1966 Chevy C-10 Longbed
From Bruce :
Hey gang! I thought it was about time to share some history / pics of my 1966 Chevy Longbed. It's not the kind of truck that you run across everyday. Well, actually, 1966 was a peak year for truck production at over 620,000 units. So there is nothing rare about it, except for its almost unbelievable original condition.
Considering that this truck was built as nothing more than a simple work truck, it's interesting that it fell into a set of circumstances leading to it's remarkable state of preservation.
The service life of a typical farm / work truck is a constant grueling cycle of use, abuse, and repair. This quite often results in a worn-out and rusted-through hulk that is hardly worth a trip to the wrecking yard. In the case of this particular example, it had just gotten going when the work stopped.
This old truck's toil was in the form of hauling berries to market from a family operated farm in the state of Washington. While another larger truck did the bulk of the hauling, the little half ton did only short runs and partial loads. When not in use, it was treated to a spot in the garage / barn out of the rain. In fact, hauling in the rain was avoided when at all possible, so it rarely got wet.
That is how the story went for a few short years until the owner was plagued with health issues that prohibited driving. Business was halted, most equipment sold, and the little truck was parked in the garage.
Fast forward nearly 40 years to 2007 and the truck is still there. Only 8700 miles on the clock and hardly any damage to anything. Aside from an occasional trip down the driveway and back to keep it running, the old truck had not been used and remained entirely original, right down to the tires!
The decision was made to sell the truck and a family member was enlisted to prep it for sale. The engine compartment was pressure washed, and a few bits were replaced such as the battery, plugs, fuel pump, a clamp or two, oil and filter, etc. In addition, both bumpers got a quick spray-can freshening, covering the few rock chips it had acquired some four decades earlier.
Then, before any attempt was made to sell it, the owners contacted a professional antique auto appraiser to look it over and assess its condition. His report is as follows: "Outstanding original Chevrolet work truck, retired early in its life and properly stored ever since. Simply equipped, with 6 cyl/3sp, no power options. Truck shows just like a one year old used truck, and has been started and driven short distance regularly over the years ensuring its current drivability. Absolutely no rust and no musty interior odor. Original build sheet remains hidden in seat back, and is extremely clear and legible. Still in as-delivered condition, with the exception of the battery and an under-hood piece or two for maintenance. Truly an outstanding example, limited in its collectors appeal only by the basic appointments and long bed configuration."
The truck was listed for sale on eBay in December of 'O7. Since the purchase, the truck has been thoroughly cleaned and detailed and all recent aftermarket maintenance items have been replaced with NOS parts. Cosmetic restoration was strictly limited to properly refinishing both bumpers.
The factory turquoise paint is untouched and quite nice, save for some wear on the tailgate (from loading berry boxes) and door sills. Everything else is original and in very good to excellent condition. The factory tires and wheels have been set aside for safety purposes and are substituted by a second set of correct wheels and reproduction tires.
Lastly, like icing on the cake, the original owner's manual, warranty book, plastic envelope, glove box sticker, sales literature, jacking instructions, etc., as well as TWO factory build sheets (under the seat springs) are all present and in mint condition.
Now, I have but one question ... use it like the truck that it is, or continue to preserve it?