01 November 2015
1971 Chevy C-10 Cheyenne Pickup Truck
From Ed :
It was October 2010 when my Dad came home with a 1970 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck. It was green in color and there was definitely something special about it that I just liked.
A few short weeks later, I happened to be browsing Craigslist and stumbled upon a truck that would become my friend. It was a 1971 Chevrolet C-10 Cheyenne. The ad said “all original” and the pictures definitely looked like it was just that.
My Dad and I drove down to Mishawaka, Indiana, about 40 miles from home, to check this old gal out. We met the fellow who was the second owner of the truck. He worked at the dealership where this truck was brought in as a trade by the original owner. He really liked the truck and bought it in the early 1990's.
So, the fellow had the old truck for about 15 years. It mostly sat in his garage and occasionally made the trip to Lowe's. He put new tires on it and that was about it. He wasn't going to restore it or anything. He and his wife had newer vehicles they used for daily driving. However, he was very sentimental about the old truck.
The truck was originally from Northern Michigan and it had not gone too far from its original roots!
I took it for a test drive and I was hooked. I loved it. That big steering wheel was just my style. I had to have it and had no problem paying $2,000 for it. It was worth every penny.
I paid the man the cash and he handed me the title. We shook hands and we were out the door, ready to cruise home in my new friend.
A few moments after we got out the door, the "previous owner" came outside, just about to cry and told me he couldn’t sell the truck to me -- it meant too much to him. I understood, although I felt my heart sink a little.
He handed me my money back and I returned the title. I gave him my phone number in case he changed his mind. Saddened, we headed back home.
A week or so later, the guy called me. He had talked to his wife and now, he was ready to sell. Boy, I sure was glad he changed his mind! I really wanted this truck.
We drove to Mishawaka again. This time, we came home riding in style -- even with the camper cap on it!
When we got the truck home, we noted that it had 99,780 original miles on it. The motor is a 350 automatic and it is two-wheel drive transmission.
The only thing not original are the rims. The PO put different Chevy rims on the truck because the old ones had rusted pretty good. The rims on there now are off an early 1990s Chevy. They are simple and not too flashy. I do have the original spare tire with the original rim.
It has the original am radio in it. When I got it, the PO had installed a tape player. He had the original radio in a box, so I swapped out the tape player and put the radio back in.
The truck has the original wood bed in it and it looks pretty good. There are a few spots here and there but the camper cap kept it nice and dry and kept it from rotting out.
So, all this happened about five years ago. Olive is still around and she's not needed much work as of yet -- mechanically anyway.
I work about 40 miles from home and would drive Olive to and from work. She handles well in the winter so I continued driving her to work for a while. Then I decided to get another vehicle for my daily commute. I still drive her to work in the warmer months.
From all that driving back and forth, she pretty much needs tires and a new drive shaft. She’s at the point now, too where it’s time to fix the rust.
This is my first truck restoration. I picked up bed sides, a tailgate and other pieces to get ready for some restoration work with my Dad over the coming winter. The cab corners need to be replaced but nothing major.
My Dad has done several truck restorations and he has a 1967 Chevy pickup. He just finished some work on a friend's old Chevy truck. Dad has a heated barn and I'm looking forward to working with him this winter. It’s time to give Olive the makeover she deserves..
Now, she’s got around 129,000 miles on her and runs like a champ every time.
I had her in the 4th of July parade a couple times and also the local car show.
Besides old trucks, Dad and I like to browse junkyards for neat stuff. I enjoy old trucks and anything related. Taking pictures of these classics is something I enjoy as well. Find more on my page (see below). I post a truck find almost daily.
Rusty Truck Photography Website and on Facebook -- Based in Southwest Michigan, Ed is collecting images of rusty trucks, classic cars, old Michigan barns, landscape scenes and more. His Facebook has some fun stuff. If you'd like to send him a photo of your old truck, whatever her condition, I'm sure he'd appreciate it! ~ Editor
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