Short Bed Barn Find: 1979 Chevrolet C-10 Bonanza

During a scouting trip to California looking for trucks, the seller picked up this barn find 1979 Chevrolet C-10 Bonanza short bed. As is often the case, they have more projects than they can handle and they now have this one listed here on eBay with an asking price of $8,900. It’s located in Conroe, Texas.

Paging: Howard A, Howard A to the front desk, please, your truck is waiting. From what I remember from a few similar trucks shown here at Barn Finds, regular commenter and all-around truck guru Howard A. has a somewhat similar pickup but in GMC form. These are sure popular right now as you can tell from the asking price. And, the seller is no amateur on pricing or selling vehicles on eBay, he’s the former “General Manager of one of the most successful eBay dealerships in the United States” and he went out on his own in 2005.

You can see that this C-10 isn’t perfect but the seller says this is a “Rust free truck” and it has its share of dings and missing trim and other things going on. It does look good though. The inside of the box looks like this.

Chevy’s Bonanza trim level for the C/K series pickups was basically a sales promotion more than a trim level with specific features from what I know. And, speaking of trim, this example needs help on the interior as you can see. Pretty much every part and piece is available in the aftermarket world for these trucks so the next owner shouldn’t have trouble refitting this one again.

This is the optional 350 cubic-inch V8 and it should have had around 155-160 hp. The seller says about this one: “Runs”, that’s it. I would expect to spend the usual time and money changing soft parts and wear parts and the same things that we all do on every vehicle that we buy that hasn’t been driven regularly. This example is priced about halfway between Hagerty’s #3 good and #4 fair condition estimates so it’s probably pretty close to being on the money. It’s hard to believe how quickly these old pickups have risen in value, isn’t it? Any thoughts on this ’79 C-10?

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    If this is what these are really worth, the real doofus is me for hanging on to mine.I paid 1/8th of what they’re asking, and a much nicer truck. I only see these asking prices here, and in the real world, they can be had for a lot less. It’s still a gas hog, slam the door, loose steering, PITA poppin thru the carb, equipped truck, and parts, while plentiful, will cost you. ( almost $400 bucks for a Q-jet today) I’d sell mine TODAY for half this.

    19
    • Dbb1025

      Are you serious about selling your truck? I’m interested if you are.

      3
      • Howard A

        Thanks, Dbb, not yet, it is my driver, and for around town, it gets me to Walmart. I may be moving back to the midwest next year, and haven’t decided if I’m taking the truck back or not.

        1
    • Steve R

      Just because a dealer, which is what this seller is, asks a certain price doesn’t mean the market will support it. A much nicer example will and should sell for $8,900, but not this truck. He’s at least several thousand overpriced based on its condition.

      If yours is nicer, maybe you should put it up for sale. An auction, with the minimum you would be willing to accept as a starting bid would be interesting to see. It would help demonstrate the true market value of these trucks.

      Steve R

      10
    • Fred

      A carburetor rebuild kit is $40. A rebuilt one can be had for $150 if you mail it to one of the reputable rebuild companies.

      Still a cheap motor to fix.

      Being rust free is a huge bonus, because most have lost inches off the lower portions of the body, and most of the floor.

      6
    • Howard Ford Jr.

      When chevies of this era popped through the carb it was often due to the no.1 exhaust lobe being flat on the cam. This was very common on chevies. It’s easy to check, pull the driver’s side valve cover, rotate the engine and watch the rocker arm for movement.

    • Dean

      The hood would often buckle on these GM trucks

      1
      • Howard Ford Jr.

        Yes, they would buckle right in the middle if you didn’t constantly keep the hinges well lubed.

  2. RoughDiamond Member

    @Howard-It’s not often you hear someone who has held on to a vehicle being brutally honest about its faults. Most people staunchly defend their decision to have kept one. Thank you.

    7
    • Howard A

      To be honest, it’s my driver,( and I don’t go far) like I say, got it cheap, and I don’t really care for the truck all that much. Having been fed up with the “tissue paper” head gasket cars( and trucks) of today, when I moved to Colorado, I thought, by golly, an old pickup, with thick head gaskets, is for me. Well, I was reminded quickly how far we’ve come in vehicles in 40 years, and just because it ran good one day, doesn’t guarantee it will run good tomorrow, something we’ve become used to in modern cars.
      The only justification in this persons price, is they know, in the north, these are simply non-existent, and someone would pay dearly to have one again. By their reasoning, $9 g’s to start, $10 to make it like new, it may be worth it for someone to have a new ’79 Chevy pickup considering what a new anything costs today. It’s how these people make money. I can’t do that, and you know darn well, this person doesn’t have any more into this truck than I do, but has no ill feelings about asking 10 times that amount. There is a market for it, they found it,( or it fell in the door on a trade) and it puts another level on their house. I’m not going to feed into that, but there’s really nothing wrong with it.

      7
  3. RoughDiamond Member

    @Howard A-My apologies.

    2
  4. Steve A

    I wouldn’t give half that for it. That’s just crazy.

    6
  5. mark

    $2000 truck tops.

    6
  6. Jay

    I have a 1993 GMC Sierra (SLE) Z-71 off-road, reg cab, short box that I have owned for 18years. I’m currently in the middle of it’s restoration and rebuilding the engine right now. There is no way I would give $8900 for that 79 Chevy. Probably the worst looking GM truck body and the only years Ford had a better looking truck in my opinion.

    2
  7. Herbee

    What a rip off price, ugly yellow truck.

    4
  8. Sam61

    “Bonanza trim”…looks like Hoss was riding in the passenger side of the bed based on the rear view.

    2
  9. jdjonesdr

    Truth be told, this truck is worth what the flipper paid for it, not what he’s asking for it.
    Sound like he was the General Manager (read employee) instead of the owner of the large EBAY dealer for a reason.

