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Short Bed Garage Find: 1969 Chevrolet C10

Sometimes, every box is seemingly checked. When it comes to classic pickup trucks, there are a few things you need for a winning combination: first, if it’s a barn find, you want it to be in serviceable condition. A survivor, preferably, just resting with a coating of dust on the fenders. Then, you’d ideally find a truck with a single cab / short bed set up. And if we’re going for a trifecta, the stepside fenders on the bed would be a welcome addition. As you can see, this garage-find 1969 Chevrolet C10 pickup checks all the boxes and has a cool period-correct bed topper still installed. Find it here on craigslist for $25,000.

The colors are pretty great, too, appearing to be an olive green over a dark brown interior. The seller reports that he found the truck in its very unaltered state and did the basics for getting it to fire up. This included changing the oil, throwing in a new battery, and spraying some starter fluid down its throat. The C10 supposedly fired right up, at which point the seller killed it to avoid doing any damage or otherwise flooding it with starting fluid. The truck is in Washington, D.C. which doesn’t tell us conclusively what the likelihood of it being rust-free is, but it certainly looks pretty darn clean in these photos – it’s just those knobby tires out back that make me wonder if it was used in the snow.

Mileage is listed as being 56,000 and based on the condition inside and out, I’m inclined to believe that to be accurate. Let’s also consider just how honest this truck appears to be with no obvious alterations from stock condition. I recently got home a truck I found in a junkyard a few years ago, and with just 55,000 miles on the clock, it’s amazing how many details remain original with mostly factory parts still installed everywhere you look. It brought home to me why enthusiasts love low-mileage specimens of any make or model: you just can’t fake the honesty of a vehicle that has seen far fewer miles than most of its peers from the same era. The seller notes he has replaced the heater core and the blower motor, so those are two big jobs done.

Currently, there are no brakes; the seller admits the pedal just goes straight to the floor. The parking brake shoe is also seized up on the passenger side. He will fix the parking brake in the meantime but he’ll also adjust the price for his labor. There’s no mention of any other lingering issues like dirty fluids, dry-rotted tires, or ancient cooling system components, and it seems like the seller wants someone to buy the truck as-is. I can understand that temptation, but this C10 looks like the kind of garage find that would stand a better chance of getting a top price if it was presented as a running, driving, and confidently-stopping example. Still, would the lack of brakes stop you from pursuing a survivor like this?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    1st, it’s an unusual find. More than a “short box”, it’s a stepside, and not many were ordered like this. Trucks then were supposed to be as big as possible, sideboards if need be, a truck like this indicates the person who ordered it, didn’t intend to use it as a truck, but still wanted one. Naturally, someone that grew up trying to find value in everything, can’t understand how someone could ask $25gs for a non-operating vehicle like this. Having did primarily the same thing with my squarebody, it’s a challenge. Good thing is, it does get to a point, and clear sailing, but be prepared. Most items are available, and somewhat reasonable. ( Water pump $50, fuel pump $24, etc) Got potential up the ying yang, none of which the seller wants to hassle with. I don’t think these have the alleged zing of the squarebody, for some reason.
    As a sidebar to these truck restorations, if you can, try and get NOS parts, especially rubber. I put an aftermarket shift boot on mine, oh, looked so nice, made out of some Chinese crap, in 2 years, it already was cracked and a hole, so those aftermarket places are full of that crap. Something to think about when these restorations look so nice.

    Like 12
    • Christopher Gentry

      My grandfather drove nothing but short wheelbase step side trucks. Including one almost identical to this one. He used as a truck. He was a mechanic amount other things. Hauled parts on occasion but mostly used it to haul either coal for home heating or furniture for folks moving. Had a topper on most of his too so that anything he wanted dry stayed dry. Take off for bulky loads. He d spin on his head at that price though

      Like 2
    • Kenny Haughton

      Hi Howard. My names Ken. I’m Canadian in Crystal Beach Ontario. Just across the creek from Buffalo New York. Firstly I’m absolutely NOT a mental giant in this era of trucks. But if my memory serves (and it usually doesn’t) I think GM used the fact of these trucks having both shortbeds and stepsides as sales features back when I just started standing to pee lol. And Dodges “Lil Red Express” had the same. I’m financially poor and ‘scribe to BARN FINDS to fulfill my dream of one day being able to afford MY dream. A Ford LTD. Dream includes the police package but believe me it’s not a breaker. My whole adult male life was filled up working and helping to raise children that biologically weren’t mine. Love and responsibility and compassion are blinding factors. Fathers say go away. Dad says come and play. It was the most rewarding time in my life. I’m 57 and now disabled but I sure can read my faves here at BARN FINDS! And I thank them for making it so. GOD BLESS and keep you 🙏!!

