A lot of people have a vintage automobile in mind, which they’d love to have if they just had the money. For some it’s a Ford Mustang, for others it’s a Dodge Charger. But for a lot of people, their classic car dream isn’t a car at all. It’s a truck.
On this episode of Driven, Nick and Kristen get behind the wheel of a 1962 Chevrolet C10 with ties to one of the United States’ most secretive military bases — but more on that later.
First, let’s talk about the truck: This ’62 wasn’t in perfect condition but it could make for a great car for a first-time classic owner who doesn’t want to break the bank and fit right in at a local show.
The 327cid V8 under the hood offers plenty of power and is simple enough to understand for those first-time owners who want hands-on experience working on their cars. Parts for this truck — including the curved windshield Chevy stopped making because it was too expensive at the time — can be found relatively easily and cheaply.
A lack of power steering or brakes could prove a challenge to some, but as Nick points out, that’s part of the romance of driving a vintage car. Another part of that sentiment is the story behind the vehicle, and this one has a doozy.
The story starts with a sticker still on the curved windshield of the C10 that reads “Department of Defense Registered Vehicle — Groom Lake.” Staff at Brown’s Classic Autos were told the former owner was a military contractor who worked at the installation better known by another moniker: Area 51.
In case you’re unaware, Area 51 has long been a test site for some of the United States Air Force’s top-secret aircrafts, including the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. But some have claimed the government stashed the remains of a UFO that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, somewhere on the base along with other alien-made materials — perhaps even the bodies of visitors from another planet.
While Nick and Kristen found the latter to be a little too out-of-this-world, the history behind the nearly all-original truck still makes for a cool story to tell at a cars and coffee event. And who knows what stories this truck could tell if only it could talk?