MX6: 1972 Chevy C-20

Posted on Posted in MX6: 1972 Chevy C20

I’ve had this truck since I was 13. Crazy to think its been around for 17 years now. Originally my dad bought the truck from his boss for a buck. Yep, one dollar hard currency. It was puke green and beat to hell since it was a job site truck. My dad worked in industrial construction and used the truck until the company bought a 1993 Ford Ranger as a replacement. Which I also ended up with for 200 bucks 3 years later, but that’s a different story. When dad brought the truck home I told him I wanted it. My grandpa had a 1969 GMC truck and my great grandpa had a Carry All (aka Suburban) of the same body style. I’ve always like that era Chevy’s/GMC’s. I eventually convinced my dad to sell me the truck for 2 bucks. It eventually turned into a father-son project. We pulled the truck apart and overhauled the motor. We didn’t get all crazy since we didn’t have a bunch of money. All the internal motor components were reused, apart from bearings and piston rings. I wire wheeled all the parts clean. Even pulled the lifters apart and cleaned them out. My dad did the paint job and all the body work. We eventually got the truck put back together and running.

Since I didn’t start working until I was 14, I wasn’t able to put much funding in. When I did start making money, I did what any kid would do. Buy something shiny and kind of useless. I got a new chrome steering wheel since we still had the old crappy green one. It was half the size of the stock steering wheel. My dad bitched a bit since it was smaller. 17 years later, the damn thing is still on there. Down the road I started working for an auto/truck shop. Still being cheap, my dad bough some take of tires and wheels from my boss. There were from a 2000 year F250. He machined out the bolt holes with a drill press to match the Chevy’s bolt pattern. The caps are also from an F250, which now have a Chevy bow tie covering up the Ford oval. And to think, we ain’t rednecks.

Over the years everyone in my family drove it. My dad started out. When I got my license I drove it. My brother drove it. Even my sister drove it…and hit someone in it. But its all good. The truck is a tank and barely got a scratch. It also was a fall back truck. Whenever anyone’s newer car broke down, we drove the Chevy. It always ran. Well, just don’t run out of gas…lol.

There’s definitely been a lot of fun times with the truck. Being stupid and racing it while fully loaded with furniture from moving a friend, scaring the crap out of everyone in an intersection when the brakes lock up and come screeching to a stop, getting it stuck in the desert and just cruising. This year I turn 30 and I still can’t get over that I still have a truck I drove to high school. Not to mention its still in good shape. My 1993 Ranger can’t say the same. But I did roll that thing twice…

The truck was parked for the last 2 years at my brothers friends house out in AZ. With my Dad passing and having to close up shop I needed a place to store the truck for a short time. Like all short term things it ended up being years. Recently I got the truck transported out to my place in Cali. Now that Its here I want to fix it back up. The truck is still in good shape. Has some rust under the paint in spots. The driver door kicker panel needs to be cut out and replaced since there’s a big hole. It just rusted away.

The plan right now is to rebuild the motor and possibly more. Its got 200k since its last overhauled. Needless to say we cheaped out on the rebuild. We didn’t replace the cam either. New rings and bearings were added. We did use plasti-gauge and make sure tolerances were still good. Other than that its all the same internal components that have probably a previous overhaul on them. I’m guessing 450k+ miles on the components. I pulled the heads off and the cylinders look good. The valves themselves are starting to break down. The tops are chipping and one is pretty bad. Bad enough the rocker slides off and doesn’t open the exhaust valve, so it backfires. That’s why I parked it a while ago. Didn’t want to mess with it at the time. So, now I’m probably going to build a nicer motor or buy a crate motor. Leaning more towards a crate motor since it has a 3 year warranty. Building a nice motor myself is a little less, but I’d rather have a way to quickly replace it if something does go bad. I’ve got the motor torn down to the block, which I need to post up some pics.

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What it looked like when I was in high school.

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