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Fresh aerodynamic bodies, long wheelbases, rugged ladder-type frame construction and big gross weight ratings help distinguish the Chevrolet Van and Express models from the competition.
Five different engines allow buyers to choose the right combination of power and economy to meet their needs. The $19,687 G1500 Van and $22,885 Express come standard with a 195-hp 4.3-liter V6. A 5.0-liter V8 that produces 220 hp at 4600 rpm and 280 lb.-ft. at 2800 rpm is a $495 option on the G1500. A 5.7-liter V8 that produces 245 hp at 4600 rpm and 325 lb.-ft. at 2800 rpm comes standard on the $20,112 G2500 and $21,492 G3500 and is a $965 option on the G1500. The G3500 also offers a $600 optional 7.4-liter V8 that produces 290 hp at 4000 rpm and 410 lb.-ft. at 3200 rpm, or a $2,860 optional 6.5-liter turbocharged diesel V8 that produces 190 hp at 3400 rpm and 385 lb.-ft. at 3400 rpm.
All models come standard with GM's 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The fluid pump and clutch plate designs have been refined for 1997 for smoother shifts, reduced slippage and increased efficiency.
The heavy duty 4L80-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, which can handle up to 440 lb.-ft. of torque, comes standard on Chevy Van and Express models with a GVWR of 8,600 pounds or greater. The heavy duty transmission features a lower first gear for better off-the-line performance with heavy loads. This transmission has been refined for improved shifting out of park, increased efficiency and better lubrication.