Be honest, you never expected old T87’s first stand-alone post of the year to be anything like this. I was surprised too, but here we are. I found Curious Orange here in southern France and on Christmas eve. My, how Santa’s sled has changed over the years.
Of course, this C10 is pretty much terra incognita to me. Luckily, this era of heavy Chevys has been covered pretty extensively on CC, most notably in a comprehensive post on the 1960-66 generation (links at the end of this post). However, it seems the ’64s had not yet been granted their own entry, so I’m happy to provide this modest addition to the CCannon.
Judging by my customary (and cursory) Google image search, it looks like many Chevy trucks from this era have been given a silly paint job, huge dorky wheels and a road-scraping suspension. The one we have here is only halfway ruined, therefore. It’s not scraping anything and the wheels, though far from stock, are not overly ridiculous. But that paint job… Ugh…
I do like that this is a small window / short bed truck. The proportions look really good that way. And the “fleetside” look is also quite attractive. It was kind of the owner to spell out the year and model on the back window. Maybe he’s tired of being asked about it.
At least, the interior matches the outside to a tee. I do like that the dash and steering wheel look unrestored, it kind of makes up for the rest. That shifter is suspicious, though. Wrong shape… Who knows what is lurking under the hood – could be a stock 6- or 8-cyl. and 4-speed, could be a Peugeot Diesel, for all I know. Stranger things have happened.
Setting aside the colour, the wheels and other niggles though, this is a very attractive vehicle. The early years of that generation of C10s were difficult ones, esthetically, with that weird ’59 Chevy-inspired “big eyebrow” hood line. They did a fine job of correcting this course from 1962 onward. Facelifts, be they automotive or otherwise, are rarely successful, but in this case, it worked.
The other appreciable aspect of this pickup are its dimensions. Older pickups were much taller and truck-like. Then these happened, turning the light duty truck into a sort of car-like vehicle (the IFS helped, no doubt). This lasted until the end of the previous century, but the American pickup has now gone back to the size and weight of yore – albeit now sporting monstruous Minecraft-like mugs, full of LEDs and plastic. Just look at our CC’s contemporary equivalent above. I hardly ever see these behemoths, being in Japan – and you don’t find many squeezing through European streets, either.
But a ‘60s C10 is only slightly taller and wider than the contemporary European or Japanese traffic. And unlike the 2020 Silverado, it doesn’t look like it might eat you if you looked at it funny. It has more of a startled expression, with those high-set turn signals.
Of course, this pickup is not going back to hauling mulch or gravel for a living, assuming it ever did. It’s a show truck, a triumph of form over function, down to the fat tyres and the mock California plates. Fair enough, not everyone shares our Editor’s disposition towards the abuse of ancient trucks (just kidding, Paul – we all know it’s tough love), but this one goes too far in the other direction. This generation of C10s is about as iconic as it gets, but this one is just too orange, too modded and too clean to pass the smell test.
CC Capsule: Margie, The Chevrolet C10 Pickup, by Jason Shafer