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  • 1971 Chevrolet C20 Longbed - Shortbed Conversion - A Little Outta The Middle

1971 Chevrolet C20 Longbed - Shortbed Conversion - A Little Outta The Middle

Early Classic Enterprises Plays Lumberjack And Chops Down A Longbed C10

Calin Head
Mar 1, 2007
Photographers: Early Classic Enterprises
Photo 2/45   |   shortening 1971 C10 Longbed drivers Side View
With the popularity of the '67-'72 GM trucks still holding strong, it's seems nearly impossible to find a good clean shortbed truck to restore. Anyone lucky enough to own one has a dozen stories of people chasing them down and trying to buy their ride out from under them. They can usually produce a few windshield notes and business cards left by prospective buyers, as well. On the other hand, there seems to be a plentiful supply of longbed models still floating around, and many savvy builders are constructing the truck of their dreams by acquiring a longbed and shortening up the chassis.
Now, this seems like a giant undertaking, but truck frames are shortened and lengthened every day to accommodate different applications in the big truck industry. The same techniques can be applied to the light truck market with great results. In this story, we'll follow along as Early Classic Enterprises cuts out about 20 inches from a '71 C20 3/4-ton truck. If you are really good with a welder, you can cut down the bed's sheetmetal, but luckily, there is an option that requires a little more money but a lot less work. ECE sells a new reproduction shortbed kit that comes with everything you need to complete the shortening. If you are having trouble finding the shortbed truck of your dreams, then read these words and see if you want to shift your search to a longbed. Happy hunting.
Sport Truck
Tech Tip
Finishing Touches
Speaking of knickknacks, the kit also includes the taillight and back-up light housings, lenses and gaskets, along with a new rear lamp wiring harness. Early Classic also offers LED rear light inserts that replace the factory bulb for that modern look.
Most of the longbed trucks have some sort of step bumper that won't look nearly as clean as a conventional chrome blade. ECE puts this rear bumper kit together to ditch the work horse bumper, which includes everything you would need, including the proper brackets and even the gravel guards.
Photo 45/45   |   shortening 1971 C10 Longbed drivers Side View
The Final Word
This modification is pretty involved and not for the faint of heart, but it can be done if you pay attention and have proficient welding skills. The money you save buying a longbed can be directly applied to the parts needed for the conversion. The math on that might equal out to the same price, but at least the shortbed parts will be brand-new as opposed to needing restoration.


Early Classic Enterprises



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