Everything Included: 1979 Chevrolet Dually Dual Cab

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Sometimes, wretched excess is just what you need.  In the seventies and eighties, Chevrolet truck buyers could purchase a four-door, long-bed, dual-wheel truck with either a large gasoline or diesel engine in any trim level they liked.  Whether the truck was for business, pleasure, or just having the most outrageous truck on the block, these loaded big C/K pickups could be considered prototypes for today’s trucks.  If you are looking for a really big, really loaded pickup, then take a look at this 1979 Chevrolet C/K 30 dual cab dual wheel pickup for sale on eBay in beautiful Zephyr Cove, Nevada.  With bidding at $11,111, is this big white whale of a truck worth the price of admission?

In our modern, somewhat improved world, four-door pickups are a common sight.  Longbeds and single cabs are conversely a rare sighting.  In the past few decades, trucks have replaced the rear-wheel drive sedan as the vehicle of choice for millions of Americans.  A plain truck on a dealership lot is more often than not the “loss leader” that they advertise online to lure unsuspecting buyers in.  Infotainment centers, power seats, automatic transmissions, and cruise control are now required equipment.  You may not even be able to buy a truck with hand crank windows anymore.

In the seventies and early eighties, this was not so.  The average truck was a single cab short bed with an inline six under the hood.  Some even came equipped with a “three on the tree” manual transmission (this would now be known as the world’s best anti-theft device).  Floors were covered with a vinyl mat, radios were simple AM/FM models if you were lucky, and seating was of the vinyl bench variety.

Then, a funny thing happened.  As regulations began to put the squeeze on rear-wheel drive sedans, customers began to purchase trucks with more luxurious options.  Manufacturers responded by making all but the largest trucks much more car-like.  At Chevrolet, the Silverado trim level soon was comparable to a fully equipped Caprice as far as power equipment and opulent interiors.  It didn’t take long for trucks to become the luxurious personal transportation we know and love today.

The 1979 Chevrolet truck you see here is a big step on that evolutionary path.  Once the truck of choice for your local construction company, dual cab trucks slowly began to become more popular as the market changed.  Customers now wanted them for personal transportation.  Some strapped travel trailers to the back of these beasts and took their family camping in style.  Others just wanted the biggest truck they could get their hands on.  Nearly all of them wanted a car-like interior.

According to the seller, this truck left the assembly line with a Silverado trim level.  It is a fairly rare truck, with few in this configuration being built in 1979.  Under the hood is a 454 cubic inch big block Chevrolet V-8.  That engine is backed by a TH 400 automatic transmission.  Power is transmitted via a four-wheel drive system with an NP 205 transfer case and a Dana 60 rear end.  The new owner will also be happy to know that there are new tires freshly installed on all six wheels.

While the ad lists the mileage at a low 51,000 miles, the seller does not inform us if that is the actual number or if it has rolled over a time or two.  We are told that the interior could only be graded as “fair,” and that the tailgate is missing.  There is the usual wear and tear, but this appears to be a very solid truck.  It even came equipped with a seldom-seen factory tachometer.

With bidding nearly over, it will be interesting to see what this truck sells for.  To return it to its former glory would take some investment.  There is also the matter of feeding a truck this heavy with a 454 in a time of $3.00-4.00 gasoline.  All told it is an impressive truck that has a history that most people don’t recognize.  They are still very capable vehicles and there is a lot of life left in this one.  Hopefully, it finds a good home.

Did you ever own a seventies or early eighties pickup?  How did it compare to current trucks?  Do you miss simpler times and simpler vehicles?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Mike

    Saw the top picture and thought it was carrying huge rocks.

    Like 6
  2. Jason

    Seeing this thing gives me PTSD, having had to back one of these things up with a tow-behind sweeper attached to it when I had a summer job with the state road department back in my college days. Manual transmission, too, with the heaviest clutch on the planet.

    Like 8
  3. Jeff

    If it was a Silverado, it should have the full exterior side trim, upper and lower with U-turn hoops at the front (and on both ends of the rear fender wells). And should have the fancy front door panels like the ones in the back, and a blue headliner. It also is wearing a GMC steering wheel.

    Suggests that the Silverado stuff on the dash (and rear door panels?) might be transplanted from another truck? Would be nice to see the SPID (option list sticker in the glove box) to see how this thing was originally equipped.

    Like 5
    • Rw

      Your correct it’s kinda like calling every tri 5 Chevy a bel-air, every Mopar a muscle car and everything with a straight axle a gasser..

