We’re not certain exactly who or what started the long-running Chevrolet C10 pickup craze (it very well could have been Truckin’, or any one of MotorTrend’s former truck-enthusiast magazines), but there’s no arguing the fact that today these trucks, produced from 1960 to 1987, are timeless.
The latest cool Chevy C10 being brokered at Mecum Auctions’ Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, event (and there are several) is this model, slated to cross the block on Saturday, July 30, 2022. Actually, Lot #S123 is beyond being simply cool because, as a 1974, it’s an early pioneer of the “Squarebody” era (1973 to 1987), examples of which are today the most coveted C10s of the entire run, in any condition (kind of like an old Mopar muscle car).
What you’re looking at in these photos is a true survivor; a Custom 10 that somehow has escaped the perils of dilapidation and destruction, as well as the clutches of “builders,” customizers, hot-rodders, and modifiers (for now). This Chevy squarebody is 100-percent original, from its Grecian Bronze paint to the Uniroyal tires it was delivered on in 1974. The truck was purchased by a Minnesota farmer who reportedly owned it for a few years, only using it to attend church services on Sundays.
Let’s get to the images of this timeless classic, which certainly could sell for a king’s ransom based on its perfectly preserved condition, highlighted by only 723 original miles. As classic Chevy C10s go, the big question is whether the winning bidder will keep this rig “as is” for a continued eternity, or if it is destined for full customization, and eventually possible resale at a future Mecum auction.
Tune in to MotorTrend’s exclusive coverage of Mecum’s Harrisburg auction. Broadcasts start July 28 at 6:00 p.m on MotorTrend+ and MotorTrend TV.
What Does C10 Stand For?
It’s amazing how three simple characters can figuratively mean “everything” for a 1960 to 1987 Chevrolet pickup truck, but there are many enthusiasts who don’t have a clue what “C10” actually means. It’s simple, actually—in Chevy-truck nomenclature, “C” is the indicator for a two-wheel-drive rig, and the “10” identifies the pickup as a half-ton.
1974 Chevy C10: Engine
A 250ci I-6 engine powers the creampuff pickup, and it’s backed by a three-speed manual transmission. With only 723 miles traveled, it technically hasn’t cleared the 1,000-mile break-in period.
1974 Chevy C10: Interior
Look at this mint Saddle interior. There are no cracks in the dash or tears in the bench seat. An AM radio and heater/defroster are the only accessories. The floor is perfect, and the all-important “third pedal” (clutch) hangs next to the brake. With no hole in the floor or stick protruding through it, the manual gearbox in this rig is an infamous “three-on-the-tree” (shifter on the steering column).
1974 Chevy C10: Bed
It’s safe to assume that very little, if anything at all, has ever been hauled in this truck bed. It’s pristine.
1974 Chevy C10: Rear
The lion’s share of Chevy C10s that cross Mecum’s auction blocks are restored, or customized. Tailgates typically have their latch hardware removed, rear bumpers are highly polished, and so on. Everything on this rig is full-on original and in perfect condition, and the white bumpers match its steel wheels.
1974 Chevy C10: Custom 10 Badge
OK, we’ve been calling this truck a C10, and it is, but badges on both front fenders identify it as a Custom 10. In 1971, Chevrolet introduced “Custom” as the name for base-model (absolutely no frills, like this one) pickups, and the tag stuck until 1974. Today’s term for that trim, corporate and other, is “work truck.”
1974 Chevy C10: Front
Like the tail, the nose on the 1974 Chevy C10 being auctioned at Mecum Auctions/Harrisburg is flawless.
1974 Chevy C10: Grille
One method of identifying a square body Chevy pickup is by its grille (as long as it hasn’t been swapped). The rule of thumb is that C10 grilles had two-year runs on 1973 to 1987 models (’73-’74, ’83-’84, and so on), with the exception of 1980, where a one-year-only piece was used, as well as 1977 to 1979, and 1985 to 1987. This rig has the recessed egg-crate grille, and there’s not one ding or chip in it, and all of the trim is straight as an arrow.
1974 Chevy C10: Stance
Original leaf springs still support the truck’s rear end and give it the rake it has had since it left the assembly line.
1974 Chevy C10: Side
A profile we could stare at for a long time. This 1974 Chevrolet C10 is rare, mainly because it is a completely untouched squarebody that’s still in immaculate condition. We can’t wait to see what the final number is for this one.
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