Pickup trucks were designed to get work done. Bare-bones and sturdy, a pickup like Kacy Smith’s green 1972 Chevrolet C10 has years of service in its wake, but now it is in semi-retirement and gets to relax—and help Kacy relax at the same time.
More than pure happenstance, there’s a reason that Kacy and I share the same last name. She is my sister. You might even recognize this pickup from a few of our Hagerty DIY videos. It’s a pickup that has been a part of Kacy’s life for more than a decade now, and her history with it is a story some might recognize.
“I was looking for a project car to work on during my time studying for my Automotive Restoration degree at McPherson College,” Kacy says about the hunt for a fun project. “We had a blue ’59 GMC for years when I was growing up [in Kansas], but it had been sold before any of us were old enough to fix it up.”
That blue GMC might have been the start of Kacy’s love for the utilitarian beauty of pickups. This particular Chevrolet, however, was not a beauty when Kacy exchanged $500 for it and drove it home. It required careful entry and exit to keep from catching either skin or pants on the rotten rocker panels, and the paint was in pretty terrible shape. It was reliable though, starting each time the ignition was turned.
Kacy drove the Chevy a lot in those first years of ownership, back and forth to summer jobs while doing the necessary maintenance to keep it roadworthy. Even while studying at McPherson, the truck got anything it needed, but a restoration was not yet in the cards. Until…
“I was taking sheet metal fabrication as an interterm class in January 2008, and the professor gave me the option to replace the rocker panels and cab corners,” Kacy says in Hagerty’s latest Why I Drive video. “The only problem was it spiraled out of control from there.”
The ensuing restoration kept the truck in some state of disassembly for almost 10 years. A classmate’s restoration shop in Kansas kept working on the pickup after Kacy moved north to Michigan to work on Hagerty’s claims team in 2009.
“It is rewarding to use my restoration experience to help fellow owners through tough times as they repair their beloved rides,” she says. “It used to wear me down a bit though to talk about classics all day but not be able to enjoy my own.”
That all changed when she had the truck shipped from Kansas in 2016. While there were still some finishing touches that needed to be done, it was ready to cruise. And cruise it has. A lot.
“Getting out for a drive in this truck is just relaxing for me,” kacy says. “It’s not fast, so I just have to take it easy and relax for a bit whenever I take it out. It might be a lot shinier than it used to be, but I still feel like those days when I was using it on the Kansas backroads.”
Who would have thought a big green pickup would be the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of life? It might be a bit unconventional, but that’s fine by Kacy. The enjoyment of driving her vintage Chevy is a lifelong passion now.