Custom Pickup: 1965 Chevrolet C10 Shortbed

It would have been easy for the owner to apply a fresh coat of paint to this 1965 Chevrolet C10 Shortbed, and the result would have been stunning. However, he decided to retain its aged appearance, and I believe that this has been a wise move. The result is a unique and stunning Pickup that will turn heads wherever it goes. One place that it is set to go is to a new home. Located in Visalia, California, the owner has had the C10 listed for sale here on eBay. It has already attracted 34 bids, and these have pushed the price along to $15,100. The reserve hasn’t been met, but with the seller indicating that the reserve has been set low, there might not be far to go on that front. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for referring the cool custom to us.

When performing the build, the owner of this C10 could have chosen to apply a fresh coat of its original Cameo White or to lay on another shade. However, he has chosen to retain the vehicle’s aged look, and when you look at some of the finer details, it seems that this was a wise move. The Pickup has plenty of surface corrosion, but as you might expect for a classic from a drier climate, there is little in the way of penetrating rust. There is some visible in the rockers, but it is not extensive. The rest of the vehicle looks good, with floors and a frame that are structurally sound. Speaking of the frame, it has been “C” notched, which helps to give the vehicle a ground-hugging appearance. The panels are remarkably straight, with no signs of the sorts of dings and dents that can accumulate on these workhorses. The timber in the bed isn’t rotten, but it does wear a few scratches and scars. I would be inclined to restore this and replace the joiner strips with stainless steel. This isn’t necessary, but I feel that it would offer an additional contrast to the rest of the exterior. One feature that does add contrast is the trim and chrome. Every piece has been replaced, as have all the window seals, felts, and the glass itself. Those pristine pieces work beautifully and are complemented by the original and unrestored step rear bumper. One other aspect of this exterior that I agree with is the wheel choice. Slotting a set of aftermarket rims on the C10 would have been easy, but the owner chose to restore the original items. Their pristine state and the decision to retain the original hubcaps add something extra to this exterior.

The owner’s approach to the drivetrain has been sensible because he has decided to go with a tried-and-true combination. The engine bay houses a 327ci V8. It isn’t clear what the engine’s heritage is or what sort of power it produces, but the rest of the components should be capable of coping with anything it has to throw at it. There is a TH350 automatic transmission, a 12-bolt Posi rear end, power steering, and heavy-duty power brakes. The engine has only accumulated 10,000 miles since it was rebuilt, while it appears that many of the brake components and the fuel tank are new. The seller provides this YouTube video that provides a walk-around and gives us a chance to hear that sweet little V8 running. It sounds as crisp and clean as you could ever hope to find, and it doesn’t deceive on that front. The seller states that the C10 runs and drives perfectly and that it will sit on 70mph all day with no issues.

The interior is a mix of old and new, and its overall condition is in character with the rest of the C10. The cover on the original seat has been replaced, as have the sun visors and the rubber floormat. The rest of the interior is original, right down to the factory AM radio. The painted surfaces show an average level of deterioration, and while it has no cracks, there is wear on the wheel. I have no issues with this interior, and I’m sure that I could live with it long-term. However, I would be sorely tempted to refresh the wheel and paint because I believe that this would provide further contrast to the exterior. Apart from the radio, there are a couple of other excellent features. The gauge cluster features an original and working factory tach, while the buyer will be able to experience the comfort provided by a vintage-look air conditioning system that blows ice-cold.

Classic pickups continue to perform strongly in the market, and the 1965 Chevrolet C10 is close to the head of the pack on that front. Values for original and unmolested survivors or meticulously restored examples have risen by, on average, 25% over the past five years. That is a long way above the average and is an indication of the desirability of these vehicles. Nailing down the potential value of a custom build is significantly more challenging because they will generally appeal to a different group of buyers. I would be surprised if the reserve were lower than $25,000, but it is a possibility. The owner is relocating to a new home, and he has no choice but to downsize his vast collection. That means that he is motivated to sell, and that could be a blessing for potential buyers. If you are searching for a classic pickup, this one deserves a closer look. If you like what you see and decide to submit a bid or two, you might strike it lucky on this one.

Fast Finds


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Adam…. I agree completely with your first sentence of the write up. Past that, if the underside of this truck is done properly I’d quit at that first sentence and go have another cup of coffee.

    Like 2
  2. Miguelito Loveless

    Lowrider !

    Like 6
  3. Steve R

    This is the same seller of the 59 Bel Air featured on this site yesterday.

    The license plate frame on the rear of this truck is from a defunct Chevy dealership in the Bay Area. Several years ago a vendor at the Turlock swapmeet had a stack of around 100 of these for $2 each. I bought a couple but later kicked myself for not buying significantly more. Vintage dealership and speed shop frames are a nice finishing touch for any car.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  4. grant

    “Patina” is gentle wear caused by regular use. This isn’t “patina,” it’s “roached.”

    Like 6
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    I hate the slammed look.A proper pickup should have
    decent amount of room between the ground and body.
    This truck liiks like the owner tried WAAAY too hard
    to make it look “cool”.

    Like 16
    • local_sheriff

      Think his effort worked out pretty well – looks cool to me 👍

      Personally I wouldn’t have C-notched the frame but that’s solely because I don’t like hacking up a vintage vehicle ( + I don’t have the necessary knowledge). Of course if that’s how low one wants it that’s the way to go – it’s not a rare truck so we should be able to live with it

      Like 4
  6. Dave

    I agree with Adam, the interior needs more work, and the rest of the truck is good the way it is. A side note to patina haters… the truck can always have the bodywork done and fresh paint applied down the line, some guys act like that is now somehow not ever happening.

    Like 2
  7. Mark

    I can appreciate going the Patina route, but its becoming much like the mono pastel color schemes of the past were…totally overdone…..and I’ve seen countless versions that have the look sprayed on and even worse, covered in tons of clear.
    This is a nice truck but the idea of Patina is to reflect a vehicle in its found state. Retain as much of the old body/trim as possible and resist so much rechroming.
    Hopefully the fad of slamming trucks will go the way of the “donk” look.

    Like 5
  8. Stanley

    That clear plastic seat cover …. OHHHH BABY. A bit of pledge and some hard turns will have your girl begging you to install some seat belts.

    Great truck though. I would drive it

    Like 2
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Or,you could just Armorall it.

      • Stanley

        Sounds like you have some experience here.

  9. tom

    That body side trim is not new, unless they installed it with a hammer

  10. Don

    Listed on Auto Trader for $34k – nice thought, though lol

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