Live Auctions

1980 Chevrolet “Big 10” Short Bed

One type of vehicle that will almost certainly never fall off the classic radar is the pickup. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but bidding always tends to be fiercely contested when good ones come onto the market. That is precisely the case with this 1980 Chevrolet C-10 “Big 10” Short Box. Since it was listed for sale here on eBay, the bidding action has been quite frantic. It is located in Steilacoom, Washington, and 39 bids have been submitted at this stage. This has pushed to price along to $7,100, and the reserve has been met.

The C-10 presents quite well, and has no rust issues for the buyer to worry about. The panels look spotless, and the underside photos show a frame and floors that are in the same shape. There are some visible dings or dents in the panels, but these all appear to be repairable. While the Dark Camel paint generally holds an impressive shine, it also has a few imperfections. The most obvious of these is on the top of the tailgate. However, I believe that these spots could be touched up without resorting to a full repaint. One failing of the supplied pictures is that we don’t get a clear look at the bed. With these pickups, there is really no better indication of the life they have led. Generally, the more scuffs and dings, the harder life has been. We get the occasional glimpse, and it does look promising. Some of the exterior trim pieces are missing, and replacement parts will need to be located. What remains appears to be in good condition. The majority of the glass is in good order, although I believe that the windshield might sport a sizeable crack. The C-10 features a sliding rear window, which adds a touch of versatility to the vehicle.

The interior of the C-10 generally presents quite well, with no real issues with the seat, the carpet, or the dash pad. Some of the trim on the dash is aging slightly, but it remains acceptable for a vehicle of this type and age. The pockets on the door trims are beginning to sag. This need not be a huge problem. If you know someone who is handy on the craft front, they may be able to thread some heavy elastic into the top seam. That should stop the sagging in its tracks. The doors and dash have been cut to fit an aftermarket stereo, and there are now holes where these items used to be. There are also some weird marks and sagging in the headliner, but it remains serviceable. There aren’t many luxury appointments to be found, although a tilt wheel and air conditioning are nice touches.

So, what exactly is a “Big 10?” This was a creative piece of marketing by manufacturers to exploit a loophole in emission regulations in the late 1970s. Pickups with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) above 6,000lbs were required to meet less stringent regulations. Some minor upgrades of springs, tires, and brakes pushed the C-10 from 4,900lbs to just over the 6,000 threshold. By doing this, Chevrolet could dump a pile of the emission equipment. This included the dreaded catalytic converter. The powers-that-be became wise to this practice, and the loophole was closed in 1979, pushing the new limit to 8,500lbs. Chevrolet chose to continue producing the Big 10, although it was now more about providing extra payload capacity than stepping through loopholes. This C-10 is equipped with a 350ci V8, which is backed by an automatic transmission. Power steering and power brakes are also part of the package. There is plenty of positive news here. The owner states that the transmission is only new and that the vehicle has a genuine 135,000 miles showing its odometer. Since this is a one-owner pickup, there is a chance that he might hold evidence to verify the claim. Even if he doesn’t, the fact that the C-10 is said to run and drive perfectly is no bad thing.

After opening at $1,000, it hasn’t taken long for the bidding on this Big 10 to jump to its current level. This is hardly surprising because this is a healthy, rust-free survivor. The bidding may have a little way to go, so this could be an auction that is well worth watching. Of course, you might want to do a bit more than simply watch. If that’s the case, then I can’t really blame you.


  1. Howard A Member

    You won’t hear any guff from me on this one. Someone going to get a sweetheart. Sure makes a difference where they come from.

    Like 8
  2. PJH

    The color doesn’t do anything for me, but the bigger issue is it’s not 4WD.
    Gotta have that.
    Any body got a K-10 instead of a C-10?
    Would be nice to see one in this good of shape.
    A 78 would be just right for me.
    This isn’t the first time a nice truck came available from the great state of Washington.
    Keep them coming!!

    • Johnny

      Having 4 or 5– 4 wheel drives and driving a couple without 4 wheel drive–with a posi traction makes me happier. I have a chevy–a dodge and 2 fords-4 wheel drives. The maintance is alot cheaper,easier to get in and out ,easier on gas,easier to work on. . Plus most of the roads a person travel on -eve dirt roads with ruts. A two wheel drive posi-traction will do really good.

  3. Bob C.

    350 engine and last year before computers? Can’t go wrong with this one.

    Like 1
  4. Johnny

    I think–it looks like a 8 foot bed . I,d want a posi traction and leave the rest. Make a good huntin vehicle. This is priced reasonable and in nice shape ..I Like it . Plus easy to pull maintance and work on.

  5. Dwight

    Nice to see a real pickup truck. Is there anything uglier or more ridiculous than the 4-door pickups that are all the rage these days?

  6. John L.

    I’ve seen a lot of LWB Big10’s, but never a SWB Big 10. It would be interesting to see the SPID sheet, if the F44 suspension was listed, it could be a Big 10. If not listed it isn’t a Big 10.

    Like 1

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