1938 GMC Project

Here is an example of a very rare truck. It’s a 1938 GMC Long Bed pick up that was made by the Yellow Truck and Coach Company in Pontiac Michigan.

This truck was a very nice, solid original truck that was converted into a “Pro-Street” hot rod truck. It has a custom fabricated rectangular tube chassis with an Impala front frame clip. The welding was terrific, and the GM front end works very well. It has large front disc brakes and power rack and pinion steering.

The rear axle is an independent suspension unit out of a Jaguar with inboard disc brakes and 4 chrome coil-over shock / spring combination. This allows total flexibility to adjust ride height and provides the option for changing spring rates to tailor ride and handling. The rear brakes are being converted from the original Jaguar brakes to high performance aluminum Wilwood calipers.

The engine is a 350 cubic inch Chevrolet with a mild cam and an Edelbrock four barrel carburetor. There is lots of chrome and billet aluminum under the hood, and it now has air conditioning and heat. The A/C unit is from Hot Rod Air in Texas.

The charging system consists of a 12 volt battery and a 105 amp GM CS alternator fully chromed. Power steering is handled via a Saginaw self contained power steering pump mounted on Alan Grove brackets. The polished A/C compressor is a Sanden 508 mounted on Billet Specialties brackets.

The truck has come a long way since 1938! Seventy years ago it was equipped with a 216 cubic inch in line six-cylinder engine with a manual 3 speed transmission and drum brakes. It didn’t even have the optional heater in the cab. The ventilation was handled by a manually operated cowl vent and a roll out (opening at the bottom) windshield. These trucks were designed to work, and were very utilitarian and stark!

Now this truck has V8 power, automatic transmission, 4 wheel disc brakes, and power steering with a tilt steering column. It also sports 4 wheel independent suspension, heat and air conditioning, and a CD player stereo. It even has keyless remote entry as the doors have been shaved of all operating handles, and safe bear claw latches installed. Not bad for 70 years old.

The exhaust is 2 ½ inch mandrel bent stainless steel with two polished 301 stainless steel Aero Exhaust mufflers.

The truck rides on 4 Centerline aluminum wheels with new 18 ½ inch wide Hoosier Pro Street radials on the rear. Pretty nice setup!

When Diana and I purchased this truck, it was white with some striping and a logo on the tailgate. I had a small altercation and needed to do some collision repair on the front end. This led to the decision to perform a complete “frame-off” body restoration and change the color to a beautiful platinum
silver metallic.

I have spent approximately 400 hours straightening the body panels and getting all the sheet metal ready for its new coat of paint. When it comes to a custom paint job looking good and lasting a long time, it’s extremely important to do the best preparation.

Good prep accounts for nearly ninety percent of the finish quality. That’s why in today’s market, custom paint jobs can easily exceed twenty thousand dollars. In addition to sky high material costs, a great paint job is super labor intensive.

When the body work is completed and all sheet metal is painted, the truck will be reassembled using all new hardware with stainless steel fasteners installed where required. The accompanying pictures should speak volumes about the time, care and work going into this project.

We may even install power windows in the doors.

Keep returning to this site for updates on the progress of the 1938 GMC.

Happy Motoring!
Sam

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