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37k Miles? 1979 Chevrolet C10 Silverado Short Bed

Can an automotive classic be classed as a family heirloom? That is the question posed by this 1979 Chevrolet C10 Silverado Short Bed. The Pickup has passed from father to son, remaining in the same family since the day it drove out of the dealership. However, the time has come for this heirloom to find a new family, so the seller has listed it for sale here on eBay. Located in Tampa, Florida, bidding has rocketed to $8,700 in a No Reserve auction.

The C10 has been part of the same family since new, and while its Crimson Red paint shows its age, there’s no denying it gives the Silverado loads of character. It would be impossible to gauge whether that will appeal to potential buyers, but I suspect a few might like it. Its lack of significant panel damage would make a repaint a fairly straightforward process, although there may be a couple of small areas of developing rust demanding attention first. The first is showing in the passenger side rocker, although addressing it may be possible with patches rather than total panel replacement. This photo indicates there may also be some appearing behind the wheel arch, but this would be best determined by an in-person inspection. The underside shots reveal solid floors, while the frame carries nothing beyond surface corrosion. The original owner had the good sense to fit a bedliner, and provided moisture hasn’t found its way underneath, it should ensure this aspect of the Pickup remains in good condition. I think most of the trim would respond positively to a spot of hard work with a high-quality polish, while the glass looks pretty good.

The Silverado package brought touches of comfort and luxury to the C10’s interior, and although this interior retains those features and is serviceable, it has some needs. The most pressing is deterioration in the door trims. They are badly discolored, and the pockets are sagging. Addressing the pocket issue may be possible with heavy-duty elastic, but the discoloring could be more difficult or expensive. Depending on the buyer’s budget, a vinyl dye may be the most cost-effective solution. Replacement trims are available, but they are hardly cheap at $670 per pair. The carpet exhibits wear and tear, with a replacement adding a further $260 to the tally. If the buyer tackles the interior seeking a high standard of finish, they will probably elect to add a $170 brushed aluminum gauge bezel to replace the worn original, along with a further $50 for new gauge lenses. This interior would present nicely with those items installed because the seat, dash, and pad are in good order. Comfort features extend to factory air conditioning and an AM radio to relieve boredom on longer journeys.

The seller indicates that this C10’s engine bay houses a 350ci V8, but the VIN tells a different story. Information from the GM Heritage Center states that the company didn’t offer the 350 in the 1979 C10, with buyers limited to the 250ci six or the 305ci V8. The VIN decodes as a 305ci motor, so I’m willing to accept that as fact. Bolted to the V8 is a three-speed automatic transmission, while the Pickup also features power steering and power brakes. The V8 should produce 140hp and 240 ft/lbs of torque, but the reality may be slightly different due to questions about the motor’s health. The seller states that the C10 has been parked for twenty years, and they only recently revived it. This included flushing the motor and changing the oil. While it now coughs into life without any dramas, there is a slight knock requiring further investigation. Although it may be insignificant, it could be the precursor to some more pressing issues. That will leave the buyer to choose between performing a rebuild or a possible transplant. The Silverado runs and drives, and given its history and the verified odometer reading of 37,000 genuine miles, my preference would lean towards the former.

This 1979 Chevrolet C10 Silverado is not the oldest classic Pickup we’ve seen at Barn Finds, nor is it the rarest. However, it is a solid classic capable of becoming a rewarding project build. It almost seems a shame to treat it to a cosmetic restoration because it proudly carries its scars and imperfections. However, a fresh coat of paint and some TLC would have it drawing attention wherever it goes. The biggest question will revolve around what to do with its engine. The 305ci V8 is not a firm favorite in the classic world, and whether it stays or goes depends on the buyer’s desire for originality. That leaves plenty of questions for them to answer and many decisions to make. What would be your approach if you found this heirloom parked in your workshop?


  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    The wear on the driver door panel and door sill clearly prove that the claimed 37K miles is nothing more than fictional bullsh*t!

    Like 9
    • John S Dressler

      If this truck has 37,000 miles on it I’ve got a bridge I want to talk to you about.

      Like 3
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    At first glance, this looks like a nice vintage Chevy pickup. It does have a lot going for it, but it does need quite a bit of work. The body overall is quite nice, though it deserves a repaint, along with some rust work, to look it’s best. The chrome and trim look pretty good overall. The interior is another matter. The terrible condition of the door panels leads me to think the seat cover and the dash pad have been replaced. There is rust on the gear shifter and evidence of mold. Overall condition, in as well as out, suggest this pickup spent a lot of time outdoors. As for the engine, it probably needs a rebuild, though with a claimed 37,000 miles, it shouldn’t. Most guys might opt for an engine swap and if you’re going to do that, you might as well hang a manual gearbox to the back end of it. That option may also include different gearing for the rear end. Even though it’s the highly desirable short box, lots of work is still ahead for the eventual buyer.

