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Grandpa’s Truck: 1986 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado

Choosing to part with a vehicle that is effectively a family heirloom is a tough choice to make. That’s the decision that the seller of this 1986 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado has been forced to make. The Silverado was his grandfather’s pride and joy until he passed away in 2000. It was retained and maintained by his grandmother. She is now in a situation where she needs to move in with her family. That means that this classic pickup has been placed on the market. It is a beautifully preserved example that is located in Saxton, Pennsylvania. It has been listed for sale here on craigslist and the asking price has been set at $9,500. A big thank you has to go out to Barn Finder Jackson S for spotting this beauty for us.

The Silverado is a handsome vehicle. It is finished in a combination of Light Blue and Frost White. It appears that the pickup has been garaged for its entire life, which means that the paint has had limited exposure to damaging UV rays. It still shines beautifully, with no signs of patchiness or inconsistency. The panels are straight, and the only sign of any external rust is some surface corrosion on the painted side and rear steps. However, fixing that should be a walk in the park. I’m quite taken by the bed cap, which adds a touch of character to the vehicle. It also protects the bed itself. This remains in good condition. Taking a look underneath the Silverado reveals a coating of surface corrosion on the suspension and exhaust, but there is no problem with the floors or frame. The exterior trim is in good condition, and I can’t spot any problems with the tinted glass.

The seller supplies no photos of the engine, but we know that the Silverado comes equipped with the 262ci V6, which is backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. Driving duties should be pretty effortless thanks to the inclusion of power steering and power brakes. This engine should be pumping out a reasonable 155hp, and a very healthy 230 ft/lbs of torque. The seller states that it has only accumulated 38,000 miles during its lifetime. This is a claim that I am willing to believe. The C-10 was used sparingly by its original owner until his passing in 2000. It has had little use since then, but it appears that it has been appropriately maintained during the following two decades. It last saw the road about a year ago, but it still runs and drives well. The seller identifies a coolant leak from either the heater core or one of its associated hoses. He says that he hasn’t driven the pickup any distance since noticing this, so that is an issue that the buyer will need to address.

There’s not a whole lot to be critical of when you start to prowl around the interior of the Silverado. It seems that this is a pickup that has been treated with care and respect. The blue vinyl upholstery on the seat is perfect, and I can’t spot any issues with the dash or pad. The door pockets are sagging a bit, but the next owner could potentially repair these. The floor wears a rubber mat over the spotless carpet, which could be a bonus for the buyer. With the heater core leak, there is a smell of coolant inside the vehicle. However, this has hopefully been prevented from finding its way to the floor because of the rubber mat. Even if coolant has penetrated, this leak is said to be a recent development. That means that the floor beneath may have escaped any damage. I would lift the carpet as a matter of course when addressing the leak. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The C-10 isn’t loaded with luxury equipment, although the AM radio and cruise control are nice touches.

This 1986 C-10 Silverado isn’t a trailer queen, but its condition is super impressive. It has obviously been a treasured possession, and the decision to part with it can’t have been an easy one. For the seller, this provides a direct and tangible link to his grandfather, and I suspect that it probably invokes some fond memories. The asking price seems to be quite reasonable, and I just hope that it gets loved as much by its new owner as it has been for the past 34-years.


  1. Avatar photo FordGuy1972 Member

    Overall, a nice, clean pickup that’s been well cared for. The two-tone paint is attractive and the interior looks a little Spartan but in very good shape. I’d have no use for that heavy cap and I’d lose the front bumper guards, rinky-dink fog lights, running boards, bug shield, and the mud flaps. All of that stuff just detracts from an otherwise attractive truck. I’ve never had a pickup with a V6 (I’ve always preferred a small V8 with a manual trans) but I’m sure the V6 in this short bed is adequate for tooling around in and some light hauling. I like that it has three-on-the-tree and dual tanks though having a filler on each side of the truck has to be awkward if you want to fill both tanks at the same time. A drawback for some will be the lack of A/C. The price seems reasonable and the low-mileage is a big plus.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo JW454

      FG72, I’d also add that gray step bumper to the list of removeable items. I go with the non-step chrome bumper.

      Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Nice truck, but I think grammy-grams is hosing us. While gramps clearly took care of it, again, the underside does not look like 40K, plus, unless grams drove a stick, which I kind of doubt, this truck sat for 20 years. Leaking heater core is nasty, and it takes forever to get that smell out. While a great example, this is a bare bones truck, and that column shift is a hassle. Again, little steep but a nice find.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Brandon

      Both of my grandmothers could drive stick, id say odds are pretty good she could drive it too.

      My mother, sister, and wife can all drive them too.

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Chris in Pineville

    Back in the ’80s, circumstances made acquiring my Grandpa’s cream puff ’66 Chevy truck not possible.
    On one hand, I’d love to have that ’66.
    On the other hand, it would be difficult to own a vehicle I could never sell……

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Daniel wright

    When was the last time they sold a three on the tree equipped vehicle? 1986 had to be the end of the line for those.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo nlpnt

      I’m surprised to learn it was available that late, I’d have thought four speeds at the minimum was standard after the gas crisis driven ’81 refresh.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Brandonb

        NLPNT the 3 speed was paired with tall gears in the 80s. I parted an 82 that was 2.73 rear and had the 3 speed with 3.50 first gear.

        There was a 4 speed OD manual available from 80-87, was usually paired with 3.42 or 3.73 rear gears.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Brandonb

      87 was the last year for 3 on the tree.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Gary

    Not worth anymore than NADA.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Evan

    For the record, this was the last year of the 3-on-the-tree.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Howard A Member

      I read, ’86 was the last year for Ford, GM ran them through ’87.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Ronald Thomas

      wrong on that one evan, i have a 87 r10 short bed ,it has a fi v6 and three on the tree. i bought it brand new in 87. oh i still have it with 38000 miles.

      Like 1
  7. Avatar photo stillrunners

    Worth that all day long……..

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Mike

    Looks like a truck your widowed, belted coverall, fishing obsessed uncle named Harold would drive back in the day.

    Like 7
  9. Avatar photo chevybill

    The local dealers in my area (north MS) never stocked a V-6 version of these trucks.

    It was always the inline 250 6cyl or the 5.0 305 v 8. 1987 was the final year for 3 on tree with GMC and Chevy.

    I seem to remember 1987 being the first year in a long time that a 350 (tbi) was available again in half ton chevy and gmc trucks.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Mike1955

    Good Gawd, the “experts” think grandma hung on to the truck to cash in? I think the truck is the real deal and under priced? Buy it, remove the grandpa add ons, lower it 4″, flip it for 18-20k. Why don’t I do it? I have 12 other vehicles in the garage including a 79 Chevy PU I bought new.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Shane Friederich

    The topper makes it for me. Good price too.

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Johnmloghry

    Love it as it is. Might lose the mud flaps but that’s about all. I’d much rather have this than one of your new dangled single cab pickups. Heater cores are a pain in the butt to change out on these but not a deal breaker.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  13. Avatar photo Mike

    Where is it located? I’m interested

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Bob McK

    Listing is gone. Someone bought a really nice truck.

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Mike Brown

    Normally, I prefer long bed trucks but, the only thing I’d change about this one is that I’d lose the running boards. I even like the cap on it lol!

    I don’t get what everyone is saying about heater cores being hard to change on these trucks. Maybe that’s because, as a collector, restorer, driver and, all around lover of Square Bodies, I’ve done so many that it’s not an issue for me.

    What I’ll say now is that if the leak is indeed from the heater core, pull that rubber floor mat out IMMEDIATELY. I’ve bought so many of these (and other) trucks that had excellent sheet metal except for the floors. The reason is that once moisture gets under it and soaks the “insulation” it can never completely dry because the rubber doesn’t breathe.

    Like 3
  16. Avatar photo K. Linger

    I love it and would leave it just the way it is. It reminds me of my Dad’s truck other than his had a 8 ft bed.

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo 1-MAC

    A nice truck, obviously never out in winter. With a new truck at 40K this is pretty good deal for 3 years worth of mileage. Well cared for.

    Like 1
  18. Avatar photo Brandonb

    87 was the last year for 3 on the tree.

    Like 0

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