Straight Six: 1971 Chevrolet C-10

Having lived in the Midwest for the last four years, seeing C-10s of this vintage still in use is quite common. I’ve grown to love these trucks, and everyone I know that owns one loves it! They are very capable vehicles and parts are more than abundant. They can pull, haul, and do just about anything you want a half-ton truck to do. This 1971 is in the less commonly seen short wheelbase configuration, and has been sitting in a Minnesota barn for 25 years. This is advertised as an all original truck with minimal rust. Find it here on eBay in Ohio with an asking price of $17,985. It is believed to be a one-owner vehicle with an advertised 54,879 miles.

The engine is a Chevrolet inline six, and I would suspect it is a 250. These may not be everyone’s choice of engine, but they are very reliable and extremely capable for their size. From the listing, “The biggest surprise came after we changed the battery, oil and filter and flushed the coolant.  We installed a new fuel tank, added fresh fuel… and it came to life immediately, and holds a good idle!  We didn’t touch the ignition system, we were shocked when it fired to life and ran smooth. no engine knock, the brake pedal is strong, and the clutch engages smoothly.” Parts for this engine are just as available as most other GM engines.

With the exception of an aged, sun-damaged steering wheel, the interior looks to be in exceptional shape. Someone took good care of this truck, and with a new steering wheel installed it would be an extremely presentable survivor. I would simply clean it up, replace the steering wheel, and enjoy it!

While this C-10 is being presented in somewhat “as found” condition, a good cleaning and buff would take the old single stage paint a long way! This is a no-frills C-10 as evidenced by the six cylinder, as well as the stamped tailgate and lack of taillight bezels. The ad states “There are two small rusted thru spots on the cab corners, other than that, it’s mostly surface rust or scaling.” Would you repair the rust? Or clean it, detail it, and enjoy it like it is?


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  1. Matt Member

    I’d daily this one, style and usability, just what i look for in stuff i drive.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      I hear that!

  2. Classic Steel

    Ohio is a rust belt and if you see side corners then wait for the surprise of more rust rott!

    These are nice but not 18k to make 12k profit or more to seller .

    I love C10s but not enough to overpay and possibly 100k additional add to odometer .

    If you have 18k burning a hole in your pocket go west to Cali for no rust and a V8 too!

  3. Rube Goldberg Member

    Well, Andrew, not sure what part of the midwest you are referring to, but in N.Wis. these are non-existent. This is far more representative of what is running around, if any.
    Now, out here in Colorado, these come up from time to time, and are maybe $2 grand, tops in this condition. I’m looking for something like this right now, would be perfect, but at this price, the seller is going to leave out a lot of buyers. Sorry, it’s not that nice.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      I was referring specifically to Kansas, where rust is less of a problem than in Wisconsin!

  4. Bob c.

    The engine could possibly be a 292, which was available in trucks during this time.

    • CCFisher

      I vaguely recall seeing a “292” emblem on the front fender of trucks with the big 6.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      I believe CC is right. The 250 was standard, and the optional 292 had a badge on the front fender under the side light.

    • Steve

      I am ready for the “barn find” fad of not cleaning vehicles up to be over… I find it insulting that they are asking damn near $20k and couldnt bother to clean it up. You could in fact get a 292 in these trucks. Not too common in a half ton 2wd, though, as I have only seen them in 4wd 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton, both in 2 and 4wd.The engine in this truck is a 250. The 292 had the distributor toward the middle of the engine.

      • Nrg8

        Motor has been rattle canned, overspray over grease, wiring etc. Steering wheel falling apart , yet seat doesn’t have one split seam. Dash pad perfect. No fade on gauge faces. Pretty sure I saw a hole thru swing arm on one side. Reason it’s not cleaned up is it would be evident there is blends in the paint. Don’t get me wrong, nice truck, barn fever pricing. But bulls and other farm animals lived in barns too. And it seem this truck came with a load of bs too.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I think GM quit offering a 292 with a 3 spd. manual in about 1966. A 292 had a tendency to destroy a 3 spd. And the ring and pinion. Fewer problems with a 4 spd…..

