350-Equipped: 1978 Chevrolet C10 Pickup

Fake patina sets the teeth on edge for many enthusiasts, but there’s something endearing about the real thing. That’s what we find with this 1978 Chevrolet C10. This Pickup has never been a trailer queen, and there’s evidence to suggest that it has worked to earn its keep. The owner has performed a few mechanical upgrades but has retained the Pickup’s undeniable character. All good things must come to an end, so he has listed the C10 for sale here on eBay. You will find it located in Blountville, Tennessee, where solid bidding has pushed the price beyond the reserve to $9,900.

This C10 would’ve looked nice in its original combination of Sky Blue and Strato White when it was new. It doesn’t seem that many years ago that I would have advocated for a cosmetic refresh for this Pickup, but I’m happy to admit that my stance has changed. While there’s little doubt that the original paint is tired and begging for a refresh, I don’t see that as the logical course of action. We will have readers who will provide strong arguments for retaining the exterior largely untouched, and I think this could be the right approach. The C10 is a workhorse, so why shouldn’t it wear its history with pride? One task that the buyer won’t be facing is wholesale rust repairs. There are some small spots where water has worked its way under a bedliner, but the remaining panels, the floor, and the frame are rock-solid. The exterior trim and chrome match the paint when it comes to the condition and would need nothing if the rest of the exterior remains untouched. The glass looks good, and the lowered stance and larger wheels add a sense of its appearance.

This C10’s interior is unlikely to win any trophies in its current state, but it also has no immediate needs. The cloth and vinyl seat upholstery has developed some splits and wear on the outer edges, but it remains serviceable. That is one of the few significant flaws with this interior, but since replacement seat upholstery is easy to find in the correct materials for around $300, it is an affordable fault for the buyer to address. Refreshingly, the dash and pad look good, with no signs of cracks or other issues. The remaining trim and painted surfaces look fine, while the seller has done an excellent job integrating aftermarket gauges into the factory gauge cluster. Everything works as it should, with no problems or dramas. On a personal note, I would probably change the wheel. It might appeal to some readers, but it sets my teeth on edge. It’s a personal thing, and if you feel differently, I accept that view.

It isn’t clear whether the Pickup is numbers-matching, but it features a 350ci small-block V8, a freshly rebuilt Turbo 350 transmission, power steering, and power brakes. When new, that V8 would have produced 155hp. It isn’t clear whether the motor has received any upgrades, but its appearance suggests that this may be the case. Even if it hasn’t, that small-block should still bless the Pickup with respectable performance. The seller indicates that the C10 is in excellent mechanical health. It runs and drives exceptionally well, and while there are rattles and squeaks, they remain part of the intrinsic character of a vehicle of this type. The owner recently undertook an extended journey in this old Chevy, and it completed the trip with no issues or problems.

Okay, so it’s decision time. If this 1978 Chevrolet C10 Pickup remains within the affordable territory and you choose to stake your claim, what would be your approach? Would it be destined for a fresh coat of Sky Blue paint, or would you retain its existing character? Returning the vehicle to a factory-fresh state would be possible, but I don’t believe that will happen. Mother Nature has blessed it with a striking and individual appearance, and I suspect that the buyer will leave it untouched. Do you think I’m right, or have I missed the mark on this classic?


  1. Howard A Member

    Buy mine for half the price, WHOO-HOO,,, I mean,, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

    Like 8
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Personally, I find nothing “endearing” about worn-out paint and surface rust. I’ve had cars and pickups with rust and crappy paint when I first started acquiring cars, but I always strived to do better when I was able to afford nicer cars. I like this pickup and the color combination, but fresh paint would be the first thing I would have done. I don’t care for lowered trucks, so I’d correct that, too. A new seat cover, a different steering wheel and whatever else the interior needs plus I’d add A/C. Then I’d have it the way I’d want it. I actually had a ’78 Chevy pickup years ago though it was a 3/4 ton 4X4 with a stick. I liked it a lot though the fuel consumption was pretty awful. This ’78 is a nice pickup with potential and though you could keep it as is, that wouldn’t suit me.

    Like 7
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      With the exception I really like moderately lowered trucks, I fully agree with FordGuy. A truck this nice needs to look nice.

      Like 5
    • angliagt angliagt

      I agree – I would rather have truck the would haul a
      full load & go up a driveway without slowing to a crawl.

      Like 1
  3. Bill W.

    Hmmm………to me, it does look nice…………..beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

    Like 5
  4. Dave

    I’d try to get it a bit lower and pitch the 350 for a 454. Other than that it’s perfect

    Like 0
  5. Lothar... of the Hill People

    Some lift trucks; some lower them. I’m somewhere in the middle.

    Like 2
    • piston poney

      i do all the above just depends on what it is some and what the pan for it is, some look good lifted, some lowered, and some neither

      Like 1
  6. Terry Member

    Since the body appears to be solid, I’d go full restomod or pro touring with it. Chassis, LS, four wheel discs, custom interior, etc. Definitely new paint. May keep the light blue, but an updated metallic. Of course, it would all depend on the sale price.

    Like 2
    • Jace F.

      Be careful, those are fightin’ words around here! LOL

      Like 1
      • Terry Phenicie Member

        Lol! Understood. There are many routes one could take with this truck given its condition.

        Like 0
  7. Terry Phenicie Member

    Since the body appears to be solid, I’d go full restomod or pro touring with it. Chassis, LS, four wheel discs, custom interior, etc. Definitely new paint. May keep the light blue, but an updated metallic. Of course, it would all depend on the sale price.

    Like 1
  8. Joe Haska

    I am not sure what is going on with this truck, e-bay ad says it ended with $3,500 bid. Which I assume means it didn’t sell. We can have the same arguments about what to do with it. However it is a C-10 and there popularity is off the charts and I would bet that there would be several buyers at the 9 K number, so why did the Auction end.

    Like 1
  9. Johan

    I have an’85 C-10 short box and I love it! Great cruising truck with a fuel injected 350, highway gears and A/C. The only thing I’d like to change is the stance. It sits too high stock, and I’d like it lowered a couple inches all around but don’t want to notch the frame. Any suggestions?
    To each his own I guess, but I like the way this one looks. But those don’t look like aftermarket gauges in the dash.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.