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Patina Pickup: 1963 Chevrolet C10 Stepside

Sometimes, we must experience a particular type of vehicle to appreciate what it offers. It is easy to overlook a classic due to unintended ignorance, and I was guilty of this for decades if the subject turned to Pickups of any description. However, exposure to these vehicles in a practical role taught me that they are exceptionally versatile, and I can’t imagine not having one in my life today. This 1963 Chevrolet C10 Stepside is a wonderful classic revived after years of hibernation. It isn’t the prettiest vehicle on the planet, but life in a dry climate has left it as solid as the day it rolled off the line. Its most pressing need is a new home, with the seller listing the C10 here on eBay in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bidding has raced to $7,900, although that figure is below the reserve.

Chevrolet introduced its First Generation C/K Series of commercial vehicles in 1960 as a replacement for the successful Task Force range. The C/K proved a sales success, remaining part of the company’s lineup until 2002. The original owner ordered this C10 in 1963, selecting a Stepside Short Bed finished in Brigade Blue. This Pickup has spent its life in a dry climate, which explains the tired and faded paint and the presence of significant areas of surface corrosion. However, this is the type typically seen on vehicles from this area, and the only steel penetration is limited to a small spot on one lower front fender. This C10 is a prime candidate for a cosmetic restoration, which would be straightforward. Those preferring the aged look could treat the corrosion to prevent deterioration, apply a clearcoat, and hit the road in a Pickup that will turn heads. That impact would be enhanced by the bed timber, which is shiny and new. This C10 features a new windshield and seal and rolls on powder-coated Wheel Vintiques steelies, wrapped in new Coker Classic whitewalls, and finished with 64-66 hubcaps.

The C10’s interior features a new seatcover and a rubber mat on the floor, but otherwise, it is as it left the factory. It is refreshing that the dash hasn’t been cut to accommodate a modern stereo. The wheel has wear, and the painted surfaces show their age, leaving the new owner with decisions to make. Leaving it untouched is a viable choice, but I would probably dismantle the inside to refresh the paint. With that work complete and the wheel restored, it would look excellent for a modest outlay. It would also provide a striking contrast if the new owner preserves the existing exterior look.

The seller confirms that this C10 went into storage in 1973 and only recently emerged from hibernation. With only ten years of active service under its belt, the odometer reading of 73,000 miles seems plausible. Some readers may question why the previous owner stopped using it, and the answer is surprisingly simple. It was ordered with a 283ci V8 under the hood, and that motor made one of those loud banging noises that signaled its demise. They chose to park it rather than address the problem. Part of the revival process involved the seller bolting in a fresh 327ci unit, although it is unclear whether it sends its power to the road via a three or four-speed manual transmission. They added a new master cylinder and front brakes to a Pickup that is now roadworthy and ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel.

The current auction figure of $7,900 seems modest for a Pickup of this caliber, but it has reached that point off the back of twenty submitted bids. That suggests that people like what they see and are willing to let their wallets do the talking. There is time remaining for the action to intensify, and I will be surprised if it doesn’t. I would typically quote a potential sale price, but I am more interested in your feedback on two questions. What do you think that figure will be, and what would be your plans if you became the new owner?

Comments

  1. Troy

    Nice truck in desperate need of a paint job parked because of a blown engine translates to odometer has rolled at least once. I don’t think I would do a body off frame restoration but definitely a clean up and paint.

    Like 2
    • Ed

      Odometer reading doesn’t mean much for this rig but an engine problem could have been due to neglect or just a bad part not necessary multiple spins.

      Like 4
    • MTBorst

      If you read the article, it says engine was replaced with 327. My understanding it is a newer engine.

      Like 3
  2. JW454

    The white walls make it look like a rusty Tonka truck. Nice little truck anyway.

    Like 1
  3. George Birth

    This one will probably top 10K . If I bought it the first thing would be a decent paint job. I am not a fan of patina paint jobs,
    as they lower the value of a truck in my eyes. If I buy a truck I want the appearance to reflect on who I see myself as. In other words, does my vehicle reflect my values.

    Like 2
    • MTBorst

      Young have another 10k for a “decent ” paint job

      Like 0
  4. Jerry Parmer

    According to the pictures, it has a 4 speed manual transmission, with the low 1st gear.

