454! 1970 Chevrolet C20 CST Camper Special

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Typically, when truck fans see “Trailering Special” or “Camper Special,” what they really hear is “Big Motor,” and this 1970 Chevrolet C20 Camper Special in Gadsden, Alabama does not disappoint. Originally powered by 1970’s top choice, the 402 cid big block called the “400,” it later swallowed an even bigger 454 mill. The tight-looking Chevy seeks a new owner here on eBay where at least six bidders have raised the market value above $8000. In the days before the Internet, a newspaper listing like “Chevy Truck, 454” would put cash in your hand before noon on Day One, and many fans would be proud to park this sturdy-looking pickup in their personal barn.

A mighty 454 cid (7.4L) V8 makes a splendid stand-in for the original 402 cid (6.6L) unit, an evolution of the storied “396.” Either will handle your camper or travel trailer. The three-speed automatic transmission should smoothly transfer the prodigious torque, and most of the Camping / Trailering Specials had numerically high gear sets in the rear end to get that load moving off the line and up hills. The 454 transplant seems to have mostly honored the stock appearance, though I believe a dual-snorkel air cleaner housing may have accompanied the stock 402. Check out the full 1970 truck brochure at GMHeritagecenter.

What look like 16.5 inch wheels in blinding white give the 3/4 ton Chevy a burly persona, and the shiny trim has this C20 looking ready for a night at the opera, as long as it’s La fanciulla del West. Mileage is unlisted, but the running, driving, one-family, two-owner classic is driven “ALL OVER,” according to the listing.

The CST (Custom Sport Truck) package includes a number of cosmetic upgrades inside and out, and I’ve never seen this the optional bucket seat configuration in person. The light vinyl upholstery and door panels certainly class up the interior. Few trucks bought for daily work would have come with this fancy setup. Would you baby this big block Chevy or put it to work?

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  1. RJ

    I had the 1/2 ton version of this truck, except for a bench seat. When I bought it I was very impressed with the dual 22 gal fuel tanks – then I found out why they were there. Baby it or abuse it with overloading and towing – drive it fast or slow, the mileage was always the same. Brought from AZ – Michigan tin worms destroyed it in about five years. Still miss it.

    Like 3
  2. Leman

    This looks like maybe 6 or 8 MPG. Been there done that, we here in Ca. are already looking at $5++ a gallon for gas our lowest right now is $4.39.9.

    Like 2
  3. 433jeff

    Called the 400? Are you sure your not talking about the small block 400? Wasn’t the 396 called the 396 but actually marketed as 402? Or vice versa. Yea the CST was special , buckets console, In a perfect world give me the 350 4 speed 4wd 8 foot bed to work with and the cst to go out on the town with.

    Like 1

    Article says C-20, EBay ad says C-10. My eyes can’t read the badging. Anybody got a shot with a chubcap off so I can see if it’s 6 or 8 lug?

    Like 0
    • Todd FitchAuthor

      Hi William C. Pictures on eBay show two different documents where it’s identified as a C20, so I went with that. I suspect the seller used “C10” because that’s a more common reference to these pickups. I could be wrong! You could get a “400” (402) and 16″ wheels in a C10 that year.

      Like 1
  5. Chris LondishMember

    Where do you get some of those bucket seats and console my 70 has the standard bench seat can get a bit hard on a long journey

    Like 0
  6. chrlsful

    fav chebby, all this gen (?’67/73)
    ford?’, that I know: ’73/9

    Like 0
  7. PRA4SNW

    Reserve not met at $9,800.

    The crappy pictures didn’t help. A same year Instamatic would have done better.

    Like 0

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