07 February 2016 Update
# 2842

 
Owned by
Tom Siembieda
"switchlamp"
Bolter # 24937
California
 

 

1959 GMC DF 860 Cannonball

 

More pictures of my old truck
A cool video, too

Join the discussion about this truck
in the DITY Gallery

 

From Tom :

We have been enjoying the truck a lot, especially now that I am retired and can get out more. I thought I'd give a bit of an update since I've added some new photos, plus some video to the Photobucket album.

About three years ago, we decided to do some body work on the truck. We noticed there was a good bit of rust coming through all around the cab. It didn't have a lot of dents but there were a lot of holes in the metal that were not filled correctly. Some just had body filler and in many places, the filler had just popped out. We took out all the old bondo since much of it was already falling out.

A friend and I painted the truck in the driveway. I color-sanded it which is really labor intensive. We used the older style paint which is real thick and heavy. We did not clear coat the truck as the type paint we used did not need that. We buffed it up from there.

(If you're not familiar with "color-sanding," there is an article on the Hotrod Network showing "color sanding" in 125 steps! ~ Editor)

A friend of mine did some professional pin-stripping for me. He got a kick out of doing it on such a big "canvas" -- it was the first big truck he had ever done.

I installed a jake brake on the truck, added air ride seats in the cab and a CB radio.

The truck had two split rims and when it was time for new tires, we decided to replace the rims as well. Our local guy didn't have a problem with "the widow-makers" but we thought if we should ever need assistance somewhere else, we could run into a situation where no one would change the tire. So, we went for new rims since they were not expensive anyway!

I took the fifth wheel off and put a flat bed on the back. I made stakes for the side of it out of nice Oak.

We've gone to some local shows here in the summer. The most interesting thing is that people will follow me when I'm out driving the truck. If they continue to follow for any length of time, I usually turn into a parking lot and they ... follow me in. They usually have a story about a relative who had a similar truck, or they have some kids with them who just want to see the truck up close. I have given plenty of people rides.

One lady was following me, and I pulled over. It was our local police officer and her son really likes the truck. So, her son got a ride with the police car following behind.

I let anyone climb in it who wants to. It seems to attract a lot of people.

We don't travel too far from home. I like to keep it in a range so if something happens, I have people I can call to bring it home for me. I have friends with antique tractors and they haul around old trucks on their lowboys. So, as long as I'm close, I have a good towing resource.

Our city does a local calendar, and this year they included the truck in it. The Cat Scale Company is using the truck for the trading card series this year also. Even the jake brake company has used the old Cannonball on their Facebook page!

Tom


20 December 2010
# 2842

From Tom :

Finally got some pictures of my truck for you to add to the Stovebolt Gallery. This old truck is a 1959 GMC DF 860 tractor that I added a flatbed to. I purchased it back in June from a man in Illinois.

The Cannonball has a little over 7,000 miles since a total rebuild in the mid 1990's. The old truck runs excellent and I've gotten pretty good at shifting. Seems easier to not use the clutch. This thing really screams. It has a 10 speed Roadranger and is a blast to drive.

I worked on the truck for six weeks getting it registered, servicing engine and drivetrain, waxing, etc. It was in excellent shape but sat for three years, so I started doing some body work on it to prevent damage. Then the fun began! I removed the 5th wheel and added a short flatbed. I found some missing emblems an eBay and a fan for the interior. I fixed a few leaks. I lowered the rear fenders and shortened the mudflaps.

I am going to haul hay on it for our horses. My wife has yet to ride in it. She opened the door and said "I thought it would be like the trucks in 'Trick my truck'." Man, no appreciation for history. Her friends are liking it, though! And she did accompany me to our big car show up here in Tehachapi this past August.

I unloaded a bed for the flatbed from my pickup using the tractor. I redid the deck after installing it on the 860. Since I put the flatbed on it, it seems to have shrunk in size.

The bell was from a locomotive and used as a backup signal. It came with the truck and was given to a friend who collects train stuff.

Future plans call for a new paint job, polished aluminum wheels, polished fenders, etc.

The Stovebolt group is a lot of fun. Your site is one of my favorites and I check it all the time.

Take care and stop by if in Tehachapi for a ride!

Thanks,

Tom Siembieda

 

 

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