I’ve begun in earnest my Grandpa’s ‘70 C10.
A little backstory:
My grandpa bought it second hand, as the second owner, in 1977 and drove it for 4 years. In 1981, he had a heart attack and passed away. His truck was parked at my uncle’s for many years. I was born in 1983 and my father named me after Grandpa. His nickname was “the Fox” and so I was named after him but not as a nickname. My dad would borrow the truck from time to time to do truck stuff with it, but I was so little I never recalled those days.
As I grew up we would often visit Uncle and he/we(the nephews/nieces) loved his trucks out on his farm. GMC, Chevrolet, Ford, Fargo, Dodge; it seemed he had one of everything and of every size, too. My brother, cousins, and I would play in them all the time. We’d pretend we were hitching up trailers and going to rodeos, mud bogging, whatever we could imagine as we turned steering wheels.
There was always one I particularly liked that usually sat by the shop under the trees. It was dark green and always had a smell I liked when I climbed inside it. Years passed until one family gathering:
I was 12 years old in 1995 when we had a large family gathering at one of my other uncle’s. The whole family was there. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, nieces, nephews...everybody. We were all fishing at the dugout with a campfire and there was a draw happening. Being 12 I was oblivious to what was actually happening in this draw. Well, suddenly some of my cousins came up to me and said, “You won Grandpa’s truck!” My uncle had consulted with his siblings and they had decided to put all the grandkids’ names into a hat to see who would get Grandpa’s truck.
“I did? What truck are you talking about?” I thought it was perhaps just a little model truck I could play with in my bedroom.
“Grandpa’s! That green Chevy that is parked at Uncle’s shop!”
Then it dawned on me! The truck I loved to play in! Sweet! I was 12 but soon would be 14 and could get my learner’s license and drive. Well...legally anyway. We kids had been driving since a young age because the sooner you learned to drive the farm trucks, the less likely it was that you had to lift and load square bales in the field! The truck was soon delivered and I was sure proud to have my own truck at 12! And a pretty cool one at that. Dark green, 307 with clicky valves, 3speed, long box, in pretty decent shape (to a 12 year old’s eyes anyway. In truth it was pretty rusted under the cab and box). Dad and I would drive it together. He would take me into “work” where I would mow grass and landscape in town to earn cash as a newly turned teen. I have fond memories with Dad in that truck. Seat covers, fixing the seat slider, bleeding brakes. The truck and Dad taught me a lot.
I turned 16 and YAY! I was set with my own set of wheels! My friends couldn’t figure out the 3speed! They all thought it was an automatic. Theft deterrent! I drove it for most of the year and had some of my first dates with my future wife in that truck. Great memories. Now, the second I won that truck my older cousin offered to buy it. The stipulation was that if I sold it, it MUST go to family. I declined and declined but he offered and offered to buy it. It’s strange how after 4 years of the bug in the ear and being 16 and broke from driving a V8 with ridiculous insurance rates I relented and sold the truck to my cousin. He was overjoyed and I wasn’t truly aware of what I had done. Days later, deep regret creeped in and I wanted my truck back. “Sorry, Fox. I’m keeping it. One day she’ll be shined right up and brand new.”
“ I get first right of refusal if you change your mind, right?”
I moved on and checked in with my cousin from time to time. I even helped him start to take little pieces off when he began to dismantle it.
I bought a Mazda to go easy on my wallet!
Well, time passed and the truck project stalled out at my cousin’s. He had, before he bought the C10, rebuilt his first truck. An ‘86 pickup and boy, oh boy, is it nice. 427, overdrive, posi, it goes like stink and looks like a gem. I did expect him to finish Grandpa’s, but the truck gods were looking out for me I guess. I sold the truck in the spring of 2000. Years ticked by, and I went to work teaching at the school one day, September 22, 2016, to be exact. It’s easy to remember because it is my anniversary with my wife. I got a text message:
“Do you want to buy Grandpa's truck?”
Was he serious? My heart skipped a beat...
Happy anniversary, Love!! I went home and told my wife I bought another truck that day.
“What?” came her response, with a raised eyebrow.
“That old green one you had?”
“Oh, well, that’s ok then.” 😎
I have waited over 16 years, and now it’s not going anywhere.
My cousin did do some work on it though. The truck is disassembled. A lot. But he did have the frame blasted, epoxied and sealed with gloss black. He also bought a lot of sheet metal to repair the floors, rockers, corners, etc. New axles, seals, bearings, brakes and a 5 lug disc conversion came with it.
I have begun the next truck and the road seems long again Bolters:
Here we go:
I have done the following since I got it in 2016:
New rear seals and bearings.
New cab mounts
New axles installed.
Front discs installed.
New brakes installed front and rear.
New ball joints upper and lower.
New tie rods and ends.
I’ve marked out the cab corners and braced the cab:
It’s about to get very invasive!https://photos.app.goo.gl/Tcv249EaabYmh45R7
These show the disc conversion, rear drums and brakes, removing it from my cousin’s house and the donor “puzzle box” c20 I bought to see how it goes back together(that I actually used the 4.10’ for my AD 1 ton). One picture also shows the cab braced and ready for her new floor, rockers and corners. Yeesh.
I am also logging my time:
Total hours: 12.5