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Factory Black: 1965 Chevrolet C10 SWB Fleetside

The venerable first-generation Chevrolet C-series pickup first hit the streets in 1960 and underwent a series of rapid changes in just a few years. Styling was particularly shifty. Early hoods were designed with dual air intakes; the dated look of these prompted a change to a clean beveled edge. Early year trucks had a wrap-around windshield; by 1964 the windshield lost its wrap and gained a sloped pillar. But the best innovation bestowed on the C-series remained a constant: its independent front suspension – the first ever offered on a Chevy truck. Not only did this enhance the ride, but it also allowed the truck to sit lower, improving utility. (In 1963 torsion bars gave way to coil springs for ease of maintenance.) In the C-series, the “C” stood for two-wheel drive; and the “10” indicated that the truck was a half-ton. Several engines were offered and customers could choose a short or long bed, Fleetside or Stepside body. Here on eBay is this factory black 1965 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside short-bed pickup truck, with one bid at $15,000, reserve met. This truck is located in Eads, Tennessee.

In the engine bay is a TurboThrift 230 cu. in. inline six-cylinder motor, paired with a three-speed manual transmission, good for about 140 bhp. The seller indicates the truck has a “slight stumble” and a radiator leak but runs fine. Lots of work has been done including a new gas tank, brake lines, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, as well as new points and plugs.

The interior is substantially original and very clean. Those are the original rubber floor mats. Note the radio delete plate. The windshield is cracked but that’s about the worst we can say. The truck bed has lost its wood; a Barn Finds commenter to a previous article mentioned that replacing bed wood with recycled barn planks might be neat. Here’s a candidate!

The underside is in keeping with the rest of the truck’s appearance: modest surface rust but otherwise dry. The seller notes that there’s rust in both doors, and general scratch and dent issues all around. The truck does have new tires on the original wheels. The headlights and taillights have been replaced, too. I agree with the seller that this would be a great drive-while-you-restore candidate, and the survivor quality is very appealing – more so than some of the rusty “patina” vehicles we see. But that’s just my opinion; what do you think?


  1. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    Right now I’m working on a customers 64 GMC fleet side long bed. This weekend I will be installing the new wood bed after removing the old planks and hardware. That was quite a chore removing all the old square nuts and rusty bolts. I threw everything I had at it. The cutoff wheel, my impact, and the gas axe for the rest. I like the GMC over the Chevy for retaining leaf springs on the back axle. The 305E V6 is also nice. What was also interesting is GMC rated horsepower in net not gross like Chevy. I hope whoever buys the truck keeps it original. Nice to see an unaltered truck.

    Like 16
    • Avatar photo Dave

      I made the wood for mine, and I agree, the rusty hardware was tough to remove. I blazed away at them with a sawzall and cutoff wheels.

      I don’t remember seeing one of these in black, it’s a good look on this style.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo bob

        On removing the rusty hardware . I have found it easier and quicker to tighten the bolts until they twist off instead of trying to back them off.

        Like 11
  2. Avatar photo Cadmanls Member

    Nice original old truck with some bumps and bruises. Not so sure it will remain original as some people hope. This one should be kept close to its true form, but that’s up to the new owner. Don’t remember too many farm trucks in black. Red, green, even beige but not too many black ones, probably those dirt roads.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Christopher Gentry

      My Uncle had a black one , his brother my grandfather had its twin in green. He said “it would climb up a brick wall “

      Like 5
    • Avatar photo Daz

      Not sure that is original paint; there’s black overspray on the inside of the doors and jambs.

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    Any truck of this era with a three-speed manual on the column is a winner in my book. I agree, keep it near original.

    Like 15
  4. Avatar photo JimVette

    Since the hood design/shape is mentioned in this narrative, I would like to point out that Tom Daniel, famous car model designer, while working for General Motors, designed that hood shape. Tom Daniel is if you didn’t know the one who came up with car models like Red Baron & Beer Wagon… His two first.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo JimVette

      Also, George Barris commissioned Daniel to design what became the Munster Koach…. but Barris, until his death, took credit for its design. And finally, the Batmobile was 80%+ the design of Ford… their Futura prototype was sold then modified, mostly w/gadgetry to become the famous Batmobile. If you look at Barris’s actual designs, they lack what Tom Daniel created, they don’t even come close. IMHO, none were good, proportions wrong, designs goofy…can you say MonkeyMobile?

