Stylish Simplicity: 1985 Chevrolet S10 41K Survivor – SOLD!

by | Jun 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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

July 9, 2024, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “ClassiFIND” deleted their listing, so we can now call this one “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.

A good-looking, simple, compact single-cab pickup truck that gets decent gas mileage and fits in most suburban garages. Is that too much to ask for in 2024? Apparently my visit to Chevrolet’s website generated this image when I tried to “Buy & Price” a 2024 mid-size, four-door Colorado pickup:

Blue 41K 1985 Chevrolet S10 Pickup

While we have to give Ford credit for launching its compact Maverick pickup, its standard powertrain is front-wheel drive, and of course, it’s only available in a four-door, short-bed configuration. With a starting price in the low twenties, that market has spoken as it’s virtually impossible to buy one of these very light-duty trucks. Stepping up to Ford’s venerable Ranger truck line is now considered a mid-size truck only available, you guessed it, in a four-door configuration.  So, what does an enthusiast need a compact parts and garden supply hauler to do?

This 41K original mile Blue 1985 Chevrolet S10 Pickup, first spotted on Craigslist in Quakertown, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) in June 2024, appears to be a nicely preserved example of a true compact pickup truck.  This example features a Pontiac-sourced “Iron Duke” 2.5 Liter inline four-cylinder engine mated to a column-shifted automatic transmission. While this powertrain won’t win any drag races, it will get you reliably and economically back and forth to your local Big Box or garden supply store.

Last offered for $7.500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results for all first-generation Chevrolet S10 body styles and powertrains.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $5,150 and its #3 “Very Good” appraisal of $8,100.

The 1985 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck is a notable model in the compact truck segment, representing a blend of practicality, durability, and American automotive engineering. As part of the first generation of the S10 series, which was introduced in 1982, the 1985 model year continued to build on the reputation of this versatile vehicle.

Chevrolet launched the first-generation S10 compact pickup for the 1981 model year.  It was the company’s first domestically built compact pickup, produced from 1981 through 2004 with only minor trim and powertrain changes before replacing it with the second-generation Sonoma line. The first-generation Chevrolet S10 featured a boxy and utilitarian design, which is characteristic of trucks from this era. Its compact dimensions made it suitable for urban driving while retaining enough ruggedness for light off-road and utility tasks. The front end was dominated by a rectangular grille with horizontal slats and prominent Chevrolet badging. Flanking the grille was a pair of square headlamps, providing a straightforward and functional look.  The truck was available in several configurations, including regular cab and extended cab versions, and a range of bed lengths to cater to different needs.

Inside, the 1985 S10 offered a no-frills environment focused on functionality. The interior was straightforward, with durable materials chosen to withstand the rigors of daily use. The dashboard was simple and included basic instrumentation with an easy-to-read layout. Higher trim levels introduced more comfort and convenience features, such as improved seat materials, carpeting, and additional gauges.  Seating in the regular cab models was limited to a bench seat or optional bucket seats, accommodating up to three passengers. The extended cab versions provided additional space behind the front seats, which could be used for extra storage or, in some cases, additional seating.

The first-generation Chevrolet S10 offered two key engine choices. Standard was a 92-horsepower version of General Motors (“GM”) 2.5-liter “Iron Duke” inline four-cylinder engine originally developed by Pontiac engineers. Optional was a 110 horsepower 2.8-liter V6 engine, which provided better performance for heavier loads and towing.  First-generation Chevrolet S10s featured traditional body-on-frame construction and rear-wheel drive standard. Buyers could opt for an optional four-wheel-drive system featuring a traditional two-speed transfer case.  The truck’s suspension system was designed to balance comfort and utility. The front suspension used an independent setup with torsion bars, while the rear employed a traditional leaf spring arrangement. This combination allowed the S10 to handle a variety of terrains and loads while maintaining a relatively smooth ride for its class.  One of the key selling points of the 1985 S10 was its practicality and decent fuel economy. In addition to fitting in a standard garage, the S10’s cargo bed could handle a quarter-ton of payload, making it perfect for most suburban buyers in need of a light-duty pickup truck.

The Pete’s S10 Page Youtube Channel features this 1985 Chevrolet S10 Dealer Sales Training video highlighting the compact truck’s features over the competition:

Sometimes less is more, and the seller’s post of only seven photographs illustrates how a few quality pictures can sell a vehicle.  This survivor-quality blue 1985 Chevrolet S10 pickup for sale appears to be a nice, simple, rust-free truck that the next caretaker can either use as a light-duty hauler on their homestead or as a show truck.  We would ask for pictures of the undercarriage and the engine bay before driving to see the truck, but otherwise, we believe this vintage truck will sell quickly.

If you are serious about buying this first-generation S10 Pickup, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Chevrolet Quarter Ton featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“2nd owner 1985 S10 survivor with 41k original miles. The truck is in very good overall condition. It runs and drives well and has many new parts. The person that comes with CASH gets it. I’m not holding it until you can make financial arrangements. If interested please CALL. If I am unable to answer the phone, LEAVE A MESSAGE with your name and number and I WILL CALL YOU BACK… DO NOT TEXT… I ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT RESPOND.
IF THE AD IS VISIBLE… IT IS STILL AVAILABLE. Thanks, Chris

Work or play: What would you do with this survivor quality 1985 Chevrolet S10 pickup for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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