      • Nrg8

        Hey all that dust is pink under the hood. Mix some body filler on cardboard let set, hit with a sander and set your stage for the incoming rubes…

  5. Bill

    Seventeen grand will buy you a much nicer truck with a V8 and four wheel drive. Not to mention air and rear seating. I’ll pass.

  6. Dick Johnson

    GM should pay the premium and clone this truck. THIS IS A TRUCK! This is NOT the truck realtors and hair dressers drive. What’s next? A four-door Porsche 911? Oh, wait, our realtor neighbor already has one.

    GM could sell this one as a clone for $47,000.

  7. Michael

    It always gets me when I see a truck that would sell for maybe six grand on Craigslist, being sold to collectors for multiples of what it’s worth.

  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice! When I first saw this I had flashbacks to an old hermit just outside of my hometown. He had (almost) a twin to this one, the only difference being a 4 speed and the bed filled to the brim with JUNK. The guy was the original ‘hoarder’ who drove to the dump at least once a month and brought all sorts of castaway items home. He used to come over to my place to watch the ‘SKIN CHANNEL’ on TV. Many times I would be having supper and I’d hear the low rumble of that motor as the truck idled up the driveway….

  9. JamestownMike

    Like the truck, not the price. Seems like a $4,000 to $5,000 truck TOPS! Only because it’s a short bed.

    • Christopher Wenz

      I agree. Steeeeeeep price.$5k I would go on this truck.

  10. Vegaman Dan

    I miss my 69 C10. I have never had anything haul so much stuff without complaint since then. It was a TRUCK.

  11. Steve

    So…they got it running, but were too lazy to install the hubcaps, which are laying in the bed?

    • Mark

      I agree and at least paint the steel wheels to sharpen it up a little!

  12. Frank

    I like it…but the price? Holy smokes. Big fan of theses trucks, but you can find similar trucks out here on the west coast for way less. Wyoming and Idaho have a ton of these old C series.

  13. JamestownMike

    Don’t get me wrong, SUPER SOLID for MN!……..but I’d rather have a rust free SW truck for MUCH less money! Needs BOTH rockers plus driver rear cab corner. Hard to tell just how bad the undercarriage rust is by the erratic YouTube video link on the ebay listing………slow down, let us see better! Undercarriage looks pretty rust pitted to me.

  14. Bill Member

    You can find essentially that same truck here in AZ rust free for around $3-5k every day of the week.

    • Grenade Motorsports

      I tried to buy it for 9k when I saw it this past summer at a show. 18k is way too high, but if all the dreamers can bring their “V8 shortbed, rust free” trucks from AZ and other dry states up here to the rust belt, you guys can get rich quick because one in this condition, UP HERE? it’s worth way more than your “I Can Get These All Day Long for 3-5k” BS. By the way, up here, the short beds are worth more.

      • Nrg8

        lemme guess it was all shiny?

  15. Wineistruth

    I agree with Steve.

    If you’re pricing it at 4x if a clean CA version, it better be clean and polished.

    There are SO many of these in the west coast as they were used for fleet trucks for all the big defense manufacturers.

    My brother still has his cherry 71 suburban he got from a big aerospace Corp near Monterey in 1980. Totally plain plain with a 305 and Armstrong steering, but a great vehicle.

  16. Pist-n-Broke Racing

    This truck is kind of rusty, like already stated but I believe this truck would be a great daily with the right care and a good body man. This truck has many more miles left in her. Keeping this truck stock would also be the way to go. The price is definitely a little high, if someone pays the asking price for this one then their probably going to be buried with it! Never going to get their money back unless you go custom rod with it

  17. Beatnik Bedouin

    Waaaaaaayyyyyy overpriced for a base six-banger, three-speed C10. As everyone else said, for that kind of money one could be a V8-powered rust-free example.

