Strong Runner: 1981 Chevy C30 Dually

The dually-bodied Chevy pickups are not necessarily some engineering marvel or particularly rare vehicle, but when they pop up in clean condition, they always strike me as eye-catching. Perhaps it’s because the early examples like this were somewhat rudimentary in their execution, with some fender flares welded on to account for the widened stance. Whatever it is, clean examples like this 1981 model here on craigslist for $4,500 seem like worthwhile investments to me. 

It might also be due to its ability to actually perform a wide range of utilitarian duties while maturing as a classic from the 80s. These dually-bodied Chevys were popular tow rigs, and while this one has a hitch, it doesn’t bear any major scars or signs of modification indicating it was used for anything other than light-to-moderate use. The brown paint is coming back into style, and the chrome bumpers look like they’d pop again with a good polishing.

The Club is a hilarious vestige of the era in which this C30 was made, as it would stop very little in the way of a determined thief. The interior appears quite nice, with an untorn bench seat and clean carpets. The door panels don’t appear to match, but they may be as the factory intended. The gauge pod plate looks off to me, like it’s not fully seated in the dash, but it could be an optical illusion. By the way, thanks to Barn Finds reader Miguel for the find.

The seller notes the Chevy comes with a 454 paired to a 400 automatic transmission, and that it runs and drives great. Details under hood indicate someone’s been in there recently, and the seller notes that other new parts include replacement simulators and a new grill. The C30 Dually is a useful project that can help get household chores done while still oozing far more style and character than modern rigs, but is that worth $4,500 or a trade for a hot rod to you?

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Comments

  1. TimS

    This was somebody’s plaything. Looks like a muscle truck next to some of the plastic behemoths of today.

    Like 5
  2. Miguel

    There is something very important missing from under the hood.

    The price seems low considering what people are asking for their rusting out trucks.

    Like 5
    • DVSCapri

      A/C compressor & lines for one!! Also, somebody PLEASE remove that fire starter from the top of the carb!!!

      Back in the early 90’s I had a customer come in at the Chevy Dealer where I worked at with a then “new” one of these… his complaint? It wouldn’t lift the front end or smoke the dual rear wheels!! He figured that since he’d ordered what would typically (in a car anyway) be the “go fast” parts (Fuel Injected Big Block, Beefed up Trans, 4:30? gears) that this thing should scream!! On top of the fact that it was a 1 Ton truck… it was also 4×4…
      Yes, we used to see moron’s like this quite often!

      Like 8
  3. CanuckCarGuy

    Very nice truck, great colour and the regular cab dually gives it a muscle-truck vibe. There’s something funky going on with the dash though, I get nervous when I see signs of someone tinkering with wiring.

    Like 5
  4. Ralph

    The phrase “lipstick on pig” comes to mind, the interior looks like its straight out of the cheap section of LMC, someone hit the “auto parts accessory isle” under the hood. The interior should be all brown from what I’ve seen of these trucks. Possibly good bones still, 454 Turbo400, looks likes its been sprayed brown fender emblems are missing.

    Was a loaded up truck, it even had cruise.

    Like 2
  5. Howard A Member

    Nice truck, going to ride like a stagecoach.

  6. JoeMac Joe Mac Member

    Wish this was closer to me and that this guy would take $4k cash. I’d be all over this.

  7. Tim W

    Worth $4500 all day. When was the last time you saw a 38 year old 1 ton this clean? 5 or 6 mpg whether it’s empty or pulling a 30′ gooseneck full of steers. I knew several people that had these back in the day. Dana 80 rears and 60 series front axles in 4WD. Tough trucks.

    Like 1
  8. Jay E.

    The mpg will make you cry. Huge tank, drains the wallet once a week.

  9. Bradley Howe Member

    I have a 73 Chevrolet half ton with the 454 and mine will run an honest 12 mpg empty. Later smogged up ones were total dogs and terrible mileage, same with fords 460.

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