Saturday, July 17, 2010

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1970 Chevrolet CST/10

It's been a long time since a proper pickup truck was shown here. Pickups help keep this great country moving, and I always like seeing an old truck still out there working. My uncle drives a 1969 Chevy C/20 longbed that he bought from my grandfather years ago. My dad owns a 1971 GMC stepside that he bought from my next-door neighbor's father. It was the previous owner's daily driver since 1972. My dad once owned a 1936 Ford pickup, which I later saw at a car show, three decades after he sold it. The then-current owner was still using it as a work truck, and it wore the same Corvette Elkhart Green paint my dad sprayed on it in the '70s. There's something special about the patina earned through thirty, forty, fifty years of hauling and hundreds of thousands of miles covered. The stories such vehicles might tell.
At first glance, this truck isn't particularly exciting to behold. It's a top-line 1970 Chevrolet CST/10 stepside in a fairly plain shade of copper resembling a weathered penny. Surface rust dots the surprisingly straight body. Which begs the question: how has a pickup lasted 40 years and only picked up a few dents and creases? It still has the stock wheels with chrome hubcaps, a deluxe feature. It also has nice chrome bumpers, another option. The bed shows extensive wear from duty, as does the interior with its unusual bucket seats. The large side mirrors are custom as can be seen from the unused stock mounting locations below the wing windows. Perhaps the owner used it for towing large trailers or put a camper on the back and needed the extra visibility. Unless I'm mistaken, that's what the "CST" stands for: Camper Special. The third brake light looks like a custom item probably added back when having one meant cheaper insurance.
Chevy C/10s are all over the place, though CST/10s are not nearly so common. This particular truck sat in this one spot for a long time, rarely moving over a two to three year span. I believe it is owned by the same person as the yellow 1968 C/20 Panel Truck I featured a couple months back. It was parked on the same block. In fact, both trucks spent a lot of time parked there. However, the next time I happened to pass by, this truck was gone and the yellow Panel remained. It returned after nearly a year's absence, sat there for a short time, then disappeared again. The trucks were recently (and briefly) joined by a circa-1964 GMC Fleetside, which may find itself on California Streets at some point in the future. We shall see.

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