The 1970 Chevy truck is a classic among the pickups that were manufactured between 1963 and 1972. There were several different designs and changes within those years, and every one of them led to a new design that would become iconic later on down the line.
Earlier designs from the 1950s had been coined the Advance design and then the Task Force models. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the trucks were redesigned and named as the C/K lineup. This model remained until 1999 and was the core of the pickup line from Chevy.
Explaining the C/K Lineup
C/K represents two different lines of trucks from Chevy. The C series consists of 2-wheel drive trucks while the K series trucks are 4-wheel drive. 2-wheel drive options were less expensive than their 4-wheel drive counterparts making this a truck that was affordable for people with different backgrounds.
Within the series, the trucks could also pull various amounts of tonnage. The 10 model was a half-ton pickup, the 20 model was a three-quarter-ton pickup, and the 30 model was a one-ton pickup. Altogether, there were six truck models available to meet the consumer’s needs.
The Timeline for Chevy Trucks
It wasn’t until 1963 that the truck received some changes in suspension and the base engine. The front suspension was now a coil-spring design, and the engine was updated, too. The base engine was a 3.8L I6 with 140 horsepower with an option to choose a 4.8L I6 165-horsepower if desired.
In 1964, the cab design was altered. Prior to that year, the windshield has a different look. It was a wraparound windshield, but as of 1964, that was changed. The grille was also updated with a new look along with a few other aesthetic changes on the inside of the cab.
1965 saw more significant changes. For the first time, air conditioning was an optional add-on you could now request. There was also another choice in engines as you could select a 5.3L V8 as opposed to the previously offered I6 engines.
The next change came in 1966 when Chevy introduced a more efficient engine. It was a 4.1L I6 that pushed out 155 horsepower. There was much improvement over the earlier base engine model that had less horsepower.
Moving into the Next Generation
The next generation of the C/K line came out in 1967 with a modernized look for the times. It became known as the Action Line of pickups from Chevy. There were more optional features available to give consumers a choice of comfort and amenities.
One of the most significant things to hit the truck line was the way it was made. The truck had been redesigned from the ground up and was made of a new sheet metal developed to combat rust. Suspension was also independent, and 4-wheel drive trucks had leaf springs instead.
The engine has also changed quite a bit as you could now choose the 250 I6 or the more robust 283 V8 option. The standard manual transmission was a 3-speed, while you could also opt for a 4-speed manual transmission. It was also the first time that automatic transmissions were offered as an option.
Then, in 1968, the engine got yet another upgrade as it was now a 5.0L or a 6.5L depending on what you picked. The V8 was capable of producing up to 310 horsepower. Design changes also showed up that year in the way that the fenders were modified in addition to a newly introduced Longhorn model that was a three-quarter ton pickup truck.
Something else that happened that year was the commemorative edition as the brand hit its 50-year mark. It had a unique white and gold paint color scheme as part of the special edition and was only released for that year.
The last year of the 1960s brought out the last major change of the decade. The V8 became standard, but the horsepower was not as strong as it was the prior year. The 350 5.7L engine only produced as much as 255 horsepower compared to the 310 horsepower in 1968. A new model was also introduced that year, and it was named the K5 Blazer.
Heading into the 1970s
After a rich decade of change and modernization, the 1970 Chevy truck braced itself for more changes yet to come. Starting slow with only a change to the grill in 1970, looking back, you could think of that year as a time for research. The next year reflected a lot of changes.
In 1971, there were almost too many upgrades to mention. It was a bright year for Chevy trucks, to say the least. The grille was changed to an egg crate look, and there was a new optional trim that was available for the first time. It was the introduction of the Cheyenne option.
By choosing the Cheyenne trim, you could expect a plusher interior, better carpeting, chrome trim, and tailgate trim. This was also the same year that AM/FM radios appeared as an option for Chevy trucks. Another significant mechanical change was to the brake system.
Initially, the brake system had incorporated drum brakes for stopping the truck. While very effective, these types of brakes were more likely to lock than the modern disc brakes that were adopted that year. The disc brakes were an excellent modification to improve overall braking.
When 1972 came around, there wasn’t much improvement necessary. The changes were more aesthetic than anything else and were only meant to increase basic functionality. As an example, the rear view mirror had originally been bolted to the roof of the truck’s cab. In 1972, the mirror was glued to the windshield, door panels were changed, and handles were a little bit longer.
Looking at Vintage Chevy Trucks Today
Chevy trucks have a rich history with the very first one being introduced back in 1918, the same year it merged with General Motors. It was designed to be affordable and flexible. The same principles governed the design for decades yet to come.
For the past hundred years, Chevy trucks have been pioneers in the industry. From their vehicle designs to their mechanical advances, they have updated and kept up with the times impeccably. Even still, the 1970 Chevy trucks and those within similar generations have value that continues to rise.
If you were interested, you can find a truck that was manufactured between the mid-1960s to the early 1970s but be prepared to pay a considerable amount of cash. At the same time, if you do decide to purchase one of these popular trucks, you’ll be happy to know that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to restore one.
As the trucks have risen in popularity over the past twenty or so years, so has the demand for quality parts. Manufacturers are obliging, and the parts are more available than ever before. They’re also easy to make a change to the engines as there is plenty of room in the engine compartment to modify, repair, or upgrade the existing engine.
Final Observations About the 1970 Chevy Truck
It’s pretty obvious that you can’t exactly purchase a brand-new truck from that era, but you can find some that are out on the market that are for sale. The kicker is deciding on what to look for when you purchase one.
Ideally, you want to buy a truck that is both in good condition and has working equipment. If you are fortunate enough to find multiple trucks that are similarly priced, you’re going to want to focus on the overall condition of the truck. If condition is about the same, then go for the truck that is better equipped.
The bottom line is that as pretty as these trucks are to look at, consider your budgetary restrictions. Know how much you have to spend. To figure out what to expect, look for catalogs for reproduction parts. Just because a seller tells you parts are dirt cheap doesn’t mean that what you want is what they’re selling you on.
Be vigilant and do your homework before actively searching for one of these classic trucks. You’ll be better prepared to make a choice, and your wallet will appreciate not being completely empty.