Converted Short Bed: 1969 Chevrolet C-20

Once again we have found another example of the very collectible 1967-1972 Chevrolet pickup truck in the form of this 1969 C-20. The seller describes this truck as a Custom Short Bed but there is a little more to it than the designation reveals – let’s look it over.  This Chevy is located in Mesa, Arizona, and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of  $9,005, reserve not yet met.

One of the things that I have learned about Chevy and GMC trucks of this generation is that the short bed versions are considerably more popular than the long bed variants. Want a short bed but can’t find one? No problem, just buy a long bed and shorten it. For the second time in a month, we have a long bed pickup that is now a short bed – the last one was this 1968 version. And like the 1968 example, the seller opines about this truck’s exterior persona as follows: “It features a mixture of original & handcrafted patina over the original Hugger orange paint to mimic the look and feel of a pick up that was passed down between generations of working-class America“. All of that is fine but I’d like to know a bit more about how the shortening exercise was facilitated; the seller just claims that it was professionally done. I do have to say that the size reduction has been well executed, especially considering that the wheelbase had to be shortened twelve inches, from 127 to 115, and then everything else had to follow suit. There is no visible evidence or surgery scars – even the wooden cargo bed appears to be ancient and untouched.

The interior, simple as it is, is extremely clean – I really appreciate the spartan environments that were a light truck’s insides a half a century ago. The interior has been treated to newer bucket seats, a center console, and a comfort grip steering wheel. Unfortunately, the original radio has been replaced with an aftermarket unit though it is similar in layout to the ’69 Delco. The cab is stated as an “Original A/C Cab” but there’s no word regarding the existence of working A/C – one of those “inquire about” matters, I guess.

Under the hood is, what else but the ubiquitous Chevrolet 350 CI small-block, V8 engine. Unfortunately, there is no image provided. One could take the position that if you’ve seen one Chevy 350 motor, you’ve seen them all, but you never know for certain what one may have done to set their 350 apart from all of the others. While most are pretty generic, some do stand out and it’s always the smart move to include an image in the sales listing. The seller claims that this truck, “Runs, Drives, Stops, and Performs great!” A Turbo-Hydramatic 350, three-speed automatic transmission handles the gear changing chores.

So what do you think of this shortened version of a very popular truck? I like it but I’m not crazy about the forced faux look, though that said, it has been well executed. No telling what the reserve is on this Chevy, there are two days to go with the bidding with 31 bids chasing it. Reasonably priced, it will sell. And actually, unreasonably priced, it may sell too. And with that thought, do you think it would do better if it were properly finished?

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Comments

  1. AZVanman

    I used to feel the same way about short vs longbeds, until I saw one of each slammed. Short and stubby just looks odd compared to long and low, but to each his own. Why anyone would shorten a 3/4ton truck when 1/2ton shorties are all the rage is also odd to me. Add fake patina and zzzzzzzzz………

    Like 4
  2. johnnyb

    Methinks this isn’t a C-20, which would have 8 lugs. Maybe donor fenders?

    Like 4
    • AZVanMan

      sure looks that way, unless they used adaptors?

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      That thought occurred to me too for the same reason. It’s hard to say, it’s probably a bit of a frankentruck.

      JO

      Like 2
  3. JerryDeeWrench Member

    Factory short beds were 72 in. This still looks like a long bed. Pass
    .

    Like 2
  4. Mike

    I know the CW, but I disagree that short beds are better. The longer wheelbase is more useful and more livable as it rides much better.

    Spend any time driving one and you will understand. I also disagree with the tendency to slam them. Normal ride height is far superior from a drivability/livability standard on normal roads.

    That being said, I buy stuff to use it.

    Like 11
    • Scott

      Amen to that. Having driven a bunch of these, the long bed half ton rides a lot better than the short beds. Plus I like the look of the long bed better personally.

      Like 4
    • Paolo

      Dang! Yes,yes and yes. I agree completely. You also voiced all of my objections to this truck. Good job.

  5. Mark P

    Why bother? For what it probably cost to convert this “professionally” you could have bought a real short bed. Actually it looks like it’s halfway to a short bed.

    As for the look, so you’re driving a truck that looks like it was worked but wasn’t?

    Poor old truck didn’t deserve this.

    Like 2
  6. Joe Haska

    I have to disagree with some of the comments, in regard to bed size. First off ,just look at ads, prices and what you see on the street, it is obvious the short beds are the most in demand and get the highest price. Interesting that this truck is in AZ. I live in the Phoenix area and there is a shop here that specializes in turning long beds into short beds, that’s all they do. I asked if they ever reversed the process, I think you know the answer to that one. I asked what it cost and of course each conversion can very, but both sides of $3,000 seemed average. Dollar wise it must make sense, as they have no shortage of work.
    However, what I don,t understand it is obvious that these “Sport Tucks” have allot of popularity among a select group of people, myself include, but when they are on B/F a select group of nay Sayers have to voice their opposition. It doesn’t make sense, you are just saying , I don’t like this and you shouldn’t either. I know B /F is a sight for discussion and that’s good ,but why just comment to tell people you don’t like what they do. I like to throw in my opinion ,but only when I have history or personal knowledge about the subject. I don’t comment or give my opinions on cars that I have no knowledge, or I just want to be negative about, it just shows the ones who do know , how uninformed I am.

    Like 2
    • AZVanMan

      Not voicing my opposition, just my changing opinion. I know full well which styles are most popular, and I certainly don’t attempt to change any one else’s opinion and I don’t shame others for their opinions either, and I didn’t see any of that in this thread.

      Like 1
  7. MDW66

    There are many more photos on the Ebay including the engine compartment. Yeah it’s a small block Chevy and the AC compressor is MIA.

  8. Scott F

    There are kits that are available to shorten a long box. The kit includes plates to reinforce the frame once it is shortened. Box side are also available to complete the job. The kits make it easy to do and can be done at home.
    While a long box might have a nice ride the short boxes are sought after…Squarebody pickups are the hot set up for hot rodders. Lots of bolt on affordable replacement and custom parts. Suspensions too!

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