READER AD: 1979 Chevrolet Big 10 Stepside Survivor

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Update – Dennis has relisted his Big 10 truck, now with more photos and info! You can take a better look at it here on craigslist. If you have any questions about this truck, you can leave them in the comments and Dennis will do his best to answer them.

What Makes It Special? This is an unmolested 454 4 barrel Factory Dural Exhaust with automatic transmission, no AC, but does have power steering and power disc brakes. Purchased new from the Arvada Chevy Dealership. The bed has been covered by the period correct aluminum cap shortly after purchase in 1979. The original silver painted wood remains in perfect condition. A lifetime and garaged truck up until the previous owner’s husband passed away. It has spent most of its time in the garage. I have emission tests over the years that document the mileage at 17,200 miles. The truck has original engine components down to water hoses and factory vacuums lines. The only thing that’s not correct is the plug wires which are not GM wires. The truck runs smooth and tight on the highway, I drove the truck home from the northwest side of Arvada Colorado to Parker and have to say it drove spectacular. Original down to the whitewalls and original hubcaps. It does have extruded side steps and the aluminum cap. The truck was used for camping and does have an aftermarket hitch front and back which pulled a lightweight popup camper when the owners were younger. Production of the Big 10 trucks range from 30 to high end of 300 units for 1979.

Body Condition: The exterior is weathered, silver without clear coat here in Colorado tends to oxidize, The body is rock solid with no rust holes and is in perfect shape. There are no dents just sever oxidation to the main body and top. Glass in great shape as well. The dash has a couple of small cracks. The door panel tops, although complete and intact, have severe oxidation to the tops. The seat is original fabric and on the passenger side, the seam has split an inch in one spot and my guess, if removed a fabric could be glued by an upholstery shop and the separation would not be noticed.

Mechanical Condition: The big block truck runs superbly down the highway and at 70 mph. It’s smooth and tight handling makes the truck a joy to drive, that’s coming from someone who’s owned a Ford SVT Lightning. This truck is a true joy to open up the secondaries. Oil pressure reads as it should with no leaks, no drips and the original paint totally intact. It’s a real time capsule. All gauges work properly and the speedometer sweeps crisply and accurately. The brakes stop the Little Big 10 on a dime. The automatic shifts crisply and goes through the gears smooth and tight as though it was brand new. Not a hint of oil smoke which is surprising that the typical valve seal issues with an older truck have not shown its telltale puffing under deceleration. No smoke on acceleration denotes tight bottom half. The Silver streak fires after a couple spins of the engine first time every time. Minimal frame rust denotes winter months being kept in the garage and not driven in the snow.

Seller’s Listing: Here on craigslist

What a great combo! The 454 V8 is a beast of an engine and should be more than powerful enough to move this Stepside around town nicely. The paint needs some attention, but overall it looks like a nice truck. So, if you’ve love to have this Big 10, be sure to contact Dennis!

  • Asking Price: $15,500
  • Location: Parker, Colorado
  • Mileage: 17,200
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: CCS449J142251

Do you own a survivor classic that needs to go? Please consider listing it here on Barn Finds and find it a new home!

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Being the owner of a similar truck( short box, but not stepside) naturally, I think this is a pretty nice truck. As always, I think the price is a bit optimistic,but try and find something new today that’s as simple as this. While I personally think the 454 is a bit much, it probably doesn’t get any worse gas mileage than my 350, and if you are going to pull something, you have the 454 grunt on tap. Lot of square-body’s here. How this one escaped being driven is quite the mystery.

    Like 8
  2. Tony Primo

    Pictures of the interior during the day and engine photos would be much appreciated.

    Like 6
  3. KSwheatfarmer

    Used to work with a guy in town that had a short wheel base, step side, 6-cylinder ,3 on the tree 4-wheel drive. He had it from new, it was the only one I’d ever seen so equipped.

