Cordova Brown Survivor: 1978 Chevy Silverado

This 1978 Chevrolet Silverado pickup is a nicely optioned survivor that remains in largely untouched condition. Noted as being equipped with the 454 big block and Turbo 400 automatic transmission, the Silverado is offered for $8,850 and located in the Bay Area. Trucks like these aren’t exactly exotic, but they are hard to find with all the right boxes checked like this one. Find it here on craigslist with a clean title and the option to submit a best offer.

The C/20 wears handsome “Cordova Brown” paint and while the long bed isn’t everyone’s favorite design, they are far cheaper to buy than the short bed models. If owning a short bed was a must for you, I’d consider saving a few grand by getting a long bed and doing a bed swap at some point, but I don’t think I’d care enough to want to mess with a clean truck like this.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for the find. In addition to the body appearing to be in excellent condition, the interior remains in a high state of preservation, too. The bench seat is excellent, along with the door panels and all glass. The dash shows no signs of cracking and the original steering wheel is also in good nick. The seller notes it is equipped with a factory eight track player and A/C.

Other options include power steering, power brakes, and cruise control. With just 79,000 original miles, the 454 should have plenty of life left in it and make some nice sounds to boot. While maintenance records aren’t mentioned, it seems clear this Silverado has been loved. The truck would make an excellent cruiser now that it’s heavy hauling days are done, and I suspect the asking price isn’t too far off.


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  1. CapNemo CapNemo

    I can’t see the nick on the steering wheel.

    Like 3
  2. Moparman Member

    I thought that the flush front grille didn’t debut until 1980, swapped out, perhaps? I like it better anyway. This is almost a twin to my ’83 Silverado; (IMO) these were some of the BEST looking trucks, unlike the 2020 abomination! :-)

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      Moparman, if you think the new Chevrolet truck looks bad, look at the model available in Mexico. It is a regular cab short bed. The dimensions look way off.

      Like 1
      • Moparman Member

        Miguel: You’reright! I think it’s because the truck’s tall image makes it look stubby, however, a lot of people in the U.S. claim that they would like to have this option available to them! :-)

        Like 1
      • Glenn Schwass Member

        Wow, this is a museum piece. I hope it goes to a good home.

        Like 1
      • David Ulrey

        While I’m not in love with the overall looks of the truck in general, in it’s own sick and twisted way I actually prefer the short bed. Thank you for the link Miguel.

  3. Chebby Staff

    Bed swap, does anybody do that. Would that not require cutting and bobbing the frame?

    Like 9
    • CapNemo CapNemo

      Yeah, not a good move. Best left as a long bed. Want a short bed? Go buy one. Cheers!

      Like 13
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Couldn’t get a short bed on a 3/4 ton unless you got a crew cab…

      Like 2
      • CapNemo CapNemo

        I hear ya, Geomechs. I was just speaking generally, and we both know the ride would be less than pleasurable with a single cab shortbed 3/4 ton. Ouch! Cheers!

        Like 1
    • David Ulrey

      Chebby – yes people do that but it’s definitely a pain in the butt to do it correctly. Yes you need to cut and weld the frame back together. You can do the same with the bed but that’s also a pain. If you’re dead set on making a long bed into a short bed save yourself some trouble and get a bed for a short bed. Better yet, either find a truck that’s a factory short bed or appreciate your long bed for what it is.

  4. Steve R

    It’s actually in Fresno, which is approximately 200 miles, or a three hour drive from the Bay Area, without traffic. If it were in the Bay Area, you would likely see a five figure asking price.

    Steve R

    Like 3
    • Otis

      People in the Bay Area have no interest in this kind of vehicle. If you spend any time there you will see very few trucks and SUV’s. Try and find a big enough parking spot one of these most anywhere in the city is a nightmare!

      Like 3
      • RH

        You are correct! I made the mistake of driving my SUV to SF a couple of years ago and spent hours trying to find a space big enough to park. Aside from that, pretty sweet truck and a great body style. Prices on these are definitely on the rise.

  5. David G

    We are so blessed and spoiled here in California with these beautiful vehicles. This is almost a twin to my ’78 GMC Sierra Classic C-35 one ton single rear wheel truck. I see this one is a lighter (under 8,200) GVW, as it has catalytic converters on it’s factory dual exhaust. Mine is 9,000 GVW, and cat exempt here. Mine is a two tone beige, with a Buckskin interior identical to this truck. Mine is optioned a little different inside. No cruise control or cargo light, but mine has a tilt wheel and intermittent wipers, along with AM/FM radio without tape player. So glad I have mine, and this one here should definitely make it’s new owner just as happy. Congratulations to the future owner of this awesome truck.

    Like 6
  6. local_sheriff

    This is excactly how I think trucks should be – nice but not over-the-top nice so that one get too afraid to use it.
    Can’t say I find anything I don’t like here and considering how many crappy examples put up for sale nowadays at rediculous $ I can’t say price is off either. 73-80 squarebodies are IMHO the best and easiest to own/work on trucks coming from GM. In the hands of a caring new owner it’ll probably offer another 40 years of service and still be presentable

    Like 6
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I couldn’t agree more, Sheriff. Trucks are made to be driven and used. I own my vehicles; they don’t own me. Maintain them but use them. Every once in a while, clean them up and take them for a night on the town. Wife might appreciate that too…

      Like 3
  7. 71Boss351

    Nice looking Chevy! I don’t know if the 4.10 rear axle would be comfortable cruising down the interstate. Price seems fair for the condition.

    If you want a short bed, buy a short bed. Too much trouble to convert a long bed to a short bed.

    Like 6
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      The 4.10 is a bit low for an automatic. We used to spec 3/4 ton and 1-ton trucks with 4.10 with a manual transmission and 3.73 with an automatic. I had some customers who were convinced that the slower you could get that engine to turn the better the fuel economy. That worked well in theory but when put to practice that theory caused the engine to lug and labor, actually making it harder on gas.

      Like 2
    • Wayne

      I had a 454 Camper special, 8200 GVW and the usually come with a 3:73 axle.
      That puts you around 2800 RPM at 60 -65 mph.

      Like 2
  8. Matt steele

    Man I had a 79 this same color..c20 ..I loved that truck..had 300k miles before I got rid of it

    Like 3
  9. JoeNYWF64

    I swear that 8 track looks like a Kraco. lol
    Exhaust pipes diameter looks small, considering it has a 454.
    Wonder if a big truck would have a cat converter in ’78.
    I don’t think the dodge lil red express did in ’78, but did in ’79.
    I do see hoses for an air pump tho.

    Like 2
    • David G

      It has a factory dual exhaust. Tailpipes are new, as the originals have a squared off tip with a perforated screen inside, like the originals on my 454 ’78 GMC pickup. Truck in ad has cats, which means the GVW is less than 8,200. My C-35 one ton is cat exempt here in California due to it’s 9,000 GVW rating.

      Like 1
    • W9BAG

      You are correct, Joe. That is not a factory Delco, and agree with your assessment that it is a Kraco. Good grief, I haven’t heard that brand in, like, forever ! Good eye ! Since there is no radio listed on the build sheet, it may have came with the standard Delco AM.

      Like 2
  10. Andrew Franks

    It’s a nice truck and if I didn’t have one already I’d buy it right now. Someone jump on this. You won’t be disappointed. Fresno is dry and inland. So no rust. I’m about 300 miles from there. In California, a piece of cake……….

    Like 1
  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice truck – believe the grille lasted until 1980 when they went to the first big square lamps with parking light below it. Have a 1977 and an 1980 and they sure look the same. My 1981 has the two small square stacked lamps that continued from there until the end.

    Like 1

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