Wednesday, March 27, 2019

1976 Chevy C-10 Scottsdale Stepside Sport: Orange party-time pickup with a secret

The original owner's wife was ready for it to leave the yard after 43 years.

Tangerine Two Step. It seems we here at Junkyard Life have gone a bit C-10 crazy. That is only because they are so cool and represent an era we love. Prepare thyself, O’ Junkyard Life truck fans! We love this truck — a 1976 Scottsdale Sport. A really odd-optioned, one-owner refugee from the best (our opinion) era ever!

C10 has its door open and bed full of leaves and debris.
1976 Chevy Sport stepside in orange was picked up for cheap. The original owner's wife was ready for it to leave the yard after 43 years.

Step Lively!

  Junkyard Life staffer Keith Lively is that nice guy you know who makes friends with ease. Keith has had dibs on this one-owner Stepside since he spotted it parked in a yard several years ago. Things seem to work out for Keith because he treats people respectfully and often goes out of his way to do things for people in need. Dibs often come through for people like Keith. He finally got the call to come make an offer on the truck. 
  It had been sitting for several years. Despite the Stepside Chevy’s inoperable state of being, the owners still renewed the tag and carried insurance on it. One day the wife wanted it gone. 
  Is there a story here? Oh, yes. Yes, there is. 
  “Call Keith Lively!” she said. 
  The owners tried to give Keith the truck and he tried to pay them. Neither budged and eventually the original owner reluctantly took a little money for it.  
  This must be how they negotiate in the Bizzaro World. The deal included one stipulation — the owner (husband) wanted to see it run again. The wife wanted it gone. Wait for the Fun facts!
1976 Chevy Sport stepside has rust in usual places but is solid overall. This is how it looked in original owner's driveway.

Through With the Two Step
  So, what did Keith bring home? More than he thought. This is by definition a 1976 Chevrolet Scottsdale, short wheel base, stepside dressed in Tangier Orange and accented with a sporty white stripe package. Oddly it is optioned with a Quadra-jet topped 350, a manual three-speed transmission, manual brakes, no air conditioning and a 3.42 gear in the single traction rear end. That doesn’t sound unusual so far, does it? Now factor in the set of Rally wheels, power steering and analog gauges to go with that eye popping exterior. 
  The Scottsdale interior is a perfect Saddle tone. Very appropriately named and absolutely perfect for a truck called Scottsdale. It has an equestrian theme hidden right there under and all around you!

Heater only, no air, manual brakes.
350-V8 topped with an Quadra-jet carb just as it appeared from the factory. Heat only, no air, manual brakes. Bare bones but sporty.

The Step Pre-Lively
  The truck was not special ordered* as far as we can tell. But we would have thought it was considering the odd combination of options. The original owner reported that the truck sat on the 
lot of Sutherlin Chevrolet in Pell City, Alabama for six months. Somehow it missed finding a new home. If that is true, Junkyard Life surmises that they must have had a terrible sales team in the truck department. 
  We couldn’t sell water to a fish, yet I am confident we could have sold this sporty truck. It fit into the tie dye world of bold colors and trends of 1976. 
  After six months in dealership purgatory, the new, orange truck began a colorful life with owners who would hold onto it for 43 years. Boy, was it colorful! Trust us, read the Fun Facts. These may be the funnest of all the fun facting we have ever done! 

Perfect landing spot for the rescued C10. Let's get to work!

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
  Junkyard Life staffer Keith Lively hauled the treasure truck home. Remember the inoperable status and how the original owner just wanted to see it run again? Well, fifteen minutes after being unloaded, it was running again. Keith found a fuel delivery issue and to test his theory, he gave it a Junkyard Life solution. He strapped a small fuel jug to the grill, routed the fuel pump lines, checked fluids (looked great), added a hot battery and cranked that baby right up!

Junkyard engineering. The old external fuel tank trick used to bypass clogged fuel lines and trash that may be in gas tank that has been sitting for decades.

Say what?
  Sometimes things just work right. This 350-V8 starts easily, doesn’t smoke or leak oil. It doesn’t even have an exhaust leak. It runs quiet and appears as balanced today as it did in 1976. For a vehicle that has battled nature, where sitting dormant only exacerbates every issue, this one seems to have beaten the laws of physics. It does have the expected rust issues, but mechanically is rather sound.

The stepside is getting a fresh coat of paint on the wheels and some new tires.

Next step?
  This C-10 project can take many directions — 70’s street machine, pro touring, “as is” fun truck, rock stock or modify? What is a Keith Lively to do? While we order parts and rack our brains, read the fun facts of this truck and the rock and roll decadent life it led prior to being parked. Oh, the facts are fun.

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

*The truck potentially could have been special ordered and then simply not picked up. Deals fall through. It happens. Maybe the “three-on-the-tree” scared away prospective buyers?

Before the cleanup began this was a down and dirty truck. But wait, what did we find in the glovebox?...

