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Short Bed With Mods: 1973 Chevrolet C-10

Back in 1973, I was working for a Chevrolet dealership and I clearly recall the new “Square Body” pickup truck’s introduction. It caught my attention, and that was no mean feat as cars like the Impala were sales kings while Corvettes and Z28 Camaros garnered all of the attention – not pickup trucks. What I remember is two things, I thought the appearance was a letdown compared to the uber-successful ’67-’72 “Action Line” and the second item was that the now available 454 CI V8 engine seemed lost in the C-10’s cavernous engine compartment. Well, fast forward 50+ years and these square bodies (’73-’87) are a pretty hot ticket today. Today’s find, a resident of Golden Valley, Arizona, is a nicely maintained, and mechanically modified first-year short bed example.  Interested bidders can find it here on eBay where it’s available for a current bid of  $13,600 with the reserve not yet met.

Many of these Square Body trucks, such as our subject, are outfitted in a two-tone paint scheme and I’ll admit it, I think that’s one of the primary reasons that I wasn’t enthralled with it – the additional molding separating the two shades made for a busy visual. It obviously had sales appeal and Chevrolet did well with it – I suppose it made a pickup a little less truck-looking. This C-10 is wearing a repaint and it is said to be a base/clearcoat combination. It looks good and shows well including the cargo bed which appears to have been painted satin black as opposed to receiving a spray-in bedliner. Holding up all four corners are Eagle alloy aftermarket wheels with a notably deep offset.

The engine displacement is not stated but I’ll run with the assumption that it is the original 155 net HP, 350 CI V8. But this one has seen modifications with aluminum cylinder heads and intake manifold, headers, what looks like an Edelbrock four-barrel carburetor, and an open-element air cleaner. The seller claims that 365 HP emanates from this rebuilt 28K miles ago powerplant and, “The truck runs great, and drives down the road nicely“. A Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission makes the rear wheel hook-up and a 3/4 inch drop kit gives this hauler a bit of attitude.

The interior is stated as being new and it presents excellently, I dig the old-school simplicity of the layout. It’s a compact environment and my guess is that the carpet, bench seat vinyl upholstery, door panels, and dash pad are all replacements – nothing needed on this front!

While not as popular as the previously mentioned Action Line, these Square Body trucks are on an upward trajectory – short bed versions in particular. I’m not ready to move toward a collectible pickup yet, but that’s just me, how about you?


  1. Shuttle Guy Shuttle Guy Member

    Very nice. Not a ’73-’74 grill.

    Like 7
    • Tim

      I was gonna say same thing. 75 or 76 grille.

      Like 5
      • The Truth

        Grill assembly and headlight bezels a 79-80. The truck is probably a tag job.

        Like 0
    • The Truth

      The entire grill assembly and headlight bezels are from a 79 truck. This is probably a vin swap.

      Like 0
  2. Al camino

    Nice truck but you have to take that utility bumper off!

    Like 15
    • Roger Jean

      I’ll say

      Like 2
    • John-Erik Paisley

      Right on, that bumper is absolutely butt ugly. It almost ruins the whole truck.

      Like 2
  3. John L.

    All that work, and didn’t add aircon.This was most likely a stripper, they got for next nothing. Would be interesting to see the SPID.

    Like 1
  4. Dan

    At least the seller listed this as a ’73 because the badges and grille are from a late 70’s truck. Install the correct grille, badges and rear bumper and the bids might come close to the reserve.

    Like 1
    • The Truth

      It’s probably a vin swap.

      Like 0
  5. HoA Howard A Member

    Been that, done there. I sure liked mine. If it was an automatic, I never would have sold it. Is it a 5 figure truck? Well, mine certainly wasn’t, but not near the condition of this, but for $1400 bucks, I didn’t even haggle. Thing is, it was a truck. It was intended to be a truck. I’m not sure what this is, but I wouldn’t haul a load of firewood with it.

    Like 5
  6. Nelson C

    What a looker. I’m a sucker for a red car and this Chevy seems just a little redder than was stock. The white two tone makes it just a bit better adding visual length to the lowered short box style. Now as others have said all the cues point to this being a ’78 or ’79. The steering wheel, door cards and that aforementioned two tone treatment wasn’t offered in ’73. I may be missing an important part of the picture but that’s what I see.

    Like 2
  7. Pugsy

    1979 only, had those headlight bezels.

    Like 1
  8. Keith Finley

    The grill on this truck is 75 or 76.

    Like 0
    • The Truth

      The entire front grill assembly and headlight bezels are 79

      Like 0
  9. Joe Haska

    Nice looking truck, can’t understand why anyone would put that back bumper on it! I am curious to see what it sells for? I just bought its twin, but with Ford logos, it is a 73, short box, 2-W/D ,302 -3 spd , Factory A/C ,1 owner all original and has been in storage for over 30 years. I will fun to see to see which one sold for the most money.

    Like 0
  10. Sean Ratcliffe

    My first vehicle when I was 17. Worked all summer in 1979 and bought a rebuilt 1972. It was repainted metallic brown. I added gold pin stripe to follow the hood and body lines. The engine was replaced with a 454 and a manual transmission with 3 on the tree. It didn’t like to do less than 100 mph on the highway and became air born over a lot of railway crossings. Used it to drag home my first car the next summer. $300 1967 mustang. But kept the truck. It was a workhorse. I loved it. I could sit under the hood, pull it right down on a rainy day and work on the engine. So much room.

    Like 2
  11. Bama

    How could you stand a truck like this without AC in AZ? The 74 Cheyenne Super I had with the 454 would roast you in the summer without the AC on! Mine was loaded, with cloth/vinyl seating and door panels, full power accessories except the windows were manual. It would also roast the tires, and drank fuel like a sailor drinking beer on shore leave. Loved it, but had to get something more economical so I traded it in on a new 78 Toyota pickup.

    This truck could have started out as a 73, but it has a later grill, dash, and door panels. Nice looking result anyway, someone will pay decent money for it.

    Like 0
    • Charles Wittmer

      The title probably came from a 73 vin truck.

      Like 0

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