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Chevrolet C-10
Chevrolet C10

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

C-10/C10
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Wikipedia: Chevrolet C/K

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A pickup truck produced by Chevrolet. Part of the C/K Series.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Chevrolet C/K page on 27 July 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The C/K was Chevrolet and GMC's full-size pickup truck line from 1960 until 1998 in the United States, from 1965 to 1999 in Canada, from 1964 to 2001 in Brazil, and from 1975 to 1982 in Chile. The first Chevrolet pickup truck came out in 1924, though in-house designs did not appear until 1930. "C" indicated two-wheel drive and "K" indicated four-wheel drive. The aging C/K light-duty pickup truck was replaced with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra names in 1999 in the US and Canada, and 2001 in Brazil; the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD heavy-duty pickup trucks followed. Until this time, the names Silverado and Sierra were used to identify the trim level of the C/K trucks.

First generation 1960–1966

The 1960 model year introduced a new body style of light pick-up truck that featured many firsts. Most important of these were a drop-center ladder frame, allowing the cab to sit lower, and independent front suspension, giving an almost car-like ride in a truck. Also new for 1960 was a new designation system for trucks made by GM. Gone were the 3100, 3200, and 3600 designations for short 1/2, long 1/2 and 3/4-ton models. Instead, a new scheme assigned a 10, 20, or 30 for 1/2, 3/4, and 1-ton models. Since 1957, trucks were available from the factory as four-wheel drive, and the new class scheme would make this known. A C (conventional) in front of the series number indicates two-wheel rear drive while a K denotes four-wheel drive. Actual badging on trucks still carried the series name system from the previous generation. The 10, 20, 30, and 40 series (C and K) were badged as "Apaches", 50, and 60 series trucks were badged as "Vikings", and the largest 70, 80, and 90 series models were marked "Spartans". In 1960, C/K trucks were available in smooth "fleetside" or fendered "stepside" versions. GMC called these "Wideside" and "Fenderside." Half-ton models were the C10 and K10 long-bed and short-bed trucks, and The 3/4-ton C20 and K20, as well as the one-ton C30, were also available. GMC did not use the "C" nomenclature, though their 4x4 versions had the "K" designation. GMC model numbers for 1/2, 3/4, 1, and 1.5 ton were 1000, 1500, 2500, and 3000. The 1960, 1961, and 1962 models used torsion bar front suspensions, with trailing arm suspension rears. Trim lines were base and "Custom." Engines included the base GMC 305 in3 V6 for the GMC version, 135 hp (101 kW) 236 in3 (3.9 L) and 150 hp (112 kW) 261 in3 (4.3 L) straight-6s, and a 283 in3 (4.6 L) V8 with 185 hp (119 kW).

Second generation 1967–1972

A new, more modern look came in 1967, along with a new nickname: "Action Line". It was with this revision of the C/K truck that General Motors began to add comfort and convenience items to a vehicle line that had previously been for work purposes alone. Updated styling features for the 1967 Chevy Pickup trucks came with new body sheet metal that helps fight rust and a pickup box made of double-walled steel. The majority of 10 and 20 series Chevrolet trucks from 1967 to 1972 were built with a coil spring trailing arm rear suspension, which greatly improved the ride over traditional leaf springs. However, the leaf spring rear suspension was still available on those trucks, and standard on 30 series trucks. The front suspension on all Chevrolet trucks were independent front suspension with coil springs. GMC models came standard with leaf springs with coils springs optional; all four-wheel drive models (Chevrolet and GMC) had leaf springs on both axles. 1967 was the only year for the "small rear window" (RPO A10 offered a large rear window as a factory option). The standard drivetrain came with a three-speed manual transmission and one of two engines; the 250 in3 straight six or the 283 cu in (4.6 L) V8. The optional transmissions were the four-speed manual, the Powerglide and the Turbo-Hydramatic 350 and 400. The 292 six and the 327 in3 V8 were the optional engines. The 1/2 ton trucks came with a 6 x 5.5–inch bolt pattern, the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks came with an 8 x 6.5–inch bolt pattern.

The most visible change in differentiating a 1968 from a 1967 was the addition of side-marker reflectors on all fenders. Also, the small rear window cab was no longer available. The GMC grille was revised, with the letters "GMC" no longer embossed in the horizontal crossbar. Another addition was the Custom Comfort and Convenience interior package that fell between the Standard cab and CST cab options. In 1968, Chevrolet celebrated 50 years of truck manufacturing, and to commemorate, they released a 50th Anniversary package, which featured an exclusive white-gold-white paint scheme. Also in 1968, the Longhorn model debuted on 3/4 ton trucks. Featuring a 133-inch wheelbase identical to the one-ton vehicles, it added an extra 6 inches to the bed. Longhorns, interestingly, were 2wd only; no factory Longhorn 4x4 was built.

Third generation 1973–1987

An all-new clean sheet redesign of General Motors' Chevrolet and GMC brand C/K-Series pickups débuted in mid-1972 for the 1973 model year. Development of the new third-generation trucks began in 1968 with vehicle components undergoing simulated testing on computers before the first prototype pickups were even built for real world testing. The redesign was revolutionary in appearance at the time, particularly the cab, departing from typical American pickup truck designs of the era. Aside from being near twins, the Chevrolet and GMC pickups looked like nothing else on the road. The third-generation trucks are coloquially known as the "Square-body" generation. GM's official "Rounded-Line" moniker highlighted the pickup's rounded styling cues that were incorporated into the design. This included rounded windshield corners, rounded corners of the cab roof, rounded-corner doors which cut high into the cab roof eliminating roof height, slanted front fenders, and rounded pickup box corners which allowed for rounded wraparound taillamps, a first for GM pickups. The design also featured strong distinctive curved shoulderlines which rounded out below the beltline. The curved shoulderline continued across the back tailgate on Chevrolet Fleetside and GMC Wideside models. However, the low slope of the hood and rectangular front end of the truck originated the "square-body" nickname, which was propagated through truck magazines and word of mouth.

