My Classic Car 1977 Chevrolet C10

(Editor’s note: With this story, we’re relaunching the My Classic Cars series, where we ask readers to share stories about their classic cars using the links at the end of this article.)

A few weeks ago, After 29 years of waiting, I joined the classic car club when my wife and I purchased a 1977 Chevrolet C10 long bed from a couple in Queen Creek, Arizona. Once in a while, often rarely, you can achieve a dream and by buying a 45 year old truck I got one of my dreams.

I became a fan of classic cars, and cars in general, when I was 14 and my dad bought a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang from a classified ad in Santa Rosa Press Democrat. It was mechanically solid, with a rebuilt engine and transmission, but needed paint and a few peripherals. I sanded the body by hand to get it ready for a proper paint job beyond its gray primer aesthetic, and I was given a Haynes manual for installing the new larger radiator, fan, and starter.

That was my introduction to cars and simple repairs. Every job I complete is reviewed and road tested to make sure I don’t fail, and most of my work is successful. When I got my driver’s license at 16, I wasn’t allowed to drive it on the grounds that a lot of horsepower was a bad idea for a new driver. My parents were right, because I destroyed the 1985 Dodge Lancer I had in my hands within six months of getting my license.

Time passed and my parents sold the Mustang, they rarely drove it but I was allowed to drive it once. During Mustang’s swan song, I accidentally scraped a tire on Mendocino Avenue and received an angry glare from my father. We drove home in silence and the car was sold within a few weeks.

I’m hooked on cars but there is a fiscal reality. — I work as a cashier at Blockbuster Video — and logistics, I’m changing colleges. There’s no way I’d have a classic car as a second car.

Life, marriage, the birth of my son, divorce and more made the car hobby a bad idea in my 30s. Time passes, the reality of life develops.

A new marriage with the love of my life, a new career as an auto writer and as I entered my 40s, the idea of ​​getting a classic car in my garage became realistic.

My wife would send me links to the cars she saw online, mostly 1960-1970s American cars, but none of them caught my eye in the right condition and within our cost parameters. Since we weren’t in a rush, we were able to take our time and shop wisely. We don’t know what we really want, just a general idea. Most likely it is American and has a V8. We put a wide net and search.

In late January, my wife came across a Facebook Marketplace ad for “another 1977 Chevrolet.” It’s heavy on detail and has some great pictures. I fell in love right away.

“This truck underwent restoration to the frame,” the vehicle description reports. “The only original parts remaining are the outer cab, frame, rear end housing, steering box and front radiator core mount. I have over $23k in receipts. Plus more than 5k hours of work. The truck is currently running and driving.”

chevrolet c10 truck

The description lists all the parts and jobs included in C10. That’s a substantial list and the accompanying pictures on the truck’s Instagram profile show that all of the truck’s revival proclamations are legit. An email dialogue with the seller started and a week later we were in Queen Creek to see the C10 and do a test drive.

The truck owner, Jimmy, greeted us and went to the frame-off restoration. He did a great job on the truck and his passion for the project was evident. You might want to mention why he sold the truck after all this effort. Vehicles are inanimate objects, but they become family when you spend a lot of time and try hard to care for them. An hour and a half of talking about cars passed before I realized we needed to test drive the C10. Always friendly, Jimmy gave us the keys and we drove through the subdivisions.

Loud, brash, and well put together, the C10 doesn’t drive like an old farm truck. Under the hood is the Summit Racing ATK High Performance 350 Ram Jet crate engine paired to the new Turbo 350 automatic transmission and B&M ratchet shifters. With a flat matte black exterior, an induction cowl hood featuring a white midline, and with a lower position it looks mean.

The ride was short, but we were smitten. Upon return, negotiations began and we reached an agreed price. I don’t think Jimmy wants to sell the baby, the project, but life happens, and you have to make sacrifices.

A few weeks later we picked up the C10 and Jimmy kindly gave us a truck of parts. I thanked him for the C10 and said it would be to a good house that would take care of him. The truck will be a family project to share our love of cars with my son, and weekend cruiser because of its estimated 8 mpg.

After I picked it up, I went to the office. It was a cold and turbulent ride with the truck windows not installed (they were with spares). My wife paced in her SUV — the truck speedometer needed to be hooked up and I wanted to maintain a legal speed. He says I smiled all the way when he looked back in his mirror.

He’s right.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be happy driving in 50 degree weather without windows or heaters, but with my first classic car it was fun, if cold.

Final work started: Install windows, install gauges, some other repairs. And I’m looking forward to it all.

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