Driven: 1962 Chevrolet C10 with ties to Area 51

In the second episode, Kristen and Nick take a spin in a classic truck

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.

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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?

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4 Comments

  • Brian Marshall
    September 28, 2018, 5:17 AM

    327 did not exist in 1962…would have been 280 cid

    REPLY
    • David Radcliff@Brian Marshall
      September 28, 2018, 9:13 AM

      Chevy did not make a 280 in 1962 and yes, they DID have the 327 then.

      REPLY
      • Arnie Farrow@David Radcliff
        September 29, 2018, 4:11 PM

        I assume you guys mean the 283cid, kind of like the 2000 era engines. The 327 doesn’t exist anymore, as everyone refers to these modern engines, but they are actually a 325cid or 5.3L. They are like the Stoker engines of the muscle car era.
        But back to the article, what an awesome piece of history to have the pleasure of driving!

        REPLY
  • Peter Kertz
    September 29, 2018, 9:38 AM

    I just came here to read gear heads dispute engine size. Love it!

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