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Just Needs Tires: 1965 Chevy P/U

left front

This old pickup listed on craigslist in Bakersfield, California has several things going for it. The asking is a reasonable price of $1,500. It’s got a rebuilt 283, three speed column shift. One has to wonder if all this was done, and new hoses, belts, rebuilt carb, new started etc, why not buy some new tires and see if it goes? They don’t even say if it runs. It’s a California truck far from the ocean, so perhaps it’s not rusted too badly.


The patina is nice, it’s all original, has hubcaps and California black plates, so what’s not to like? If it runs and if the rust isn’t too bad it’s that much better. It looks like there may be some real potential here, either driven as it is with only the necessary work to get it on the road, or, well, whatever your wallet can bear. One could add an extra zero to the value of this truck pretty quickly. So what would you do to this old truck?


  1. Avatar photo Gary I

    You are getting a solid starting point for $1,500. Nothing a full restoration couldn’t sort out.

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  2. Avatar photo Matt Tritt

    Sheesh. I’m guessing that any work that was done on this truck happened before it was parked 30 years ago – again because of the tires. There also appears to be some rust-through on the hood and rocker panel(s) bottom-rear of the doors, but nothing too terrible. It’s located about 2 hrs East of me, but it’s kind of a long way to go to discover the true nature of the beast.

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    • Avatar photo David Member

      Wouldn’t it be nice if a reader lived in Bakersfield and could check it out for you to see if it might be worth the drive? This is what I had in mind when I suggested inspections. Not a pre-purchase inspection, just a closer look and some pictures in the important places. It’s the kind of thing I’d do for free. It is a hobby, after all! (sorry, I’m not likely to be in Bakersfield for a few weeks) Are there other readers out there who would/could do this for fun?

      By the way, the 283 was available in these pickups from 1957 until 1967.

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  3. Avatar photo grant

    Maybe I live in a different world, but where I’m from, $1500 gets you a nice driver. This is just a clapped out old truck. $750, tops. The 283 is likely not original anyway. These came with a huge boat anchor V6.

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    • Avatar photo Lee H.

      Chevy didn’t have a V-6. The GMC had the big heavy V-6. The 283 could easily be original for this truck. I’d hate to shell out this kind of change for something with no title, though.

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      • Avatar photo grant

        Your right. I stand corrected. Still a clapped out truck though :-)

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  4. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    Any 1960’s Chevy with a V8 and standard is worth $1500. It looks like a true Bakersfield car, so I’d give it a nod on the rust issue. A great deal and an easy restoration.

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  5. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    I’d think the tires would be the least of your repairs. This truck will need everything, but a great start. Nice to know there are reasonably priced, usable trucks around.

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  6. Avatar photo PaulG

    The rims appear to be split rim. There are fewer and fewer shops willing (other than a commercial tire shop) to go near these.
    That said, I drove an almost identical truck for 10 years. Served me well…
    I believe it’s worth all of $1500.

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    • Avatar photo Mark S

      It looks like your right about the split rims that’s what I’m seeing too. This truck would be a 3/4 ton if it has split rims, 1/2 tons don’t have them. The price is fair and the truck is dirt simple to work on, I’d prefer the long bed too short bed trucks look nice but are completely useless. Look at all the modern day shot bed trucks with loads hanging way out past the lowered tail gate. There centre of gravity all wrong causing the front wheels to travel to light to the road.

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  7. Avatar photo Gary Oliver

    A little work and it could look like mine.

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    • Avatar photo JamestownMike

      “A little work”??……lol, come on now!

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    • Avatar photo BMW/Tundra guy

      The other would take A LOT of work to get nearly as tall as yours stands!!!!
      Very nice appearance!
      I am sure you drive it with pride! (as you should)

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  8. Avatar photo JamestownMike

    $1,500 seems like a decent price for what it is. Too bad it isn’t a short bed!

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    • Avatar photo Gary Oliver

      Some guys have long ones and some have short ones. I prefer having a long one and so does my girl.

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  9. Avatar photo JamestownMike

    Just got an email from the seller this morning, Tuesday 1-5-16 at 10:50am (Eastern) saying, “Already sold”.

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  10. Avatar photo Matt Tritt

    That was one oddball truck! Those rims are clearly lockring and you can see the full floating rear axle housing on the left, which makes it a 3/4 ton. But every 3/4 I’ve ever seen had a 4 on the floor, not 3 on the tree. That means that it must have either a very high axle ratio (low top end) or an “in” at the local clutch shop.

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    • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

      Are you sure 3/4 ton received the full float rear? In later years it is reserved for one ton and that is standard for the big three.

      Just curious.

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      • Avatar photo geomechs Member

        Hi guys. GM 3/4 ton trucks used a full-floating rear axle into the 70s. There was a split between lighter and heavier trucks after that. It seems to me that the dividing line was 7700 GVW; under got semi-floating axles while the over 7700 retained the full-floating types. That applied to GM Corporation axles. I think Spicer just stuck to the 1/2 ton and the heavier 3/4 and 1-ton versions, and let GM Corporation supply the axles for the lighter 3/4 tons. GM was hard to figure out in the 70s, especially with 4x4s. I saw lots of them come into the shop with a Corporation axle in the rear and a Spicer in front, or vice-versa.

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      • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

        Good info thanks!

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  11. Avatar photo jim s

    someone thought it was a good deal. i hope the truck is put back to work. nice find.

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  12. Avatar photo Luki

    Purchased by MGM studios for the movie version of Sanford and Son.

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  13. Avatar photo Doug Towsley

    I have a 1965 GMC version of this same truck, I swapped it over from the 3 on the tree and straight 6 to a small block and T350 auto.
    We called it the “Old grey mare” as it was same color primer. i owned multiple trucks and sold off my 59 long bed and 72, I liked this style best. It has been an excellent work horse on our farm as well as swap meets and show from California to Canada. These things rust in all the same places, not a big deal, easy to fix, parts easy to source. I have a 1979 3/4 ton GMC that I am combining with the 65. Power steering, better brakes and better capacity, as well as a Overdrive trans. Dual fuel tanks (The originals have the tank in the cab behind the seat). These are climbing in value and collectibility. While a lot of them can still be found cheap like this one in my area (This one is a good deal) they are going way up in prices especially on the east coast and overseas buyers like them as well. I have a German friend who has bought 2 of these and exported to Europe. At Vetterrama (Manheim) a huge swap meet in Germany people went nuts over them.

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  14. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    I see the posting got deleted so you cannot go there to see more of this. Decent truck to say the least. For the price I’m not surprised to see it go.

    Like 0

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