- Frame-off restoration
- 383 Stroker V8
- 700R4 automatic
- 12-bolt rear end
- Air conditioning
- Power steering
The truck market seems to get a little stronger every day. From wild customs to carefully restored OEM-style builds, collectors have officially taken note of America's workhorses. Among those pickups, Chevrolet's '67-'72 models are one of the fastest growing subsections. Built at the height of the muscle car era, these pickups shared design cues and even powerplants with their high-performance siblings. With a stout 383 Stroker, 700R4 transmission and subtle custom touches, this 1971 C10 puts an emphasis on performance while retaining all of what made these trucks great in the first place. The beneficiary of a body-off restoration, this pickup is clean, capable and ready to claim some ribbons. If that sounds like your kind of truck, scoot in for a closer look at this killer C10.
As far as styling goes, few vehicles have aged better than GM's late sixties and early seventies fleet. The C10 is no exception. Toeing the line between sturdy and refined, the '67-'72 C/K is arguably the best looking build to date. This '71 left the Baltimore plant wearing a coat of code 518 Medium Green paint and, today, it stays true to that hue. Underneath the green, a laser straight body is the result of a lot of time and, more than likely, a significant chunk of money. From every angle, the truck offers crisp reflections and excellent panel fitment befitting of a quality show build. The body remains as GM designed it with nothing shaved or altered in any discernible way.
While the truck has a custom look to it, a closer examinations shows most of the shiny bits are factory pieces. The front end consists of a body-hugging chrome bumper, placed under a pristine egg-crate grille. The grille was a new design for the 1971 model year and this truck makes a strong argument for it being the most attractive of the '67-'72 full-size front ends. Walk around the corner and clean amber side markers and “350” badges cap the fender, with “Custom/10” script trailing behind the wheel well. The mirrors, door handles and gas cap are all chrome, combining with black side molding for a visually balanced side profile view. Around the cab, fresh glass and stainless further the showroom-new look. At the rear of the truck, another curve-hugging chrome bumper conforms to the bed, just under the tailgate. The tailgate itself features white “Chevrolet” lettering, framed by LED brake lights at either side. Stainless trim creates a rectangle around the whole package, offering a distinctive rear view every bit as attractive as the front.
As a product of the muscle car era, it's only right that this C10 packs some heat under the hood. The stock L59 350 has been replaced by a fully reworked 383 Stroker. The block is covered in traditional Chevy Orange paint and topped with AFR heads hidden under Edelbrock valve covers. In the center, a polished Edelbrock intake manifold sits beneath a Holley four-barrel carburetor with an open element air cleaner up top, secured by a bowtie wingnut. At the front of the engine, an alternator, power steering pump and polished air conditioning compressor all spin off the belt drive, placed opposite of a large radiator and factory style fan and shroud. Around the engine, a mix of gloss black, turquoise, and chrome make a for a show-worthy bay with plenty of contrast. Turn the key and the small block rumbles to life with the aid of a MSD 6AL ignition box. The truck has an aggressive idle, amplified by the addition of Hooker headers and a large rear-exiting dual exhaust system tamed by a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. Roll into the throttle and the truck surges forward with all the strength its A-body and F-body siblings are famous for.
Crawl underneath this pickup and a well detailed undercarriage comes into view. The floors wear the same quality paintwork as the rest of the body and many of the suspension components are freshly powder coated. In the center, a GM 700R4 four-speed automatic handles shifting duties before sending small block power back to a 12-bolt rear, dressed with a chrome cover. Suspension remains mostly in stock form with A-arms and lowering springs up front and the simple but effective combination of trailing arms, coil springs and a panhard bar out back. When the roads get curvy, the power steering system is a welcome addition, as are the upgraded brakes. The front wears large discs while the rear retains its factory drums. Braking power is supplied by a stock appearing brake booster mated to a Performance Online master cylinder and proportioning valve. At the corners, polished 17x8 American Racing Torque Thrust II's meet the ground through Nitto NT450 tires in sizes 255/50R17 and 275/50R17, respectively.
Between the doors, a nicely finished interior makes this cab a pleasant place to spend time. At the ground level, clean black carpet is capped off by chrome door sill plates. Seating is provided by a rebuilt bench seat, wrapped in black cloth with green GM seat belts that tie into the exterior color nicely. At either side, fresh black door panels wear the familiar bowtie-capped scroll pattern. From the driver seat, the view consists of a pristine gauge cluster with factory instrumentation that monitors speed, temperature, battery output and oil pressure. A polished tilt column topped by a three-spoke GM wheel connect the driver to the front wheels. To the right, a Chevrolet-branded AM/FM stereo sends signal to two 6 1/2 –inch Pioneer speakers mounted in the kick panels. Below the stereo, a trio of sliders control the temperature and volume of air flowing through the vents. Slide the seat forward and the gas tank comes into view. The factory tank has been replaced by an aluminum aftermarket piece that offers clean welds and a little extra fuel capacity. At the top of the cab, the dome light reflects off more glossy green paintwork where a headliner would usually live. The all-metal roof adds some additional contrast and a nice vintage feel to the interior.
The truck comes with a well-preserved owners manual that covers its finer points in traditional GM marketing lingo. There is also a manual for the radio, a stack of receipts and various D.O.T paperwork dating back to the mid 1990s.
Clean enough to show, comfortable enough to drive and powerful enough to put a smile on your face, this C10 offers a little something for every kind of enthusiast. If you're ready to experience the muscle car era from a different perspective, don't miss the chance to put this '71 C10 in your garage today!
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RK Motors, in my opinion, is the best place to find and buy your high quality dream car or next toy. Their inventory is full of high quality automobiles painstakingly preserved or restored the correct way at very fair prices. I throughly enjoy my automobiles purchased for RK Motors and my friendship with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone as i have to all of my friend, acquaintances and folks who have asked me for recommendations and advice.Mitchell W.