    4
  10. Bobby

    Hagerty isn’t real world. I wouldn’t even consider using them for a price guide. I purchased a 76 Silverado for 1200 9 months ago had to replace hood..anyone that has owned one of these knows why and I done some welding at steering box. Rest of truck perfect. 10000 HAHAHA

    5
  11. StrokerAce

    Selling a 2wd to someone in the North is a tough sell. I live in CT. And I see these all over the back yard of some old time Farmers. Mostly rusted out and any salvageable parts stolen.. Plus 75% of them are 4×4. They are practically free here.

    3
  12. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    The price may be a little high, but you can’t find nice short bed C10s for a couple grand anymore. Those days are long gone unfortunately.

    8
    • Howard A

      I did,,

      • Steve R

        When?

        Steve R

      • Howard A

        April of this year. To the guy I bought it from, it was just an old truck that he had gotten his use out of. I wasn’t really looking for a truck like this, but for $1,400 with a cap and a one owner to boot, I couldn’t pass it up, and needed a vehicle anyway. Colorado has lots of these, and I bet at least half a dozen within a 6 block radius of my apt. Most of them very similar to the feature truck. Obviously, I got a deal, but like I’ve said, it’s still a 40 year old truck, and I’m not that crazy about it. I’d feel comfortable asking no more than $3,000 for it.

        3
  13. Raymond Smith

    Jesse is correct, a somewhat solid shorty C10 is as rare as hens teeth anymore. Also if this is a true “Big 10” it has no cat and less emission equipment then its non Big 10 brothers. That may be a bonus for someone who lives in a state with tight emission standards. I think this would be a great deal for 6K to 7K. If you don’t want a show truck this one would look good with the missing trim pieces replaced, interior freshened up and a little love applied towards polishing the paint.

    2
    • Herbee

      All the more reason Raymond to buy one from someone who wants to sell one that has already been done. Emphasis on motivated seller.

      1
  14. Maestro1

    The price is unrealistic.

    1
  15. Joe Haska

    I have been at The Good Guys Event in Scottsdale AZ. all weekend and if you think these trucks are not popular and too much money, I have to ask what rock have you been living under. It might not be your deal or kind of vehicle you want , but trust me there ALLOT of people that do!.
    I wish I could have counted, but I would guess the C-10 pick-ups were probably in the top 5, of the most represented marque of vehicle at the show. There were beaters, drivers and 100 of thousand dollar show trucks of this era and vintage. They have there own organizations, clubs and magazines. The after market parts are all over, they might out number 32 Fords 2 to !. That might be an exaggeration!

    1
    • Herbee

      Because of a trend, people are greedy. I don’t need a Chevy pickup that desperately.

      1
  16. diehardchevy

    There’s two terms I’m really very tired of hearing…..”barn find” (in this instance its more like a ‘carport ‘ find! The second, ‘rat rod’.

    5
    • Petrolia pete

      Amen!!

      1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        And yet, here you both are…

        5
  17. Brian Weyeneth

    I owned this truck’s twin from 1999-2004, a sunflower yellow and cream C10, 2WD, 305 2bbl, rubber floors, no headliner, AM Delco. Purchased for $1500 out of a farm field, 21000 miles. I kick myself for selling it now.

    2
  18. Comet

    I think it’s a nice truck. I’m not sure about the asking price though. The real test (although stupid and costly) would be to buy it, register it, insure it with Hagerty, or any other insurance company… and then total it out. I’m guessing the insurer would pay out what THEY think a well used 1979 Chevy PU is worth. Probably around 800 bucks. A risk we all run, falling in love with and driving old cars in good condition.

    • Steve R

      Not if you had a declared value on the truck. A friend had a 1993 Mustang LX that was destroyed when his house burned down, he had it insured with one of the specialty insurance companies such as Hagerty, his policy had the car valued at $17,000, he also received an additional $3,500 for parts he had bought, but not installed. They didn’t blink when they settled the claim, even for the parts, all he had to do was show pictures of the burned out hulk and an electronic copy of his order from Summit racing. If you have the right policy, they will give you the value that has been declared, but that has to be worked out when it’s written.

      Steve R

  19. Poul

    I bought my 85 in a lot better condition for 600$ the only place I see these ridiculous prices is on the internet. Do people actually pay these prices? If so I’ve got 9 square bodies to choose from

    2
    • Raymond Smith

      Poul,

      If you have a short wide box in this condition for $600 please message me. I will be on a flight tomorrow with cash in hand.

      1
      • Steve R

        Exactly, my guess is, if they exist, they are either rusted hulks, long beds and/or 3/4 tons. None of which will bring close to the price of a 1/2 ton, short bed, fleetside.

        Steve R

        1
  20. Chebby Member

    Dirty truck, ugly color, greedy seller.

    2
  21. bob carroll

    blah blah blah, i bought mine for nothing, not worth the price, ugly color. maybe to you, but in texas for a short bed, no rust truck, not a bad price. most don’t buy cars or trucks to fix up and make money, its regaining your youth. whoever buys this will have a great time.

    5
  22. Jason

    Way to much money. Found mine 15yrs ago at an estate sale. They were taking highest offer at the end of the day. Counted what was left in my pocket, and put that # and name in the box. 6hrs later got the phone call i was highest offer, $800 lol. New tires, battery, & an Antique plates. Still have it. Had 44k on it. Now has over little 48k. Straight 6 with 3 on the tree. If i was to sell, wouldnt even ask half of what this person is. Its a 1975 C10

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      That was a great buy Jason! Let me know when you’re ready to sell it.

  23. JMB#7

    I thought it said “Banana” when it popped up on my screen. Now I see that it is just a “Yellow Bonanza”.

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