5k Miles! 1979 Chevy C20 Time Capsule

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From time-to-time, we feature some well preserved, low-mileage 40+-year-old pickup trucks here on Barn Finds, but this is the nicest example I’ve come across. A time capsule with a capital T. You’re looking at an all original, rust-free 1979 Chevy C20 Silverado with only 5,200 miles on the clock. Originally from Colorado but currently in storage in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, this near spotless pickup is for sale here on craigslist for $39,500. Another tip of the cowboy hat to our pal, Pat L., for sending this pampered pickup our way.

The 24 photos posted by the seller are top notch and show the amazing condition of this extremely clean Chevy C20. Based on a color chart I found online, it appears to be finished in a tastefully two-toned Light Camel Metallic and Frost White. The paint looks very presentable and the seller describes the truck’s paint as “original and having an interesting patina which includes a couple of scratches and a dent in the hood.” Viewing the photos, everything I’m seeing including the seldom-used bed, body side and tailgate moldings, bright stuff, glass, bumpers, tail gate, underside, and rust-free body all appears to be in great shape. It’s also sporting four new tires.

And check out the near showroom-new condition of the Chevy’s comfy camel-colored cabin. The Silverado interior was the top-of-the-line and according to Chevy’s sales brochure included “custom cloth-and-vinyl upholstery, bright brush-finished instrument cluster frame and matching insert on instrument panel pad, full door trim panels with bright trim, color-keyed carpeting, a perforated, color-keyed headliner, and more.” The seller claims that all switches and controls work, including the air conditioning.

Under the Light Camel Metallic hood is – no surprise – a clean and tidy engine bay with the C20’s original Chevy 7.4 Litre 454 cubic-inch V8, the biggest engine available for C10-30 pickups in 1979. It looks like an engine with only 5,200 miles on it and is paired to an automatic transmission. The seller describes it as “mechanically like new, runs greats, starts easily, no smoking, no drips from the engine or transmission.” New plugs and wires have been added.

Yessir, this is one outstanding survivor. I’d like to know the story behind this C20 Silverado and how a pickup truck came to be so pampered (and used so little for truck stuff) the past 43 years. Chevy hit a home run with their third generation C/K truck series and it enjoyed an 18-year model year run from 1973 – 1991. Sure, they sold a bunch of them, but I’m guessing this is one of the nicest low-mileage survivors out there.

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  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    Certainly, a low-mileage gem and you can’t fault the overall condition, minor blemishes aside. Of course, a good portion of the value is in the low mileage so does that mean the new owner will be reluctant to add miles to it, so he/she will leave it parked in their garage and not have the pleasure of driving it? Or will it become a trailer queen for car shows and cruise nights? Maybe the seller will get his price but almost $40K sure is a lot of money.

    Like 15
  2. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Nice try, Ron, but I’ve moved on from this silliness. For what it is, it’s a beaut. I can’t find anything to suggest higher mileage, although, the worn spare is a bit of concern. I’m sure it has a “story”, and will pad the pockets of several buyers/sellers until THIS fad passes. In the meantime, it’s a heck of a toboggan ride.

    Like 6
    • Stan

      Serious question All. 🤔
      Do these low mileage beauties on here from this 79 to say 1995 models.. would all the gaskets and seals need replacement ? Oil pans, trans, axle seals 🦭 brake lines .. etc ?

      Like 3
      • 1959Buickman

        No, normally not. Excess heat cycles from miles will cause leaking. Super low mileage cars rarely need more than a fuel pump rebuild and a lower radiator hose. I have had several in my collection pulled out of long term estates, and drive them regularly. One with 1,300 miles, and a few with less than 10,000 miles.

        Like 7
  3. C10Jim

    Nice original authentic low mileage truck! Prices on these have been wild over the last few years. This one is a keeper, having owned many of them. Not sure it will bring the asking price but it should be close. Waiting for the key board warriors that never examined a low mileage vehicle in person or had a wrench in their hand to start nitpicking it based on a bunch of photos to show everyone how little they know.

    Like 19
  4. TimS

    Ought to be preserved to show that this is what trucks used to be; that there were creature comforts and power accessories available, but they were still trucks first and foremost.

    Like 12
  5. George Birth

    Nice low mileage truck . However I can buy a low mileage 2022 for less, $30K to $33K. I would love to buy a good used truck but I am not going to mortgage my home to do it.

    Like 4
    • bob

      tell us where you can buy a low mileage 2022 truck in the $30 thousand range. i want one.

