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Ready to Work: 1959 Chevrolet Apache

59 Chev Apache

I can’t help it – I really like the looks of this truck and am falling in love with it as I write this story. While 1959 was the year that Chevy car styling went for its most controversial and polarizing look, for pick up trucks, it was just a styling continuation year. This well worn but daily driver condition 1959 example looks pretty much the same as a 1958 model Chevy pick up truck. And 1959 was a very good year for Chevy trucks, with almost 297,000 of them manufactured.

59 Apache rear 3

The owner of this 1959 Chevy Apache long bed pick up truck, which is for sale here on craigslist in Encinitas, just north of San Diego, California, plainly loves his workhorse and former farm truck.

1959 Chevy Apache

We are not told in the ad why it’s for sale, but the seller wants to make sure it goes to a buyer who will not repaint this truck. That probably extends to not wanting it to be rodded or resto-modded either. Nonetheless, as we all know, once a vehicle belongs to someone else, what they do with it is their business, so it may be difficult for the seller to insure this truck remains in its current condition.

1959 Chevy Apache Dash

But I completely agree with this seller’s feelings about this truck. No way it should be changed and I hope the new owner will keep the truck in its current paint.

1959 Chevy Apache Floor

The seller tells us that the truck came from a farm in Fresno, and it looks like it has had a long working life, but has been extremely well cared for. The seller points out that the interior is nice and comfortable with new carpet, and that the floors are perfect and rust free.

59 Apace ceiling

In addition, unlike many 57 year old pick up trucks, at least according to the seller, everything works: all interior lights, cigarette lighter, heater, horn, headlights, tail lights, license plate light etc.

59 Apache interior

The truck features a manual transmission, presumably a four speed, and the overall interior looks pretty great, with the brightly colored blanket doubtless covering a trashed original seat cover.

59 Apache whee;

We can see it is shod in some pretty good rubber as well. The rims have clearly been restored and look great with the caps in place.

1959 Chevy Apache Bed

Not mentioned nor pictured is the engine, so we have to guess that it’s running the venerable and under powered six cylinder mill. You’d think if it had the 283 cid V-8, the seller would be using that as a selling point. But you will have to ask the seller what is under the hood and just how many miles are on this truck now.

59 Apache rear

The asking price on this old beauty is $9,850, which probably seems a bit on the high side for many of us. But this price range is really not out of line for a fully driveable, rust free vintage truck these days. I found a similar one for sale in Michigan, this one has a six cylinder engine and a three speed on the column; the owner is asking $10,995 and I’d rather have the California truck anyway.


I have no place to put this truck if I bought it, but wish I could be its next owner. I do hope this great old girl goes to a good home with an appreciative driver who will become its new caretaker.


  1. Avatar photo Tyler

    Love it. I have a different hanger of some sort in the same spot as this hook on this truck…garment hook? Anybody know what it is?

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    • Avatar photo Becky Frantzen

      i know what it is….there should be one proportionately opposite of it. and over it, hooks a eyeleted gun rack hung from them carrying the rifle of the day behind the driver/ passengers. my uncle had one that was a five window work horse.still in our family …patina and all. i sure wish i had her back in my barn yard again. He ordered it through his studabaker friends dealership near manlius illinois, back in 1961.

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  2. Avatar photo Donnie

    craigslist add / its a 235 6 cylinder

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    • Avatar photo David Wilk Member

      Remind me to read more carefully next time!

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    • Avatar photo S.Brodie

      You can tell a six from a V8 in these trucks by looking at the hood ornament as the V8’s have a big V under the Chev logo.

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo DENIS

    Yup, a hook from the hardware store to hang your sombrero on…the truck seems clean and solid but everyone else is more excited than me….??

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  4. Avatar photo AMC STEVE

    You gotta love the seller who thinks he can control what the new owner does with it. These people are unreal to think that way. What are they going to do about it, buy it back? Fools

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    • Avatar photo S.Brodie

      Somebody has already goofed the cab interior by painting it silver. These were originally painted a bronze color.

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  5. Avatar photo Mitch

    I can’t believe the audacity to dictate to a buyer to say “what can’t be done” to a buyer.Once cash & title is handed over it’s out of their hands. Myself I’d like to see it restored original. (I’m tired of this whole “patina” thing) When I sold my ’70 Coronet in 2009, what the buyer did with it was up to him.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Brad

    All he said was he’s looking for someone who doesn’t want to paint it.

    THAT’S audacious? That’s a controlling fool? You two sound like the crabby old men in the Muppets balcony… with none of the charm.

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    • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

      LOL great comment!

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    • Avatar photo Wayne S.K.

      If I were a Chevrolet guy (Which I am FAR from) I would buy it, paint it “Plum Crazy” purple, put a LS7 454 in it and dress it up with all of the most ridiculous gee-gaws that I could, just so the control freak has apoplexy. I’m with AMC ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!!!

