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1957 GMC 100

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Owned by James Stepp
"speed 6351"
Bolter # 6150
Elko, Nevada

Talking about this truck
in BIG BOLTS Forum

20 December 2006
# 1744

From James:

             Hi again! I thought I'd include my 1957 GMC 100 series in the Gallery. As you can see, it's a big window cab but it had carried a big camper most of its life so the rear glass was gone long before I got the truck. You'll also notice it has a 1957 front end but has a 1958 Fleetside bed. I've always called it a '57 even though it's titled as a '58.

             It took almost a year to get this truck. It sat inside an impound lot and I drove by it every day. I finally found the lot's owner and asked about the GMC. He initially told me he wanted $1200 for it. That was way out of my price range so I had to pass on it. A couple of months later, I checked with him again and the price had dropped to $900, but it was still too much.

             I guess it was about six months after that when I saw him at a gas station and asked how much he'd sell it for. He said "I'll let ya have it for $600. That's what I'm into it for storage." I told him I'd try to get that much together for it (had no idea how...). The following payday, I stopped at his office and asked one more time if he'd work with me on the sale. He asked "How much do ya have right now?" I said "Okay, I'll skip the phone bill this month so I'll have ... $312 so far." He said "That'll work. I'll find the title and meet ya at the yard tomorrow about ten. You can pay me then."

             Since I bought the truck, it's made several highway trips and commuted between Reno and Carson City every morning all one winter. It's pulled my 35 foot 5th wheel RV from Elko to Reno, then from Reno to Boise, Idaho, then to Caldwell, then to Marsing, then back to Elko. It's towed way bigger loads than are legal for its size, notably a 10 X 55 mobile home I moved about six miles for a friend in Reno. And other trip was a '66 Chevy C-60 I towed from Elko to Spring Creek, about 12 miles.

             The original 347 V-8 barely made the trip from Marsing back to Elko (used 9 quarts of oil and ran out of gas four times in about 300 miles). So I installed a very good '68 Pontiac 400 Grenaded in the rear end, replaced it with one from a '75 GMC 4X4, (3.08). I sold the 400 Pontiac engine and was given a '55 GMC 270 as part payment for the 400 and installed it. It's not as healthy as I was led to believe (burns oil and has a lot of wristpin noise) but since I changed it over to 20/50 oil, it seems to run a little better and smokes less.

             I tried running a Saginaw 4-speed for a short while but with the taller axle ratio it had too high first gear ratio. So I'm back to the ol' SM420. It doesn't have to pull RV's anymore so I plan to use it for puttering around town and lighter duty work. Future plans include another engine swap, to a 250 or 292, a new clutch and a rebuild on a different Saginaw I have with a lower first gear, to be installed later.

             If you keep up on the old GMC trucks forum, you've probably seen my ordeal with changing from a V-8 to a six.What a project THAT'S been!

             It currently has bucket sets from an S-10 Blazer but if I can find another bench seat, I'd like to change it back. It's also been fitted with a sunroof and a spotlight.

If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old. ~~ Will Rogers

James Stepp

Speed has a lot of trucks (you can see those listed in his profile!); coming and going. In the Gallery he has a 1952 Chevy 6400 Dump Truck, a 1954 GMC 350 Flatbed, and a 1957 GMC 100. He had a 1962 Chevrolet C-30 that is still in the Gallery but no longer with us and he recently sold his 1957 GMC 2-Ton 350 Low Cab Forward Dump Truck.


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