One Ton Work Truck: 1973 Chevrolet C30 Pickup

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You heavy-duty Chevy pickup fans will hopefully like this one: it’s a 1973 Chevrolet C30 Pickup and it’s listed for sale on the Auto Archeologist website and is in Middleton, Connecticut. They’re asking $6,800 or best offer for this blue beast! What would your best offer be for this nice Chevy?

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The original owner bought this beauty and used it in their successful vending business so it’s set up with a super nice lift on the back and a bolt-on rack in the box. I would love to have this truck! This thing is solid with some surface rust underneath but no rust-through that I can see anywhere. The body is amazing.

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This truck was repainted this light blue color back in the 1990s, but it looks like they did a fantastic job! It looks like it was an engine-out full color-change, which would have been a lot of work for a work truck. The bed looks almost perfect. This was originally a dark or medium gold color, which explains the unusual light blue and tan interior color scheme. I have no clue why they would have gone to all of that work and expense for a work truck unless it was the company color, which it wasn’t because you can see the red ’56 Ford stakebed next to it that was also a company truck. Whatever reason they had, they did a superb job.

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I’m guessing that if it were originally a light blue truck the seats, dash top, and door panels would have been some sort of blue color, not tan like on this originally-gold truck. Whatever color things are in there it looks like it’s in great condition and that’s what really matters.

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The seller says that this is a replacement engine, maybe that’s how the engine bay came to be empty for a color-change paint job back in the 1990s. This is a 350 “Target Master” V8 and the 350 V8 that Chevy offered for their pickups in 1973 had 155 hp, I’m not sure what horsepower this replacement engine has or what year it is or anything. It has a Dana 60 rear end and this would be a great addition to almost any business that needs a tough classic to draw attention to it’s logo painted on the doors. What do you think of this one? It sure looks nice to me but I think I would have preferred the original color since I’m a purist by heart. I think this would be a great truck to own, what would your best offer be for this super nice Chevy?

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Comments

  1. grant

    Odd choice of color change, I like blue and it looks ok on the outside. The inside is a different story. Three different colors and they clash with each other. Black or blue would work, but this looks, as the kids say, “ghetto.”

  2. Bobsmyuncle

    They had the interior apart as well which is pretty surprising. The dash pad doesn’t match the door panels or seats and belts.

    Love this truck a lot.

  3. 68 custom

    I like the style of these trucks and a 3/4 or one ton is my first choice (with a 454!)
    but these trucks start to rust when you look at them too long, not to mention those ugly things around the wheel openings. I am not a fan of the color change either. the picture do look good and maybe somehow this one escaped the rust? nice find.

  4. Rock On Member

    Prancing horse hood ornament has to add a few bucks to the asking price!!!

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice truck for sure. They did have some problems with rusting around the rear fender wells but for the most part, not too bad. They say Dana 60 axle? On a 1-ton it should be a 70 series, even on a single wheeled version. This one looks more like a GM Corporation axle which is just as good. The Target Master (later, Goodwrench) engines were OK. New engines to replace the rebuilt ones. Four-bolt mains, exhaust valve rotators, pretty much set up for heavy half ton through 1-ton applications. I don’t know if you could even get a lighter motor in the Target Master series. All I know is that our dealership only sold the heavier version. Nice truck to have although I tend to be a little cautious whenever I see a repaint; so many paint jobs hide a rust-out, or a serious wreck. I’d want to see some paperwork on the respray…

    • Bobsmyuncle

      One ton rear is (Edit – should be) a corporate 14 bolt rear full float, the 3/4 is a corporate 14 bolt semi float.

  6. Howard A Member

    I think this is a bit odd, as most C30’s I’ve seen were dual rear wheel trucks, reserved for tow trucks or light duty stake. Looks nice, but really should have matched the interior. Looks a little cobbled. Nice example of this type. Most GM trucks in the midwest ended up like this. I heard it was because of inferior “imported” steel, but can’t get a straight answer on that. http://i49.tinypic.com/dyx3li.jpg

  7. Bobsmyuncle

    I’ve been an avid owner of this era GM for years. I wouldn’t say they were particularly prone to rust compared with anything else of that era.

    One ton NON dually rigs were far more common of the two in my experience.

    • 68 custom

      in KC.MO these trucks rusted badly, no doubt a result of the use of salt in the winters. I did see a few California examples that were rust free but in the rust belt these rusted badly until the last few years 85-88.

