By on July 20, 2011

There’s really no reason for an old Detroit pickup to die, but The Crusher’s blind hunger for steel makes no distinction between a Mercury Tracer with fire damage and a solid ’70 Chevy with small-block and manual transmission.

Here we see Brandon, captain of the Dr. Strangelove-themed Mercedes-Benz W110 LeMons car and in Denver for the B.F.E. GP, contemplating the possibility of bringing this truck back to Texas.

Nothing on this truck should cost much to fix, but its last owner may have racked up endless parking tickets and been a tow-away victim. Or perhaps the lure of $250/ton steel proved too much.

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28 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1970 Chevrolet C10...”

  • avatar

    Who’s been sleeping in the glove box?

    Aside from that, THIS, my friends, is a real pickup truck! Repeating myself, but we had tons of these in the Air Force in place of Jeeps when I was in the service – short-bed, step-side, single-cab, six cylinder stick shift. They were a real joy and some of the G.I.’s were trying to figure out how they could have one of these “disappear” from the books and wind up in their driveway as their very own! I know I sure wanted one.

    There are a couple of these in my neighborhood – one is beautifully restored, a fleetside long bed model, 1971, I think, it has the egg-crate grill. Nice.

    I hope the one shown above comes back to life, it certainly deserves it!

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, this is a truck, not like the puffed up beasts we have now. My buddy’s dad had one of these things for twenty or so years until it absolutely wore out. My father in law had one for a long time, too, but my brother in law put it to an untimely death.

      Me and a buddy of mine used to tow a street-stock race car with a C-10 standard bed Chevy that had a straight six and three on the tree. We were running that poor old beast close to it’s limits, but it never faltered.

      It seems a shame to discard something like that when it looks like it could continue on for a long time yet…

    • 0 avatar

      living in the glove box: small 4-legged creature – mice.

      Hey, it’s got an upgraded stereo – cassette – with equalizer.

      I spent a lot of time driving a C-20 Suburban pulling a 26-foot trailer. It had a big engine (350?) and would pass everything but a gas station. And in the early 70’s gas economy was of interest due to the 70’s oil embargo.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    It looks reasonably intact and you can almost build a new one out of the LMC catalog, but Chevy built 6 bajillion of these back in the day and it’s a lot easier to find a runner and go from there.

  • avatar

    Didn’t these trucks have a rear suspension consisting of long trailing arms and coil springs? Certainly some old GM light trucks did, not that it stopped Chrysler from ‘inventing’ coil sprung pickups recently.

  • avatar

    The Rochester quadra jet make me think 350 with the four bolt main. If the block is intact that would be a valuable engine. At least around here it would be.

    • 0 avatar

      I seem to recall someone saying that you would be able to insert a Coors beer can in the Quadrajet’s secondaries, they were so large!

      I never tried it, as the opportunity never presented itself.

      • 0 avatar

        @Mikey: Old Chevy pickup with 350 & 4 bolt main? We just hit the jackpot!

        @Zackman: Those must have been small cans. I haven’t worked on a Quadra-Junk in years, but I don’t think even the 750 CFM secondaries were that big. I’ll be tearing down my FIL’s L47 Corvette small block this fall so I will get to see a (650 CFM) Quadra again. Lord knows we’ll have a beer or two, so I can test it then… :^)

      • 0 avatar

        The Quadrajet had 2.25″ secondaries and they are a terribly maligned carburetor. I have rebuilt many and you just have to be patient and understand their “odd” architecture.

        They actually came in two sizes, 650 CFM and 750 CFM (in Chevrolet application) but used the exact same sized airhorn and body. The difference in size was achieved by how far the secondaries opened which is adjustable via the linkage.

        As for the motor, I think it is either a LM1 or a L48. The LM1 was a 255 HP engine made in ’69, it may have been carried over into ’70 in the truck line (but not the passenger line). The L48 is a 300 HP high compression engine (10.25:1) that was definately around in ’70. Both engines were 2 bolt main blocks however.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        “Big ‘n Littles” is not just a Pro Street term: the Qjet’s superiority in fuel economy over comparable big horsepower carburetors is directly related to that construction method. Tiny primary throttle butterflies coupled with storm drain secondaries to give you big power when you need it, but excellent fuel economy when you keep your foot out of the power. As a result of such extremes of size, the mechanically actuated secondary throttle butterflies had their air and fuel flow regulated by the secondary air doors you can see in the photographs above. The regulation was via simple spring tension against engine vacuum: as the doors pivoted open, an offset cam bushing rotated, which raised the secondary metering rods and allowed the appropriate level of fuel to be pulled into the secondaries.

        Here’s where it gets interesting: there are scores of different secondary metering rod pairs (quite possibly as many as 100!), each of which has different primary diameters, secondary diameters, seat tapers and lengths. The secret in making a modified Qjet perform at its maximum lies in knowing which metering rods work best for the application and getting the spring tension on the secondary air doors to balance perfectly against engine vacuum and prevailing atmospheric pressure. One particular trick used if the metering rod hangar could support it, was to drill a 2nd pair of hangar holes to raise or lower the existing metering rods in their bores and give you a readily adjustable high/low altitude jetting solution. If you look to the right of the choke door in the rightmost top bank photograph, you can see the small screw securing the metering rod hangar in place. Remove that screw and lift that little steel bracket and the metering rods pull straight out along with it.

