Mike Barnes'

1950 GMC 1-Ton Pickup

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01 August 2005

From Mike: 

       Hello - Thanks so much for the UBB. It really is the ultimate.

       I thought it was about time to send you part of my story and a couple of pics of my 1950 GMC 1-ton pickup for the gallery. I bought this around 1983 after searching all summer and looking at several old trucks. For some reason this one kept calling me back. It is probably because it is a 1-ton and it was sitting higher and more prominent. Also the original pimpernel scarlet paint must have struck a crazy nerve in my head. Funny thing is that by coincidence, I later bought a home that was owned by the same farmer who bought this pickup new.

       I didn't know a thing about auto mechanics and I am still quite dangerous! That is one reason I wanted an old truck. Plus I have fond memories of driving my Dad's '51 when I was 16. Well, I had my work cut out for me. For some stupid reason I started with the 248 engine. Fortunately my brother-in-law is an expert machinist and quickly announced the block was cracked. I know of an old junkyard in my hometown and drove to the owner's house on a Sunday at dinner time. I expected him to cuss me out of his yard when I knocked on his door. I guess I caught him in a good mood. He asked what I needed and I mumbled that I saw he had a old blue GMC and I needed and engine, and maybe the grille, and .... Then, I said I basically wanted to strip it and was wondering how much? He scratched his head and said, Well, how about $20 dollars.?" 20 dollars! Wow!

       I got the engine, tranny, head, heater, turn signals, grille, glass, a Chevy radio and a bunch of other stuff I forgot about. This "new" engine was a 228 and according to the literature, it was correct for my truck. The old junk yard was buried by a bulldozer after that. The guy had sat on a pile of '20's through '50's cars and trucks. Then he destroyed it right before he would have struck gold! There were two other GMCs and seven or eight Chevys in there, too.

       I removed the cab and sandblasted it myself. Then I took an auto body class and finished it there. Meanwhile I sandblasted and painted the frame three times until I was happy.

       I had all 4 springs duplicated by St. Louis Spring and bought the rest of the undercarriage parts from Jim Carter. I put in the engine, fired it up and drove it 1/4 mile down the road and back. Then I moved and had to put my baby into storage from 1985 until 2002. I worked on it over a winter. Then I bought a '55.1 Chevy 1/2-ton and have been spending 99.99% of my time on it. The GMC is still my baby and my favorite, but it is all stock except for the Fulton Sidesheilds. However, it rides like a hay wagon. But I figure on driving my '55.1. I got rid of the Chevy grille guard in the pics after I found an NOS cattle catcher guard. I also discovered my Fulton Sunshield didn't seem to fit right because it was not correct for the truck and I have the correct one now (NOS) but still on my shelf.

       Even with the little 228 engine this boy is bad! With the granny 4-speed and 5.14 rear it literally leaps when you hit the gas and has a throaty macho sound with the original type muffler. I simply cannot imagine how awesome a built 302 must sound and perform. To heck with V-8 engines.

       I've seen quite a few 1950 Chevy 1-ton pickups, 1949, 1951 and other 1-ton GMC pickups and lots of other 1950 model 1-ton GMCs but I've never seen or heard of a 1950 GMC 1-ton pickup anywhere. If you have one it is apparently very rare, and I would love to hear from you. Of course, I love to hear from anyone who owns or enjoys AD pickups.

       I'll send pics and the story of my 55.1 Chevy in the future.

       Thanks for all your hard work on the forum also, it is truly wonderful and I appreciate your kindness.

All the best,


Mike Barnes
Stovebolt handle: 50GMC253
Franklin, IL (a tiny little 2-horse town about 35 miles SW of Springfield)

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