Curbside Outtake: The Cleanest First Generation Chevy S-10?

My Astra was so filthy yesterday I could no longer stand it, so with my 89 year old Mother and son in tow, ran the car through the coin wash.  While I was exchanging dollars for quarters in the machine that invariably kept rejecting my seemingly crisp dollar bills, I noticed this pristine 1983 S-10 getting some attention by its proud owner.  The boxy first generation S-10 and its twin, the GMC Sonoma were built from 1982 to 1993 on the GMT325 platform. These were everywhere at one time, especially in our domestic-heavy car landscape.  In the Rust Belt, they are now few and far between.

The very friendly gentleman who owned it said it was original to Michigan and was a one -owner car and had just 67,000 original miles on it.  He plans on putting it away soon but next year hopes to drive it on sunny summer days and maybe show it at car shows as a survivor.

I for one have always loved small pickups like these.  They have all the utility and hauling the average person could need in most circumstances, are cheap to buy, mechanically simple… especially in a rear wheel drive configuration.  Of course, what passes for a “small” pickup these days aren’t so small. The new Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado would dwarf this little fella.

But look how pristine this interior is?  A true time capsule. The base engine initially on the early S-10’s was an Isuzu sourced 1.9 liter 4-cylinder, with a 2.8 liter V-6 being available. If memory serves me, it’s very likely that this was a carbureted motor… fuel injection didn’t become the norm for the domestics for a few more years.

This no hum-drum S-10 however. This is a special option group “Durango” package with color-keyed floor mats, courtesy lights, and unique cloth seats and a long bed version of the truck.  I’m no “S-10ologist” so am not going to get too deep into the internet research rabbit hole here, but I can somewhat safely say that from whatever scant information I can find that the Durango package was indeed a thing back then. And a good thing at that!