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Steve VandenBerg's

1971 GMC 3/4-Ton


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06 February 2006
# 1403

From Steve: 

     This 1971 GMC 3/4-ton lived in my Dadís shed most of its life. It always had a camper in the back from the time it was a couple of months old. It sat there and sat there, and I grew up checking out that truck for many years. When it became apparent that the truck was in need of rescuing, I started to call the owner. He wasnít interested in selling the truck as his son was just starting a family and he thought it would be a great way for his kids to do some camping.

     After several years of pestering, I finally gave up with the impression that I would never own that truck. The truck continued to just sit there. I guess he had been out there in 1991 to start it. The brake pedal just went to the floor so he never took it out of the shed.

     One day I got a call and was asked if I still wanted to buy the truck. I made a trip to my Dadís farm that night to make the transaction. Apparently his kid had decided that a new truck was the way to go. So the owner called me.

     We got the truck pulled outside. This was a real "barn find." This is the day I dragged it out (in 2004). It had not seen daylight since 1986 I believe. Thankfully, the tires still held air when we pumped them up. One of the rear wheels was really sunk in the dirt floor of the shed because of a badger tunnel. The camper had to come off for me to get it on my trailer. I looked down at the wood bed and saw all that factory paint covering all the bed boards. It looked almost like new. The truck was just coated with a thick coat of dust and we had to wash with wet rags just to see through the windshield so we could load it. I asked about the tailgate and the owner said he had it in his garage. Now I was just happier than heck that here was going to be a brand new tailgate for this truck too. He searched his garage and couldnít find it. He then went out back and found the tailgate had been moved outside and set on the ground. So here was a near perfect tailgate without any scratches or dents in it -- with the bottom edge rusted out. I could have clobbered the guy for that.

     I got the truck home and cleaned the fuel tanks, replaced the fuel lines, lubed the engine and made sure I could turn it over by hand. Got new tires and overhauled the brakes. I washed it real good and put in a battery. I primed the carb. It started up after two tries and sat there idling perfectly.

     The truck has zero rust (with the exception of the tailgate) and a couple of light scratches. No air, but power steering and brakes, a beautiful 8 track player and CB radio. The interior still looks pretty good. The truck has 49,961 original miles on it.

Steve VandenBerg
"Builder"
Bolter #6449
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

     Steve's got a number of trucks in the Gallery : a 1965 Chevrolet Pickup Truck; a 1959 Chevrolet 3200 Apache Fleetside; a 1971 GMC 2500 LWB; a 1948 3600 LWB 3 Window; a 1951 Chevrolet 3100 LWB 5 Window; a 1952 Chevrolet 3100 SWB 5 Window Utility; a 1957 Chevrolet Suburban; a 1958 GMC 100 LWB Stepside Big Window; a 1958 Chevrolet 3200 Apache Fleetside a 1951 Chevrolet 1.5 T. Flatbed; a second 1959 Chevy Apache Fleetside 3200; a 1960 Chevy Apache Shortbox; and a 1947 Chevy LWB Stepside. As of Stovebolts were not enough, Steve hasa a saga about bringing his 1969 Corvette back from California; and a piece from Corvette Fever on finding a 1966 Corvette! ~~ Editor



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