The 1984 model year was a good one for General Motors despite the upheaval in the petroleum industry and a doubling of diesel fuel prices in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By 1984, the new 6.2L V-8 diesel engine had already been available for two full years, and reports were generally favorable. Buyers who needed a full-size pickup truck jumped at the opportunity to buy a GM model that offered twice the fuel economy of the carbureted gas 305 V-8. For this reason, GM had the temerity to go-it-alone in the light-truck diesel market in 1982, and was not joined till the following year by Ford with the 6.9L International V-8 and finally in 1989 by Dodge with the Cummins BT5.9L six-cylinder. As big a player as they were, GM was then and remains cautious when entering a new market. They (and all other domestic auto manufacturers) prefer to not be alone in a market segment, even if that means more competition.
As has been discussed here in The Diesel Page quite some time ago, the 6.2L diesel engine was primarily developed to provide a more fuel-efficient alternative to the gas engine-equipped models. Today, the light-truck platform has evolved, and has been refined to a point that large numbers of buyers are using their truck as the family car. Sedans still dominated the family driveway in 1984, and pickups were more likely reserved for hauling and moving things. The success of the 6.2L diesel and the competition it provided helped to provide the foundation for the current diesel pickup market. To see how it all began, let's have a look at a vintage 1984 GMC C/K Pickup brochure that illustrates what the General was offering new truck buyers back in the day.
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