Rusty and Rare '76 Chevy K10 Sport Truck Runs After Sitting in a Barn for 20+ Plus Years

Nothing impresses a classic car collector more than getting an old rusty rotting automobile back on the road. It’s an excruciating journey that takes considerable time, replacement parts, and, depending on the condition of the car – a ton of money.
1976 Chevy K10 Sport 8 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/Junkyard Digs
1976 Chevy K10 Sport1976 Chevy K10 Sport1976 Chevy K10 Sport1976 Chevy K10 Sport1976 Chevy K10 Sport1976 Chevy K10 Sport1976 Chevy K10 Sport
A year ago, Kevin of Junkyard Digs YouTube channel found an abandoned 1976 Chevy K10 Sport. In his own words, it was the rustiest truck he’d ever seen and had been sitting in a barn for 20-plus years.

He was right. The rare ’76 Chevy K10 truck had seen some better days. It was rust-ridden to the frame, with most of the exterior body panels, including the fender wells, door panels, and rockers barely hanging on the truck.

The motor is still somehow attached to what resembles the maybe of what may have once been a frame. And up front, the reason we bought it really is this nice Hiniker plow,” Kevin confessed, assessing the rare truck. “We are going to see if we can get this thing to maybe spin over, maybe fire, maybe run,” he added.

Fortunately, the engine showed signs of hope when he tried turning it over (it wasn’t a complete disaster after all).
1976 Chevy K10 Sport
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/Junkyard Digs
The C/K series of trucks were produced by GM for model years 1960 to 2002. The 1973 to 1987 model years, popularly known as the ‘square body,’ were built in plenty, and as a result, they are still available in today’s used car market at affordable rates.

Kevin’s find is a rare 1976 Chevy K10 Sport. The hood, rusty fenders, and door all have the iconic original ‘Sport’ decals. Under the hood, the rare step-side truck packed a Chevy 350 V8 small block, running on a four-wheel-drive layout.

When the 1976 Chevy Sport truck came out, it was advertised as ‘striking, yet personal.’ It donned iconic special stripping, unique tires, wheels, and cab back molding. The short-wheelbase step-side truck was available in both four-wheel and two-wheel drive in the Scottsdale trim, complimented by a customized vinyl bench seat (in both trims).

The ’76 Chevy Sport truck was initially built as a workhorse, but some enthusiasts have turned it into a show car over the years. Meticulously restored versions turn heads yearly at car shows like Concours d'Elegance – a solid reminder of its gracious past.
1976 Chevy K10 Sport
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/Junkyard Digs
Getting the old rusty truck to run wasn’t a walk in the park. It took Kevin and his friend three days, at least seven battery packs, a carburetor, spark plugs, and a starter replacement. But after all that hassle, they still couldn’t get the gears to engage.

When they finally got the gears to engage, they noticed the left rear tire was stuck, and the right rear tire wasn’t holding any air. Upon further inspection, they discovered the drums on the left rear tire were completely rusted.

It’s not shocking that the Chevy 350 V8 engine could turn after sitting abandoned for over 20 years. After all, the Chevrolet 350 small-block V8 is prevalent across the globe for its durability, outstanding performance, and smooth running.

Gearheads particularly love it because of its simple design, which makes it perfect for modifications. It’s also one of the most transferable powerplants that sit snugly in automobiles other than Chevys (including Fords).
1976 Chevy K10 Sport
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/Junkyard Digs
Several things could go wrong when you let a vehicle sit for too long. For starters, there’s always a chance the car will get vandalized by someone looking for replacement parts, critters escaping the elements, and, of course, wear and tear.

Its worst enemy has been the elements for this rusty Chevy K10 Sport truck. Apart from its rust-ridden exterior, getting the truck to run was an extreme sport.

It’s essential to note, gas breaks down over time, and in the process, it forms gunk (gums and varnishes) that remain in the vehicle’s fuel system. The longer the gas sits in the system, the more this goo is produced.

Vehicles with carburetors will have difficulty running well if their tiny passageways are gummed up by gunk produced by deteriorating gasoline.

If you are lucky, all you’ll need is a simple carburetor clean-up service (spraying fuel line cleaners), but most times, vehicles sitting for more than two decades will need a rebuild (servicing the needle, jets, gasket, and seat) or a complete component replacement.
1976 Chevy K10 Sport
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/Junkyard Digs
The duo finally got the rare '76 Chevy K10 running right – not enough to do donuts, but enough to know that the four-wheel-drive system works. Kevin won’t be taking up the rare truck restoration project. His friend will. It needs a ton of bodywork. Getting a rust-free body over the frame would be a good idea since everything else works fine.

We recommend catching the rest of this rusty 1976 Chevy K10 truck revival in the video below. You could learn a thing or two about reviving these old rare square-body Chevy trucks.

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About the author: Humphrey Bwayo
Humphrey Bwayo profile photo

Humphrey is a car enthusiast whose love and passion for automobiles extended into collecting, writing, driving, and working on cars. He got his passion for cars from his Dad, who spent thousands of hours working on his old junky 1970 E20 Toyota Corolla. Years later, he would end up doing the same with a series of lemons he’s owned throughout his adult life.
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