5.3-Equipped: 1968 Chevrolet C10 Short Bed

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When I first spotted this photo of this 1968 Chevrolet C10 Short Bed sitting in a junkyard, it made me wonder how many people walked past it without affording it so much as a second glance. Fortunately, its current owner gave it a closer look and discovered that it was the ideal candidate for a project build. After some hard work, he has upgraded the drivetrain and returned it to a roadworthy state. It awaits a fellow enthusiast willing to take it home and add any other touches required to personalize this classic pickup. Located in Boaz, Alabama, you will find the Short Bed listed for sale here on eBay. Solid bidding has pushed the price to $11,200, although it is yet to hit the reserve.

Once the seller dragged this Medium Blue C10 from the undergrowth, he exposed a classic pickup that was structurally sound. The frame wears a consistent coating of surface corrosion, but there are no signs of genuine problems. He replaced the rockers but discovered that the rest of the panels were pretty clean. It’s no surprise that the bed also wears surface corrosion, but there’s no penetrating rust. However, the front floors have holes, and it isn’t clear whether the buyer could address these with patches or if they will need to spend around $450 on new floors. The glass appears to be good, but the buyer would need to invest in some fresh trim if they crave a factory-fresh appearance. It seems that the seller has reconditioned the steel wheels before adding hubcaps and a new set of white line tires.

The VIN for this C10 indicates that it rolled off the line with a V8 under the hood, but its capacity isn’t clear. That is a moot point because its engine bay now houses a 5.3-liter V8 that started life between the front wheels of a 2004 Silverado. It should be producing a healthy 295hp that finds its way to the rear wheels via a three-speed TH350 automatic transmission. However, the owner has wired the vehicle to accept a 4L60-E transmission, which could be a sensible upgrade if the buyer sees open road touring in this classic’s future. Even if the buyer left well enough alone, it should offer excellent performance, placing it a rung above a standard example. As well as the upgraded engine and new tires, the owner has rebuilt the braking system and installed new shocks. He states that the pickup runs and drives well, suggesting that it is ready to hit the road for a spot of instant gratification.

Opening the doors reveals an interior that combines the old with the new. The dash and door trims are original, but the owner has added new carpet, along with a vinyl and houndstooth cloth seat cover. It makes a positive first impression, but it needs some work to lift things to the next level. Some painted surfaces look tired, while a few hard trim pieces and handles are missing. The wheel shows rim wear, but some excellent products are available that would allow the buyer to address this. There aren’t loads of optional extras, but the factory AM radio remains in its rightful place. If I were to buy this C10, I would find it hard to resist the urge to complete the interior to a high standard but leave the exterior untouched. I’ve seen that approach in the past, and the results can be pretty spectacular.

If you had the good fortune to find this 1968 C10 Short Bed in your workshop, what would be your approach? There’s little doubt that it would be a prime candidate for a cosmetic refresh, and the result could be a stunning and eye-catching Pickup of which you could be proud. Alternatively, it has bags of character in its current form, so it is possible to address its few rust issues and leave the exterior untouched. It comes down to a matter of taste, but I can’t help but wonder whether one of our readers might want to be more than an interested spectator in this auction.

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Comments

  1. Big Al

    Those white walls and those bright white hub caps don’t look good. I’m glad this truck got saved.

    Like 3
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      Correct me if I’m wrong but I remember this series of trucks had three hub cap options: white painted or chrome dog dishes or full wheel covers.We had the chrome dog dishes on our ’72 Blazer.

      Like 1
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    The seller has accomplished some good work on this vintage C10 though I’m sure purists will cry about the loss of the original engine. Personally, I don’t care for rust. It’s not attractive and any rust present will generally only get worse over time. Clear coating surface rust to “preserve” it may suit a lot of folks, but I don’t care for the beater look. This good-looking pickup deserves fresh paint in its original colors. I’d give the interior some attention but keep it as stock looking as possible. The wheels would look better body color with those hubcaps or maybe period correct wheel covers would be a way to go. Overall, a nice Chevy pickup that could be a great one with a little more work.

    Like 7
  3. BlisterEmMember

    drop it and drive it

    Like 5
  4. Dave

    I like the wheels and tires the way they are, it’ a striking clean accent to the otherwise weathered exterior. I’d replace the floor, add A/C and that overdrive transmission and leave it alone otherwise. I’ve read of other guys using boiled linseed oil regularly to protect the patina, it’s really no more trouble than washing it.

    Like 1
  5. Steve Clinton

    “Short bed”? You mean “flower bed”.

    Like 1
  6. Joe Haska

    I helped a friend of mine find one of these C-10’s. In searching for one it didn’t take long to figure out, if you wanted this era and a short box and a reasonably nice driver quality truck, they are $30,000. Until my friend looked at enough trucks to realize, that is the market, he didn’t get a truck. When he found a very nice one for 28, he bought it and is glad he did. If you pay 15 to 20 for this example, you will be at thirty when you have a high quality driver truck. Flipping this style truck is not an easy deal, it is more you pay to play.

    Like 1
  7. Tony T

    With the coveted “Hot Air Intake System”.

    Like 0

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