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo JimVette

        Ok, last comment from me …. (Keep the applause dow) I forgot to mention that Tom Daniel is an amazing, Fine Artist too, visit his website, he’s obviously one of those artist that can translate what’s in his mind, to the canvas with such realism. Anyway, IMO, and if you read people’s comments about Mr. Daniel, he made a huge impact on millions of people with ripples of his design and artistic influence permeating the minds of us who have viewed his work, some of whom have gone on to create their own works influenced by Tom Daniel. But … Who would have thought a famous fine artist and car model designer would design the hood for the Chevy pickup. Mr Daniel is a real car guy too he had a real cool Vette he customized, and a model was made of it by monogram as I recall.

        Like 0
  5. Avatar photo MICHAEL LEE NIXON

    Definitely not original Black paint, looks like a beige truck from the factory.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Troy

    Fix the bed floor and just drive it your going to turn a lot of heads having a nice survivor

    Like 5
  7. Avatar photo Jack Barley

    Leave it original is my opinion. I bought a very original ’61 Chevy Apache about 10 years ago, I love it that way.
    This is agreat looking truck and like it in black.

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Rodney Lustila

    Nice beater.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo David Moore

      It’s better than a beater. What do you call so called “rat rods” besides rolling piles of garbage?

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Gil Davis Tercenio

    My first truck was a ’66 C10 Custom SWB, white over light green. It had a 283 with the 3 speed transmission. The Custom had a chrome trim on the cab, just behind the doors & a three lever heat control. Mine also had an AM radio.

    Wish I still had it.

    Like 3
  10. Avatar photo Mike

    I was going to say leave the patina, but the front end has lost so much paint and it’s distracting so you might as well restore it.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo David Moore

    I bought my son (he was 15 at the time) a 1961 with the “dual dual air intakes” hood. We thought it was ugly but the design has definitely grown on us. Something that this story omits is that in 1960 &1961 these were known as Apache (for the 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton). My son’s is a 1961 Apache 10 SWD Stepside. We did a lot of modifications to make sure it was safe and reliable and he takes it to several car shows each year. It is NOT a top 10 by any means. But it is his pride and joy, so who cares otherwise, right?

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Jack Barley

      When I decided to buy an old Chevy truck from the ‘60-‘66 series it had to be a ‘60 or ‘61 step side. The dual snorkel hood had me hooked and is a cool look. I love the stories (not sure if true or not) that owners who bought a ‘60 or 61 replaced their hoods with the more conservative hoods when they started coming out in ‘62.
      Ny ‘61 is very original with the 235 six cylinder, granny 4 speed, 3:90 posi rear and I love it that way. When I bought it, I drove it from the Boston area to Long Island with no issues.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo David Moore

        We heard the same stories, that many of the hoods were lost to “updates” like that. My son wanted to keep the truck as original as possible but the original 235 I-6 was gone and a SBC 350 was in its place with the original 4 spd floor shift.. I suppose I could have tried to adjust timing and see if I could get it running better but since I bought it from a rodder with a professional shop, I expected that to have been done when he dropped the HEI distributor in it. But, even with 30+ years as an auto mechanic and 15+ as a certified master auto technician I could barely keep the thing running with the manual choke most of the time. So I decided to transplant a TBI in its place for reliability and ease of use for a teenager. We did a 72-87 (IIRC) swap to 5 lug wheels and disc front brakes. I insisted on 3 point seat belts so instead of the Mickey Mouse setup with the top anchor in the B pillar only to deform or tear out in a crash we went with a seat with integrated seat belts. Other than that, we updated the electrical system and tried to keep everything as original or period appearing as possible. We still have all of the old pieces we changed so he can revert it someday if he wants to. All in all, it is a good truck for a young kid and he enjoys it very much. If it had the original engine, I probably would have fought a little harder to save it, but since it was altered already, we went the route we did.

        Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Kenny

    Question… didn’t the interior get painted the same color as the exterior (from the factory) on these trucks?

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo David Moore

      I believe you are correct. Ours was a “Special” paint but there is evidence of it being light blue (under the dash and behind the gas tank) and orange on the now replaced weather stripping and a couple interior pieces that have been replaced. Then it is now a medium-dark blue and the interior is painted the same color but that is a repaint from the person who “restored” the truck in the 1980’s. But I believe you are correct that these had one paint color on all of the sheet metal which included most of the interior.

      Good catch.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo David Moore

        Upon closer inspection, the interior was poorly painted. The deluxe heater box is visible below the dash and should be black but it is the same tan as the rest of the interior. Likewise the data plate on the left kick panel has been painted over also. So, maybe it was originally black but the interior was painted a different color? Or it might have been an entirely different color and both interior and exterior were repainted?

        Like 1

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