GM's design engineers fashioned the "Rounded-line" exterior in an effort to help improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, using wind tunnel technology to help them sculpt the body. Other design traits include sleek sculpted body work, a aerodynamic cab with steep windshield rake, and a unique available hidden radio antenna embedded into the windshield glass.

There were two types of pickup boxes to choose from. The first type, called Fleetside by Chevrolet and Wideside by GMC, was a full width pickup box and featured a flared shoulderline to complement the cab in addition to rounded box corners and the new aforementioned rounded wraparound taillamps. Both steel and wood floors were available. The second type, called Stepside by Chevrolet and Fenderside by GMC, was a narrow width pickup box featuring steps and exposed fenders with standalone tail lamps. Initially, only wood floors were available.

The wheelbase length was extended to 117.5 in (2,985 mm) for the short wheelbase pickups, and 131.5 in (3,340 mm) for the long wheelbase pickups. A new dual rear wheel option called "Big Dooley" was introduced on one-ton pickups, along with a new Crew Cab option on the 164.5 in (4,178 mm) wheelbase. An optional Elimipitch camper was made available for the Big Dooley. Crew Cabs were available in two versions: a "3+3" which seated up to six occupants and "bonus cab" which deleted the rear seat and added rear lockable storage in its place. The fuel tank was moved from the cab to the outside of the frame, and a dual tank option was available which brought fuel capacity to 40 US gallons. 1980 was the first year that a cassette tape player could be purchased, along with a CB radio.

The Rounded-Line generation ultimately ran for a lengthy 15 model years (1973–1987) with the exception of the Crew Cab (four-door cab), Blazer, Jimmy, and Suburban versions, which continued up until the 1991 model year. GM ends this generation with 1987 as 1987 was the last model year for the conventional cabs (two-door cab).


Photographs

1965 Chevrolet C-10 1965 1/2-ton Step Side
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
3rd Annual Grass Lake PTO "Cars for Kids" Classic & Hot Rod Show
View photo of 1965 Chevrolet C-10 - 5,201KB
1965 Chevrolet C-10 1965 1/2-ton Step Side
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
3rd Annual Grass Lake PTO "Cars for Kids" Classic & Hot Rod Show
View photo of 1965 Chevrolet C-10 - 2,406KB
1965 Chevrolet C-10 1965 1/2-ton Step Side
Photo ©2008 Bill Crittenden
3rd Annual Grass Lake PTO "Cars for Kids" Classic & Hot Rod Show
View photo of 1965 Chevrolet C-10 - 5,021KB
1967 Chevrolet C-10 Custom 1967
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1967 Chevrolet C-10 - 1,978KB
1967 Chevrolet C-10 Custom 1967
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1967 Chevrolet C-10 - 2,486KB
1967 Chevrolet C-10 Custom 1967
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1967 Chevrolet C-10 - 2,932KB
Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 Lowrider 1970
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 13, 2011
View photo of Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 - 4,292KB
Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 Lowrider 1970
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 13, 2011
View photo of Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 - 1,591KB
Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 Lowrider 1970
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 13, 2011
View photo of Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 - 3,486KB
Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 Lowrider 1970
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night: June 13, 2011
View photo of Lowrider 1970 Chevrolet C-10 - 3,662KB
Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper Custom Camper
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  May 27, 2011
View photo of Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper - 3,594KB
Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper Custom Camper
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  May 27, 2011
View photo of Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper - 3,441KB
Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper Custom Camper
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  May 27, 2011
View photo of Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper - 4,835KB
Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper Custom Camper
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  May 27, 2011
View photo of Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper - 3,889KB
Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper Custom Camper
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  May 27, 2011
View photo of Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper - 4,352KB
Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper Custom Camper
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
Richmond, Illinois Cruise Night:  May 27, 2011
View photo of Chevrolet C-10 Custom Camper - 2,511KB
1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado 1977 Silverado
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado - 3,886KB
1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado 1977 Silverado
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado - 3,625KB
1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado 1977 Silverado
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado - 3,242KB
1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado 1977 Silverado
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado - 3,715KB
1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado 1977 Silverado
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado - 4,882KB
1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado 1977 Silverado
Photo ©2009 Bill Crittenden
The Cars Time Forgot Car Show
View photo of 1977 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado - 3,171KB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
23 January 1967NHTSA Recall 67V005000 1967 Chevrolet C10, 1967 Chevrolet C20, 1967 Chevrolet C30, 1967 Chevrolet K10, 1967 Chevrolet K20, 1967 Chevrolet P10, 1967 Chevrolet P20, 1967 Chevrolet P30
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:FOUNDATION COMPONENTS:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - Malibu International 41603 092021:87 '72 Chevy C-10 Pick UpReel Rides, 1:87 scale, black from Dazed and Confused


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
4 August 2015New at Summit Racing Equipment: Hotchkis TVS Sport Suspension System for 1967-72 Chevy C10 PickupsSummit Racing Equipment


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