The Weight of a 1972 Chevy C10by Richard Rowe
"They don't make 'em like they used to." If you're the proud owner of an old Chevy truck, then odds are pretty good that you've said it a few times -- probably while driving past an overpriced Chevy stealership that rakes in a fortune reprogramming tire sensors and clearing airbag codes.
Shipping vs. Curb Weight
Pickup trucks, even within the same load range, can vary hugely in weight, depending on the powertrain, wheelbase and body configuration. For this reason, back in the 1970s most manufacturers listed vehicle weight by the "shipping weight" instead of the ready-to-drive curb weight. Shipping weight is the truck's stripped-down and "dry" weight, minus any fluids or optional parts or drivetrains. Shipping weight uses the base engine for that configuration, so it's a good place to start in terms of getting an estimate for a particular truck.
With the base engine and shortest -- 115-inch -- wheelbase, the shipping weight for a stepside with a 6.5-foot bed was 3,426 pounds, and the fleetside was slightly heavier at 3,506 pounds. About 3,100 pounds of that was the chassis and cab alone. Trucks with extended wheelbases -- 127 inches -- and 8-foot beds weighed about 20 pounds more. From this point, you can start adding weight: about 150 pounds for fluids, including a half-tank of gas, and about another 50 pounds for popular interior options and a full-sized spare. These weights also assume the base straight-six engine; add about 140 pounds if you've got a V-8 small-block, and 250 pounds if you bought a truck with a swapped-in big-block V-8 engine. In total, you can expect real-world curb weights to vary from about 3,250 pounds for the lightest C-Series trucks, to 3,410 for small-block, long-bed trucks, to as much as 3,570 pounds for a long-bed trucks with swapped-in big-block engines.
Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.