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Big 10 Survivor: 1978 Chevrolet Silverado

The 1973-87 generation of Chevrolet/GMC pickup trucks were known as “square-bodies” for obvious reasons. More than 10 million of them were built during this time, which helped increase the population of used trucks that have access to a lot of OEM and aftermarket parts today. This truck was purchased from the original owner’s family about three years ago and has received new paint and some mechanical upgrades in the interim. Located in Statesboro, Georgia, this ’78 Silverado C-10 with the Big 10 trailering package is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $10,600. Hats off to Barn Finder Larry D for zeroing in on this nice older truck!

While the square-body C-10 trucks were quite popular, they were prone to rust, at least in the early years of production. GM remedied the problem with better primers, zinc galvanized plating and probably heavier gauges of sheet metal. As this truck was built during the truck’s sixth year of production, it doesn’t look like those were ever issues for this Silverado. Besides its overall solid condition, a big plus for this truck is that it came with the Big 10 trailering package, which gave the Silverado a gross combined weight rating of 12,000. This truck also benefits from being the long-wheelbase edition of the C-10.

Until the seller acquired this truck, it had been in North Carolina since 1978. It had 87,000 miles on the clock and the seller has added 9,000 more. He performed several mechanical services on the vehicle which included replacing most of the factory air conditioning, the timing chain and gear, water pump and thermostat, hoses and belts, and fitting new brakes. As a result, the truck is said to run well and will cruise effortlessly, perhaps good enough now for long trips.

The paint is new and reflects the truck’s original burgundy and white colors. There is no mention of any rust repairs that had to be done and none seems to be present now. Except for the headliner, the interior is original, and the only flaw there may be there is a crack in the dash pad. This is a well-equipped pickup, including cruise control, power windows, and dual fuel tanks for long-range stops between gas stations. The 454 cubic inch V8 under the hood is the biggest motor that you could get, though not as powerful as those engines once were (remember, everything in the ‘70s got detuned). A TH-400 takes care of the shifting of gears for the driver.

When this truck changes hands, the buyer will receive all its original dealer books and some receipts. The seller still has the vehicle’s original North Carolina title. The addition of the Big 10 trailering package might help sell the truck, but does someone buy a truck this old and nice to pull 12,000 pounds? Hagerty says $28,000 is top-dollar on the C-10 from this era in Excellent condition, so the bidding on this truck is about halfway there.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    :), :), :), if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I was replacing a thermostat on the Jeep, ( after the water pump, the temp. was erratic, removing the housing revealed some moron gooped the heck out of the gasket, causing the thermostat to stick,, why not just do it right? Arrrrgh) I had the tailgate open on my GMC/garage, a guy stops and asks,”is that your squarebody”? Yes, of course, next question was, “will you sell it? Me and my neighbor noticed “the brown one”, so the market is clearly there. I’ve been told to go nuts, and ask a fortune. If I don’t, I’m just encouraging flippers. While that may be true, buying it for $1400 and selling it for maybe $3,000, I’m already a “flipper”, of sorts. My late mom, ( oh I had to bring my mother into this, in my best Mike Myers, Everything Scottish voice) would have said, “Howard, you can make a little money, but don’t be greedy”,,,I miss my mom,,,Memorial Day does that to me,,,
    Sorry, be that as it may be, this is a very nice truck. The 454 is the preferred motor, as my 350 is underpowered for any kind of towing duties,, and fuel mileage is about the same, except with the 454, power when you need it. Reminds me of many of my trucking bosses. They’d spec a truck( or more accurately, bamboozeled by some slick salesperson) with some small motor, thinking of economy, and they actually got worse mileage, and we burned them out. Give the driver the biggest motor you can find, I say, in trucks anyway. Sorry for babbling, have a safe holiday, all.

    Like 15
    • Big_Fun Member

      No need to apologize, Howard – you’re not babbling, you’re reminiscing.
      If you sell your squarbody, what would you buy to replace it? Better keep it, you’ll be glad you did…

      Like 8
    • Skorzeny

      Howard, your ramblings are enjoyed. And what you say about a motor being too small? I think Ford screwed the pooch with those ecoboost 6’s. People drive them like a V-8 and the mileage goes down. Defeated the purpose. Always get the best motor you can.

      Like 4
  2. Evan

    Big 10 was mostly an emissions cheater package. They upped the springs just enough to get the GVW up to medium-duty which in 1978 meant you didn’t need a catalytic converter.

    Like 6
  3. John C.

    Nice truck, but he mentions that he repainted the whole thing but quickly jumps to other repairs he made after that comment, have to wonder how much rust it had. It amazes me how much these old Chevy trucks still bring, I’m going to sell mine soon.

    Like 1

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