Before pickups became items of personal expression, most of them towed and hauled their way through a hard knock life. That makes this pristine 1974 Custom Deluxe a rare treat.
Photos from Mecum.com
This generation of GM truck debuted for the previous 1973 model year, and according to the listing, this Custom Deluxe was assembled in April 1974, just one month after the US lifted the ill-advised oil embargo, which had sent gas prices soaring.
Perhaps the buyer of this truck knew what they’d be in for, because this Custom Deluxe has a thrifty 350-cubic-inch V8 with a two-barrel carburetor. Engine choices for these trucks went all the way up to 454 cubic inches, but this one seems optioned with the those fuel-starved times in mind.
With the addition of optional roof lights and some aftermarket reflectors in the grille, this Custom Deluxe gives others lots of opportunities to see it.
The rubber-faced bumper guards are nice and tall, to best meet the ends of the cars it would encounter.
“Custom Deluxe” was a level up from the base Custom, and above the Custom Deluxe were the Cheyenne and Cheyenne Super.
The Custom Deluxe’s nod to luxury was its slab of imitation wood in front of the passenger. Pricier Cheyennes upgraded the crackle-finish instrument panel to more fake wood, and the Cheyenne’s doors were adorned with planks of it as well.
This particular Chevy is fitted with a factory AM radio and two under-dash add-ons – an FM converter (far right), and an eight-track tape player. If there weren’t any other upgrades, then it’s likely that these gadgets were funneling their sound through the single factory AM speaker.
If you’ve spent any time in the ’80s or ’90s doing factory work, then it’s likely that your boss had you bring the Chevy truck around to load it up with cardboard or whatnot. It’s entirely possible that it would have had this blue interior, as there are two in this writer’s history that come to mind.
This Custom Deluxe has the full gauge package, including a clock with a second hand at the bottom left. Note how spare the heater and radio controls are.
This Custom Deluxe’s bench seat is the icing on the cake. A pickup with upholstery that still looks new is practically a unicorn, and the seat here looks like it just popped out of the factory. There’s no center armrest, and there are no headrests, so the accommodations are spare, Deluxe or no.
If we had room for a full-sized pickup, we’d be all over this Custom Deluxe. Now the question remains – how much will this truck go for at auction? How much will one lucky bidder be willing to pay for all this intactness from the US’s first oil shock?
Looking for a new or used Chevy pickup? Search BestRide.com’s local listings here.