Someone Spent Five Years Making a ZL1-Powered Black Hole on Wheels, Barely Enjoyed It

1965 Chevy C/K 14 photos
Photo: Mecum
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I’m all into collecting cars for the sake of using them as museum pieces, but only when said cars have some sort of historical (or some other kind of) value. What I don’t get is why some people do the same with vehicles that are not innately special, but ate up a lot of hard work and years of sweat.
You all know the Chevrolet trucks of the 1960s,. Part of a line of trucks that became known over the years as the C/K, they were offered as the C10 half-ton and the C20 three-quarter ton, and that made them perfect workhorses.

Because these trucks were born in the 1960s, they came with a kind of styling that made lots of people fall in love with the family. So much so that, even if decades have passed since then, we still get to see C/K rides being saved, customized, restored, and then sold.

For some reason, many of the pickups that make the rounds at auctions across America come with very few post-conversion miles on them. It would seem people prefer to save them unspoiled in the hopes of making a profit later on, and that’s a damn pity.

I mean, how many of you can brag about having driven a C/K powered by a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 engine made in 2005? Or having stepped inside a ride so dark it’s like diving into a black hole?

That is, in a nutshell, what the Chevy C/K we have here has to offer. Originally born in 1965 to serve the need of Americans, it was recently transformed into a black beauty that deserves to be taken out on the road, and not saved in a garage for profit or bragging rights.

1965 Chevy C/K
Photo: Mecum
We don’t know who made this thing, but we do know they’ve spent no less than five years putting it together, according to its current owner. After it was completed at an undisclosed point in the past, it was only driven for 265 miles (426 km), making it a waste of perfectly fine mechanical bits.

I’ll start with the engine, because I’ve already spoiled that surprise. It’s unclear what engine the truck originally packed under the hood, but it now uses the 454ci ZL1 Ram Jet I mentioned earlier. It’s an engine the likes of which just 199 others were made back in 2005, making it even more special.

The engine was probably not modified from its stock form, but it doesn’t need to be for the task at hand. It was, however, paired with a 4L80-E automatic transmission so that it could be properly contained.

The engine sends its power to staggered wheels, sized at 20 and 22 inches in diameter, respectively, by means of a Currie 9-inch True-Trac rear end. Like everything else on this thing, the wheels are painted in a deep shade of black that barely lets any ray of light escape.

Stopping power for the truck comes from Wilwood disc brakes mounted on all four wheels, working in conjunction with slotted rotors. The suspension system that replaces the original one is of the custom variety, relying on Bilstein shocks to handle the more difficult terrain.

All the blackness of the exterior, which is also visible at the rear, where the floor of the bed was made in black walnut, is somehow continued inside as well. Granted, we’re not treated to this particular color, but the dark brownish-red leather used to cover the seats, the dashboard, and the door panels are not far from the dark side of things either.

1965 Chevy C/K
Photo: Mecum
The dashboard holds a pushbutton start, custom gauges made by Haneline, and the controls for the Vintage Air system. Power windows are also included in the package.

This beautiful and borderline scary 1965 Chevy pickup is at the center of our attention today, but buyers and those interested in experiencing it firsthand will have to wait until Saturday, July 13. It is then when auction house Mecum will be sending it under the hammer during the Florida Summer Special sale taking place in Kissimmee.

The seller and the auction house make no mention as to how much they expect the truck to get from interested parties, and there seems to be a reserve on unknown size placed on the vehicle.

Just to give you an idea of where things will probably sit once the auction is over, keep in mind that valuation specialist Hagerty places the value of a 1965 Chevrolet C10 at over $64,000.

Do remember though that this value applies to a concours condition truck, meaning one that was restored but not necessarily modified. It remains to be seen if this black hole-like Chevy we have here will beat that and make its builders happy with the time they’ve spent putting the custom ride together.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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