        Not visible in those photographs, the choke mechanism was either a hot air type or (later) an electric thermostatic system. A curved pivot would block the secondary air doors from opening until the engine reached proper operating temperature. Since the air doors affected fuel flow and not the lower butterflies or any other mechanism, it was an effective means of ensuring the driver couldn’t do something stupid like go from idle to WOT within seconds of turning over a cold engine.

  • avatar

    Grab that thing up. Unless there’s some kind of catastrophic damage not evident in the photos, that one is a definite keeper. A frame-off resto on that would be worth every penny.

    This generation of chev’s is probably hands down one of the best trucks EVER.

  • avatar

    Someone needs to scarf up this truck TODAY. If I didn’t already own a solid ’68, I’d be interested. Everyone from LMC to Classic Chevy has parts available, plus there’s a great forum devoted to these trucks.

    Mikey – if this 350 is original it’s a 4-bolt motor.

  • avatar

    Those 67-72 GM trucks are some of the best looking of all time. This one seems way too intact to crush. Collectors in CA would pay more than scrap value, but maybe not where it is.

    I just noticed the hand throttle. With the four speed, this one has the PTO. That was a pretty rare option on the half ton model. My ’71 was the 250ci six three speed “fleet special” with no radio, spare tire or rear bumper.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    My future father-in-law has one sitting infront of his house here in NM. He thinks about selling but myself and his other son-in-law keep trying to talk him into doing the bare minium to fix it up (right now anyway) and then drive it at least once a week to keep it lubricated. His is a 2wd 350V8 with the only option being the automatic trans. (I’d take it off his hands but I don’t need and don’t have anywhere to put his truck – I’ve got one of my own.)

    • 0 avatar
      Anonymous Coward

      My father has a ’67 with the small block. He bought it new in Nov ’66 (still has all the paperwork including the factory build sheet; he ordered it through the dealership) and has garage kept it ever since. It’s got ~65k miles on it. Every time he drives it somebody offers to buy it, but he can’t bring himself to even consider selling it at this point. I’m hoping to inherit it someday…

  • avatar

    Back in 1970, my dad bought one of these new .. long bed, 1/2 ton, 350 with automatic. Mom told him it would be the last truck he ever bought.

    41 years later, he still owns it (take that, mom!). Had the top end of the motor rebuilt just before 100K and he had it freshened up on the outside a few years ago – new paint, trim and rubber seals around the windows, plus a new spray in bedliner.

    Runs like a top – as it should, given that he’s only put something like 150K on it. He routinely turns down offers to sell it.

    He used it as you should use a truck – hauling lumber and tools to job sites, towing his bass boat to the late, letting us kids ride in the back (gasp!).

    • 0 avatar
      Anonymous Coward

      My dad bought one new in Nov. ’66 45 years and ~65k mi later he still has it. He’s kept it in a garage for all of those 45 years and gets unsolicited purchase offers every time he drives it. I’m hoping to inherit it one day.

  • avatar

    The 67-72 Chevy truck design was one of the best ideas that the General ever produced for its pickups. Here’s a 1971 cousin that was spared from the executioner.

  • avatar

    I had a 1968 short narrow box ex-Forest Service truck; 6/4-speed. Very clean, solid rig that had been used in eastern Oregon. This meant two things: 1 – it was well-maintained. There are a lot of places in eastern Oregon where you’re literally a hundred miles from a gas station. It’s mostly wide-open country. 2 – it had red dirt everywhere underneath. That was one of the better trucks I’ve owned…now I wish I’d kept it longer. (But I can say that about a good many of the cars and trucks I’ve had.)

  • avatar

    I did this two years ago. Found a 72 Cheyenne Super (w/AT A/C AM radio and 2-tone paint) in local junkyard. Paid a bargain price, (under $1000) and made a few repairs. Biggest expenditure so far was a new set of rubber and used aluminum wheels. Still needs paint, and the A/C fixed, but it is a smooth driving, reliable truck, and so cool, I am envious of myself when I see its reflections in storefront plate glass.

  • avatar

    This truck is actually a 68, the dash mounted ignition switch is the giveaway. My brotherinlaw bought a 327 powered turd brown 68 C10 back in 77 from a friend. They thought the engine had a dead cylinder, but my brotherinlaw removed the valve cover from the driver’s side and two rocker arms were not moving, indicating a couple of flat cam lobes. He fixed it and it ran well afterward.

    • 0 avatar

      No, it’s indeed a ’70. I know what you’re thinking and the locking column/switch regulation must’ve applied to cars only when implemented for the 1969 model year.

      The dash mounted ignition switch lasted all the way thru ’72 (I owned two ’72s, two ’70’s and currently own a ’68).

      This links to interior shots from a 1972 Chevy Truck brochure as proof. Have to look closely but you can see the dash-mounted ignition switch.

      It’s more obvious here:

      The all-new ’73s put the ignition switch on the column. See illustration 3.

  • avatar

    You’re right, I was thinking of the GM cars when I made that comment. Sorry about that, Murilee :)

  • avatar

    Budda, notice on my avatar there is such a truck behind the 5th ave.
    Both vehicles belong to my wife’s co workers. The truck is a 69 307 3 on the tree, low miles all original. It has manual steering but power brakes, no radio. It even still has the blockoff plate in the dash.

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