      Like 4
    • Bob P

      Even the Scottsdale had the chrome trim on the side, the custom delux had plain sides.

      Like 3
    • The truth

      I don’t trust the seller, the truck has been for sale on Craigslist for 2 months and is still for sale on Craigslist.

      Like 0
  4. John EderMember

    The owner of a company that I once worked for bought a new pickup every year. One year, they offered me a “killer” deal on last year’s truck- a loaded to the max crew cab, long bed 4×4 GMC. I took it for the weekend to check it out. It was a nightmare to maneuver in parking lots and other tight spaces. I had to park where I could find a big enough space. It was a cool truck, but I had to pass on it. Too much hassle.

    Like 0
  5. RMac

    Yeah the front clip looks like a different color and I don’t think that is even a Scottsdale most likely a base that someone added some interior trim to
    That slide in camper lister above would look perfect in this rig

    Like 2
  6. RMac

    And didn’t the 1979 Chevy truck have square headlights? I thought that was the first year for those
    ??
    I had a buddy that had a 78 c20 Scottsdale marina blue that had round headlamps and another buddy bought a 4×4 k20 Silverado in 79 and it had square lamps

    Like 1
    • Yblocker

      Chevrolet didn’t offer square “rectangle ” headlights till 1980

      Like 6
  7. RMac

    Yup y blocker is correct I asked my buddy and he corrected me his was a 1980 one year only design

    Like 2
  8. SirRaoulDuke

    Beast.

    Like 1
  9. Big C

    The perfect city vehicle.

    Like 4
  10. Chris Cornetto

    Yikes, there is a dry oil well in Texas because of this. Not a common sight by any means but good gawd I bet a loaded Peterbuilt does about the same on fuel. Fuelishness. The gas stations best friend. Perfect for a road trip….to the nut house. You can live in it once you get it home and your wife throws you and it out. All kidding aside, I would have it in a heart beat. He would be right at home mingling with my 75 wrecker, 76 Blazer and my 3/4 ton Silverado. Love square body things for some reason. I need methadone to get off of them.

    Like 7
    • Jonathan Q Higgins

      I have a ‘98 version of this truck. Gets about 13mpg

      Like 2
  11. HoA Howard AMember

    I will try and limit my comments to useful tidbits the authors may have missed, but you can’t possibly think all is well, when a rusty Bronco of the same era is advertised for 4 times the price of the most absolute top of the line truck you could buy in 1979. This truck catered to a very exclusive segment of our society, the wealthy segment, mostly. I read, the base price in 1979 was $7183, but options easily pushed it over $10 grand, almost twice a regular pickup. I think some municipal depts may have had a call for these, but for the most part, it was for the horsey set east of the Hudson River.
    They ( foolishly) don’t make them like this anymore. Someone is going to get a nice truck, whether they actually know that or not.

    Like 10
    • Yblocker

      I’ll take the rusty Bronco, these were about as stylish as a cinder block.

      Like 2
      • 427Turbojet 427TurbojetMember

        Which would make the Bronco as stylish as a regular brick? I much prefer the styling “bricks” ( both the square bodies and the early Bronco) to the squashed jelly bean styling of the next generation’s cars and trucks. This crew cab dually could make a home on my farm, thank you very much!

        Like 5
  12. BlondeUXBMember

    Trucks of this spec’ and configuration seem to have been the offspring of the Alaskan Pipeline project. A cowboy favorite…

    Like 2
  13. Bill West

    There is definitely something going on here. The bed is from a 78 or prior and it has only one fuel tank? No one in their right mind would spec the 454 and not go for dual tanks. I bought one of these new in 84 with the 350 and definitely needed the two tanks.

    Like 3
    • Robert Pulliam

      I had a question about the fuel tank, I think trucks with the single tank the filler was located on the driver’s side. No one would like to be pulling a big trailer and have to negotiate a gas station pump on the less visible side. My thinking is this is a reskin on the left side. I have never seen a dually truck with just a single tank on the right side. I had a ‘93 with a single 35 gallon tank with the filler on the left side.

      Like 1
  14. William Milot

    I was always told that the Torque of the 454 would destroy the transfer case in the large 4X4 trucks and they were only offered with the 350 or 400 small block engines. Then I started thinking, this is the first one I’ve ever seen with a Big Block in 4wd that claims to be factory in a Crew Cab Dually in the 73-80 model run. Also the “Oil Embargo” in the 70’s would have taxed this thing out of normal price ranges getting around 6-8 mpg at best since my brothers 350 version only got 10-12 on a good day.

