation, pair it with the unofficial uniform of construction workers, and you’ve got a match made in blue-collar heaven. To be honest, it’s a little surprising that it took until 2021 to get a collaboration between Chevy and Carhartt, especially given their shared Detroit roots, but the results were well worth the wait. To be fair, the collaboration had been in the works since the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where Chevy rolled out a concept version of the pickup based on the 2017 Silverado 2500 HD. The Carhartt-branded Silverado was a crowd favorite, but Chevy made us wait a few years before rolling out a production-ready version in 2021.

Chevy knew that any truck wearing the Carhartt logo needed to be able to hold its own in challenging worksite or off-road scenarios, so the automaker started with one of the most capable models on offer: the Silverado 2500 LTZ paired with the Z71 Off-Road Package. In choosing the heavy-duty 2500 over the 1500 Silverado model, Chevy made a statement of intent––this wasn’t just to be a novel collaboration capitalizing on the Carhartt brand; it was to be a full-fledged work site pickup with all the towing, hauling, and power that title implies.

The Carhartt Special Edition Silverado HD starts off on the right foot with an available 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 that gives drivers 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque to play around with. That latter number is especially important given its relevance to towing and hauling, with the Silverado’s considerable torque providing more than enough power to tow up to 18,500 pounds. The Z71 package sees the pickup receive an impressive suite of off-road equipment such as tuned twin-tube Rancho shocks, 20-inch all-terrain tires, skid plates, and Chevy’s Hill Descent Control system.

Of course, the Carhartt Edition also looks the part, painted Mosaic Black Metallic with Carhartt gold pinstriping throughout. Chevy and Carhartt opted for a blacked-out aesthetic on the collaboration, designing the pickup with a black vent hood, tow hooks, and tailgate bowtie logo that are offset by chrome grille inserts, a soft roll-up tonneau cover embossed with the Carhartt logo, and more. The theme continues on the inside, where Carhartt-themed headrests and all-weather floor liners splash the familiar logo throughout the cabin. Still, the real highlight would probably have to be the two-tone chocochino and black leather seats that use that famous Carhartt brown hue as an accent color.

Silverado Realtree Edition (2016, 2021)

The Carhartt Special Edition Silverado HD might be the perfect truck for a week full of hard work, but the Silverado Realtree Edition has the weekends covered. This 2021 collaboration with the Realtree brand saw Chevy give the 2021 Silverado 1500 Custom Trail Boss the full camo treatment, teaming up with hunter-favorite Realtree to deliver an incognito version of the popular pickup. The 2021 edition is actually the second collaboration between Chevy and Realtree, who worked together on a similar camo-themed model just a few years before in the form of the 2016 Silverado Realtree Edition.

Available in both white and black, the Realtree Edition is notable for its camouflage accents, though the pattern is used a little less liberally than one might expect. This makes sense given the practical safety concerns involved: a camo truck might look cool, but can be more than a little difficult to see in low light. Instead, Chevy has opted for a splash of camo that spans from the rear tires to the tailgate and is complimented by the recognizable Realtree antler logo. The logo is replicated on the bedliner, as well as the door trim and throughout the interior. Black Silverado and Z71 badging further differentiate the Realtree Edition from the rest of the pack, and the color is repeated throughout the truck, with Chevy opting for black rectangular dual-exhaust tips, four-inch black round assist steps, and all-weather floor mats that really tie the pickup together.

While the Realtree camouflage graphics are clearly the star of the show, this is more than just a flashy appearance package. Chevy based the special edition on a 2021 Trail Boss model, which means the pickup is loaded with all the rugged off-road equipment one would expect from a truck that’s dressed like a jungle commando. The Silverado Realtree Edition features the same Z71 package as the Carhartt Special Edition Silverado HD but also adds a two-inch factory suspension lift and 20-inch wheels wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT On-Off Road Tires to the mix. Powered by either a 5.3-liter V8 or a 6.2-liter V8, the Silverado Realtree Edition has all the low-end power a driver might need to power through even the messiest backwoods terrain. The truck also features Chevy’s top-of-the-line Durabed, a heavy-duty truck bed liner that boasts the best standard cargo capacity in its segment, along with 12 tie-downs and a high-strength, roll-formed steel bed floor that’s not afraid of putting in a little work.

A white 2021 Chevy Silverado Realtree Edition is shown.

Silverado Special Ops Edition (2016)

When Chevy first unveiled the Silverado Special Ops Edition concept at the 2016 SEMA show, few imagined the bold, military-inspired pickup would ever see widespread production. The Special Ops model was initially little more than a thought experiment from Chevy designers, who were tasked with creating a unique rescue vehicle for special operations forces. The eye-catching Special Ops edition, decked out in an arresting Razzle Dazzle pattern inspired by military history, was a hit at SEMA, proving popular enough to justify a full-fledged production model which hit the market later that year.

Built on a 2016 Silverado 1500 Z71, the Special Ops Edition is a well-rounded pickup that brings all the utilitarian allure of a true battlefield vehicle to the average driver. Chevy packed the special edition pickup with everything from a bed-mounted sport bar with LED lights to wheel flares, custom rocker guards, and a bed-mounted GearOn utility rack storage system that’ll give you plenty of cargo room to bring along whatever the mission requires. An underbody shield and 20-inch aluminum wheels with off-road tires lend the Special Ops Silverado more utility than the average pickup, and a high-strength steel frame, standard four-wheel drive, and a 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 provide more than enough power for almost any application.

Hardware aside, it’s the Special Ops Edition’s paint job that really sets the model apart. The three-tone color scheme is inspired by the Razzle Dazzle pattern first developed by the British navy more than 100 years ago. The erratic geometric pattern is designed to disguise a ship’s speed, direction, and profile, making it more difficult for enemy ships to sight, and sink, in wartime scenarios. “That effect gives tremendous depth to the Silverado’s body while reinforcing the nautical heritage of the unique camo design,” said Todd Parker, Director of Design for Chevrolet Accessories.

On top of being a force to be reckoned with on the streets, the Silverado Special Ops Edition is also a force for good, with sales of the truck helping to support the Trident House Charities Program. Run by the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, Trident House Charities works to support the families of fallen, injured, and active-duty military by providing medical support for needs not covered by federal funding. The non-profit also operates the Trident House respite home, K9 Project for veterans, and provides a scholarship program for children in the Special Operations community.

Some of Chevy’s Most Intriguing Collaborations

These three models represent some of the most intriguing collaborations on the used market, and while they were all produced in limited numbers, there’s no telling what your next trip to a local used Chevy dealer might uncover. The Carhartt Edition brings the legacy of the storied workwear brand together with one of the most popular work-ready pickups on the market, giving drivers a rugged and stylish way to let you know that they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. The Realtree Edition, which includes the Z71 off-road package, continues the trend and is the perfect complement for a weekend full of tree stands, tackle boxes, and fly casting. The Special Ops Edition provides a unique way for Silverado drivers to honor the nation’s veterans. The military-inspired design alone would be enough to get us behind the wheel for a test drive, but it’s Chevy’s partnership with the Navy SEAL Museum and Trident House Charities that make the limited edition Silverado such a special ride.

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