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      • Avatar photo Tom

        If only you could see my garage mate. Respect originality and make projects over powered, perfect, and shiny. Still cracking up that I’ve come off as a control freak cause I want my truck to go to a home who appreciates what it is as much as I do.

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  7. Avatar photo Rex Kahrs Member

    There seems to be a rash of crabby old men on this site lately!

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  8. Avatar photo Stang1968

    Price went up with edits; its $10500 now.

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  9. Avatar photo Ed P

    Nice solid truck. I think this would get the Tim Allen grunt of approval.

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  10. Avatar photo 1969Deuce

    Yeah, once the title is signed it’s outta your hands, but . . .

    When I sold my M37, I specifically looked for someone who’d keep it original and got it. Yeah, it’ll get motor pool painted just like if it was in the Army but it won’t be a mud truck or get a diesel. I’ll know because I’ll see it about 5x a year.

    This guy might just look long enough to find a kindred spirit who shoots straight and keeps his word. No harm in trying to find a home like that.

    BTW, I like the truck a lot but liked the Dodge dump better.


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  11. Avatar photo joeinthousandoaks

    I wouldn’t want it with the 235 6. For $10k I bought one a year ago with A/C and a new 350 crate motor.

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  12. Avatar photo Jim

    I’m not interested in painting it but after I pay ten grand for it I might change my mind.

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  13. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    I certainly would use it for a spell, but if I bought it, a light restoration would be in order somewhere down the road. The wood in the bed has deteriorated quite badly and that is a moisture accumulator in itself. Therefore the wood must be replaced. The sheetmetal will hold up for a spell but one must realize that patina is nothing more than rust, and it will eventually rust right through. I don’t care what anyone says; it’s rust–metal oxidization.

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  14. Avatar photo MountainMan

    Seller went up on the price? Not to be one of the crabby old men mentioned but thats crappy. Bugs me when a seller gets potential buyers lined up so decides to up the price. Asking for a buyer who likes the look and rather not paint sits ok with me but upping the price because people want it is just wrong in my book. I had that happen one time, an old Chevy was listed on CL, I was the first party to inquire. The seller said I could come at lunch time but had several other calls in the few hours before I was to be there and called me back saying he had to rethink the price. BS, If you have an item for sale and have placed a price on it I feel its really shitty to up the price because you have buyers willing to pay that price.
    I like the truck but wouldnt even give the seller $5 for it knowing that, stubborn I guess but thats just me. Besides, at ten grand it is too much of an ask. What was the original price he posted?

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  15. Avatar photo JimmyinTEXAS

    I wonder why the seller worries about the paint when he states it is “begging for a LS1 and bags”. Seems strange to me…

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Tom

    funny how loud some people get behind a keyboard and computer screen…I was gonna bite my tounge but can not resist. I am the seller and first of all read my ad thoroughly before passing judgement on my description… all I said is I’d like to sell it to someone who enjoys the look of the truck as is….doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen. If you don’t like the truck/price scroll on… Or start paying attention to what similar trucks are selling for not only in the US but around the world. And for the latest negative nancy who thinks its weird that I had dreams/plans to bag and Ls swap an original patina’d truck I suggest you google something simple like: patina bagged hot rod or venture out to one of today’s latest hot rod shows.. Might Clear up some “confusion” for ya. Cheers to barnfinds.com for the kind feature and people who enjoy my truck. Looks like she will be headed to a new home by the end of the week.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Gary K

      Tom, If you could get that nice old ’59 up to Pomona and display in all her glory you should have no problem selling for your asking price of $10k+. My last visit there told me the buyers line up to find old pick ups and carryalls etc. That is a rare find you have, especially a rust free central CA truck still showing the commercial black plates. Good luck with the sale and “keep on truckin” !!

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    • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

      Don’t take it to heart. I believe many contributors here are older and living in rural areas.

      Both explain the constant complaining of high prices and the general negativity for engine swaps, modern wheels, lowering and patina.

      A solitary perspective makes for boring conversation though!

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    • Avatar photo Wayne S.K.

      Thanks for clarifying Tom. I realize there are a whole lot of people into the whole “patina,” “satin finish,” “rat-rod” thing, but when I had my own shop, all of my own vehicles and those of my customers’ rolled out the doors looking sharp and SHINY. I guess I’m just old fashioned… :(

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  17. Avatar photo Doug Towsley

