Scottsdale Survivor: 1976 Chevrolet K20 Pickup

There is a certain paradox concerning third-generation Chevrolet and GMC trucks.  Despite proudly wearing the nickname “Square Body” since the first third-generation C/K trucks rolled off the assembly line, the official GM nomenclature for this model was “Rounded Line.”  These updated Chevrolet and GMC pickups, regardless of name, were best sellers when new and still have an army of adherents.  This 1976 Chevrolet K20 4×4 pickup for sale on eBay in Meridian, Idaho is a period-correct truck for the seventies except for the engine.  What it also has is a groovy seventies camper top which will come with a free set of vintage sleeping bags.  It has also been modified and repaired to the point that it is a capable daily driver.  Are you looking for a Square Body that you can drive and enjoy whenever you want without worrying about dings, dents, and dirt?  With just four bids and two days to go, could this truck end up being a bargain if the price doesn’t climb much higher than the current bid of $5,900?

The story on this well-patinaed truck is fairly straightforward.  The seller purchased this truck from its second owner a few years ago.  From that day on, the intent was to make the truck a daily driver.  To the seller’s credit, a lot of work has been done to achieve that goal.  As for the body, the truck still endeavors to persevere with its original paint job.  That paint proudly wears all of the fading, nicks, and scratches a well-used truck earns in the daily administration of its duties.  The seller has also documented in photographs available in the ad a few spots where rust has eaten through the fenders in a small way.  The rest of the truck’s body is said to be in very good shape.

One of the updates made by the seller has been a set of Rancho 9000 shocks on all four corners.  A new leveling kit has also been installed.  While a set of shocks helps, many people forget that trucks like this were primarily made for work.  The ride will be stiff, and it will not float down the road like today’s Cowboy Cadillacs.  Regardless of the seat of the pants feel, this truck is capable of taking you for a long trip.  It is equipped with dual fuel tanks.  The seller cautions that only the driver’s side tank has been used, so you might want to inspect the other tank for corrosion and varnish before counting on it.

Perhaps the most noticeable part of this truck is the camper shell.  While it was not originally installed on the truck after it was purchased new, the general seventies look of the camper shell goes well with this truck’s lines.  The seller found this vintage Winnebago camper shell after purchasing the truck and wisely decided that it would be a good accessory.  The story is that the seller purchased the camper top from its original owner, who kept it in a garage to protect it.  It was installed on this truck using all-new weather seals, and the original tailgate and hardware will go with the truck upon the sale.  The seller is also nice enough to include two vintage sleeping bags to display inside the paneled and curtained camper shell.

A peek inside the cab reveals that this Scottsdale trim truck is rather devoid of options.  The picture reveals an automatic transmission and little else.  The floors do have mats covering what looks to be ill-fitting carpeting, and the seller assures us that those floors are in great condition.  The original AM radio still works to pull in the limited number of radio stations still broadcasting on that band.  One welcome option for a truck that lacks air conditioning is a sliding rear window, which may be an aftermarket unit.

We do not get a look at the (presumably) vinyl bench seat and its condition.  The seat is covered by the standard seat cover of the time that still fits into the 1970s motif of the truck.  Another thing to note is the complete absence of a headliner in this truck.  Once again, by 1976, manufacturers were warming to the idea of trucks being luxurious transportation first and workhorses second.  However, development hadn’t reached the point in 1976 where truck behavior had been homogenized out of trucks just yet.  A heavy rainstorm in such a vehicle could be a bit loud and would easily drown out your favorite AM station.

In the quest to make this truck’s daily driver capable, the original 400 cubic inch V-8 was removed.  In its place is a later model 350 cubic inch V-8.  It is paired with a TH 350 transmission.  The original 400 ci V-8 will be included in the sale, but the old mill will need to be rebuilt.  The newer engine is topped with a new Holley Quick Fuel 680 carburetor and what looks like a new air filter setup to match.  Among the items repaired, rebuilt, or replaced are the torque converter, drive shaft, and timing (gears and/or chain were not specified).  The truck also wears a new exhaust system from the manifolds back complete with a set of Magna Flow mufflers.

With the price of used trucks today, anyone who can stand to go old school would likely see this as a potential bargain.  You will never find a drivetrain with more available parts and the rest of the truck is about as long-lasting as it gets.  Add to that a heavy-duty four-wheel drive system and a snazzy camper shell, and you have a truck that will turn heads and get you down the road.


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  1. Al camino

    Good old boreing blue never can get enough of it!

    Like 9
  2. Terrry

    The Scottsdale of those years was your basic trim, whereas if you ordered the Silverado you got “uplevel” (for a truck) interior. Also, in those years if the truck was 3/4 ton or heavier the engines were not “smogged” and didn’t require unleaded fuel.

    Like 3
    • nlpnt

      The basic trim was Custom Deluxe (how’s that for a paradox?). Scottsdale was the first step up, it included the uplevel seat which could be “Elk-Grain” vinyl or cloth, carpeting, and the woodgrain accents seen on the doors. Outside you got chrome hubcaps and front bumper (both painted white on work-truck Custom Deluxes, and the former replaced with ones off a newer truck here) and a single thick spear-shaped side molding unless you ordered 2-tone paint as seen here.

      Like 0
  3. Stan

    Beauty. Throw a mattress in the back. And head for the woods 🏕 🏊‍♂️ 🐟🎣🦌

    Like 4
  4. Nelson C

    Devoid of features. Are we that beholden to luxury today? I would respectfully disagree but today we buy cars differently than they did fifty years ago. Scottsdale was a step up from the Custom Deluxe and included some exterior decor, wood trim door cards and a color keyed vinyl floor. Cheyenne added fuzz to inside and such before you got to the Silverado. This truck was how people rolled before we knew we needed all the extras. Good looking unit for someone seeking a tough old truck.

    Like 0
  5. HenryC

    From the hot and very humid mid south no a/c is a big draw back. I would have to find a beater with a/c to donate. I love the C20 4 by 4 and owned one until cancer took her. They are big Work Horses but I go back the the a/c.. Its a
    unbearable hotbox where I live in traffic in the summer.

    Like 0
  6. Mark RuggieroMember

    Up to 7300 with a few hours to go, rnm so far.

    Like 0
  7. geomechs geomechsMember

    Nice truck for sure. Once again I’m somewhat skeptical over the part-time 4×4 with a 400 SBC/Auto in ’76. I’d like to have a look at the transfer case to ensure that it isn’t a 203 that’s been converted. I never saw a ’76 4×4 with an automatic transmission that wasn’t full-time. I’ve mentioned it many times in the past about a lot of them being converted to part-time 4×4 but ended up shooting themselves in the foot because the chain no longer pushed oil to the top of the TC because it didn’t turn all the time…

    Like 1
  8. nlpnt

    That interior always made me wonder if the design team was under the impression the metal inside the cab would be painted a light neutral color (or to match the seat and plastic trim) as GM had done on truck cabs since the ’30s up until 1972.

    The metal “headliner” is actually the inner of double-wall construction, and there is a layer of foam between them (unless it’s crumbled away in almost 50 years) so it’s quieter than you’d think. Base Suburbans did have single-skin metal roofs, though.

    Like 0

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