Glenn Pamer’s 1977 Silverado Has Logged 830,000 Miles and Counting
Survivors, high-mileage rods, and post-’72 “next generation” machines are just a few of the topics we’ve been exploring recently on Fuel Curve. Glenn Pamer’s 1977 Silverado rolls all of those elements into one vehicle.
The truck has been in the Pamer family since new and has logged more than 800,000 miles in those 43 years. Yes, you read that right – more than three quarters of a million miles!
We can’t imagine that Glenn anticipated logging hundreds of thousands of miles when he bought the Silverado-trimmed Chevy pickup in Merced, California, back on August 12, 1977. A future custom treatment was the last thing in his mind. Glenn simply wanted a basic pickup in a basic color. “I wanted a white truck, and this was the only white truck for miles around,” he says.
One of Glenn’s incentives for buying the Chevy was to improve the recreational opportunities for the family, which included two sons, Sean and Jason. The 1977 Silverado fulfilled its duties there. “We camped, fished, hunted, hiked, rode dirt bikes, and backpacked in many places,” Glenn says. “A matching camper shell was part of the early days.”
That camper shell was actually a central element in one of the family’s lasting stories about the truck. The boys were riding in the back while the family was driving to Southern California to visit relatives. “The truck was rocking back and forth,” Glenn says. “People were passing us and looking at us strangely. I checked the mirrors and saw all of the movement. We stopped and found [the boys] had been wrestling. We began to realize why the strange looks. What were the travelers thinking?”
The pickup’s 830,000 miles have been accumulated with three engines, each of them 350c.i. small-blocks. The first one was in the truck for 500,000 miles; the second for 300,000. The crate engine currently under the hood has logged 30,000 miles so far. It’s a sedate, stock-spec engine with electronic ignition, a GM throttle body fuel injection setup, and dual exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers. The original TH350 automatic transmission connects it to a 3.08:1-geared rearend.
After four decades as a relative stocker, the decision was made about five years ago to give the reliable C10 a fresh attitude. It took a little convincing. “I resisted for a long time,” Glenn says. Son Jason, who lives down the street, did a little prodding to change Glenn’s mind. “Dad, every time you go by, I can hear the springs squeaking on your truck,” Jason said. “You gotta do something.”
Glenn originally planned on just swapping in new springs and bushings, but Jason encouraged him to consider air springs. The plan soon evolved into a complete suspension upgrade handled by Eli at Air Concepts in Turlock, California. This included a Porterbuilt Level 3 Front Dropmember with tubular A-arms, Slam Specialties air springs, and Alston Varishocks, along with a KP Components four-link rear suspension incorporating a Watt’s link. An AccuAir E Level system and Hoosier air tanks were also part of the package. New rolling stock came in the form of 20-inch American Racing Nova wheels wrapped in Nitto tires.
The pickup’s cabin might look pretty stock, but it also incorporates some well-integrated upgrades. Sang’s Upholstery had recovered the original bench seat several times through the years with stock-style materials. This time around, they upgraded to blue leather in a custom pattern, while still maintaining a style that coordinates with the original door panels. Dakota Digital VHX instruments update the dash without taking away the factory flavor, while a billet steering wheel with a wood rim helps maintain the ’70s flair. A Vintage Air system helps keep the inside temperatures just right.
Good care and the Northern California climate have been kind to the truck’s body through the years, but a rearend collision forced Glenn to have it repaired and repainted a couple of years ago. Brent’s Customs did the paint work, keeping the stock-style white finish that appealed to Glenn more than four decades ago.
“The truck was always meant to be a daily driver, a family vehicle,” Glenn says. “And 43 years later it still serves the family.” To this day, it’s still Glenn’s daily driver.
“It was my first new truck, and I decided I wanted to take care of it and make it last,” Glenn says. To that, we’d say mission accomplished!
Photos by Steven Bunker