    Like 3
  4. billy

    i have a 79 Big 10 454 5 lug 2 wd long bed “Trailering Special” that i bought off of a very nice farm family in south central idaho last fall. this article claims that only 30 or up to 300 Big 10 trucks were made in 1979. i find this extremely difficult to comprehend. where are those production numbers researchable, please? i’d like to know how many of my particular “Trailering Special” Big 10 units were produced.

    for this featured article Big 10, i find 17,000 claimed “orignal miles” most un-digestible, primarily for the condition of the exterior finish, dash cracks, bleached door panel tops,etc.

    but, as my uncle john always said when his horse was ready to run down in Hialeah, “ya never know! go, baby go!”

    Like 8
    • Ray Smith

      You are correct, there were a lot more than 30-300 of these made. If they are talking about only step side Big 10s then that number would be more believable. I was in the auto wholesale business back then and never saw a step side Big 10 in person. This is a rare version of this truck. I will probably get beat up for saying this but if this truck is everything claimed, $15G is a steal. Try to find another one step side Big 10 with a 454. They just are not there. Someone is going to end up with a really cool and unique truck.

      Like 10
  5. Brian

    I love seeing all these older trucks still in great shape and running

    Like 0
  6. NotSure

    Someone cruised the freeway at 70 mph on 40-year-old original tires?? I will admit that it wasn’t me! A “lifetime and garaged” truck and has fading and cracking? I guess that I need to change the batteries in my calculator ‘cuz I can’t get this to add up…

    Like 3
  7. stillrunners

    With – NotSure……..garage kept ? Maybe the first month or so back in the day….

    Like 2
  8. Little_Cars Alexander

    The premium people place on original items made out of soft material–hoses, tires, wires, weatherstripping–is actually a NEGATIVE to the value of an “all original” truck if you plan on driving it. Unless someone keeps these items and enters this truck in a show in the preservation class, these are actually things one EXPECTS to go bad after 40 years. Forty years!

    Like 0
  9. boxdin

    Big Tens and certain F150s were simply a guise to avoid emissions req for 1978-9 with a GVW over 6000 lbs. The next year all vehicles w gvw under 8500 lbs had to be tested.
    So there was a rush to buy trucks w no emiss equip during 1977-9. As I recall certain luxury cars wanted to increase their gvw rating to 6001 lbs also to avoid testing. Congress did act quickly to end this loophole.

    Like 2
  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I personally like the looks of these step side trucks over other models. I really would like to have this pickup, but just can’t justify the exspense at this time. Best of luck

    Like 0
  11. erikj

    Neat truck. Just 3 years ago I sold a 73 stepside 454 t-400 and the big rear,14 bolt I think. It had option code #2 which showed 4:11 posi. factory tach. tilt wheel. all original. Ithink I should have hung on to that one,o well.

    Like 1
  12. Chris

    Cool truck. Very solid and complete but it’s not a $15k piece. I see $7,500 here and that’s a good day for this old Chevy.

    Like 1
  13. DAVID6

    i have a 1963 gmc big window short styleside 4×4 i purchased
    in wyoming in 1979 6 cylinder 4
    on the floor. comepletly dissasembled now. professionally rebuilt 4 bolt 7.4 & th400, transfer
    case, new leaf spring’s, upolstered bench, diff’s cleaned, some new bearing’s, delux cab mouldings, new window’s, new wood & stainless
    strip’s 4 bed, lot’s more, still have
    new wyoming plates with 1980 tag’s. 2 old & 2 many projects 2 finish 9 more pre 73 #6 1 owners

    Like 0
  14. Mr. TKD

    Can someone provide some insight into the “Big 10” designation? Was it a trim level or specific model? What were the features related to this model? What made it special?

    Like 0
  15. 71Boss351

    I like the 454 but I don’t see that the step side makes it rare. I found a few just using Google that are for sale. If the miles are truly documented I am thinking this may be still be a little high. It was maybe garaged during the winter but it clearly sat in the sun in the summer.

    Like 1

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