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Leonardtown, Maryland


1972 GMC Pickup Truck

Owned by

Steve LeBlanc
LaPlace, Louisiana


01 October 2007
# 2070

From Steve :

           My Dad bought this GMC pick-up new in 1972 from Superior Pontiac - GMC in Marrero, Louisiana. The cost of the truck was $3,294.  The vehicle came with a 350 V-8 engine, a Quadrajet carburetor, a manual transmission, a heater and power brakes.  It had no radio or air conditioning. I guess those things weren’t very important to him.

           After his death in 1973, I acquired the truck and used it for many years to go to work.  My two boys drove it quite a bit when they were growing up and fortunately, it survived that time in its history.  (Driver Side - Rear)

           In 1995 I decided to give it a rest and rebuild the truck back to its original condition. Working in my spare time, it took me about five years.  I ‘d like to share with you the process I went through to get the vehicle to the point where it is today.

           I started by removing the truck’s bed. This gave me access for sandblasting and painting the frame.  (Rear Frame 1) I used a small sandblaster, which I bought at Sears, so it took me quite a while to get the job done.  The results were well worth the effort. (Rear Frame 2)

           Next I tackled the front end. (Front End) I removed the hood, the fenders, the inner fenders, radiator, heater and the motor and transmission.  This gave me access to sandblast the front of the truck frame and repaint the firewall. (Firewall

           A substantial portion of the inner fender under the battery was rusted away. (Fender 2) So I fabricated a new piece for that fender. (Fenders) A friend of mine brazed the pieces together for me and after sandblasting and a little bodywork, I primed and painted both of these fenders. (Fender 3)

           The inside of the fenders and the hood were also primed and painted. (Hood)

           I then gutted the interior of the cab, including the gas tank. (Cab 1) The overhead, the dash, the inside of the doors, and the area behind the gas tank were all sanded, primed and restored back to their original color. (Cab 2) (Cab 3)

           While I had the engine out of the vehicle (Engine 1), I decided to overhaul it. I put in new rings and inserts, did a valve job and installed a new water pump and timing chain. I also got a kit and rebuilt the carburetor. I then dressed up the exhaust manifolds, applied a new coat of engine enamel and installed the motor and transmission back into the vehicle. The truck had only 86,000 miles on it but I figured while I had the engine out of the vehicle it was as good a time as any to do the job. (Engine 2)

           Next, I worked on the bed.  (Bed 1) Straightening out all of the dings and dents that it had gotten over the years was quite a chore.  I managed to flip the bed over (Bed 2), sandblast the undercarriage and apply a primer and undercoating.  Surprisingly the bed floor was still in very good condition. (Bed 3

           Placing the bed back on the truck was an ordeal, to say the least. I first jacked it up off of the trailer that I used to haul it around and placed it across two planks supported by four sawhorses. (Bed 4) This allowed me to back the truck under the bed. (Bed 5) Once the bed was over the truck, I jacked the bed up and removed the planks. I then jacked the bed back down on the truck frame. (Bed 6) There were a few scary moments but everything worked out fine.

           The tailgate was another story. It was really in bad shape, especially the lower portion. It was rusted through badly and required a lot of patchwork. I didn’t want an aftermarket replacement because I couldn’t find one with the embossed GMC lettering.  So I did my best to put the one I had back together. With all things considered, it turned out looking pretty good.

           After completing what bodywork was required on the truck’s exterior, I sanded and primed the entire vehicle.  At that point, I was ready for the finish coats of paint to be applied. A good friend of mine who owns the LaPlace Custom Paint and Body Shop here in LaPlace was kind enough to allow me to use his spray booth. He also applied the finish coats for me. He’s been painting cars all his life and he is very good at what he does. He painted the inside of the bed on one day and he did the rest of the truck the next day. The paint used was PPG Acrylic Enamel.  He did an excellent job.

           When I got the truck back home, I proceeded to re-install the grille, bumpers, mirrors, door handles, lights, lenses and all the other parts that were removed for painting. I also installed a reconditioned instrument bezel, a new dash pad, had the seat redone and put in a new steering wheel. (Interior)

           I’ve taken the truck to a few local car shows and to “Cruisin' the Coast” events in Gulfport, Mississippi a couple of times.  I’ve received a lot of complements from individuals who have an affection for old trucks, but I think my greatest thrill is when I take my Grandsons for a ride every once in a while. For some reason, they’re in love with this old truck.

           For me, this truck has a lot of sentimental value and I’ll probably never get rid of it.   If my Dad were alive today, I think he would be mighty proud of it. The youngster in the truck picture at the top of the page is my grandson, Brandon.



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