Can you image being involved with the first K5 Blazer design and build? How about the newly released 1973 Chevrolet C-Series trucks? My friend Mr. Paul Hitch was the Chief Engineer for Chevrolet Trucks from 1965 to 1976.
I had the honor of interviewing him about his time with Chevrolet (1935-1978), and the time he spent engineering Chevrolet trucks during the C10 Era. Paul said that one of his biggest accomplishments was the completely redesigned 1973 C10. He said that the truck was originally to be released to the world in 1972, but because of time delays they pushed the “Squarebody” as we know them now, back until 1973.
Think about that – “the 1972 Squarebody!” Or “the 67-71 era” It doesn’t sound right at all, does it? It’s funny how things happened back then that we wouldn’t really know it any other way or want it any other way.
All of our trucks have their flaws – Cabs that smell like gas, rockers that rust, hoods that crease, I can go on – but just like you and I, these trucks weren’t perfect. Those imperfections have evolved into legend –
Without the “stories” of saddle tanks that explode, hoods that fold and frames that crack by the steering box. What would we talk about? How about the funniest one (for you squarebody guys) that damn glove box ghost!! As a kid that thing would scare me as it would randomly just “plop” open and bounce a time or two. HaHa, you just gotta laugh at that nowadays.
Think about it – If we could go back and have a meeting with Paul and his team –
Ok fellas, we have a few things we need you to fix! Please make it so the battery
tray acid has a path to travel so it doesn’t just sit on the inside of the fender. Please make ALL cabs big back windows. Please make steering wheels that don’t melt in the sun and dash pads that don’t crack like the Grand Canyon.
You can meet a total stranger and they’ll comment, I remember my dads old truck – He would have to pump that thing 20 times before it would start or my dad would have to get under his truck and hit the starter with a hammer 5 times before it would start. The list goes on, and it’s just another bond of loving these old trucks. We can’t go back and tell the Engineers what to fix, but would we? Nah – that would take the fun out of it.
Chevy runs deep, whether you’re a 102-year-old former Chief Engineer or the proud new owner of your first C10 about to learn about rusty rockers, smelly cabs and steering wheels that melt.