The price of old Chevrolet trucks keeps going up. It was first classics from the ’60s and early’ 70s, but now prices are rising on newer trucks as well, trucks like this 1979 Chevy C10 Custom Deluxe Stepside. This copy was found and rescued by the new owner Tom, who removed it from the lot where it has been for almost 30 years.
As Tom told us, “I learned about the truck from a friend who told me that his buddy Frank, the original owner, wanted to sell it and that it would probably be reasonably priced. . I arranged to see it, we haggled a bit on the price, and a deal was made. Frank had purchased the new C10 in April 1979 from Rodway Chevrolet in Redding, Calif., As a base model with power steering. At that time the truck was priced at $ 5,119 and Frank chose to spend another $ 230 on the 5 year / 50,000 mile warranty. I asked Frank if the base model was a financial decision, and he replied that it was. I mentioned how 42 years later he was driving a 2021 LTZ Duramax 4WD, which is the end of the spectrum opposite from a base model, and he laughed. “
The truck was originally equipped with a six-cylinder engine, a three-wheel manual transmission and manual brakes. The RV shell was added right after the truck was purchased and was never removed as Frank and his family enjoyed using it for camping trips. When chrome tube grills became popular, one was added, as were western wheels, chrome steps, the Pioneer stereo, and of course an equalizer.
At one point, a small-block engine and a TH350 automatic gearbox were installed. When the truck was found it was resting on four flat tires and had been parked since 1993. It was amazing how rot-free and upright the C10 was, and that it still had its original bumpers, plates. blue license plates and even the original license plate frames from the dealership. It never had a trailer hitch so the back plate was spared by the trailer tabs 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 advertisement from 1991, minus the cut coupons, was behind the seat. The glove box contained a treasure trove of period memorabilia, including maps and an old mpg calculator. In the bed were the original five white painted steel wheels as well as the vintage Western wheels which were put back on the truck with a replacement grille.
Unfortunately, the hatchback was lost in time and several moves from Northern California to Southern California, and the tubular grille and headlight bezels were stolen while the truck was in storage. Tom said he plans to run the old C10, but would likely remove the hull, and he believes the truck is asking for a drop kit as well. For the rest, we’ll have to wait and see, but it’s good to know that another vintage truck has been saved and will be put back on the road.