The 1987 Chevrolet C10: A 33 Year Ownership Review & in reality, a love story

The 1987 Chevrolet C10: A 33 Year Ownership Review & in reality, a love story

Like this T-Shirt that I bought immediately, this truck is a faded Perfect 10 and I’ll forever miss her.

I’m an Irish guy and as such wasn’t that convinced on pickup trucks until I moved here to Mexico. About six months in I flipped the Chevrolet Aveo I had bought one night but that’s a story for a different post, the point is that shortly afterwards I bought an incredibly pickup truck. Not a new one. This thing is 33 years old. I’ve recently had to sell it and honestly it was heart breaking. So I want to talk to you now about how much I loved this truck and why, 33 years after it was built, it is still the best pickup on the road.


As the story goes, a day or two after my brother in law and I were driving home one night from a party, I lost control of the car and ended up putting the car on it’s roof. The 2015 Chevrolet Aveo was pretty slow to rollover and has become the punchline of a few jokes for me ever since.

The next day, I went with a friend who had sold me the Aveo to get the tires changed and reset the fuel cut off switch so I could get it home to assess the damage. It was obvious about five minutes in that the car was a write off but my friend informed me he had an old pickup I could buy from him. I did and a love story began.

It was a white 1987 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe with a 4.8 liter straight six and thus I had procured my first ever pickup truck. In an attempt to close off the above story, I sold the Aveo a few days later and it’s now out there hopefully right side up.

My new Chevy was a glorious creation and after a while of getting used to the heavy clutch and four speed manual I soon fell in love with this rear wheel drive beast. It wasn’t a 4×4 and it didn’t have much power but I could still get wheel spins on the roads here in Mexico and as we learned it could carry quite a load.

I couldn’t find the photo of us carrying an entire kitchen along with 6 Mexicans.

At first it needed a lot of work, I drove it one night across to the airport in Leon about an hour away as I had to fly to Tijuana and realized that the lights were essentially the same as two people carrying candles and thus I replaced them with new LED’s. Shortly after I removed the polarization on the windows. One day while driving the wheel fell off and I had to replace the suspension and shocks on all four wheels.

If you want to buy or currently own one of these, you’ll be aware that the engine is very simple to fix along with everything else. In terms of depreciation, it’s also not going to lose much more after 33 years and I sold mine for what I paid. I did have to continue with the repairs though…

Next I replaced the carburetor, the battery, the starter motor, the alternator, the cables and did a full service. The windows were fixed and new tires put on. I realized after doing a full service at my house that it had been running on five cylinders for about two months. Now it had some serious grunt. Nothing seemed to be able to stop it. We loaded it one night with an entire kitchen, two beds and a bedroom worth of items. Six Mexican friends and family held onto the back, holding everything in place as we drove the 5 km trip with the items. She drove as if there was nothing back there.

Sure there were morning where the she wouldn’t start, the battery was dead, the fuel guage wasn’t working, the starter motor went. If this was any other car I would have been annoyed, but I had fallen in love and as such, for me, “I was getting free training as a mechanic”. I would spend hours trying to fix her, playing with the engine.

I named her Jessica.

I recently had to sell this truck, for financial reasons. She had a drinking problem (the truck, not my new wife) and I’m recently married, we’re trying to build a new life together. It was the right thing to do. However I finally understand why those Gringos, north of the border love their trucks.

I’ll miss you forever Jess. I hope the new guys is good to you.