    Like 1
    • Bob P

      I had a ‘76 1/2T 350 w/350 trans that got 11pm, traded it for a ‘79 Suburban 1/2T 454 w/Turbo 400 trans that got 13-15mpg. The ‘76 had a 2.73:1 gear and the ‘79 had a 3.42:1 gear. That’s when I realized a big engine loafing along is more economical than a small engine struggling. The ‘76 would get 16mpg at 70mph but that was when the speed limit was 55.

      Like 0
    • The truth

      A 454 would destroy a np203 or a np208, but not the np205 that came in every 1 ton 4×4 minus certain cucv models.

      Like 0
  15. Blake, does my opinion really matter ???

    It’s a fake. The real versions of these didn’t have rocker panels, just rusty color dust residue suggesting where the rocker panels were when they came out of the factory. Impersonator version of the real truck right here, these didn’t have rocker panels after about 10 months in the real world

    Like 3
    • HoA Howard AMember

      It( your opinion) matters here. I just don’t know how you got so many letters in your name. To answer, I read, in the 70s, GM imported steel from Japan, that was ironically ground up ’65 Chevys and such, and wasn’t treated properly, and why these rusted so severely. While it may be an “impersonator”, it’s a heck of an example of the biggest and therefore, the best truck America had to offer. Few survived.

      Like 3
    • Yblocker

      Not to mention those flimsy hoods that buckled and folded. The arch rival was a better truck back then.

      Like 3
      • Chris Cornetto

        Yes, that is a draw back. I actually made reinforcements that ended this problem after my short stature wife grabbed the middle and bent it. Hood hinge lubrication is a regular necessity on the earlier versions. Not sure if the arch rival is better as I rate them both wonderful as I also have an early 80s F350 version that was fitted with a Jerr Dan rollback apparatus and like my square bodies in 20 plus years has never gave me any issues. I like them both. Rust is their enemy.

        Like 0
    • Robert Pulliam

      You apparently live and only travel in the rust belt, in the South and west coast where salt and other chemicals are used for snow removal there are many vehicles still driving without rust, 30+ years old.

      Like 3
      • The truth

        Dude even here in the southwest these truck have rot in the floorboards and rockers. It’s just not so severe ans in the rest of the country

        Like 0
  16. Handsome Pristine Patriot

    Considered a normal wear item, this will come with at least three fuel lines.

    Like 0
  17. K. R. V.

    I have owned trucks both new an used, since 1978. The first new truck was a 78 International Scout II TERRA 4×4, 345/4 brl, Torque Flite auto. I bought with The Special Edition package with every option but AC, for the total price of $9,998!! At a time I was a truck driver making around $27k a year. But today a new truck the same size like a new Colorado, Ranger, Gladiator, all American made like the TERRA and with every option? The Colorado is now $50k! Ranger $48k and Gladiators are $40-$70k!!! So to buy one with less than half a years wagers means you must be making over $100-$140k/year! I don’t know of any truck drivers making that kind of money! So no matter how much nicer and dare I say safer and cleaner running, the new trucks are? Inflation has made them so expensive! The price of some houses at the time I bought the TERRA! Yea imagine that! Buying a house for 2-3 years wages! Now a daze it’s about 10 times, or 20-30 after you pay it off with interest! How else can anyone explain how the stock market has risen from the hundreds, to the tens of thousands!!!!???

    Like 2
    • Jason

      This is a K series (4×4) not C (2wd). My 76 str6 3 on tree has filler tank on right side. My 82 crew dually with dual tanks has filler door both sides. My 82 single cab dually has filler on drivers side, only 1 tank. So im guessing you could get any configureation you wanted. Back then you could hand pic items, not like today its all packages

      And up till 18 you could still get a truck with crank windows and a gear box. Thats what my Cummins is. Crew 8ft bed diesel 4×4. Sticker 45k. Good luck with that these days

      Think my Cummins is the last new truck ill ever own. Ahhh the good old days

      This truck is questionable on being original, still nice thou

      Like 0
  18. The Truth

    There’s a lot of sketchy things about this truck.
    1. Body panels are different colors.

    2. It’s missing the Silverado options.

    3. Square head lights was a 1980 option only.

    4. that’s not the original bed. This truck had dual tanks you can see the switch on the dash. 79 was the first year of the fuel door. This one has an exposed fuel cap (73-78) you can even see the cap is missing

    5. If this truck was original it would still have the build sheet and it would be in a picture.

    6. This truck has been for sale on Craigslist for 2 months and the price has slowly been dropping. It’s still for sale on Craigslist and the add was upgraded yesterday 5-25-2023.

    Like 0

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