      Like 2
    • Jim

      I have two 69 Olive shortbed sidesteps. One is a CST and has the heavy duty suspension with leaf springs instead of trailing arms. I have heard the exact opposite of what you claim. The stepsides were refereed to as “farm” trucks. Meaning they were out in the fields doing work.It’s why a lot of them had 3.70 or 4.11 rear gears. Stepsides where actually functional allowing you to load from the side easier.

  2. KC John Member

    25 k and you’ll adjust the price if you fix the stuck brake? That’s really nice. I’m thinking 30k if it rolls. I mean put some effort into the thing. Maybe I’m just being cranky. Lol

    Like 18
  3. jim

    It shows as for sale now for $20K.

    Like 6
  4. RSparks

    Definitely looking forward to the day when classic car/truck values come back down to earth. There are people out there who actually will pay these crazy prices for non-working vehicles because they really want one and are afraid they are only going to go up from here. The comment that the price will increase if the owner fixes the parking brake is absurd. This is a $5k vehicle in this condition. Maybe $10k if someone can’t live without it.

    Don’t get me wrong, even though I love the fact that I could probably retire right now by selling my collection, I’m sure by the time I’m ready, or my kids are ready to part with them, they will be a lot less valuable and I’m okay with that. I love and enjoy my old cars. I buy and flip one now and then but there are a few that I’ll never part with regardless of their current monetary value.

    Like 11
  5. Jack Quantrill

    Our neighborhood in Agoura Hills, CA was fine until people started putting up camper shells on milk crates in their driveways! Boats, too. Too cheap to put in storage yards. Nice truck, though.

    Like 1
  6. Troy

    Loose the canopy and you have a nice little truck to work with, surprised it’s still available probably because it’s on craigslist and not here or BAT

    Like 2
  7. Mike

    Do you ever get to the east coast? I sold a ‘61 Covette back in early the early 70’s in Pennsylvania and would like to know what happened to it. No VIN number.
    Thanks
    Mike

  8. angliagt angliagt Member

    RSparks,

    I also wonder what the buyers (who overpay)of trucks
    like this actually do with them?
    And how many are resold a short time later,when they
    find out that they aren’t much fun to drive often,when you have
    many other vehicles that are.

    Like 4
  9. Older than Howard

    Howard, relax, it’s just cars and money.

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      Ha! I know, calm blue oceans, calm blue oceans, oh ding dong diddly crap, it’s ruining the hobby, OUR hobby, the hobby we, if you are really older than me, started. I’m not agin making a COUPLE bucks, but it’s the exploitation that grinds my gears. Somehow I missed out on that, and exploitation isn’t just limited to old trucks, “it’s the lure of easy money that has a strong appeal” ( in my best Glenn Frey voice, I wish) that runs the gamut in our country today. We all know this is too much for this vehicle, the sad part is, the seller is almost banking on someone unfamiliar, that is willing to pay it. As said, these prices eliminate the very person that might,,,hello, USE THE DANG THING,,,as a truck? I did. Got to be a limit to these shenanigans.

      Like 4
  10. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    This truck is old school cool. Straight 6 and 3 on the tree. Like those old snow tires in the back. I would lose the cap fix the brakes and clean and wax it. Then have fun with cool pick up..🐻🇺🇸

    Like 2
  11. John W Kriegshauser

    Seems like the typical price of a barn find that the current owner believes he can ask/get for the smallest amount of effort. The only thing missing in this ad would be that the vehicle in question would still be tied down to the trailer he used to haul it home. So tired of these types. This rig is so far away from his asking price it is ridiculous.

    Like 5
  12. RSparks

    Angliagt,

    I don’t know man. I would say if someone has the cash to pay this much can afford to pay another $40k to have it moderately refurbished (not restored) but I can’t honestly even see a super wealthy collector paying $20k for this one.

    To your point, a lot of people who have hopes and dreams pay a lot less and still resell for a loss when they realize the amount of work and cash it takes to fix them up.

    I agree with Big Bear, get it mechanically sound, cut and buff and drive it, if in fact it could be bought for $5k to $7k. Any more than that and your starting out in a hole.

    I wish the best of luck to the seller and the new owner whoever they are. I don’t wish bad fortune on folks who have paid up for collector cars but I’m still looking ahead to when the current market softens a bit so folks who actually love old cars can afford them again.

    Like 3
  13. John Wightman

    Wood bed? If so it could be in great condition if the cap has been inplace for most of its life. Bed bottom is first thing needs replaced on these trucks

  14. George Birth

    I can find a 2019 model truck (Sans Camper top) for $25K that has same mileage. The 2019 runs drives and stops and needs no repairs at an extra price My advice to seller: Set a more realistic price and fix the issues with the truck!!! Potential buyers should either walk away or make him fix the problems.

    Like 1
    • Jim

      A 2019 truck will not put a smile on your face like one of these.

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