    A buddy of mine bought a similar, ’67 model new while he was in college in TX and last I heard, he was still driving it. That damned thing was amazingly reliable and went just about anywhere, from towing his ’67 Sting Ray race car (also bought new!) to desert bashing around the Southwest.

  18. Ken Kittleson

    I have a ’71 C10 short bed with 250 six and three speed. Though I plan to keep it, I checked Old Cars Price Guide a couple of years ago and the going rate was around $5K, doubt it has gone up more than a grand or two since then..I wish the seller well but the asking price is more than double what is realistic.

  19. JW

    Way over priced, sold my completely restored 1968 K10 with a 327 in 2003 for $7500 and never thought I would get that but I did.

  20. Are You Serious

    Waaaaay too overpriced! I sold one, same color, just three years ago for $3500. It was a good truck, a few minor dings, some surface rust, nothing through. It was just a truck. No way would it ever be worth more than $5000 in the condition it was in. This example shown to us is a ridiculous price. The next thing you know, we will be looking at a Datsun B210 with no floors, not running, and some seller thinking he can get $9000 or some silly number just because it’s “old”.

    Like 1
  21. Leman H. Wilson

    This truck would sell in California for around $6000.00 or maybe even less but certainly not $18 K I bought one in 1982 for $1950.00 with add-on Air and 350 V8 long bed.

  22. Mark

    Says 250 engine on emissions sticker

  23. 63Comet

    I agree with others on the price—way too high. If this is 18k, then I have a gold mine in my 74 F100 with 43k original miles, very minimal surface rust—only from scratches in box, and non-faded, pristine interior. Good grief.

  24. Nathan

    I would be very leery of this truck. Dust hides a lot. If original and a barn find it should have original rivets in vin tag. Big red flag. I am from Minnesota and a frame that looks like that I can almost guarantee you that it is pitted. This truck is misrepresented. I wouldn’t even give $5k for it.

  25. Mountainwoodie

    Crazy pricing…..from the pix lots of inconsistencies from the baked steering wheel to the rattle canned engine. That said I’m a hard core 67-72 C-10 guy. Just one of the cleanest designs of late sixties trucks. Of course I own one…I think Ive posted it before but what the hell…..gladly sell it for 17 K…original paint, rebuilt original engine, dealer optioned wheels, column shift moved to floor to be cool…

  26. Todd F

    I guess you can ask what ever you want but 18k? Lets be serious it’s a 6 – 8k truck.

  27. Big Mike

    The engine is a 250, how do I know the oil filter cap is rubber, the 292 came with a vented oil cap, small little detail, but true. I have a 68 GMC K20 ton with a 292 in it and the oil cap is vented, In my 69 c10 Pickup with 250 the cap is rubber. The 250 in my 70 Nova is also rubber. Well at least in my vehicles it is that way.
    By the way to much for this truck, you can find nicer trucks that are full on resto for a lot less.

  28. George

    18 grand and they didn’t go find a steering wheel somewhere? Seller GFY!

  29. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    How do you know the truck is a 250? Because the factory foil sticker on the slam panel says so. Unless, like everything else in this glossy dealer listing, the powerplant was not verified as original. If this truck wasn’t on BF, I wouldn’t give it a glance on eBay. Extreme use of studio lighting and added dust (dried bondo, grind it with a fan blowing…never thought of that!) give the impression of “as found” and an ask of $15k plus? I’ve stopped looking at these types of listings online because the story they tell too often doesn’t match what you find when you get to the dealer lot/coffee shop/showroom. x2 on the hubcaps too. Go find an old farmer who’s got one of these stashed on his property and offer a reasonable amount for an honest truck.

  30. GP Member

    One sold at an auction this summer with a factory 396/auto and factory a/c for 8000.00. It was in real nice shape, needed very little body work, But it was a long box.

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