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Old February 20th, 2022, 06:39 PM
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Default My 1960 GMC 1000 Build Journal - Feb 2022

Well, I guess * * * * must've finally frozen over because I just dropped my 60 GMC 1000 series pickup at a reputable qualified body shop for its restoration.
This set you see here are the first pictures I've really taken of it since getting it back in 2014 when it came to me "mocked up" for transport vs really together.

To give you the 30,000 ft view of what it is and what I'm doing, I'll start with its history. The truck was special ordered from the Florence AL Pontiac and GMC dealer and delivered in Fall of 59. The owner wanted a flashy short bed truck to use pulling a cattle trailer out of state to various sale barns and such, so he needed as much torque as he could get and chose the new V6 because of its hefty design and low likelihood of common failures like overheating. Because he was traveling at highway speeds he opted for the 3 speed overdrive transmission. He ordered it as a solid Black full "Custom" model with big back window and a short wheelbase wideside bed, and added every comfort RPO he could get so it had two armrests, two visors, cloth seat, deluxe heat, radio and tinted glass. Outside he got the "Custom appearance" package including the rare optional hood jet and seldom-seen stainless side mouldings, chrome grille and chrome bumpers. He had the dealer install power brakes and window washers, hazard flasher switch, day / night mirror, tachometer and oil guage. He had the oil changed and regular maintenance done at the dealership and at some point about 1966 he had the truck repainted Black but this time with an upgrade - adding white on the roof and back of the cab, and because he like the jet stream flying down the side of the 62-66 Chevrolet trucks, he went to the Chevy dealer and bought Chevy's "skinny" lower aluminum bed and door trim and installed it under his stainless 60 trim then painted in-between white to match the roof. I am guessing despite how that sounds, it was probably a head turner in fresh shiny black with all that shiny side trim. Over the near 50 years he used it, he drove the truck enough mileage to require 2 rebuilds of the 305A, and at some point he managed to burn up the solenoids and maybe the trans itself, but in any case, he swapped the original 3 speed OD trans for a non-OD trans. He said the truck had easily 300K+ on it and the 305A was still running like a champ with no smoke when we found it in 2006. At the time, he had no interest in selling so we earmarked it for later. In 2010 a buddy went by his house and was shocked to see it out by the highway with a for sale sign in the windshield. He stopped and after hearing all the above history, and seeing the man had truly loved it so, the two agreed on a fair price of $4000 for it. Josh, my friend, called saying he'd finally lasso'd it so I drove the 2 hrs NW of here to see it. We took it for a drive and I was never so impressed with an old trucks' handling of curves and good power, handling and braking. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. Josh planned to have it painted so he proceeded to do what I tell everyone to never do - take it apart. Never take something apart unless you are budgeted to have it painted immediately. A thousand trucks per year are dismantled by dreamers with no money, and then they post ads that say "selling because I have too many projects and no time" when all they really mean is the new wore off and they never had a plan or any money and had no business buying it in the first place. Anyway, after a few years of sitting in pieces, he managed to take the front fenders and have them repaired at a body shop (why they are in grey primer) but that's as far as he got so he finally let me have it in maybe 2014 or so. I had no budget so I didn't do anything but store it mostly, but managed to powdercoat and restore the entire frame beforehand and swap the non-original 3 speed trans to a correct Hydramatic since I couldn't find a 60-62 GMC with a correct OD in it I could rob. The truck spent enough time outdoors that there were cracks in the drip rail and typical rust in the floors and rockers so I had planned to tackle that when a good friend lucked into a super sweet 60 GMC longbed in California that had been brought to a salvage yard, so I was able to sweet talk him out of the 100% rust free cab - identical to mine in that is also was a custom 60, so it had the trim holes and big floor hump, and incidentally was a hydramatic to boot.
So these beginning pics are of me swapping the cabs, showing how perfect the replacement cab is, and "mocking up" for transport to the body shop. Hood was transported separately along with the front bed panel, wheel tubs and tailgate. Every part of the original truck is being saved despite the cost in hourly labor, minus the cab itself. The original bedsides are the nicest, straightest set I have ever seen on any 60-66 truck. Could have replaced the front fenders vs paying gobs of hours undoing what Josh's shop cobbled and saved a lot of money, but I really do want the truck to have as much of its original body as possible since the cab is being swapped. I am saving the original cab and repairing it for use on some project one day or maybe selling to one of you later on. I will add to this thread when I have new pics to share. Thank you for reading all this and for caring about old GMC trucks

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Attached Images
File Type: jpeg before cab swap .JPEG (828.7 KB, Multiple views, 8 clicks)
File Type: jpeg Cab on rack.JPEG (1.09 MB, Multiple views, 5 clicks)
File Type: jpeg cab hoisted.JPEG (948.0 KB, Multiple views, 5 clicks)
File Type: jpeg Hydramatic oil decal .JPEG (627.1 KB, Multiple views, 6 clicks)
File Type: jpeg rt rocker .JPEG (906.3 KB, Multiple views, 6 clicks)
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My 60-66 GMC Projects:

1960 Custom Cab 1000 SWB Big Window, 305A V6, factory PB, Hood Jet, Radio and Hydramatic.

1962 K1000 4x4 Short wideside, Big Window, 305D w/ SM420
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