Junkyard Gem: 1964 Chevrolet C20 Fleetside

Back again in the center 1960s, when pickups weren’t applied (much) as suburban commuters, Detroit (and the other Midwestern automakers) available a big collection of tricky and not-at-all-deluxe vans in the 50 %-ton-through-1-ton vary. Ford experienced the F-Sequence, Chrysler experienced the Dodge D-Sequence, Global Harvester had the A Line, Jeep experienced the Gladiator, and GM had the Chevrolet/GMC C-Sequence. Here’s an case in point of The General’s three-quarter-ton pickup for 1964, uncovered in a lawn in the vicinity of Denver, Colo., soon after a 58-yr profession.

The construct tag reveals that it can be a 127-inch wheelbase model with 8-foot bed and the “Cab with Customized Alternatives” this kind of as “comprehensive-depth foam cushion” seat, passenger-side door lock, a driver’s armrest and a cigarette lighter. That selection deal maxed out the comfort in this truck’s cab.

A individual who experienced only been within 21st-century Chevrolet pickups would obtain this allegedly upgraded cab intolerably cramped, noisy and harsh, even in perfect unique affliction. Truck homeowners have been manufactured of more durable things in 1964.

I was puzzled about these “U.9000” stickers, which were decorated with pinstripe stickers to make them glance nicer. Turns out the State of Utah (up coming doorway to Colorado) when necessary commercial gentle trucks to display this sort of labels to reveal bodyweight capability. U.6000 stickers went on 50 %-ton vans, even though this kind went on the 3-quarter-tonners. This regulation was in impact from the 1960s as a result of the 1980s. You can even now acquire these stickers as new aged stock now.

Capitol Chevrolet was located on the internet site of the outdated Botterill Hudson Essex dealership in downtown Denver, just a block from the condition capitol. It seems to have shut down (or moved a couple of miles south on Broadway and undergone a title change) at some point around 1967.

So it invested some (and likely most) of its daily life as a get the job done truck. The odometer demonstrates 8,813 miles, but I might wager that the legitimate mileage is more like 808,813 miles.

As switches and controls unsuccessful, they were replaced with whichever occurred to be on hand in the shop that day.

The chances that a truck like this would even now have the authentic motor are about nil. There’s a Goodwrench 350 compact-block crate motor under the hood now, and it is very likely the fifth or sixth powerplant that has lived in this engine bay. Because it is not a Mr. Goodwrench engine, it was constructed following GM dropped the honorific in 1997. In 2010, the Goodwrench name bought axed and turned GM Certified Support.

The develop tag doesn’t specify the initial motor that lived in this article when LBJ was in the White Dwelling, but it could have been one of two superior-torque straight-sixes (the foundation engine was a 230-cubic-inch edition with 220 pound-feet, and the optional 6 was a 292 with 275 pound-ft) or a 283-cubic-inch modest-block V8.

The transmission is a 4-on-the-flooring manual, which was typical products on the one particular-ton C30, but an further-cost item in the C20 (which had a three-on-the-tree column-change handbook as base gear). A two-velocity Powerglide automatic was obtainable as properly. There’s a large amount of Mountain West background in this truck.

It was a really hard-operating truck and surely attained its maintain over the a long time. The MSRP for a 1964 C20 with eight-foot Fleetside mattress was $2,208, which amounts to about $21,170 in 2022 bucks. That’s a steal, and GM marketed better than a 50 percent-million C-Collection vehicles for the 1964 product calendar year.

Riveted-on stainless steel patches very last a lot for a longer period than system filler for rust repairs, nevertheless finally the rot distribute outside of this patch.

At some position, it obtained a camper shell of moderately present day vintage.

The taxi has some 3″ speakers in handmade plywood instances. Just the detail for all those lengthy drives on lonely Utah highways.

It appears that this truck’s closing owner lived in it for a whilst.

Occasionally junkyard stories have sadder-than-typical endings.

It truly is Hoss Cartwright pitching the complete “Shivvy” truck line for ’64, from the Corvair by the taxi-over. They are rarin’ to go to work for you!

Yessir, Chevy’s created a complete passel of improvements.