      Like 3
  6. James Martin

    It is a syndrome! Anyone with a classic and low miles wants your first born! And for what ?? A low milage turd! No NoNo! Where the heck are these people coming up with these wayout prices ?

    Like 5
  7. geomechs geomechsMember

    I’m not going to get involved with the mileage claim on this one. I kept the engine bay in my ’79 GMC as clean as this one and it still looked good at 331K miles, so it depends on how you look after it. Of course the interior of my truck got quite ratted out by the time I took the truck off the road.

    This truck is in very nice shape and I sure wouldn’t kick it off my driveway. Of course the price is so far out of my budget that I can’t even afford the page it’s printed on so unless my daughter phones and tells me that we just won the Power Ball, it will have to be a pipe dream. It should make someone happy though…

    Like 11
    • Charles ScozzariMember

      I own a square body Chevy crew with an 8′ bed in very very nice shape. But I have to say when I drive it I am aware that if I get hit by someone on their phone I have almost no protection at all because of the lack of air bags and many other improvements like I have in my 2019 Ford F150 crew. Just sayin.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechsMember

        I never think about the safety stuff; I’m just there to enjoy the ride. A horse ran out in front of the first ‘13 Tahoe. I smoked it good but it could’ve been fixed. However, the air bag blew so the insurance decided to write it off. I wasn’t happy and am still rather miffed. A few less gadgets and we’d still be driving our beast. Maybe if the collision was more serious I would have been more appreciative but I thought this time it was petty…

        Like 3
  8. T. King

    Truck looks great, but I question how well the overspray has held-up, and a painted rear bumper on a Silverado (no way that’s original) ?
    The seat upholstery and carpet must be new also.
    “All original” ..???

    So is this a well preserved and refurbished truck @ 105,200 miles ???

    Like 1
    • Leroy

      Curious why you believe the seat upholstery is not original. I have the same year truck and my seat fabric is identical to this. My truck was bought new by a relative and he would have never recovered the seats, he put cheap slip on seat covers over the seat.

      Like 4
    • CamaroRS

      Not unusual for a low mileage truck to have the factory overspray still evident. I’m amazed mine at 64,000 miles still shows it, although it was a garaged New Mexico truck its entire life, but yeah not usual certainly at 5k miles.

      Like 0
    • Kyle Kaltz

      The original bumper was a non step bumper and chrome on the Silverado I believe. Lots of folks immediately replaced it with a step bumper back in the day, and didn’t care that is was painted or not. Likely what happened here. Doesn’t mean much.

      Like 1
    • srintimidator3Member

      Most New trucks in 79 did not come with rear bumpers, I bought my first new Chevy K10 Scottsdale in 79 & had to pay extra for a rear bumper & the chrome ones were not cheap!

      Like 2
    • Brad460Member

      If my memory is correct, many many Ford and Chevrolet pickups in the 70s well into the 80s came without any kind of rear bumper attached, due to the multiple selections available based on intended use.

      I distinctly remember when my dad picked up his new 76 F250, the whole line of pickups were all bumperless and we then went into the parts department to pick out which bumper we wanted. Dad bought the same identical silver painted diamond plate bumper as installed on this Chevy.

      In fact, I still have that exact bumper we bought that day on a 78 Ford I own. My dad replaced the 76 with a 78 and we moved the bumper over. I repurchased the 78 here a few years ago after dad sold it in the 80s and it still has that very bumper on it.

      Like 3
  9. Dan H.

    Stunning interior. The seat is the same as my all original 79, same material, but much nicer condition here. Those seats wore out quickly on these trucks, nice to see an example of how one looks with 5,000 miles. Not surprised it is perfert, and to replace that fabric is costly for a correct match. I think some had vinyl seats as well, without the Silverado package. Interesting vehicle.

    Like 0
  10. Greg

    I had a 78 GMC 1/2 ton short bed with the 454 engine/turbo hydramatic combo…it also had the smallest gas tank I have ever seen on a truck…I found this out on the first trip (bought the truck used and very clean) when I had to stop about every 120 miles to buy gas. Beautiful truck and the next owner really liked it….haha!

    Like 2
  11. Justin

    There is clearly an aluminum core radiator with crimped black plastic tanks. Shouldn’t it be soldered copper or brass cores and tanks with black paint?
    Also, the window cranks look like 80s base or Scottsdale trim cranks.
    It is a beautiful truck, this 70’s two tone scheme was so elegant on these in almost any color combo.

    Like 1

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