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Cladless (Classless?) Avalanche Article


Full Member
Sep 23, 2002
Pensacola, Florida
There is a website called Cheers and Gears that is basically a GM fan site that has an article called Cladless Avalanche: in defence of Lutz that basically talks about how the author is a Cladded AV fan and was dismayed by the Silverado influence on the decladded AV, but goes on to explain the possible expanded audience the decladded AV will have. He even mentions owner sites, I wonder if he was referring to us, and how we generally don't like the cladless version, but how we arn't the typical plain vanilla buyer. Just thought all of you might want to check it out. :B:
The article makes a point, but I still hate that cladless P.O.S.

At least if you have painted clading it keeps the same shape, but the cladless one. ?:D:
Thanks YGMN, I agree that the article makes a point, but If they had to make it so plain, I think they should've found a way to keep the original's face, rather than slap a Silverado's grille, lights, etc. To me, it will never be a REAL AV. from the pic's I've seen, even the tailight lenses don't have the bumps and are smooth. :B:
I would never buy the AV WBH!!!!!!!!!! :7:

The reason I bought the AV on first place was the smooth ride and convenience. (2 cars in one) the second one it was its look.
Call me crazy but this SUV/Truck is one of the best looking Trucks in the market.
It looks tough, I like it!.

:7: :7: :7: :7:
The claddless Av just looks naked. I do agree that offering it cladless allows those anti-cladding folks a chance for the midgate functionality.
Why not make the midgate an option on the Silverado's & S-10's, or the new Colorado. I bet that will be in the future...
Ambalanche said:
He even mentions owner sites, I wonder if he was referring to us, and how we generally don't like the cladless version, but how we arn't the typical plain vanilla buyer.

I have exchanged emails with Walter in the past. He definitely knows who we are.

This is from back in July when I was asking about the "rumored" claddless Avalanche info he had on his site:

We were still keeping the faith seeing that the vehicle line manager has quoted that it would be an option this year. While the photos that GM has garnished shows it with cladding, we are still under the impression that GM will show a non-cladded version next year.
I think that the current Avalanche is selling so well (and we happen to like the cladding) that GM doesn't want to act as if there is something wrong with it, therefore holding out the info. Just speculation.
So was there confimation on a non-cladded version? Yes about three months ago. Could GM have changed their minds because of 45,000 Avalanche sales in the first 6 months of 2002? Yes, very likely. Could the Avalanche have lost all of it's uniqueness without the cladding and therefore it was scrapped? Very likely.
We are holding out until we get the word that there will NOT be optional cladding in 2003.
I hope this shows you our state of mind in the matter.

Thanks for reading the site


Though I like the cladding, I can see where a claddless option would open up some doors.

Just call the damn thing a Silverado Midgate, leave it as a Silverado and leave the Av as an Av in all it's glory!

Don't make the family tree one branch! Doesn't work in Arkansas, won't work here.
Variety is the spice of life. If people want the cladless Av, Chevy should make and sell it. I would probably not buy one myself, as I think the cladding makes this vehicle so unique.

I don't think it hurts to have naked Av's on the streets, if anything, we might see more mods made for Avs, since this could potentially open the floodgates for more owners/modders ;D
From the story:

"being one of the people that loves the Avalanche in all its "in your face" glory. "
;) He's with us!

"This plan, to Lutz, was the way to sell the Avalanche to John Q., who understands the utility of the Avalanche, but would rather a more sedate exterior."

I love Bob Lutz but I don't like what he's doing to the AV. It's not his baby as he came over after it was born but he may be saving the AV.

Look at what he did with the PT Cruiser. He made it a multi functional economy hatch back with a street rod look. They retired the Prowler, which was a real street rod, because they didn't sell enough of them while at the same time they couldn't make enough Cruisers.

If this move increases AV sales and ensures its longevity then it?s a good move, just not one the purest agree with.

I'm just suprised they didn't do something different with it than just make it a Silverado/Suburban body with nothing except the Midgate rear in common with the original. The fender bulges are gone, cladding of course, tail lights, front clip, etc... When everyone said the Aztek was ugly, all they did was paint the cladding and slap a three thousand dollar rebate on it. I've just always loved the look since it was a concept and I hope the original sells better than the classless version. :B:
I happen to think that the watered down version of the avalanche, which is really just a midgated silverado, is not in our best interest.

Is it putting more avalanches on the road or just midgated silverados called avalanche? It sort of contaminates the bloodline.

I, for one, am a Grand Cherokee convert. I recognized the value of the cladding and think it is a very practical way to eliminate parking lot dings and off-road brush scrapes. I also happen to like the way it looks on the AV. Chrysler "Ludtz", didn't take the cladding off of the Jeep to appeal to the masses. You can get it from the factory two ways, cladding painted or cladding plain.

I think that Chevrolet is playing on the popularity of the Avalanche to jump start the midgated silverado. Silverado buyers aren't the risk takers that Av buyers are. Those pickup guys and gals want a solid waterproof wall between them and whatever's in the back of that pickup. It's the questions on the midgate not the cladding that has kept the buying the pickups.