    Hmm, I had one of these around 1995. Did a trade with a guy I worked with. Drove it off and on for about a year. It OOZED character, and was fun. BUT and thats a big BUT. It drove like a tank or an ancient school bus. Mine had the starter button on the floor, 3 on the tree with a very loose and sloppy mechanism, 6 cylinder, wooden brakes. As long as you were not in a hurry, and planned your stops, it went okay. A few panic moments when cut off in traffic. Rev it hard, slip the clutch, It was a tank. With 4 trucks on my farm, I decided to downsize. I decided of all of them my 1965 GMC was my favorite. So i sold the 59. It was a fleet side like this one. A year later, I was approched to do a complete body and paint on another. Holy cow, that was why i sold mine. rough, and a LOT of work. They thought it was a lot of money but i still didnt charge enough to redo that truck. We painted it in Aqua blue with cream accents. It was sweet when done. One thing that seems consistent on these is every one i ever saw, the Doors hang up in the openings CREEEEAAAAKKKKK–SCREEEEECCCCH! We ended up cutting skin away and rewelding up the edges to get the doors to fit. Every one of these i have seen are the same. Sure is cool to see them stock, BUT,,, i have to say, Theres a lot going for modern brakes, suspension and power train. Im updating my 65 and its coming along nicely. Different strokes for different folks.

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  18. Avatar photo Rancho Bella

    I’ll be dipped……….I just saw this truck yesterday when the dog and I were heading down to Del Mar. Small world it is.

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  19. Avatar photo Bill

    The truck mentioned in Michigan shows palm trees and is definitely not in Cadillac, Michigan.
    Problem is if the buyer takes this truck out of the dry, western states, all that bare metal will start fizzing right away. Paint will be the only protection.

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  20. Avatar photo pbryantr

    My dad had one of these when I was very small. It was given to my grandfather for services rendered. The truck was originally red but the dry west Oklahoma sun had baked it orange. It was also rusty as well. It was a long bed fleetside with the small cab window. The driver’s door latch was no good, so when the truck went around a corner, the door would swing open. I was 3 years old, and had a habit of standing next to my parents (rather than sitting down) and I could see where we were going. Nowadays, my kids are in car seats and wouldn’t be allowed to stand on the bench seat. Anyway my dad got rid of the truck when we moved to Texas.

    I’ve always wanted to have one for sentimental reasons, but I am sure I would regret buying one. However, if I had the means, this one would be a good candidate for a safety upgrade: brakes, lighting, etc. That would be my first step.

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  21. Avatar photo Duffy

    Come on guys, I know some people that are as old as this truck and are not in good shape as this vehicle is.The man is just saying “Don’t paint the truck” You do not have to listen to that, right? It’s a great vehicle and it is worth the restoration. Let it go guys.

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  22. Avatar photo Larry

    I have a 1959 Apache SWB Fleetside Pickup with a nice straight and solid body. It is missing the engine and trans, but is priced way below market price at $2500. If anyone is interested my number is 573-541-1970

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    • Avatar photo Doug Towsley

      Now THAT is a good deal from what i see. I didnt pay much for mine, (Side of beef and some cash, I raise cows so used to trade a lot for Beef) but that was mid 1990s when i had mine. I think the seller was asking around $1000 or so.. Mine ran and drove, basically straight but was “Patina’ed” and realistically was rough. But in todays market this one at $2500 seems pretty good deal. You might want to mention general area. Im in downsize mode but a few years back i would be all over this one. I got motors and parts in storage.

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  23. Avatar photo Larry

    I also have a restored 1959 Apache SWB Stepside Pickup with a 400 engine, 350 Corvette auto trans, ps, pdb, dual exhaust, etc for $19,500. If anyone is interested in this one, I can be reached at 573-541-1970

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  24. Avatar photo Doug Towsley

    If the body work on this is as good as it looks, thats a very fair deal. I used to do body and paint for old trucks and cars, and i know what it takes. So that seems very fair on price. Nice looking truck

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  25. Avatar photo Larry

    Thanks Doug. I am in Northeast Missouri near Taylor which is about 130 miles north of St. Louis. If anyone is interested, delivery to your home is available on either pickup

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  26. Avatar photo joeinthousandoaks
    • Avatar photo Doug Towsley

      That seems like an even better deal, some pluses and negatives to all of the trucks listed here, but for a California truck with black plates that should get some hipsters excited. Some of us Old farts get our heart rate elevated as well. The 4 speed with granny gear is a nice touch. On mine the 3 on the tree was an interesting aerobics exercise. Be funny to see some trying to text on their crackberry while driving with one of those. The inline sixes are okay and sure have their admirers, but a period 283 v8 would be my choice. 350 4 bolt main would be more sensible and easy to find, cheaper to build, but thats just me. But that on in the $6 range is a very nice truck, Love the diamond plate! Im doing that to my 65 GMC. Wood decks are for show cars/trucks. I actually haul stuff in mine. I will be in the bay area (San Jose) first weekend in April for the annual BSAOC Clubmans show if anyone wants to have a beer. We can talk old vehicles. I will have a display for the NW Vintage car and MC museum. Will be in the general area from Fri- Monday

      Like 0
  27. Avatar photo Larry

    The 1959 Apache SWB Fleetside Pickup that I priced at $2500 sold very quickly. I still have the restored blue 59 Apache SWB Stepside Pickup and have lowered the price down to $17,500

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  28. Avatar photo Larry


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