On July 10, 2020, the 10th South East Truck Nationals were held in Lebanon, Tennessee. What a show! Over 1,000 registered older GM trucks were displayed on the large county fairgrounds. About 5,000 walk-in visitors were observing the trucks. Many parts dealers and food venders were lined up along the walkways. This show is soon to be the largest all GM truck show in the nation.
Of so many trucks, some seemed just right for our feature truck series. The following is one of our choices that caused people to see just about how it was almost fifty years
ago. This 1970 Chevy is owned by Greg Harris of Powell, Tennessee, a serious truck collector of the 1970’s GM trucks.
He bought this top of the line CST (Custom Sport Truck) about thirty years ago. The original owner bought it from Beaty Chevrolet in Knoxville, TN and the many extras were just the way he wanted it! He would never use it for work!
This was the first series of Chevrolet Trucks (1967-1972) when many American’s began wanting the extras that were once reserved for passenger cars. GM quickly picked up on this trend, and more and more options were offered for the first time (In today’s world this continues but buyers want pickups more like cars. It is now very difficult to buy the old standard; a single seat 3 passenger cab with an 8’ bed.). So many use them for their families.
Greg knew immediately he wanted this good condition 1970 CST, even though this original owner had not considered selling it. It’s future owner said, “ It is much less expensive to pay more for a better truck you want, than to make so many upgrades on one well used, even at half the price.”
Greg’s new CST ½ ton received a frame off restoration even though most would not have gone that far with such a nice pickup. It was like building a big model kit! No body panels required replacing. The 8 foot bed floor had always been covered with a rubber mat. Thus not dents to repair. The original color; Hugger Orange, was used again.
Most of the black interior was replaced; however, the bucket seats still remain as theyleft the factory in 1970. One must look very close to see they are that old.
Here are a few Facts on Greg’s NEW 1970:
402 Cubic inch V-8 with 4 barrel carburetor and duel exhaust
400 Turbo hydramatic 3 speed transmission
308 ratio posi track differential
Wood grain lower side and tailgate trim plus black line upper side trim are all NEW old stock (before GM discontinued it)
Sealed beam headlights have matching T-3 stamping that GM used in 1970.
The AM radio was replaced with a GM accessory Chevy AM-FM non-stereo unit. “Perfect fit”
Tilt steering column
Front bumper guards (the year before the rubber inserted type)
A few additional upgrades:
Greg moved up one year and added the disc brake system from a 1971. Thus, behind the hub caps are 5 bolt wheels instead of the 1970 6 bolt design. (That 6 bolt pattern had been used since the mid-1930’s)
To keep the rear using the same wheels, the total differential assembly was an easy replacement using the 1971 design.
Yes, the correct 1967-70 door mounted outside mirrors are painted Hugger, Orange, not the chrome sport mirrors of the following year.
Factory tachometer between the gauges
To add just a little extra touch, Greg installed the “top of the line” 1967 Chevelle steering wheel with rose wood edge. A very expensive extra!
Factory air conditioning still uses the correct R-12 Freon. It certainly cools much better!
What about Greg Harris, the owner? He has been in love with Chevy trucks in the 1970’s since his teenage years. Why? Probably because his father felt the same way except his enthusiasm was in high performance original Chevy cars such as full size Chevys, Chevelles, Camaros, and Corvettes.
Both father and son continue to collect and sell only if they can improve the herd! Between the two they have almost twenty-five Chevy’s, most all in near new condition.(Imagine the number of storage buildings!)
Greg is also co-sponsor of a bi-annual truck show in Pigeon Forge, TN. The sponsors rent the 305,000 square foot convention center where 350 trucks are viewed plus 100’s in surrounding parking lots.
One other of Greg’s favorites: This 1972 Blazer has become new again. NOTE: The correct standard spare tire location! It has never been on the ground.
Greg Harris can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org