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Leonardtown, Maryland


Owned by Don Thela
Bolter # 11886
Kingston, Rhode Island
01 October 2008 Update
# 1719

From Don :

        Here is another update (this actually was an update from way earlier this year ... so, we may have more data soon! ~ Editor). A few pictures of the continued body work: One and a Two.

        Since last summer, we were finishing up the the frame and drivetrain, down to the brakelines. The body was sent off to a shop (finally!). Hopefully this guy does good work (I guess we'll all see).

        I'm going to put a 2003 Silverado three section seat in the front; and two front seats for the second row. I'll use an extra cab seat for the third row.

        Hopefully the body will be on frame by April.

        For the paint scheme, I decided on teal body and roof with off white band around windows. The interior will be teal.

        I'm still searching for a carpet long enough for the Suburban front cab.


06 June 2007 Update
# 1719

From Don :

           Here are some updated pics of the 1963 GMC Suburban with all the new sheetmetal. [ View from the back ]

           I can tell you that Suburbans have different cab mounts than pickups. And aftermarket floors don't have them in the right places! It was an insane job to fit the tunnel patch in the firewall .... measure 20 times then cut.

           By the way, ground metal is very sharp and I will have this scar on my wrist to remind me. (Always work while someone is around to drive you to the Emergency Room).

           The LMC rockers fit perfectly. The inner rockers were different. I had to take out the entire rear floor and replace with a spare. (Thank God I had the spare.) Had to fabricate the rear cab mounts. They have a step in them due to 'Burbs rear floor panel being higher.

           Here is Don's series of pictures ... it looks like a LOT of work here and figured you'd want to see as much as you could. (We'll tag these later if we are able.) Feel free to email him if you have questions. ~~ Editor

           Image One; Image Two; Image Three; Image Four; Image Five; Image Six .

Don Thela

12 November 2006
# 1719

From Don :

           Well, I did it. A new 1963 GMC Suburban is taking up space in my garage and driveway! The first item .. I'm looking for dual exhaust setup, close to the original. I could use just the "bend " numbers and have my friend bend it. I want it to match on the other side. I can't seem to find any information on the pipe up to the manifold in any systems books. Also looking for a four speed shifter.

           I could use some local contacts in the Rhode Island area to pick their brains for tips on restoration. The frame is done. The body needs panels. I have extra sides, gates, front end parts, etc. -- if anyone's looking. I have a 1960 Burb 305 3-speed parts truck that I am picking parts from. Just let me know what you need. I'm keeping it stock retro with the 305 V6.

           The truck was listed by Gerald on eBay not too long ago. RJ said he had sold him the body and Gerald came to Colorado to get it. RJ said Gerald does good work. After I bought it, Gerald and a friend delivered it in two trailers (there were a lot of pieces). I'm glad to hear from you all that it was a good purchase. [ View from the backside ]

           Lotta work ahead though ... still searching for a body man that doesn't mind a long term project. I had posted in the forums that I was looking for some help in the New England area and WOW what a response!! I know I'll be chatting with you all soon. Most body shops want insurance work, not long term projects. Looks like I'm gonna learn panel replacement the hard way.

           I'm looking forward to meeting new GMC friends.

Don Thela


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