    Like 4
  3. HoA Howard A Member

    Pffffffttt, darn, there goes another laptop, I think I’ll take my FOURTEEN HUNDRED DOLLAR short box squarebody for a ride, not far,,gas price, you know. Sick of hearing it? I’m sick of this hype, so there, go ahead, jump in. I guess it IS reassuring to know, if I need a kidney, why the selling of the truck should more than cover it,,,idjits,,

    Like 5
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Looks pretty good to me. Needs lots of elbow grease but it should turn out pretty good. Just drive it and enjoy it. Couldn’t order one of these with a 350? Someone’s drinking their own bath water. We sold a lot of pickups in ‘79 and 85% were powered by 350s. We sold half a dozen with 454s. 1980 was when the general started cutting back but the 350 was the prime mover still. Someone needs to check their information again…

    Like 21
    • Tom

      That jumped out at me too! As I recall the vast majority of V-8 Chevy pickups in the’70s were 350’s. Lots of problems with early 305 camshafts wearing out prematurely

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Actually that wasn’t confined to 305s; we saw camshafts of every kind fail in the late 70s. They were in EVERYTHING, including Fords, Chryslers, Internationals and the imports. Mercedes had a terrible time with camshaft failures and even had a blanket recall to bring in your car to get checked over. Trouble was (and I’ll just go with my own conclusions here) about 1977 the oil specification was changed from SE/CC to SE/CD. It was right after that when the camshaft failures began. About 1980 the spec changed to SF. Camshaft failures stopped–right then and there. I never saw the spec but I sure wouldn’t be surprised if the zinc was taken out for that time period. Our shop was in a farming region and it was interesting that farmers using the same oil in their diesel engines and their cars had ZERO camshaft failures, even those who drove Mercedes cars (I had five customers who owned them). Mercedes was one of the makers who noticed that and was a big champion of changing the API spec again. I might add that the universal oil was either Shell Rotella T or Exxon XD3. There were a lot who used the oil provided by the dealers which was contracted to one of the major companies…

        Like 1
  5. Joe Haska

    You can rant and rave all you want, but this truck is just a reflection of the pick up market and C-10’s and this era of Chevrolet pickups. It is what it is and either get on board or go to another station.

    Like 10
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Or you could be like Howard and I, and stay at the same station, but just bitch about it, lol.

      Like 3
  6. CCFisher

    I believe the document the author references from the GM Heritage Center describes the base 6-cylinder and V8 engines. A 350 was definitely available for the 1979 C10.

    @Howard – I think you might be out of step with the current value of square-body Chevy trucks (esp. here in the rust belt, where they’ve pretty much disappeared from daily life), as well as the cost of a kidney transplant. $8700 for a new kidney? Who’s doing the surgery? Dr. Nick Riviera?

    Like 7
    • HoA Howard A Member

      “Hi everybody”,( Hank Azaria is my favorite),hey, it’s fine, really, this just adds fodder to my case. I may be “out of touch’, but SOMEONE has to bring us back to earth, this just isn’t a $10grand vehicle. It’s a POS, look at the engine compartment, I bet NOTHING works, wires all over, if I didn’t own one, I’d keep my big mouth shut, but, and I say this everytime, it’s just not that nice, and with 12 mpg ( downwind) only a few will want a V8 , 40 year old pickup, that gets 12 mpg. I’m well aware of the lack of these north of I-70, you won’t find many, but I think many just aren’t as interested as “# of bidders” makes it seem. I would feel justified asking maybe $3grand for mine, if you can sleep at night gouging someone $10g’s for one, you’re a different person than me.

      Like 5
      • HoA Howard A Member

        Oh, and another thing, I have FB ( can’t get rid of it) and I sure would like to tell these people what I think, but then, I’m no better than the average FB user,,they’re nuts. Please folks, some of you are my friends and I’m telling you, the only way to end this foolishness, is not to play into it. You’d be surprised at all the price “slash” marks on FB, sometimes HALF the original asking price.

        Like 5

    I’m with Howard.

    Like 5
  8. Mike

    I was going to get on this, but the picture of the engine without an air cleaner is always suspect to me. There’s no telling what kind of crap can end up in the motor without one.

    Like 2
  9. Gary

    137,000 or 237,000 miles, take your pick.

    Like 8
  10. Bob McK

    Well, no matter what the mileage is, it would make a nice work truck.

    Like 0

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