Driving through the back roads of Creswell turned up that Renault 10, but there were a couple of other decent finds too. This house (or garage) is the home of some serious lovers of 1969-1972 Chevy trucks, although there’s a newish Ram in the driveway behind them. I can relate to the attraction, as they’re my favorite generation of the more recent Chevys, especially the ’71-’72 with the classic eggcrate grille. I think the one on the left has that, while the one on the right has a custom grille. But there’s more…
There’s a K5 Blazer too, which is of course just a shortened C10 with a fiberglass top.
With three of these, one wants to have ready spares at hand. There’s the parts truck, hiding under the bushes.
That whole “parking on the lawn” thing kills me. Not only does it make the house look bad, it makes the trucks look neglected.
I love those late 60’s Chevy trucks but i’m 6’3″ and 250 pounds and there is NO room at all in those things.
The steering wheel is under your chin, the windshield is right in your face,,, it’s TIGHT.
The same year Ford is much roomier but still tight.
My dad had a 69′ and it had the coldest A/C in history, it was really well optioned but with 3 on the tree.
The shift lever was pot metal i guess and snapped off several times over the years leaving us with only first and second being shifted with a screwdriver.
Got us home though just very SLOWLY..
Here’s me standing by Pop’s 69′ in Lee county Texas in May 1971. I was 7 years old…..
One of my favorites also. True about the cab, I’m about 5’10’ and I drive my ’67 GMC with the seat pushed all the way back against the gas tank! Lots of room across the bench seat though!
Pretty sure Hurst and others sold lots of floor-shifter conversion kits. I drove a few trucks so converted. The shifters “worked”, but my, how shifters have improved of the years. “Snick-Snick” affairs they were not!
Yes, the gas tank behind the seat limited space in GM/Ford/Dodge, but not International with saddle tanks, of that era of pickup.
I never had a shift lever break, but the sloppy linkage under the hood was always giving me trouble. Among other things, the backup light switch would be smashed if the linkage got out of adjustment. That said, the “seven bolt” 1967 model year and later full-sychro Saginaw three speed was a big improvement over its predecessor.
Nice. I always liked the ’69/’70 grill with the turnsignals between the headlamps a little better then the ’71/’72 with the bumper mounted lamps. But then owning a ’70 from ’76 to ’06 will do that to you. So easy to work on, especially a stripper with manual everything. And cheap parts, especially when replacements are lifetime warranty.
Would have been nice to have the front disc brakes though, missed it by one year. My 6 ft. 200 lb. body fit OK, but any taller or heavier would have been a tight fit.
Every time I just about forget the old machine, a CC pop’s up and the memories start up again!
The 4 on floor Saginaw Hurst conversion from the 3 on tree made the truck so much more useful as a towing machine, the extra gear made all the difference on steep hills with a heavy trailer.
My paw in law had a 71 when I first started dating his daughter in 1992, it was ugly & I didn’t see why he liked it so much. One day he let me drive it, oh wow!! It had a 350 in it and the truck was big & heavy and I love the way it drove. We use to take it on the back roads, he lived in the country where it was a real trooper. He quit driving it cause the floor rotted out, my mom in law got sick & he never got around to fixing it. Still has it in his backyard but he took the motor out.
Great trucks. When I was in high school, I had 2 friends with these. Both 68’s, both 3/4 ton, 2WD, longbeds. Thats where the similarities ended. One was a Chevy, wood floor bed, trailing arms and coil springs holding a Eaton axle, and…a 396, Turbo 400. The other was a GMC, steel floor bed, leaf springs, Dana 60 axle, 327 4bbl, Turbo 400. Talk about 2 different personality’s. The 396 would pull like a freight train, and the 327 would wind to the moon! FYI, the 68 327 was a unicorn. First, it was the only year that if you ordered a 4bbl, it came with a Quadrajet. All 67 and earlier had the older 4GC carb, and all 69s (last year of 327) were 2bbl. Second, 68 was the only year the 327 had a forged steel, large journal crankshaft. All 69s were cast. His dad sold the truck around 88 or so for $200. Sad. Do not know what became of the Chevy.
In my earlier post I forgot to mention that each time that shift lever broke, my dad , who was a gunsmith, would take the remaining piece of the lever and machine a new end on it.
When he sold that thing around 1976 that lever had lost about 3 or 4 inches.
It looked weird and you had to reach around that HUGE steering wheel to shift it, but pop was cheap.
I’ve kept that tradition of cheap is better alive and well.
I’d know of a couple guys like this over the years. Twenty years ago I was one of them; only I didn’t have enough money to get but one of them – a ’72 K5 Blazer in tangerine yellow with a black top and 307/TH350 – roadworthy.
The last of mine, a ’68 C-10 with an 8-foot bed from Texas, was sold in the fall of 2014.
Tangerine Yellow is probably the perfect colour for these Blazers. Love that shape.
“There’s a K5 Blazer too, which is of course just a shortened C10 with a fiberglass top.”
Not to be too picky, Paul, but a K5 Blazer is a shortened K10 pickup. “C” means 2WD and “K” means 4WD.
