The history of the C10 started all the way back in 1960…
when General Motors introduced their first line of full-sized Chevrolet and GMC C/K pickups. While the acronym “C10” is used loosely today to describe all Chevrolet and GMC trucks from 1960-1987, the letters C/K are specific designations. The letter “C” identifies two-wheel drive trucks, blazers and suburbans, the “K” is designated to four-wheel drive models.
FIRST GENERATION 1960-1966
General Motors brought about many changes to the 1960 model including independent front suspension, options for either a stepside or fleetside bed and the “10”, “20” and “30” acronyms which indicated 1/2, 3/4 and 1-ton models. GMC trucks did not use the “C” acronym, but 4×4 models use the letter “K”. Coil springs came in ’63 along with a new 140hp 3.8L inline 6 base engine. GM eliminated the wraparound windshield in 1964 for a flatter version, updated the grill and made various interior changes. The 220hp 327 V8 engine was introduced in 1965 along with more luxurious options like air conditioning. These trucks have become extremely popular in past few years, one could almost say as popular as the ’67-’72 models.
SECOND GENERATION 1967-1972
Comfort and convenience along with a new modern look came out in 1967. New sheetmetal helped fight rust and most 10 and 20 series trucks came equipped with a coil spring trailing arm rear suspension. In ’68 the small back window was replaced with the larger window, a new Custom Comfort & a Convenience interior was available between the Standard and CST models. The 350 c.i. V8 replaced the 327 in 1969. But the best part of ’69 was the introduction of the K5 Blazer, followed by the two-wheel drive model in 1970. Disc brakes were introduced in ’71 along with 5 lug bolt patterns and additional trim packages like the Cheyenne, Cheyenne Super (my favorite), and Sierra on the GMC’s which could include options like tachometer, tilt steering column, posi-traction, A/C, bucket seats, and even a vinyl top option.
THIRD GENERATION 1973-1987
1973 was the birth of the square body. Longer wheelbase, several equipment level packages and distinctive body lines set these trucks apart from the competition in the mid 70’s. Soft touch materials were used throughout, and safety features like the first passenger side sideview mirror, collapsible steering column and dual front lap and shoulder seat belts. Engine options were plentiful and included inline 6 cylinders, small & big block V8’s and even a 6.2L Detroit Diesel. “Squares” are the new “in” model C10, not only because there are more available, but because they’re cool too.
The debate continues on the history of the C10 and the 1988-1998 trucks. Some consider these the “Fourth Generation” C10, some don’t. We tend to lean toward the “don’t”. While these trucks did use the letter “C” and “K”, it was followed by 1500, 2500, and 3500 and are usually consider as “Silverados”, So we’ll leave them off the list.
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