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06 July 2009
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From Matthew :
I am 23 years old and the proud new owner of a 1949 GMC 100.
I bought this Advance Design GMC truck from a nice man not far from my small town. He had purchased the truck, and had it shipped from Missouri about four years ago. He started to take little things apart, and generally began a very slow restoration. He didn't get very far when he had to sell the truck, due to a pending move.
I had just been thinking about buying a nice project, and happened to see the ad on Kijiji. He was asking $1,800. In the pictures, the truck looked good. So I called him, and went to have a look at it a couple days later.
It was full of random junk, bits and pieces, and boxes of random parts he had pulled off recently. The grille, driver door, seat, manifolds, lights, mirrors, tailgate, and other small parts like knobs and trim had been removed.
The obvious and immediate work it needed was on the running boards, and floorpan / kick panels, which were completely rotten.The cab corners and rockers were very solid. The bed was also very, very worn.
The truck was still in "farm mode." I'm guessing an old farmer somewhere in Missouri had made some "improvements" of sorts. The tailgate had been reworked and reinforced with crudely welded angle iron, as had the bedsides. Two spare tire perches had also been fabricated and welded to each bedside, out of rebar, angle stock, and other bolts, bits and pieces. Lastly, a nice beefy, albeit primitive, rear bumper had been fabricated and bolted on.
The truck needed all new glass and rubber. Tires were gone.
This was definitely a project. Of course, he assured me it had been running nicely before he started to pull things apart, which definitely made me chuckle a little.
Despite all this, I knew it was a good deal, considering the area. Original and unaltered trucks here, generally rust away to nothing before long. I could only afford a project, and could not afford to ship something from the south or the west. On the plus side, the truck was completely original, and all the parts that had been removed did seem to be present and accounted for. It had everything from the canvas wrapped wire all around, to the old full-pressure oiled GMC mill, and the saggy old cardboard headliner.
So I offered him $1,500, and he gladly accepted.
After a couple weeks of running over and gathering the smaller parts in boxes, I managed to get it home. This was in itself, a task. I had to find a time when four men with conflicting schedules could all get together. The seller, the friend at who's house the truck was being stored (in a fenced pen behind a uniloader), the fellow who I enlisted to trailer it, and myself. In the end though, it happened seamlessly.
We easily winched the truck onto the trailer. When we got home, the tires held enough air to roll it gently off the trailer, assisted by the handy winch, so it didn't smash though the back of the garage.
That day, I gave it a good cleaning out, and yes indeed, every single part and piece that wasn't bolted to the truck, was there. I had every bolt, light bulb, and bit of trim. I even scored a few free tools he had left in the boxes, and there was a second BRAND NEW glass bowl fuel pump, and a couple other Carter carbs. After the cleaning, it looked a great deal better than it had previously. I had scored a really good deal!
My next order of business is to order the shop manuals, and then to crawl over every inch of it to ascertain what is serviceable or rebuildable and what must be replaced with new. I plan on taking many, many pictures, and taking notes, as well as meticulously labeling, bagging, and boxing everything I take off. I'm thinking of making a web site to document the entire process.
This has always been my favourite body style and I've always loved the slightly beefier GMC's. So then, suffice to say I am VERY VERY happy with my new old truck and look forward to working away at it to return it to it's former glory. What I would like is to return it to a completely stock truck, right down to the paint, three-speed, and horsehair stuffed seats.
Thanks to anyone who's read my long-winded entry. I'm just so excited with this thing that I wanted to write the whole thing down!
Matthew -- for us old truck nuts, no story about an old piece of iron is too long. Thanks for taking the time to do such a good write-up. We look forward to updates and when you go on-line! We'll connect your site to your page. Congrats and welcome to the Fellowship of Old Iron. ~ Editor