• Chevy C10 Short Bed with wood floor

• Cheyenne Super Package

• Wood-grain trim and Houndstooth interior

• Totally restored with new GM parts in 2006

• Restoration by Gary Terry of CheyenneSuper-Man in Abilene, TX

• 402-ci big-block engine

• Turbo HydraMatic transmission

• Factory air conditioning

• Power steering and brakes

• Bucket seats with console

• Tilt steering column

• Factory tachometer

• Black base coat, clear-coat paint

• Rally wheels with three-bar spinner center caps

 

SCM Analysis

Detailing

Vehicle:1972 Chevrolet c10 Cheyenne Super
Years Produced:1967–72
Number Produced:39,730 (1972, 115-inch wheelbase)
Original List Price:$2,680 base
SCM Valuation:Varies significantly — shortbeds can range from $15,000 to $60,000, depending on options, originality and condition
Tune Up Cost:$200
Distributor Caps:$12
Chassis Number Location:Tag in door jamb
Engine Number Location:Pad on passenger’s side of engine, forward of cylinder head
Website:www.1967-1972chevytrucks.com
Alternatives:1967–72 Ford F-series, 1968–71 Dodge D-series, 1969–75 International D-series
Investment Grade:C

This C10, Lot F198, sold for $60,950, including buyer’s premium, at Mecum’s Spring Classic auction in Indianapolis, IN, on May 14–19, 2013. That’s right. Over $60k for a black Chevy truck. But this was a little more special than your average run-of-the-mill work truck.

Car meets pickup

By the late 1960s, pickups had become a popular mode of transportation in the suburban neighborhoods of America. This change had started in the 1950s with trucks such as the Chevrolet Cameo Carrier and Dodge Sweptside — trucks with car-like styling, built to be more at home in the church parking lot than they were out on the farm.

Those trucks were never hot sellers, but the idea behind them took hold in the American market. Through the 1960s, the truck-buying demographic started to change, and these new buyers wanted increased comfort and style with their utility. These buyers were just as likely to use their trucks as commuters during the week as they were to haul a load of gravel or bark dust for their suburban gardens on the weekends, and truck manufacturers were happy to add additional comfort and luxury options to their lines to boost sales.

In today’s market, the 1967–72 Chevy and GMC pickups are some of the most popular vintage trucks. Fords and Dodges just don’t have the same appeal, and neither do earlier or later GM units. These 1967–72 trucks are in the sweet spot — they’re good looking, and they represent both work-truck utility as well as reasonable creature comforts, especially when well optioned — and there were a lot of available options, some of which are rare. Our subject truck features nearly all of them.

Best of the best

Let’s run through just what makes this truck so desirable in today’s market.

These trucks could be ordered in several bed lengths. Today’s collectors love the shorter 6.5-foot bed, or 115-inch wheelbase. More than 273,000 two-wheel-drive trucks with eight-foot beds were made in 1972, compared with just under 40,000 shortbeds. This truck has the attractive wood floor option, too.

It was ordered with the biggest engine — the 400, which was really a 402 big block and represented 8% of production. It also has a/c and a TH400 automatic, which were delivered in 33% and 28% of trucks, respectively.

The buyer selected the Cheyenne Super package, which was the top-of-the-line trim level in 1972 and was added to only 7% of trucks that year. That package includes all the wood-grain exterior trim and deluxe interior fittings, such as wood-grain dash inserts, a headliner, deluxe upholstery and more.

Other rare options include bucket seats and center console (4% of production), the AM/FM radio (3% of production), a tilt column (9%), cargo lamp (5%) and an in-dash tachometer (2%). It also appears to have three-point seatbelts, which were generally dealer-installed. All it’s missing are bumper guards, a tissue holder and an under-dash 8-track player.

Lastly, it’s black, which suits the body very well.

Add all that up and you see just how scarce something like this would have been in 1972. It’s a muscle truck in a great color — arguably closer to a big-block El Camino SS than a base-level 6-cylinder longbed C10 with a three-on-the-tree. We have no way of knowing exactly how many were built like this, but suffice to say, the number was small — and how many of those survived?

Primed for a home run

I was excited to see this Super come up for sale at Indy, as I figured it would bring a lot of money. In addition to being highly optioned, it had been restored to a better-than-new standard with all GM parts by Gary Terry of Cheyenne Super-Man in Texas — his work is well known in the ’67–72 Chevy truck world. Mecum’s estimate was $50k–$75k.

However, there were some things about this truck that weren’t correct. For example, the chrome rally wheels with spinner caps were not a factory option, and neither was the Edelbrock spreadbore intake manifold used in place of the original cast-iron piece.

This truck’s underhood appearance was much glossier than it would have been from the factory, with things such as body paint on the power brake booster and core support. It was done very well, but not 100% as it would have been in 1972.

Show me the SPID

The bigger issue here is originality. The popularity of these trucks has made reproduction parts especially easy to come by, and a lot of trucks out there today wear option packages they didn’t get at the factory. Parts swapping is especially easy with these trucks. Was it really delivered with all these rare options, or were some of them added later?

For cars of this era, verification usually comes in the form of a build sheet hidden under a seat or on top of a fuel tank. With these trucks, you need to look at the Service Parts Identification tag (or SPID) affixed to the inside of the glovebox door. Every option with which a truck was delivered from the factory is spelled out in plain English right there.

I wasn’t at Indy, and Mecum didn’t provide a shot of the SPID. Without seeing it, it’s impossible to tell what came on this truck from the factory. And to complicate things further, there are people who make reproduction SPIDs — and they’ll add any options you’d like. So even that can’t be considered a guarantee — but many of the repros I’ve seen use an incorrect typeface that’s pretty easy to spot.

A top-market price

If this truck was actually delivered as it was presented here — and keep in mind that the auction company never called it an original — that would make it one rare machine. Something like this just didn’t make a whole lot of sense when new, so few were ordered this way.

$61k is a lot of money for a truck. I don’t think it’s out of line, but I do think it’s at the very top of the current market. Chalk this result up to a perfect storm of condition, options and location. The result just verifies the hot truck trend we’ve been tracking for the past several years.

At this price level, I doubt the buyer had any doubts about this truck’s authenticity. But if I were the new owner, I’d be digging into every casting number I could find and going over that SPID with a microscope. If all is well and good, this was an okay deal on a top-level Cheyenne Super. Otherwise, this is a top-level driver, and at this money, it was exceptionally well sold.

(Introductory description courtesy of Mecum Auctions.)

 

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