I’m giving away my age by saying I was 10 years old when our family purchased “Big Orange” from “Downtown Chevytown”, nearby (or even at) what is now a Whole Foods Market (at S. Washington Ave. and Hennepin Ave.). Immediately afterwards, and I do mean IMMEDIATELY afterwards, it went to the Ziebart Rustproofing shop and got the full treatment. It NEVER went out in the salt covered roads unless it was washed afterwards before going back into the garage.

{Picture that if you will. I’m not exaggerating. Two grown adults, in the cold and snow covered driveway, using a garden hose and brush-like things to scrub the top, sides AND BOTTOM of a full sized Suburban, literally just before it goes back into the garage stall it had came out of earlier that day.}

Big Orange is a 1973 “Garage Queen” C10 Chevy Suburban, with a 454 engine, 2WD, a (un-recharged) Front AND Rear A.C. unit, and plenty of patina.
It was parked in a tornado in the 1970’s so some panels on the driver’s side were repainted at that time. All other paint is original. Absolutely ZERO restoration work has been done on it. There are five known rust spots. One obvious, one hidden, two (or three?) at normal locations.

I want a new truck. So, after 50 years, yes FIFTY YEARS, it’s time to sell “Big Orange”.

$16,900.00 or highest offer above asking price.
75,029 miles, on the body & frame and NO the odometer has NOT “rolled over”.
75029-60363 = 14,666 miles on the motor (see story below).
VIN is circa: CCZ163F140xxx, first sale 3/10/73.

It had 67854.15 miles on 09/06/04 (gas receipt). Prior to circa 2004, it had been in storage for a long time. Various saved receipts show and my memory agrees that it was brought out of hibernation circa ’04. I literally pulled it out of the garage, changed the oil, belts, plugs, and so forth. (It is POSSIBLE that I did not change the coolant, as I still have those hoses.) Since then, it has been out in the summer for 100 gallons worth of fuel ( 2 fills x {30 main + 20 Aux.} = 100 gallons ) before being put back into storage for the year.

Midas Muffler and Tail Pipe(s) installed 5/1/82, but I doubt the warranty is transferable.
Several NAPA receipts for parts, dates on or near 09/03/’04.
Tires Plus, all 4 shocks replaced, 10/28/05
Blower Motor and other items 11/09/2005.
Precision Tune Brake Shoes, Pads, Rotors, U-joint & “WHL CYLS” done 04/18/’17.
Tire Plus / Firestone P235/75R15 LX108S tires installed 08/30/’19.
Circa 2020 the carburator was tuned. I will share contact info of the gent who did the work with the eventual buyer.

The Malkerson Motors fiasco:
We have a letter from the attorney general’s office, dated Sept. 11th, 1990, that firmly sets the time frame for this story. Notes saved from my father also back it up. Paperwork from Malkerson state the miles were 60363. 1990-1973=17 years old the truck was with 60.3k miles on it. My memory says that one or more cylinders had head gasket issues with maintaining pressure. I could easily be wrong, and I’m not great at interpreting someone else’s handwriting, including my father’s. He ended up going to the Malkerson dealership because they promised him a brand-new factory “crate motor”. But there was a delay, and a delay, and another delay. From GM or Malkerson? Who’s to say after all this time. But in the mean time, management changed at Malkerson. The new service manager needed to show who is the boss. He asked why this ’73 Suburban was collecting dust in his lot, and did not like to hear that they were waiting on a new motor. So he “fixed” the situation. He ordered a locally produced rebuilt engine, from “Southside Rebuilders” to be installed. My father was normally a very calm guy, but this made him furious. I don’t recall the final solution, but I do know that some dollars were sliced off of the final bill.

So, there you have it, a single-family-owner “Garage Queen” Suburban C10 that has been fairly well cared for for the past FIVE DECADES is up for sale. I’ll be sorry to see it go, but I also want a new truck, and there’s no space for the both of them.

Leif Pihl

Note: I intend to attend the July 21st to 23rd St. Paul edition of the “Street Machine Nationals”, but I am of course interested in a sale before the event.

Here come the pictures…

Original bill of sale next to odometer.
The Garage Queen in her lair.
Included with sale
Passenger's side (with the other stuff).
Front grill