It was in 1973 that Chevrolet introduced an all-new pickup truck. This new version of the C-series truck was a completely redesigned version of their already popular C-series. This would be the third-generation of the C-series hauler, which actually started production in 1960. Vehicle design and testing processes were changing at a fevered pace, and this would be the first year that a computer was used to design vehicle features. Some of the truck’s components even underwent simulated testing on this new-fangled device before they were even manufactured.
Not long after being released to the buying public, the truck gained the popular nickname of “square body”. We’re not exactly sure where this comes from, because GM branded the truck as the Rounded Line. The designation from GM originated from the pickup’s rounded styling cues. These included rounded windshield corners, a rounded cab roof, and even rounded truck bed corners with wraparound tail lights.
Once again, buyers had their choice of two styles of pickup boxes: Fleetside or Stepside. The Fleet side was available with either a steel or wood floor, and initially, the Stepside was only available with a wooden floor. This was also the first year that a four-door pickup truck was available from Chevrolet. These Crew Cabs were available in two versions: a “3+3”, which seated up to six people, and “Bonus Cab”, which deleted the rear seat and added lockable storage in its place.
For the 1973 model year, the base (standard) trim level was the Custom, while a mid-range trim option was the Custom Deluxe. Stepping up to a more posh trim gave you the Cheyenne, and if you were looking for the top-of-the-line in truck luxury, you ordered the Cheyenne Super.
When it came to the motivational duties, there were plenty of options. Buyers looking for economy, could choose one of two available inline six-cylinder engines. There was also a 262 cubic-inch V6 available. It was the 70’s, and V8 engines were everywhere. Chevy offered truck fans the 305, 350, 400, and 454 cubic-inch gas engines. But if you were looking for diesel power, you could choose either a 350 cubic-inch Oldsmobile V8 or a 379 cubic-inch Detroit V8 engine.
The “square body” pickup as it’s called, has a huge following, and finding one to build as a project is tough. Many of them are either destroyed, or already in the hands of an enthusiast.