An Older Truck as a Second Vehicle/Fix-'Er-Up?

I’m considering buying an older Chevy pickup truck to use as a second truck and project vehicle, and what I want is an early 1960s C-10 (1960-66), long-bed type. One of the things I’m curious about is the external dimensions on these trucks, like the overall length, width, roof height, and curb weight; I’m guessing such a truck should fit easily enough in my garage if need be, considering that I have a 2002 Silverado long-bed (regular cab) that is usually parked in the garage. My Silverado is about 223" long (bumper-to-bumper) and 79" wide (sheetmetal only; currently with the Bushwacker fender flares added it’s more like 84’’ wide). I’m guessing that a '61 or '62 Chevy Apache is a little narrower than that, and wondered how easily it would fit in the garage; the Silverado is a rather tight fit in my little garage, even with the mirrors folded in.

I’d like to get a truck with an inline 6-cylinder engine and a 3-speed column shift transmission (or would consider a 4-on-the-floor): simple in operation, easy to work on, and as tough as they come, and, preferably, for less than $10-grand. I’ll be looking forward to reading suggestions and answers to my questions posted above. Thanks in advance.

Measure your garage and bring a tape measure with you when you look at candidate vehicles.

page down to the chassis data.

You sure the straight 6 will have enough power?

Surprisingly, the older pickups were smaller except in bed length. You should have no problem.

My FIL had a 61 Chevy farm truck, 6 cyl. South Dakota, no rust, etc. Can’t believe he sold it for $500 without telling me years ago. They are smaller certainly than todays behemoths.

An early '60’s full sized pickup is about the same as a recent Dodge Dakota. Pickups blew up significantly over the years. An old truck would easily fit in the garage.

@db4690,the 292 or 261 cid six will have adequate power and these old guys arent that heavy either,if you find one with a 283 V-8 you should consider it also,simple and powerful-Kevin

I must have watch too many Bridges of Madison County reruns (GMC). ;=) Old to me is 2000. IMHO, they are as tough as they came, back then but not now. Nothing compared to today’s truck, especially one that’s been used for 50 years. Meryl really liked that truck though. Couldn’t keep her eyes off it. So I can understand why they are popular. A real chick magnet.

Just make sure you give it a thorough inspection for rust. Most everything else will be pretty easy to fix.

A 60s era short wheel base Chevrolet or GMC might be carrying a hefty price tag. An early 60s in Mississippi is worth more now than when it was new. Often much more. A step side bed, just the bed alone, will bring $500 to $1,000 here.

@dagosa, thanks for the clip from “Bridges of Madison County”; that was a really nice truck. However, I respectfully beg to differ with you on the toughness of those old trucks as compared to today’s models. It’s true that with factory equipment the older trucks can’t haul or tow as much, but a solid one with very little to no rust will have a very tough outer shell, since back in those days the sheetmetal used tended to be a little thicker, and the trucks were very well built to withstand hard use; those trucks were built like Sherman Tanks, and if I had to use a truck in a demolition derby, I’d choose an older one over a late model, regardless of brand. BTW, I wouldn’t consider 2000 to be old; mine is an '02, and to me a truck has to be at least 15-20 years old to be “old”.

Even with no rust or anything, I’m not sure I’d trust those old trucks to hold up very well in a collision with a modern vehicle.

Look on youtube(or some of my previous posts) for the Volvo Renault crash test from Fifth Gear.

Makes a good point. The toughness and strength of vehicles lasting a long time carrying loads and surviving collisions based upon the “thickness” of the metal used, is an illusion. Thinner metals today are much stronger, the supports and designs of a chassis makes it much stronger then before computers. Even some plastics and foam not only last longer but distribute loads better. And Finally, metal fatigue on a truck 50 years old is important. Crash a 2008 Ford f150 into a 1960 Chevy ? I would rather be in the new one. Run them both in salty winters, I’m betting the new one survives longer etc. etc etc. Btw, Sherman tanks were very poorly made and became fire balls with their poor construction and poorly protected fuel tanks.
I would rather have an old truck be built like a Tiger or Panzer.
@drifter62. If we were both in a demo derby, I would be happy that you gave up the newer truck to me so you could sacrifice your self in a collision with me. Thank you. Kind of you to offer ! ;=)

I agree with Dagosa. I owned a 1950 Chevrolet 1 ton pickup. I bought the truck in 1972 for $115. It was a rust bucket at 22 years old. The door latches didn’t hold very well and sometimes would open going around a curve. I tied them shut with binder twine. In an emergency, it wouldn’t take a lot to break the twine, but it did hold the doors closed in normal driving. The truck could carry a heavy load and I even used it to stretch fence. The truck was geared low and its 216 cubic inch engine didn’t give it much speed. I would guess that top speed was less than 60 mph. I never knew how fast I was traveling since the speedometer didn’t work.
Even if the truck were in brand new condition, it wouldn’t be a truck for commuting on today’s roads. I drove on back roads most of the time to buy and haul hay and fill dirt. I sold the truck in 1975 for $110. The $5 depreciation almost bankrupt me.

my late dad had a 1971 chevy c-10 it was very easy to work on. by today had a v-8 and 2 barrel cab,and drink gas like a fish.but i sold it.the worse move of my life so for.