Restore or Restomod: 1981 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside – Sold?

by | Apr 2023 | Classifinds, Truckin Tuesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

May 9, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

April 24, 2023 Update – We confirmed the original owner lowered their asking price from $2,500 to $1,600 in their initial Craigslist ad. Unless the frame on this C10 proves to be bad, there’s a lot of potential upside to restoring this Square Body back to its original glory.

Chevrolet’s third generation of C/K trucks, known these days as the company’s “Square Body” truck, are one of the hottest classics you can buy right now. In fact, with prices for restored, well-optioned 1/2-ton C10 examples now fetching $30K, these trucks are one of the few examples you can still restore and potentially turn a small profit depending on your level of restoration skills. The key is to buy a restoration candidate on the cheap to ensure you leave yourself enough upside.

This Blue 1981 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside, last listed for sale in April 2023 just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a prime example.  Offered for $1,600 (the original ask was $2,500 or the best offer), it’s clearly a rusty truck that will need extensive body repairs as well as a complete interior refresh and likely mechanical updates as well., the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask was well below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for Square Body Chevrolet pickups produced between 1973 and 1987.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is only half that of this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $5,000.

While enthusiasts today call this generation of Chevy Trucks Square Bodies, back in the day the C/K line of trucks was known internally as the “Rounded Line” because the trucks were designed with a number of advanced aerodynamic features to help improve fuel economy.  With a newer paint job on a reported rust-free Arkansas truck, based on both the pictures and detailed description, there is a lot to like about this nicely equipped C10 that makes a less expensive and candidly better-looking alternative to what Chevrolet is pitching these days.

The Cory Meistercamp YouTube Channel features this 1981 Chevrolet Dealer Training Film comparing the C10 against Ford’s F150 from that year:

If you’re looking for a restoration candidate for a Chevrolet Square Body pickup and are handy with a MIG welder, then this 1981 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside for sale may be the truck for you. With every steel panel for these trucks readily available for rust repair, you can get this truck back to like new condition and still have a reasonable shot of at least breaking even when you go to sell it.  It will be interesting to see whether the next owner decides to take the restoration or restomod path with the truck.

If you are serious about buying this C10 project truck, you can start the conversation by using the seller’s contact information found in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Chevy pickup featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

Classic vehicle good for restoration or parts
Original owner
Stock vehicle
80245 miles
V-8, Automatic transmission
As is condition

Restore or Restomod: What would you do with this 1981 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside project for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!


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