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-   -   One Ton Suburban (https://6066gmcclub.com/showthread.php?t=48275)

Ed Snyder July 10th, 2014 06:57 AM

One Ton Suburban
4 Attachment(s)
As promised in the thread about the Wichita Mini-Meet, I'm starting a new one about the 1965 one ton GMC Suburban my Dad bought new 49 years ago and just turned over to me. While I'm too old now to own it for another 49 years myself, I do hope to enjoy it for many more years before passing it on to my own son.

Time permitting, I'll post various photos and descriptions, starting with some exterior photos taken at Mom & Dad's house in Wichita. Click on thumbnails for enlarged views.

As mentioned previously, this truck began life as a panel truck with rear doors, but was converted into a Suburban with liftgate/tailgate and four rows of seats to accommodate our 11-person family (I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters). The standard Suburban and half ton panel share the same 7-1/2' body shell. The one ton panel has a body 3' longer at 10-1/2'. Actual overall length is 19'-6". Weight is 6400 pounds. GVW is 8800 pounds.

Foley July 10th, 2014 07:41 PM

Re: One Ton Suburban
This will be a good thread Ed. There are a lot of great stories about the foresight your dad brought with him when he ordered this Suburban, and the modifications that were made along the line. Keep the stories and pix coming. It was also a pleasure to meet your father, and the other members of your family there in Wichita.


Ed Snyder July 10th, 2014 09:25 PM

Re: One Ton Suburban
4 Attachment(s)
All eleven of us managed to survive thousands of miles in this truck without seatbelts or air conditioning, driving all over the Colorado Rockies and trips to Indiana and New York to visit relatives.

Here are a few interior photos:

6066gmcguy July 11th, 2014 01:25 AM

Re: One Ton Suburban
That was before we had Global warming......and Death waiting around every corner.

Great Pics, I always enjoy see this Suburban.

Ed Snyder July 11th, 2014 02:29 AM

Re: One Ton Suburban
2 Attachment(s)
The 351C has had nothing but high-zinc Amsoil 10W40 in it since about 1973. Amsoil gear lube in the trans, Watson, and rear end too. I had to add a quart after 1200 miles on the road. 600 miles later, after I got home, it's now down a half quart. I didn't think that rate of consumption was too bad for having 154,000 miles on it.

Here are a couple of engine photos. Note the chrome plated air cleaner and valve covers. They were on a demonstrator at the dealer. At the end of the model year one of the salesmen gave them to Dad -- no charge! I've got the originals too, along with other miscellaneous parts like two original hubcaps.

Hobie July 11th, 2014 04:21 AM

Re: One Ton Suburban
Simply awesome!

Leeadamj6 July 11th, 2014 05:13 AM

Re: One Ton Suburban
That's great. I think it's especially cool that you have your own memories of that truck. Your son will be proud to own that piece of family history someday. Those windows and and backseats are great. Look forward to more pics.

Ed Snyder July 11th, 2014 06:51 AM

Re: One Ton Suburban
1 Attachment(s)
Dad drew the windows he wanted, and had them made by Young Windows in Pennsylvania. They're still in business today: http://www.youngwindows.com/. They came in a wooden crate. In the photo below you can see that the front half slides to the rear. The rear half is fixed, similar to a regular Suburban of that era. The windows have a separate track for the sliding screens which are easily removable. The minimum order for the rubber extrusion required for installing the windows was about twice what was needed, so now I've got three boxes of window rubber that I'll probably never use.

Dad felt that cutting that much sheet metal out of the side panels would weaken the roof support too much, so he had four supports made out of square tubing to place between the windows. You can see one of them in the photo.

There weren't enough beds for all of us in the 24' Avion trailer Dad used to tow with the Suburban, so some of us boys usually ended up sleeping in the truck instead. The screens were much appreciated, letting summer breezes blow through while keeping bugs out.

Ed Snyder July 11th, 2014 07:09 AM

Re: One Ton Suburban
1 Attachment(s)
The predecessor to the GMC Suburban was actually another Suburban, but not what you might be thinking of. It was a 9-passenger Plymouth wagon that Dad bought new in 1957. By the time it was 8 years old, it was in serious need of replacement for two reasons: our family was out-growing it and, even with an add-on aftermarket transmission oil cooler, the Torqueflite transmission kept burning up while trying to tow the 5000 pound Avion travel trailer with it, especially up mountain grades in Colorado and other Western states. I remember being stranded for a few days in Baker, Oregon, one year while getting that trans overhauled yet again.

The '57 Plymouth Suburban was pretty cool with the rear-facing third seat and the power rear window that rolled down into the tailgate, unlike the Fords and Chevys with their old-fashioned liftgates.

GMCDAC July 12th, 2014 12:28 AM

Re: One Ton Suburban
This GMC is so amazing I just don't know what to comment on! Did Darryl Starbird do all of the customizing that your Dad wanted done, like the window installation and interior reinforcement?


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