There *was* a 2WD Blazer in those years, but for some reason they were still badged as “K5 Blazer”. One theory suggests that Chevrolet sold so few 2WD Blazers that is wasn’t worth tooling up a “C5 Blazer” badge.
Back in 1971 when I hired on with my employer, the pickups in the fleet were mostly Fords, but my boss was assigned a very plain six cyinder, 3 speed, short wheelbase 1967 Chevy C10 Fleetside. I liked driving it because I saw it as more appealing than the Fords, but the actual driving experience of that model was nothing extraodinary. By the time I got to it, the front shocks were history, and the thing bobbed all over the place at the slightest pavement undulation. And then it was gone, replaced by a Ford Courier (during the first gas shortage). There continued to be very few Chevys in the fleet until the GMT400s came at the end of the ’80s, my favorite p/u trucks.
Maybe it is my eyes but I don’t see nearly enough rust on those trucks. My experience with GM trucks from that era was that the rockers began to rust as soon as you drove off the dealer’s lot. Perhaps that is more of a mid-west thing due to road salt and the milder climate of the Pacific northwest is kinder to the sheet metal. And a big plus one on the lack of room in the cabs of these trucks, my father had an early seventies GMC pickup and it was a tight fit for me.
Yea, vehicles rust much slower if at all in the Pacific Northwest.
That’s quite a well-kept machine. Even in the NC/VA piedmont and coastal plain, where road salt is infrequently used due to infrequent snow, Chevy and GMC trucks of that era have become uncommon and are usually looking somewhat perforated when spotted.
Driveway finds can be interesting, I was chatting with the mechanic who does the inspections on my cars about some of the vehicles in his workshop like the mid 20s Rolls Royce the HD Holden wagon the South African beetle and out side a Ford Zodiac MK4 which on current rarity would equal the Aussie bodied Roller, I mentioned the rarity is not as bad as he thinks if you know where to look and that five identical cars were nearby he now has the adress but the cohort has shots of the cars, Behind the Commodore wagon is a MK4 Zodiac and behind the house are four more, I poured the concrete for the back fence footings so got a good view of the yard contents. There are a few of those Chev utes around here we got em new and lots have survived.
A friend in high school had a ’70 K5 Blazer with the 350. Same shade of orange as the truck on the left, but all orange on the body and white on the removable top. Not in great shape, but still a cool old truck (this was ’95-’97). After a minor fender-bender one day he decided he was tired of looking at the faded orange and spray-painted the entire truck camo and put a black soft-top on it. (He was a bit of a good ol’ boy).
My dad had a well-used 3/4 ton ’69 Chevy p/u. 292 6-cyl (I assume), 4-speed manual transmission. He changed the rear end gears because the thing was geared so low. From what I remember, it rode and drove rather well for what it was. We took it across Ohio and much of PA once in the winter, and it was just fine on the trip.
I still have a warm heart for my dad’s 1968 GMC CS1500 LWB Wideside pickup with 292 6-cyl, 4-speed manual.
He bought the truck new and drove it from Washington State to Texas and back to Washington State during the summer of 1968. Then he had the crazy idea of going to Japan and living there in his retirement where he used to be stationed back in the 1950s. So truck and home stuff was shipped to Japan. When he realized he couldn’t live in Japan, he had everything shipped to California where we eventually settled. The truck and belongings caught up with us in California and when we picked up the truck at San Pedro, CA, found it was heavily damaged from being dropped on the pier docks either in Japan or CA. Never did find out how it happened. Had it repaired but it was never the same. Kept the truck for almost 39 years, drove it as a second vehicle, survived two more accidents over the years and was someday going to have it restored properly but had to get rid of it in 2007.
Regret losing the truck. It was a good truck and I loved driving that ‘ol dinosaur.
Nice trucks these .
GM really dropped the ball on the rust proofing though =8-( .
I knew a guy in Sydney who bought a Blazer for the engine it had a sweet running 350 but the ute itself was absolutely rotten like it had been under salt water, the engine went into a ski boat the rest went to a wrecking yard.
I live in Los Angeles and these trucks that spent their entire lives in the Mojave Desert often are rusted out .
My truck came from Texas and had nice original paint (photo) but I was forced to replace the entire cab due to fist sized rust holes .
Had a friend way back whose dad always had a truck for use in his small business making HVAC ductwork. For some reason all of his personal cars were always Fords, but he had a ’53 Chevy pickup that he loved so much that he replaced it in 1969 with a new 3/4 ton Longhorn, which he kept for another 16 or so years with few problems.
The Longhorn was carefully optioned with the 396, 4 speed, HD goodies and power steering and brakes, but no radio or A/C. Pretty basic cabin as well, with rubber mats in lieu of carpeting. He liked the extra length of the Longhorn for extra long HVAC ducts.
Drove it once or twice and was amazed how light the steering was. Very similar to any 1969 car with power steering.
“Drove it once or twice and was amazed how light the steering was. Very similar to any 1969 car with power steering.”.
The(in)Famous ‘ Saginaw Squish ‘ power steering system .