The price on old Chevy trucks just keeps going up. First it was the classics from the ’60s and early ’70s, but now the prices are rising on newer trucks as well, trucks like this 1979 Chevy C10 Custom Deluxe Stepside. This example was found and saved by new owner Tom, who pulled it out of the lot where it has been sitting for nearly 30 years.
As Tom told us, “I learned of the truck from a friend who told me his buddy Frank, the original owner, was wanting to sell it and that it would probably be reasonably priced. I made arrangements to see it, we haggled a bit on the price, and a deal was struck. Frank had bought the C10 new in April of 1979 from Rodway Chevrolet in Redding, California, as a base model with power steering. At that time the truck was $5,119 and Frank opted to spend another 230 bucks for the 5-year/50,000-mile warranty. I asked Frank if the base model was a financial decision, and he answered that it was. I mentioned how 42 years later he was driving a 2021 LTZ Duramax 4WD, which is the opposite end of the spectrum from a base model, and he laughed.”
The truck was originally equipped with a six-cylinder engine, three-on-the-tree manual transmission, and manual brakes. The camper shell was added right after the truck was purchased and was never removed since Frank and his family enjoyed using it for camping trips. When chrome tube grilles became popular, one was added, as were the western wheels, chrome steps, Pioneer stereo, and of course, an equalizer.
At some point, a small-block engine and TH350 automatic trans were installed. When the truck was found, it was sitting on four flat tires and had been parked since 1993. It was amazing how rot-free and straight the C10 was, and that it still had its original bumpers, blue license plates, and even the original dealer license plate frames. It never had a trailer hitch, so the rear plate was spared from trailer tongues and a minor dent in the right rear fender is the extent of the body damage.
A service contract from the original purchase was found in the glove box and a Toys-R-Us ad from 1991, minus clipped coupons, was behind the seat. The glove box held a treasure trove of vintage memorabilia, including maps and an old mpg calculator. In the bed, were all five of the original white painted steel wheels along with the vintage Western wheels that were put back on the truck along with a replacement grille.
Unfortunately, the tailgate was lost to time and several moves from Northern California to Southern California, and the tube grille and headlight bezels were stolen during the time the truck was stored. Tom said he plans on getting the old C10 running but will likely remove the shell, and he feels the truck is begging for a drop kit as well. As for the rest, we’ll just have to wait and see, but it is nice to know another vintage truck has been saved and will be put back on the road.
Watch: Check out 10 reasons why this could be the world’s best Chevy C10!
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