Parking Garage Find, A 1965 Chevy C-20 Pickup!

By: Bruce Kunz

December 23rd, 2017

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Old Car Column

It was just another typical day at my “real job” (until February 28th, 2018!) a

nd I was finally heading home (yay!).  As I walked to my car in the parking garage at STL, my OCR (old car radar) kicked in and, just to my left a few yards, was a solid, albeit well-weathered, 1965 Chevrolet C-20 pickup.

(C-20 designates a 3/4 ton version.)  I just had to go over and get a close up view and what I found was a survivor… a fairly original old truck that had seen a lot in it’s day.  It was coated in the original Chevrolet Light Blue (they weren’t very creative with their color names), and showed the results of 52 years of exposure to the elements.  Several areas had worn through leaving a brownish-gold under layer.  The next night I showed it to a fellow TSA co-worker, Brad Johns, who is a big fan of pickup trucks.  His eyes got as big as pie plates when he first saw this unmolested survivor.

I left a note on the windshield with my contact information and soon had a response from the vehicle’s owner, Jason Geyer, a FAA traffic controller who splits his off time between homes in Maplewood and Kansas City.  Jason’s jobs have resulted in moving from town to town over the past few years and his oldest of six children is now a senior at a KC area high school.  He and his wife decided they didn’t want to relocate the entire family during their daughter’s final year.

During our phone interview, Jason explained how he happened to come by the half-ton Chevy pickup. It all started in 2010 when the Geyer’s decided they needed a second vehicle and that a pickup would be handy. Jason began perusing Craigslist and found the C-20 located in a small town near Salina, Kansas.  The tired little Chevy had been a farm truck thoughout its life, and those typically don’t rack up a lot of miles, so the 75,000 shown on the odometer at the time of purchase could possibly be actual.

Jason’s wife Verdean, however, was not overly thrilled about the thought of driving a nearly half-century old pickup with all the baggage that comes along with such a vehicle.  Jason, on the other hand, was very excited about this particular example for it was just like the one his grandpa once owned, right down to the color, and was the vehicle in which Jason learned to drive.

Jason eventually won Verdean over after coming to an agreement that he would update some of the more important items like steering and brakes, and install seat belts which were not standard fare in the mid sixties.  Jason was one lucky guy!  I doubt my aunt Dorothy would have been such an easy sell.

Jason’s truck is fitted with the 292 cubic inch, straight six cylinder engine… the largest of six available sixes that year (230 I-6; 236 I-6; 250 I-6; 261 I-6; 292 I-6 and 305 V-6), and the one Chevrolet marketers referred to as the “industrial motor”.  Following behind that engine is a 4-speed manual with floor shift and a “granny low” gear.  (If you don’t know what a granny low is, ask your grandpa.)

Also available was a 3-speed manual (three on the tree) and a 2-speed Powerglide automatic.  Nineteen sixty-five was the second year of a new cab design which had a new windshield without the previous wrap-around design, and a newly-restyled front grill.

Jason also monkeyed around with the carb and manifold set up, replacing the original single-barrel Rochester with a Holly two-barrel bolted to a Clifford Performance intake.  He also replaced the alternator with an internally regulated type.

The first generation of the C/K series Chevy pickup was manufactured for model years 1960 through 1966.  The K designated 4-wheel drive models.  Ten was a half ton, 20 was 3/4 ton and 30 was one ton.

Over the past seven years of ownership, Jason has debated what if anything, he should do to the light blue C-20 pickup.  He has considered everything from a full, frame-off restoration to absolutely nothing and just leaving the truck with the worn look that it has worked hard to attain over it’s half century life. My friend Brad says if he had anything to say about it, he would vote for leaving it just the way it is.

Jason Geyer’s 1965 Chevy C-20 “survivor” was featured in a music video in a song titled I Will Always Return, sung by Alex Boye.  Here is the link to the video as it appears on YouTube:

UPCOMING EVENTS: Stay tuned right here for upcoming events including information on the next Rollin’ With The FIN MAN tours for 2018.

REPEATING, BIG NEWS for 2018!  Now read this carefully so as not to spread any false rumors.  Effective February 28, 2017, I am retiring from my “real job” for the past 15 years, as a TSA screener at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  Don’t be confused!  I am NOT giving up The Old Car Column.  As a matter of fact, I will be devoting all of my attention to the expansion of the column to other markets, improving OCC content, taking my TKCS-StL booth for future car collectors to area shows and cruises, expanding Rollin’  With The FIN MAN tours (including possibly another trip to the Levi collection in late winter) and a revamping of my website at thefinman.com.  At this stage in my life, I have found that my real job has begun to conflict with my hobby.  One has to go, and I have decided it’s going to be the “real job”.

The Old Car Column, under my authorship, will continue for several years to come if, in the words of the late Wayne Stevenson, (former CMC Stereo v.p.), “God willin’ and the creek don’t rise”.

Meanwhile, Keep on Cruisin’!