    Like 1
  5. Dave

    I wouldn’t touch the patina, and it’s not because I’m “lazy” or “don’t know how to paint”. I just like the looks of it, and the next guy is free to paint it if he wants. I’ve done several complete paintjobs and its true that it’s 95% prep and 5% painting. During prep you”ll find every little ding, dent and gouge that you couldn’t see under the patina. I’m prepping a ’58 GMC right now for paint this summer, and all the warts jump out at you during this process.

    Anyways, I’d upgrade brakes and suspension, probably transmission too, but I like the general vibe it gives off now.

    Like 4
  6. Shamps

    Many people will suggest many things for this car, I suggest big fake eyes on the windshield and giant buckteeth on the grill and swap the horn with the voice of Larry the cable guy. That is what this car needs.

    Like 0
  7. Gil Davis Tercenio

    I looked at the e-bay pictures. Unless the steering column has been replaced, the transmission appears to be a four speed, probably with the compound (granny) low 1st gear.

    Like 1
  8. Dennis6605

    I would drop in a 5-speed to get rid of the granny gear, and then drop the truck 4″ front, 6″ rear, then daily drive.

    Like 1
  9. Dan

    The shortbed and fresh 327 are nice. My preference for the first-gen C/K is the Fleetside over the Stepside, and this looks like a better candidate for a restoration (instead of leaving the patina) because that huge dent needs to be addressed.

    Like 0
    • Larry

      Do you mean that indentation where the spare tire should bolt on?

      Like 1
    • RexFox Member

      Ha ha. I had to go back to see the huge dent, but all I saw was where the spare tire would be mounted behind the driver’s door.

      Like 6
      • Dan

        Whoa, I never thought about the side-mounted spare, I assumed the tire was under the bed…shows how much I know about the 1st-gen C/K :)

        Like 2
  10. Jack M.

    Those one size fits all upper radiator hoses really cheapen an engine bay. Rock Auto still carry a wide selection of molded radiator hoses for these trucks.

    Like 2
  11. RexFox Member

    As others have noted, it’s 4 speed. A 3 speed would be column mounted. I prefer to 283 to the 327 because of fuel economy, but would not object to the extra power. Since the fenders are rusted out, there’s a good chance the cab corners and cab mounts have some rust too. This truck does deserve paint and body work, although you could drive it as is while collecting parts and painting supplies.

    Like 1
  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    Here’s something I like. Of course that surface rust has got to go. It would get sanded down, bodyworked and resprayed. Driver-quality restoration. And get driven. Not too fussy about pulling the 283 and dropping in a 327 but it’s a lot better than putting in a 350. Besides, I don’t really know what happened to the 283; maybe it got a hole in the side. Not a fan of the highrise, and especially not a fan of the choice of carb. But I’m sure glad NOT to see a pair of headers. Good old 4 speed truck transmission. No problems to be expected there. Sure wouldn’t kick it off my driveway…

    Like 4
    • John Morrissey

      Geomechs;
      Interested to hear why you are not a fan of heaters?
      Along with body work and paint, that would be high on my todo list.
      Love these era chevy trucks !

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi John. Back in the 60s I thought that headers were okay but when I entered the repair trade in ‘71, I realized that headers were miserable to work around. Replacing a starter became a major task, not to mention the heat damage to the starter shortened its life. Engine bay temperatures are at least 100 degrees hotter. They tend to leak and they don’t last. I know that’s just my own opinion. Headers have their place…

        Like 2
    • MTBorst

      I’d be totally happy with the 327 and it sounds to me like that is the runner. But both ever wrong with a Chevy 350 ! I have a 96 450,000 miles and it can sit all winter and fire right up in spring thaw under 4 feet of snow ! 3 things I’ve done to that engine. 1) intake gasket 250,000 miles the original plastic ones all broke and leaked.
      2) over 440,000+ miles water pump, and 3)alternator . Numerous Chinese fuel pumps since oem are made there too. But that’s not engine.

      Like 1
  13. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I like this truck the way it looks. I would fix the holes on the fender and anywhere else. Sand down the truck with 600-800 and clear coat it. It looks too Kool the way it is! . Except the bumpers and grille paint them white. Find out which 327 it has. I like the Corvette 327 2-4 ..11.0 compression install a 5 speed manual.. and 3:73 posi.. Yes I would drive it as much as I could. Good luck to the next owner! 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 4
  14. Larry

    I think patina is cool! I would get it dependable and road worthy. They only look original once!

    Like 3

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