  8. AutoArcheologist

    Hi guys,
    First off, I want to thank Barn Finds and the Barn Finds community. I truly love saving old cars and just these two features have doubled the people visiting my site within the last week or so and I have met some awesome folks. I read my daily Barn Finds subscription and really enjoy the attitude that most people have here, that is the same as mine.. the old cars deserve to be saved… anyway…
    Here’s the quick run down on this truck (these trucks: The red 56 in the back ground, this one and the P30 Step Van featured last week).
    The fellow bought the 3/4 ton 56 Ford, originally, as his vending machine business work truck. He was the original owner of that truck. As that truck was becoming a classic and he was taking it to shows and cruise nights, he purchased brand new, this 73 Pick up and a 73 Step Van.(Also featured here and now sale pending with a fairly popular TV personality.)
    Unfortunately, the oldster passed away about a month ago at age 94 and I am assisting the estate in getting the trucks moved on. When I was on site photographing them, some of his friends were hanging around. They tell me that in the 90’s he pulled the motor and replaced it with the Target Master motor and painted the truck…He painted it himself… and if you do the math, he may have been in his 70’s when he did.
    If you look closely at the photo of the engine bay, you can see the original color just over the trans bellhousing. My opinion is shared with several of you who feel the original color would have been a better choice to stay with as opposed to this baby boy’s bedroom blue.
    The interior bits color can easily be dyed if one chooses and the rather “industrial” black fender flares (?) removed. I would say that the prancing horse must add at least 35 cents to the asking price…LOL
    The VIN shows it as a 1 ton, however, I didn’t crawl all the way under to inspect the diff to say for sure it is a 60/70 or corporate. Again, his buddies and family seemed to think it was a 60… I would easily stand corrected if it is not… It is a BIG axle..LOL
    I think this truck would be a great addition to a current work fleet, to add a classic flare, or, strip off the heavy duty lifting stuff, (sell it.?) put the original bumper and tailgate back on (they are included in the sale), pull a leaf out of the springs to settle it down a bit, put some larger sneakers on her, headers, dye the interior and take her cruising.
    BTW.. The 56 Ford stake bed in the background just sold and was picked up today.
    Any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me,

    Thanx!

  9. Ray Smith

    Part of the reason the bed looks nice is because it is from a later model. In 1973 the gas filler was recessed with a color matched cap (no gas door). If you look, this bed has a gas door. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Later years didn’t suffer from the same wheel opening rust issues the early models did.

  10. Alan Brase

    Have owned a 1973 in the late 1970’s and they did rust badly. My gut feeling is that this was the about the time they began to use E-coat primer first coat and maybe they didn’t get it right.
    I’m amazed at how poorly American trucks are rust proofed. It seems like they got worse and more rust prone ever since the high point of the late 30’s but perhaps it’s just that they used little or less salt on the roads back then,
    BTW, could somebody explain the difference between the full floating and semi- floating rear axles? I think a Dana 70 has less bolts in the cover.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      By design a full float axle doesn’t support the weight of the vehicle, as there is in effect a spindle that does that with taper bearings. So while the axle shaft isn’t necessarily stronger than a semi float axle shaft it isn’t taxed by any forces aside from rotational.

      Any rear axle that you see with a center hub with bolts is a full floating rear.

      Off roaders like this design not only because it is ‘stronger’ but if the axle shaft breaks the end with the wheel can’t walk away from the truck.

      This is the first link I found not necessarily the best, but I figured pictures are probably needed to really understand.

      http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/0112or-semi-floating-and-full-floating-axles/

  11. AutoArcheologist

    I did a little research and saw the filler cap you mean and that this one definitely has a later model with a door… Could be one of the reasons the truck was painted, rusty bed, grab a newer one and respray the entire truck. We found a ton of photos of the red 56 in repaint mode and of it’s motor rebuild. The attorney/family hasn’t come across any shots of work being done on this one.
    In the same research, I found that yes, the 1 tons came from factory with a Corp14, full floater. However, later models, possibly from 76-78 on, the 1 tons had the D60 available.. So, only crawling under the truck and checking the tag will get us that info for sure.
    The bed is from a later model.. did he swap in a Dana from the same truck..? Next time I am at the warehouse where these are stored, I’ll try and get under it to confirm.

    • AutoArcheologist

      I did a little more digging and found that what Geomechs said is correct. The Corp 14 bolt was standard, however, from 73 to 81 a D70 was available. There was a D60 available from the mid 70’s onward as well. Alan, you are correct D70s have 12 bolts on the diff cover.
      I was able to zoom in on my original photo of the rear diff and there is no tag, which IDs it as a Corporate 14 bolt. The 60s and 70s had distinct tags attached to the diff cover with ID codes. There are a couple of other bits too that ID it as a Corporate axle.
      Now I don’t have to crawl under it next time I’m there… :)

      • Bobsmyuncle

        I’m not going to say that info is wrong, but I WILL say that any deviation from a 14 bolt corporate rear would be VERY uncommon in either 3/4 or one ton applications.

        1/2 tons used a 12 bolt rear early on, followed by the Corporate 10 bolt.

        4×4 1/2 tons matched the above rear options with a Dana 44 front early and a corporate 10 later.

        3/4 tons used a 14 bolt semi floater.

        3/4 ton 4x4s used the 14 semi floater rear with a 1/2 ton front Dana 44 or Corporate 10 depending on vintage.

        One ton used 14 bolt full float rear

        One ton 4x4s used the above full float with a Dana 60 front.

        Duallies I seem to recall used the Dana 70.

        Of course all these GM options had the same leaf spring mounts so were all interchangeable so anything could be under there.

        All of us off roaders use the Corporate 14 full float as it is the strongest option, as is the Dana 60 in front applications.

        If you post a photo of the rear diff cover and pop the rear hubcaps I should be able to identify the axle for you though if you have a buyer you likely don’t care.

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