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1955 2nd Series GMC 9300 (Canadian)


Owned by


Steve Johnston
Bolter # 17090
Cobourg, Canada

04 February 2008
# 2216

From Steve :

          I have a 1955 2nd series Canadian version GMC 9300 (base model same as a 100). This truck was built in Oshawa and is # 26 down the assembly line. Canadian manufactured GMCs used Chevy drivetrains because they went down the same assembly line.

          I originally bought the truck back in the late '80's for $1000. The truck was on Vancouver Island. [ pix of the bed ] It was a daily driver back then. While on a road trip down into the states on the I-5, I heard two clunks -- then my rear wheels seized up. By pushing in the clutch and coasting down the highway, I was able to pull into a gas station. I guess at some time someone had welded two of the fan blades. One went through the radiator; the other cut a gash into the oil pan. 

          Once I got the truck back home, I replaced the 235 ci with a 1970 LT1 350 that I had from my other car that had rusted out. I made a deal with a small shop to put a front clip on it from a 1968 Pontiac Firebird while I was on course in Ontario for six months. Here's a picture of the interior and exterior.

          Four months into the course, I get a phone call saying the shop had gone bankrupt and my truck was at the owner’s brother’s garage in parts. Upon my return, I was moving back to Ontario so I put the truck back together as a rolling carcass and shipped it up to my Dad’s house near Ottawa. I was always going to undo the damage but the military sent me to the east coast three years later. So it sat in his back yard for about 10 or more years with many people offering to buy it.

          In 1999, I was posted back to Ontario and I started earnestly to restore (sort of) the truck. I bought a 1956 Chevy frame with V8 mounts from California through Bill’s Trucks in Courtice. The motor is a 283 ci and came out of a 1966 Impala. It was bored 30 over and I acquired a vintage Eldebrock intake with the oil filler on the front. It now has a Holley 450 for go-go juice. For spark, I updated to an HEI ignition. The cooling system is a custom 4-core using stock tanks. I used a 3-speed out of a 1970 1/2-ton for a while but it now has a T5 out of a Camaro with an S10 tailshaft. It was still winding out on short tours so I replaced the rearend with a 12-bolt (3.08gear) out of a 1978 Jimmy 4 x 4. Dual Flowmasters handle the exhaust with the 1966 Impala ramhorns. The gauges are by Stewart in the original bezels and every single bolt has been gone over or replaced.

          This picture shows the truck in a cream colour, a high-build primer. The original colour was blue so I was kinda partial to it. So I went blue.

          I was going to re-chrome the front of the truck but I was quoted $3000. So, now it's powdercoated gloss white. I had fiberglass front fenders but went with repops so that is why the front fenders are black while the rest of the truck was cream. My tailgate is a repop so it's in primer for now. As soon as it gets warm enough, I'm going to paint the truck again. The paint that's on it right now is what I would call a skim coat to see how much body work I really have to do.

          It is quite the fun truck to drive. I made a run to the east coast this past summer for the Atlantic Nationals and everybody waves. The picture at the top of the page is from the show.

          Here is a link to my Photobucket account for picts. I also have a 1963 Acadian Beaumont wagon that I'm turning into a tow door rat wagon.

          Feel free to contact me. I have never seen another Canadian 1955 GMC on the road and I have owned this one over 20 years.


Steve Johnston


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