1976 Chevy Sport truck stepside had an interesting history.
Red panties, Mardi Gras beads and a hotel matchbook. More than enough evidence to convict this as the party truck. Oh, and don't forget the bullet hole in the hood. Maybe, that's why the wife wanted to get rid of the old truck?

Scottsdale Party Wagon PG-13 Fun Facts
  1. The dealer was desperate to move this truck off the lot. According to the original owner, he traded a 1968 Chevelle for it and not a lot (if any) money. That must have been one nice Chevelle!
  2. The original owner claims the gun rack was already in the truck when he bought it new.
  3. The truck was not equipped with air conditioning. An aftermarket under dash unit from Sears was installed during the truck’s party years.
  4. There is a bullet hole in the hood with a strange entry point. It appears it was shot from a higher point. It happened at a bar is all we were told. See Fun Fact #5
  5. The original owner was a party guy. See Fun Fact # 7
  6. The RPO codes on a Chevrolet truck were in the glove compartment.
  7. While looking for the RPO codes, we found (really, we did) proof positive of the sultry night life this truck led — Mardi Gras beads, a hotel matchbook and a pair of red panties. 
  8. Why the husband was more attached to it than the wife all made sense to us after Fun Fact #4, #5 and #7 brought it all together for us.
  9. We previously associated Porsches, Corvettes and Trans Ams with this salacious lifestyle, but we were wrong. All you need is a really cool truck and maybe the right cologne. 
  10. Jody, Keith and Ron wondered if this guy was a former member of Van Halen or Motley Crue?

Editor’s Note: Ron’s statement “All you really need is a cool truck and maybe the right cologne” should not be used as a mantra or any kind of words to live by.

Goodies found in glovebox include red panties, mardi gras beads and a motel matchbook.

Three-on-the-tree 1976 C10.

350 emblem in the grill of the 1976 Chevy Scottsdale Sport stepside.

Wood still holding up strong in the bed of the stepside. Most of these beds rot out when left outside.

1976 Chevy Sport Stepside
Keith Lively attacked the side of the orange truck with everything in his toolbox to get the orange paint to shine again.

Before shot of dull, dirty paint on the ’76 C10 Sport.

The orange bed shines after layers of surface rust and grime are removed.
Amazing what some soap, elbow grease and determination can do to a junky ride. The orange bed shines after layers of surface rust and grime are removed.

Wheels are getting a makeover. New paint and some trim rings are on the parts list.

A bullet hole in the hood of the ’76 Chevy stepside. Could it be related to the long term parking and the red panties? We can only image it's a great story.

Square body trucks have been a hot item of late.

Gun rack was installed in the truck since new in 1976.

Nothing to brag about here. A heater and a fan.

Chevy orange valve covers look red next to the truck's orange paint.

Keith Lively ready to install a new tank in the Chevy Scottsdale.

1976 was first year for Chevy Sport.

Scottsdale was a trim level above the base model Chevy trucks.

Getting some respectable rubber under those fat rear fenders is a top priority.

Stripes all around even on the tailgate of the 1976 Chevy Sport truck.

Stripes that once appeared over the tops of the front and rear fenders have disappeared. 

Stay tuned as we make progress on the new Junkyard Life parts hauler.

Do you have a classic or muscle car barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at or Ron Kidd at


Unknown said...

Wishing I had my ole Chevy back. Loved the scotsdale sport so much. Loved her muscle,...her dual fuel tanks...a lost love...

Unknown said...

She was definitely more loyal,trustworthy and dependable than my ex husband who wronged her too!

Unknown said...

I daily drive a 76 Sport like this, wish it was 3 on the tree. I'm stuck with the TH350

Unknown said...

Can we see a picture of the SPID label in the glove box?

Unknown said...

I have the same truck but mines a 4x4 with auto I love mine I've had it since 2011 I bought it from the original owner

Unknown said...

I have a 76 C series rollback that I'm putting back together, hhmmm, using the parts my daddy left me. Its my dad's truck bit he's no longer with us. The fuel trick helper me out alot. Something so simple made my life hell..

GS said...

I had one back in the day. Loved that truck.

Muyami said...

My dad had one of these when he was a teenager in the same color and stripes! His wasn't 4x4, and was automatic, and he held onto it well into my teenage years. It was my first truck, I learned to drive and drove that truck my senior year of high school, sadly I didn't inherit from him, and I don't know what happened to it. I want my own, in this same orange to roll up and show to him. Finding one of these for myself, especially an automatic like I learned to drive on, would be a dream!

Unknown said...

Is there a site to buy a rolling chassis with a title? Thanks

tucker said...

I had one in the Scottsdale trim. 4X4 with lift and some giant tires, with the iconic white spoke aftermarket rims. That thing was a BEAST! I plowed through 30 inch snow drifts and ripped through the worst mudholes in that monster.
I got 8 MPG on it.