Life Long K10 Fan: 1964 Chevrolet K10

1964 Chevy K10 Shortbed

From Tyler in Tennessee – 1964 Chevrolet K10 4 wheel drive truck wasn’t exactly found IN a barn, but out in front of one where it had been sitting for about 5 years. The story is the truck was used on the farm from the early ’70s till some parts in the steering column broke. The farmer found the needed parts from another truck in a junkyard, but never got around to repairing it. His grandson was planning on redoing the truck and getting it going again, but between work, family, other projects, & building a house, was more than he had time for.

1964 Chevy K10 Shortbed 2

A little bit of backstory is in order. Nearly all my life, my father has owned Chevrolet 4 wheel drive trucks. Just a couple of months ago, he traded a 2003 for a new 2015 Silverado. Starting with a 68 K10 long bed & then a 71 K10 short bed when I was a boy. He sold the 71 in 1979, when I was 15, and the truck is still owned by the man who bought it 36 years ago. It was the truck I learned to drive in, pulling a wagon in the hay field when I was about 12 & even though I am over the half century mark, it has never been far from my mind. The man who owns that 71 happens to be a customer of mine, so I see it a couple times a year. I have tried to buy it many times, but it’s not for sale. Even though I have owned several 67-72 C10’s and a couple K5 Blazer’s, I have not owned a K10 and have kept my eye open for one. I heard about this ’64 less than 20 minutes from my house.

1964 Chevy K10 Shortbed Frame

I knew K10’s built before ’73 were not common, there are a lot of early trucks on later frames, so I did my research before going to look at it. According to the factory records, a few over 800 short step bed trucks, but only 564 short fleet K10’s were built in 1964, so needless to say I was skeptical. But after looking it over, all the numbers, all the features, showed it was the real deal. I spent the afternoon visiting with the 80+ year old gentleman talking about the truck & it’s history. The original wooden bed had been rotted out of it for years, so he had removed the bed, & welded a plate across the frame for a gooseneck ball to pull cattle & hay trailers. A stump had “jumped up out of the ground” as he put it and caved in the driver side door, so it has a junk yard replacement. One of the original Spicer locking hubs had broken, unable to find a replacement, he took the other one to a local machine shop and had them duplicate one for him. Sometime in the 90’s, the original 283 began to use more oil than gas, so he replaced it with a 305 out of a 80’s model truck.

1964 Chevy K10 Shortbed 4

The original SM420 granny low 4 speed and Rockwell T221 divorced transfer case are still in the truck and in working order. There are 3.73 gears in the posi rear end and Dana 44 closed knuckle front differential. But the rear U-Joints had been replaced several times after being twisted out, lol! While the drivetrain and frame are in good shape, the 52 year old body has seen its better days and has plenty of rust.

1964 Chevy K10 Shortbed 5

A deal was struck for the truck, I came back with a trailer and loaded it up. My initial thought process was to find another truck for a donor body. But the more I think about it and look at it, I believe I’m going a different route. I am doing a frame off full restoration of a ’68 GMC short fleet truck that was the service truck for the local GMC dealership, and had never been titled outside the dealership. I have spent months locating OEM or NOS parts for that truck, as it has many unique one year only parts that are not reproduced. At the same time, I am building a 67 Chevy C10 step side restomod with a 5.3 LS engine and 4l60 transmission from an ’02 Avalanche. My wife has claimed ownership of that truck when finished, lol! So I have decided to leave the 64 K10 in as close to as found condition on the outside, replacing only what is needed to make it safe to drive, such as the windshield, tires, etc, getting the bed set back on it the right way, and bolted back down. But I am going to go through it mechanically, body mounts, bearings, seals, brakes, redo the interior and replace that 305 with a late 90’s 5.7 Vortec fuel injected engine.

1964 Chevy K10 Shortbed 6

The restoration of the GMC should be completed in the early spring and I hope to get started working on the K10 by early summer at the latest. With luck, I will be driving it to the Sept. 2016 Redneck Rumble in Lebanon. It’s not my dad’s ’71, but it may tide me over till I can convince Jerry to sell that ’71 to me…

What a great story Tyler! I hope you get that ’71 someday. Thanks for sharing it and this ’64 K10 with us! I hope to see updates as you restore this great project.

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Comments

  1. Woodie Man

    What a project! Being the OEM nut I am, if I had the skills I would take this down and build it back as original as possible….it would be awesome……and super rare. Good Luck!

  2. grenade

    I’m not a GM guy but I have to say, that 4×4 is fantastic! What a cool truck.

  3. Mike Chandler

    An awesome find!

  4. Tyler

    What a coincidence that this ran today as I was putting the new engine in the Beast! Ended up installing a 5.7 TBI engine instead of of the 98 model 5.7 Vortec. Decided to use the Vortec in a 67 K10 my dad is building since the ECM could control the 4l60e transmission. Hoping to have this thing on the road in time to make the spring rat rod show first weekend in May, or GoodGuys 2 weeks later.

    • David Amer

      Tyler, my name is David. I reside in Los Angeles. I now own this very truck as of two days ago! I can’t believe this was featured on Barn Finds! Absolutely amazing that I found this provenance! Is there anyway we can connect?

      • Tyler

        David, congrats on getting the truck, hope you enjoy it as much as I did. You can reach out to me at jtluna1965 at gmail if you have any questions.

        Tyler

  5. Rando

    I love the way it looks now. I hate to say it, but I do. GEt it running safe, but keep the body as is. Clear with some flat or satin ( no shiny) to seal in the history. Extra points for spray bomb clear. The old signs painted on the doors are a plus to me.

  6. Bob Sandherr

    1964 K10 52,000 original miles

    Like 1
    • TimM

      Really nice truck Bob!! I really want this one!!!

  7. Ryan Bowen

    Anyone that’s interested, truck is for sale Here

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