01 October 2014 Update
1936 GMC T-14 1/2-Ton Pickup
From Jim Carter:
The United States was experiencing the bad economic years of the 1930’s Great Depression. GMC, the leader of big truck sales, was feeling a market drop with no end in sight. Many of their dealers had either gone out of business or were trying to survive on customer mechanical repairs and selling other products.
The GMC Truck Division had to do something soon to save their dealers and themselves. A solution was to enter into the small truck business in 1936. No doubt, the GMC engineers had been under much pressure to create a light truck that would save this truck division of General Motors. The result: a very attractive truck that they hoped would be a step above the competition.
This finished product had more engine power for a light pickup, attractive trim and eye catching colors. The half-ton was referred to as the T-14. It came only in a long 126” wheel base. The short bed GMC half-ton (112” wheel base) was not introduced until 1937.
GMC was so proud of their new little half-ton. They even added an emblem with four fasteners on the lower right side cowl panel.
Very few of these T-14s have survived. Pat Kroeger's GMC attracted so much attention it was chosen as the Hallmark All-American Truck Keepsake Series Christmas tree ornament for 2013.
29 August 2008 Update
From Pat :
When I retired from the Fire Department in 2003, I started to look for another truck to have fun with. I previously restored a 1922 American LaFrance Fire Engine for the Department that I worked for, but wanted something smaller.
I was looking for a late 1940’s to early 1950’s Chevrolet truck. A friend of mine had a 1953 Ford F-100 and I wanted to be a bit competitive with him. While searching the Internet, I found a 1936 GMC T-14 in Queens Creek, Arizona. My Father-in-law lived part time close by in Phoenix so he went and looked at it for me.
After his inspection, I decided to buy the truck. I had it shipped back to Florida.
I found out from the seller that he was the second owner of the truck and that the original owner bought it new in June of 1936 for $695. It had been registered in Pinal County since new. The original owner restored the truck in 1989 and the second owner had done a few repairs.
The paint and body work was very good when I got the truck, but mechanically it was in poor condition. Every seal and gasket leaked, the brakes were shot, the head had a crack, the tires were dry rotted and the wood in the bed was dried beyond recognition.
In the last 10 years that I have owned it, I have taken care of the above items plus I have
I have plans to disassemble the bed, fenders and grille and refresh the paint, since 20 years of nicks, bumps and scraps need to be taken care of. I want to install four single action shocks.
Most of the mechanical items I have taken care of myself, but have farmed out the paint and chrome work.
I had no idea of the significance of this truck until I got it and started to research more about it. GMC offered this truck in two versions, Standard and Deluxe with the Deluxe version having chrome headlights and stands, chrome center grille gars, radiator ornament, polished stainless hood louvers and chrome hood handles.
In addition to that, GMC also offered a Deluxe Cab option that included a chrome inside rearview mirror, arm rest on driver side, chrome windshield frame, sun glare shield, dome light and chrome wiper arm. The chrome front bumper was an added cost accessory, also. The standard color was Green Murant with black fenders, but eleven other colors were offered either as a single color or two tone.
From what the original owner told me, mine is the original color combination.
I also found out after getting this truck, that 1936 was a very bad year for GM due to a labor strike that lasted for months. Production of this model GMC was limited to 11,250 of which mine is the 3,229 in the production run. The year 1936 was also, for the most part, a single year design for GMC. Few items came from 1935 and few items transferred to 1937.
I attempted to do a decent job of restoring this truck and although not a daily driver, I do put around 100 miles a month driving around to cruise ins and on weekends. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this truck and like the fact that it is somewhat of a unique truck.
This IS impressive. Thanks for the added information about the 1936 GMC 1/2-ton. Being a rare truck, it's nice to have as much information as we can ... so when someone else is searching, they may discover your truck to find some answers! She looks great! ~ Editor
01 June 2003
From Pat :
Here are some pictures of my 1936 GMC T-14 1/2-ton. I bought this truck in Arizona from the second owner.
The truck is in remarkable condition with only slight surface rust in the bed area. I have started to replace worn mechanical items and will start on refurbishing the interior and bed wood soon.
Patrick - Thanks for your submission! That is a great specimen of a pre-war GMC! ~ Curator
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