Factory Big 10 Truck: 1979 Chevrolet C10 Scottsdale

This 1979 Chevrolet C10 Scottsdale is a desirable Big 10 truck, and the seller claims it was just recently removed from long term storage. The Big 10 package is well known around these parts, basically allowing buyers to get into a 454-powered truck without the dreaded catalytic convertor thanks to pushing its gross vehicle weight rating just over the threshold for avoiding the emissions requirement penalty. Big 10s are sought after, and this one fired up relatively easily after being removed from captivity. The body does have some rust, but you can either live with it or fix it without having to attempt a frame-off restoration at the same time. The Big 10 Chevy is listed here on craigslist in Carmichael, California for $6,500.

As you can see, the hindquarters definitely have some rust issues, a surprising amount for a California truck. It makes me wonder if there was some poorly repaired accident damage that led to this, or perhaps the Chevy was stuck in a leaky garage where the rain just pooled in the back section of the bed. Speaking of the bed, this doesn’t have the preferred short bed design, but I suppose the 454 makes up for the long bed configuration. Also remember, the Big 10 really was intended as a working man’s truck rather than a hot rod, so I wouldn’t get bent out of shape by the long bed. And honestly, that’s an easy enough fix if it bothers you enough. The Chevy appears to remain bone stock, and the presence of the Big 10 decals on the bed suggests it hasn’t been repainted.

The 454 is great performer and loaded up with torque. The seller notes it starts on the first crank, and that the Chevy is equipped with the F44 package that specifies a 6,200 lb. GVWR. The engine bay looks clean, and whatever its storage arrangement was, the Chevy doesn’t appear to have become a mouse hotel in the time it was stored. Mileage is indicated as being 89,219 and the truck presents like an example that isn’t used up but certainly isn’t a time warp specimen either. The seller confirms that the drivetrain is original to the truck, but he doesn’t detail any maintenance he’s performed since extricating the Big 10 from its long-term storage arrangement – and it looks too clean under the hood to have been completely neglected for the last few months.

The interior isn’t bad, with the bench seat appearing to be in decent shape with no major rips. The seller includes photos of the rubber floormat being raised and it shows original floors with beautiful original paint. The seller confirms there is rust in the rear rockers as well as on the bed rails, but the typically vulnerable cab corners are said to be in good shape. The dash does have a few cracks but the door panels look to be fair. Overall, the Big 10 trucks are getting near impossible to find, and they’re typically nicely equipped with big motors and heavy duty features when you do track one down. This one needs some love, but it looks wholly worthy of a revival, especially with the reasonable asking price and healthy 454 under the hood.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Okay, that tears it, Jeff, I see what’s going on here. Coincidence? You tell me. Several subtle differences, but a squarebody is a squarebody. I still think these are highly over rated and a recent “for sale” in my town, like this, only a 4×4, which should be more desireable, sat for weeks at $3500, on a busy highway. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great find, and while they pop up all over the west from time to time, up north, I GUARANTEE someone would pay this for one, they are that sought after. There’s simply none left.
    I struggle with what to do with mine. It will at some point need a clutch( 161K on original), not the end of the world,, but the motor( 350) sounds as sweet as the day it rolled off the lot, and still functions like it always did, for lo, these 44 years. For what I have into it, I’d never be able to replace it, and it’s still my giant middle finger to the modern world, chip crisis? What chip crisis. The more I think of it, and everytime I drive it, I’d be a fool to sell it. Great find, and while it may cost you a bit more than it cost me, I’m not bragging in the least, and you can enjoy that feeling too, right here. My only regret is the 350/4 speed. Either a 6 or a 454, and an automatic, I’m so sick of shifting. Nice truck, here.

    Like 17
    • Stevieg Member

      Howard, just drive yours until the clutch finally gives up the ghost, then either convert it to automatic or sell it to me. I would love to have a solid version of these. Since yours is in Colorado, I assume it is probably in decent shape.
      I wouldn’t worry too much about it for now though. It’s still moving, right?
      Have a good day!

      Like 4
  2. David G

    In 1979, California upped the GVW requirement to 8,500 lbs. to be catalyst exempt. Only the one ton duallies ( which are all 10,000 GVW ) and the one ton single rear wheel with heavy duty suspension option (9,000 GVW, standard one ton suspension being 8,200 GVW ) are cat exempt here in ’79. The half ton truck featured here fall far short of that rating, thus it has cats on it’s factory dual exhaust system.

    Like 8
  3. Troy

    The last years of the Good dependable Chevrolet. I miss the sound of a nice tuned V8 with a decent exhaust. Now all we hear is the imports farting down the road

    Like 7
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    My Dad had a ’77 with a 454. He loved it. Lots of power, and still fairly economical to operate. He traded it in 1980 and wanted another truck just like the first one but the 454 was no longer available unless he got a 3/4 ton. He settled for a 350 and hated it until he got an ’84 with a 350 and hated that one as well.

    Emission laws/regs run from January 1st to December 31st on any given year. 1979 production before January 1st allowed you to order a truck without catalyst or EGR. Dual exhausts were standard on 400 SBC and 454 with the higher GVW. It was optional on F-44 packaged 350, again, until the First of January. I ordered my ’79 K-1500 in February and thus, when it showed up in August (shortages of specific components on the assembly line), I still got the 6400 GVW (which still had exhaust valve rotators), and the 400 engine, but I had single exhaust, catalyst, and EGR. Of course, the catalyst was gone during the PDI and a set of large duals were on it 68 miles later. An intake gasket problem shortly thereafter resulted in the EGR mysteriously disappearing and a piece of 3/8″ flat iron now covered the hole (Imagine that?).

    I think the BEST Square Bodies came out between ’77 and ’79. Best 4x4s in ’78 and ’79. They still had some substance to them. Plastic started to creep in in 1980 and smog regs got carried away.

    Like 7
    • DW

      Also notice the 400 disappeared after 1979. The EPA wanted them to burn cleaner and GM had a hard time getting them to pass. It’s also why the 454 disappeared after 1979 only to return in 1982 as a heavy duty engine. At the same time engines such as the maligned 267 V8 crept into intermediates and 305’s took over as second to top, leaving the 350 as the largest gasoline V8 for a few years.

      Like 1
  5. JBD

    My GPa had a camper special in the Scottsdale C10 trim. Great camper and was able to go anywhere.

    Like 1

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