(Two) 1964 GMC 3/4-Tons
From Brian :
First off I would like to say how much this site has done for me; pleasure and information wise.
My Father owned a 1963 Chevy Wideside when I was growing up. Regretfully it was sold before I was old enough to get behind the wheel. But that truck has forever stayed in my mind.
My vehicles ranged from a 1979 Chevy 1/2-ton, three mid sixties scouts, a 1970 VW bus, a 1970 Chevy 1/2-ton, a 1967 Jeep J300, and a 1992 Toyota longbed. None of which satisfied me as much as the memories of our old '63.
So last year, finally out of college and economically stable (but not rich), I began a search for a running project. The only one I could find after a few months search was the 1964 3/4-ton GMC owned by Tom "marinaguy" Taylor (see information below).
Tom was located up in north Washington. I live in North California. So we spoke a few times and I decided to make the 12 hour trip.
We met Tom at 7:30 am on a brisk rainy Washington day, did a quick check on the truck (could not believe how much rust there was!) and hit the road.
The truck drove like a dream, but I cussed at myself the entire 12 hours home for buying another rust bucket!
Despite the rust and the other expected problems, the old '64 [ pix ] has been my daily driver for over a year now. But every time I looked at her, I cringed at the thought of how much money it would cost me to replace virtually all of the sheet metal, and not to mention the integrity of the mechanical parts.
With my wife’s blessings, a few weeks ago I purchased a local (mid-state California now) 1964 3/4-ton GMC for $600 (that's the one pictured above). It's running, pretty straight and in relatively good condition. It has the 305E V-6 that still purrs, three on the tree, 3/4 ton rear. It’s got rust, but not terminal! It needs some work, but between the two I should be able to make quite a good and reliable rig.
The GMC I got from Tom is also extremely reliable (4-speed w/ granny, and 3/4 to rear) and still gets about 17 mpg. As I said, it's my daily driver and it will be sad to see it parted out, but body panels are flapping in the wind due to all that Washington salt!
So, hopefully, I will soon be able to mix the best of the two into a trusted, un-rusted work horse. So I will keep sending updates.
Thanks again for the great site! I appreciate your work on this website immensely!
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16 April 2007
From Tom :
Well, everyone, it is a long, wonderful story. Yes, I did sell my truck, as of last Saturday morning, April 14, 2007. I initially had an inquiry from a fellow in New Brunswick. Then an inquiry came in from California, in which the guy asked if I thought it would slowly make it to California under its own power. I felt it would, and answered in the affirmative. Then he wrote back and said he couldn't buy mine until he sold some other stuff.
Then I saw the ad that Mike "Burgandybolt" Allen ran in the Swap Meet. He was looking for something similar to mine. So I contacted him. He said he would come look at it on Tuesday. OK. On Monday afternoon, the California man emailed and said he would take the truck, as he had cleared whatever he was supposed to do. I had to tell him I thought Mike was going to take it. He was seriously bummed. Then Mike found something he liked better and called to let me know. I did get a chance to meet Mike and Susanne. We decided to meet each other anyway. We had a great time talking about all sorts of things. I really liked them.
So I called the Californian and said he could have his truck. He was thrilled, and came forthwith sight-unseen over 600 miles, and took it. He drove it back to California down the freeway and got her home without incident, other than leaking some lube oil. He was able to maintain 65 miles an hour, and even went 75 a bit. It was a good runner.
Bottom line, the '64 went to a good home. I owned it over 35 years. I really like the purchasers. My yard looks way too empty! We'll see what happens next.
Best to all,
09 March 2007
From Tom :
I just joined Stovebolt. What a nice group. I have a 1964 GMC with the original straight six 230, a 4 speed on the floor. It has about 175,000 miles total, and is complete, but not restored.
I bought my truck in Seattle in 1971 from the first owner. He was a retired man who had a camper on it. He liked to fish at Neah Bay. I needed it, believe it or not, to haul ICE for my pleasure boat marina in Lake Union.
The truck drives fine for 43 years old. I don't drive it every day, but when I do, I am still pleased with how well it runs. It is not laid up. I would certainly start out on a trip across country in it with some preventative maintenance, and a few spare parts. I doubt the trip would be totally trouble-free, but it might be. It goes comfortably at 60 MPH (100km/h). It gets 15 miles per US gallon. (3.785 litres). I think that's 6.3km/litre.
Here are some pictures of the marina where we sold the ICE that my Stovebolt truck hauled. The fuel dock, the high dock, the low dock, a busy day at the Marina, and the grocery. Note the big ICE sign on the store. These pictures are from the late 60's and early 70's.
In those days, on my fuel dock, we sold a lot of ice to boats for refrigeration. We had to go to South Seattle and pick up our ice from Rainier Ice. I would get 7 - 300 lb. blocks and about 20 bags of crushed, then race up the freeway to Lake Union and put it in my ice house. Nobody would deliver it often enough for us, so we had to haul it ourselves.
I was able to locate four rims with the 8-bolt pattern. So I was able to convert to radials, numbered LT225/75R16, Load range D. So it has good rubber. It rides and steers a whole lot better than it did with the split-rims. With these good new radial tires, it rolls smoothly down the road without excessive vibration.
The motor purrs, and the transmission, differential and u-joints run properly. The gas tank is OK, but the gauge is unreliable. I have a tank stick. It has S/W oil pressure gauge and amps. The speedometer and odometer work. The engine got a rebuilt head a few years ago, but not many miles ago. Also it got a newer intake and exhaust manifold, which had cracked.
The truck has a newer, rebuilt, bigger radiator, and a water pump from about '86. The exhaust system is intact, but not exactly new. The sheet metal is all there, but some of it has rust. It is not so rusty that any of it would fall off during the trip, in my opinion.
Now in my 40th year of marina operation, we must "hang it up" for health reasons. My truck is surplus. It has been offered for sale on E Classic Trucks. There are four pictures under "More Info". All that ad has produced is a lot of e-mails from Nigeria.
I wanted you all to know about it first, because mostly, I want it to go to a Stovebolter. If you have any ideas, I would be very grateful.
I am sure enjoying being a member, and reading about all the rolling stock. Thank you for your good work.