Danny Gillrie’s Aunt Gail was the proud owner of a 1972 Chevy C-10 pickup truck and started a family trend when she drove the truck on long road trips, complete with a camper, to faraway destinations.

Gail’s spirit of adventure and love for her ’72 Chevy truck were a big influence on her nephew Danny over the years.

In fact, Danny wanted to buy the rig off her but was shot down when he tried to convince Aunt Gail to sell the pickup to him.

Jim Sutherland

Gail added he was “in a long line of nephews who wanted the truck”, so Danny assumed he would never become the truck’s owner. However, Aunt Gail recognized his devotion to the truck, so Gail gave it to Danny at a very late stage in her life while she still had an opportunity to influence the Chevy’s future ownership in the family.

Danny became the truck’s owner about 21 years ago and decided to honor his late aunt in the best way possible: on the road in her beloved 1972 Chevy C-10 truck. Mission accomplished in a big way because Danny told MyStarCollectorCar the truck “probably has over 300,000 miles (500,000 kms) on it”, and most of them have been accumulated on major road trips.

The ’72 Chevy left the factory with a 350 small block that was used up by a lot of miles on the road, so Danny replaced it with a fresh 350 that is still under the hood. He added the truck still has its 4-speed manual tranny that shows no signs of serious wear and tear after 51 years on the road.

As mentioned, Aunt Gail had a camper on the truck for her long road trips, but Danny upped the ante with a 5th wheel trailer behind the ’72 Chevy for his long-distance highway adventures. A good example was a road trip that took him from his Alberta Canada home to Louisiana in the southern US, a round trip distance of over 4600 miles (7400 kms) on the road with the trailer in tow.

Danny’s road trips have included the famous Route 66 path, along with excursions down the Pacific Coast highway to California. The truck has performed very well in deserts, although it does not have air conditioning, so the blazing heat was an issue for the Chevy’s passengers, one that was not entirely remedied by its old school vent windows. 

In stark contrast to all that desert heat, Danny and his wife took the truck to the northern community of Dawson City, Yukon Canada, a round trip of about 3400 miles (5400 kms) from his home. A radiator issue required replacement with an oversized rad in the Yukon, one that has performed flawlessly on road trips since its installment.

Overall, the truck has been a very reliable performer, so Danny also uses it as a daily driver because he finds it more comfortable than his late model Dodge truck.

Additionally, his Dodge truck was never owned by Aunt Gail, a woman who meant a lot to Danny, so her memory is always very strong for Danny whenever he gets behind the wheel of the 1972 Chevy C-10 pickup truck.       

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.