Oliver Brown and his C10 350 Chev. Photo Gerry Leibel

Owning a Chev C10 350 truck has been my dream since I first saw one when I was 17

For now I can dump money on it without sweating it

“Owning a Chev C10 350 truck has been my dream since I first saw one when I was 17.”

A year and a half ago, Kitimat tattoo artist Oliver Brown’s dream came true, when he bought a 1970 C10 from his friend Craig Stevenson for $2,700.

“It was a farm truck that Craig bought for $1,500 in Williams Lake four years ago,”said Oliver. “He burnt his way through four plug wires just getting it here.”

He said the truck needed a fair bit of work – it was covered in rust and would eventually require fitting other doors, door locks, another rear fender and new lights, as well as a paint job, before it started to look respectable.

The original C10 350 cost between $2,500 and $3,000 new in 1970, depending on the model. The 1970 model was part of the second generation of C10 produced from 1967 to 1972.

“It was the beginning of the square body generation from 1967 through to 1989, after which everything became rounded on the truck,” said Oliver.

At the time the range consisted of either C10 or K10 models, the C indicating two-wheel drive and the K indicating four-wheel drive. In 1999 the C and K light-duty truck line was replaced with the Chevrolet Silverado in the U.S. and Canada.

Oliver’s C10 is fitted with a 350 cubic inch (5.7 liter) small block Chevy engine with a 350 Turbo Transmission package. The engine on the C10 was upgraded in 1970 from a 327 cubic inch V8 to the 350 cubic inch V8.

Standard features on the C10 included full-width bench seats, a panoramic rear window, padded dashes and sun visors, two-speed windshield wipers and windshield defrosters.

Apart from the purchase price, Oliver has spent another $4,000 on the truck customizing it to match his Harley, the primary reason for buying the C10 when the opportunity presented itself.

“I bought the truck to tow the bike and wanted the two to match,” said Oliver.

“It doesn’t have to cost a million dollars for me to like a truck, but I would guess I’ve probably got another $10,000 to go before I have the C10 the way I really want it.

“For now I can dump money on it without sweating it,” added Oliver.

He said the money spent on the C10 is worth it because he plans on keeping the truck forever.

The C10 has another special feature, the Battleaxe Warriors badge, which belongs to a group of artists that includes musicians, tattoo artists and spray painters. Oliver is division leader for the group and the C10 is a perfect accoutrement for his position in the group.

He says as far as he is aware, there are only two other running C10’s in the district, one in Cable Car and another in Terrace.

Asked whether the truck has ever won prizes, Oliver said he’s not keen on taking the truck to shows yet until it has had another spray job.