Story By Owner: Barry Barnet
Every car, or in this case truck, has a story. More often than not it’s about a family member who had one and passed it along or didn’t. It’s a fish story about the one that got away. Finding that right old car or truck is as much about the hunt, the negotiations and bringing it home, as it is the restoration, customizing and or repair.
My truck story starts with my first job and the company I worked for. Home for me was Middle Sackville Nova Scotia and across the street was one of the largest road building companies in eastern Canada. Being a close neighbour, I was a shoe in for a summer job. I loved the work, the people I worked with and the company I worked for. Tidewater Construction had a fleet of pickup trucks that the workers used to get gear and employees to the job sites. The only requirements Tidewater had for their trucks were they had to be green, and they had to be Chevys; both were just fine with me. When the company sold off surplus trucks, they did it by a sealed bid process, that way it was fair for everyone. I bid on nearly every truck they had over a three year period, but never managed to snag one. These old trucks were usually well worn by the time they went to market, but in my mind they were beyond cool. Mostly step sides, always green and some were even three on the tree.
Time went on, my interest and focus shifted and over the years I bought and sold many cars. Some were cool drivers and others just basic transportation. I always hoped someday I would buy and customize a 67-72 C/10 step side. I kept my eye on classifieds and every time I traveled, I would do a hard look for something on the market. On occasion I would come across a step side Chevy, but usually it was not for sale or I just didn’t have the money. I even did a look while in California a few years back with no success.
In recent years I purchased, completed and sold a number of old cars, but no C/10 Chevy pickups. I would pass the word around, with little response. I even posted a want ad on a social media site. After having sold a pretty cool, custom, 1960 Chevy Impala for considerably more than expected at Barrett Jackson in Connecticut I started looking a little harder. One of my daily routines is a trip to Tim Hortons and coffee with a regular crowd. One of the regulars asked me one day if I was still looking for a project truck. I was quick to say yes and within minutes I was in his garage looking at just what I wanted. It was a mostly disassembled, southern 1968 Chevy C/10 that was nearly rust free and exactly the truck I was looking for. This was the one that always seemed to get away, and could quench my yearning to own the truck that I pined after for decades, starting as a teenage truck nut. We reached a fair deal and the next challenge was getting all the parts and pieces home and explaining it to my very patient, but practical wife. She was a truck girl and I knew in time she would grow to appreciate it as much as I did.
Six trips in the back of my pickup truck and a flatbed wrecker from A-1 Towing for the big parts and the fun begins. Like past projects I relied heavily on a great group of friends and family along with some very talented local companies like Jody Noble Interiors, Todd Fowler painting, CK Signs, Spencer for Hire, and Nova Automotive. We started by pulling the truck completely apart, making a detailed to do list, and ordering parts. Assembly was a Thursday night thing with me and my buddies from November 2016 to July 2017, with plenty of weekends thrown in for good measure. The goal was to get the truck 95% complete and drivable in time for the 2017 Atlantic Nationals. Although we achieved the goal by midnight on Thursday before the show for safety reasons we decided to trailer the first trip and work out the bugs later. The reaction was great, people shared their personal C-10 stories, they seemed to really like the House of Kolor custom green paint and we managed to bring home some Atlantic Nationals hardware for our winter long effort.
Like every project I have undertaken it has been a collaboration and team effort. In addition to the earlier mentions of local, talented companies, I am also blessed with great help from great friends. So thank you to the three Ricks, Grant, Corey, Paul, Malcolm, Wayne, Ed, Ron and others.
One more thank you - to my ever patient wife Edna. She’s a keeper, and so is the old truck.