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1965 Chevrolet C10 Shortbed Fleetside

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Leonardtown, Maryland


Owned by Robbie Wright
Bolter # 10423
Columbus, Georgia
15 August 2008
# 2403

From Robbie :

       Here is my "new" old truck. It's a 1965 Chevrolet C10 Shortbed Fleetside powered by an excellent condition 230 and 3 speed transmission. It's going to be my daily driver, while I slowly work on my 1961 Chevy Apache 10. This truck was an "it ran when I parked it."

       The truck actually really is in great condition. It has obviously had a life where it was taken really good care of (well, up until right before I got it.) Except for the floor pan in the cab where someone left the window down for a time before I got it, it's rust free.

       I love knowing the history of these trucks and was actually able to find some while cleaning out the cab. I found a matchbook [ pix ] from an old clothing store in Columbus, Georgia that closed down in the 1970's. I also found some stamps from 1963.

       When we went to pull this truck on the trailer, it would not budge from the weeds it sat in. The emergency brake had been set and the driver's side back brake was locked up. Well, after some time spent removing the back brake drum, we rolled the truck onto the trailer and brought it home.

       As soon as it was home, I went through the process of going over it a little more thoroughly. I tried to turn the engine over by hand and… it was locked up. I was extremely disappointed. It had been promised as a truck that would not take much of anything to get running again! (Yeah, I know, shouldn't have believed that one!) I had not even thought to check the engine while we were loading it up.

       Well, some Marvel Mystery Oil later, the engine freed up. I checked the plugs and points and – with a little gas down the carb – it fired right up! Now, I was happy again. Until I added gas to the tank… the fuel pump was bad. A fuel pump later, the truck was running.

       Now for the back brake… which had been left untouched since it was brought home. I added brake fluid and tried to pump the brakes up. No such luck. The master cylinder was bad… A master cylinder later and we easily got the back brake freed up.

       Finally, it was time for the test drive. The good 230 didn't fail me, and except for the need of a carburetor rebuild, she ran (and still runs) great. I took it up and down the road a couple of times, and then brought it back to park to work on the radio (oh, so important you know.)

       While we were working on the radio, I pressed the brake down and – no pressure! I checked under the truck -- the driver's side front wheel cylinder had blown out. Now, I had the "go" but I didn't have the "stop!"

       That was the longest set back for the truck (so far). I bought new wheel cylinders, but could not get the brake drum off of the truck. My neighbor assured me it would come off eventually. After what seemed (and still seems!) like an eternity, the brake drum wasn't saying anything.

       So, we took off the hub – drum and all. We replaced wheel cylinders, reassembled – and finally – I had brakes again. And so far, that has been the last thing to go wrong with the truck. It's currently running great – but still needing a carb rebuild.  

       When I first got the truck, the wiring did not seem to be so great. To turn on the headlights I had to: turn the headlights on, turn the dome light on, and hit the bright / dim switch a couple times (or a couple hundred times) and the lights would finally come on. But that seemed to work itself out. I just need a new bright / dim switch as well.

       The brake and taillights also didn't work at all when it first got home. After some bumpy dirt road, they started working and I found the grounding problem. The tail and brake lights need to be grounded better, but that's really it. So, surprisingly most of the wiring really is in great shape.

       This truck is all original – well, less the stock radio. Oh, yeah - and the ash tray! It did still have the stock speaker. The only changes I have made to the truck have been switching the stock 1965 hood for the 1961 hood [ pix ] off of my Apache 10. But that's just temporary until I get the '61 running.

       I really do love my "new" truck. I intend to keep it original but I'm not going to do a complete restoration. I just want this one to be a daily driver. Well, for now.

       Next on the "to-do" list is paint…

       More pictures can be found on my photoblog.

Robbie Wright


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