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Trim

1960-61 GMC Deluxe Pickup

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012


1960 GMC Deluxe Pickup
As the US economy was making its gradual improvement that began after WWII, truck and car buyers started ordering more options and accessories.

To help attract buyers that wanted a little extra, manufacturers such as the GMC truck division, began offering a more deluxe package. It gave no additional working ability to the base model trucks but certainly added eye appeal. A different paint scheme, add-on trim, and more tasteful interiors were usually part of this deluxe package. The customer could pay one additional price and all the extras came together. The dealership made additional income and buyers received all the extras GMC engineers designed to be part of this one price extra.

This example of a now rarely seen deluxe 1961 GMC pickup is owned by Steve Colburn of Salinas, CA. It is an untouched original! What a great way to see how GMC did it over 50 years ago is to look at Steve’s GMC.

Though sharing most of the metal panels with Chevrolet, the GMC Division wanted no part of using most any trim other than their own. They created it only for the 1960-61 GMC.

Look closely at the changes GMC placed on Steve’s ½ ton to be different than Chevrolet.

Paint scheme: The color division line is often under the trim though sometimes at the point where two body lines meet. For example: The top of the bed exterior side is welded to the lower panel. This is a division line.

The horizontal stainless trim under the rear window was used on all 1960 and 1961 deluxe GMC’s. It was similar to Chevrolet but each end is totally different. See the cab article-1960-66 Chevrolet Cab Trim on this website.

The stainless vertical cab trim behind the upper door is a GMC only item.

Of course, the grille is totally different than the Chevrolet and is chrome on these deluxe models.

Bumpers are like Chevrolet and are chromed.

The white standard GMC hub caps were chromed.  Steve has them, but he is looking for the wheels.

The cab seat cushions are the same between Chevrolet and GMC, however the vinyl and cloth covering is designed differently.

The word “Custom” displayed on the deluxe 1962-1966 GMC, is not used on the 1960-61.

The stainless windshield trim is shared with Chevrolet.

The V-6 hood side emblems (GMC only) are chromed only on the deluxe cab.

Steve Colburn’s 1961 GMC deluxe package pickup is the “real thing”. In its over 50 years the correct trim and colors remain. Even its 305HP V-6 is still in place. To find another example in this untouched condition would be almost impossible! You can contact Steve at stevencolburn@gmail.com

1960 – 1966 GMC V-6 EMBLEMS

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011


During these years, GMC’s claim-to-fame motor was their V-6. In fact, from 1960 through 1964 this is the only engine they offered in their vehicles. The emblem on each side of the hood showed the world the truck had the V-6. A strong large cast-iron block had a two-barrel Stromberg carburetor. The spark plugs in the head were above the exhaust manifold, quite different than the Chevrolet V-8 design (even today) with the plugs below their manifold.

In 1965, GMC began to also offer an inline 6-cylinder, which was the first time ever that GMC and Chevrolet shared motors. It was actually the great little 250 6-cylinder that Chevrolet introduced earlier in 1963. As their base motor, it had a lower price point, provided better gas mileage, and required less expense when repairs were needed.

GMC held strong to this V-6 motor design. It was offered through 1969, even after they began also using the Chevy V-8 in 1967. The V-6 emblems were not displayed at the end of their 1966 body style.

1960 - 1966 GMC V-6 EMBLEMS
1960-62
1960 - 1966 GMC V-6 EMBLEMS
1963-66

1957-1960 Hubcaps

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the early years of GM truck production, many examples exist which relate to their vehicles being designed more for work. Changing a trim part for appearance reasons was usually secondary if it resulted in unnecessary expense. Often parts were used that had already been on GM automobiles. This eliminated expensive new tooling costs and kept GM truck prices in line with the competition.

An excellent example of this type thinking is shown with the 1957-1960 hubcaps. Even though the 1960 pickup was a totally redesigned vehicle, GM carried their older hub cap on this new pickup. The reasoning goes back to keeping truck prices low. The 1960 1/2 ton wheel was to be the last carrying the inside spring clips to secure the hub caps. As truck hub caps were used several years, it was not likely a new 1960 design would be created for only one year. GM held off from using a redesigned hub cap until 1961 so that it would fit on the new non-clip wheel. To stay with tradition, this new 1/2 ton cap was then used three years.

To keep the 1960 3/4 and 1 ton hub cap appearances similar to the 1/2 ton, GM again retained the earlier style. This occurred even though the larger truck inside clip split rim wheel design was basically unchanged between 1946 and the late 1960’s.

Chevrolet and GMC each had their own different hub cab design during this time, however, they both changed styles at the same time. A full Chevrolet or GMC wheel cover was unavailable for the deluxe 1957-59 truck models. GM simply chromed their standard caps that were otherwise painted white. An optional chromed GM wheel ring could be added on the 1/2 ton series in 1957-1959 Chevrolet but not during 1960. These trim rings were stock on the 1957-1958 Cameo but dealer installed on other 1/2 tons.

In 1960, a full wheel cover was introduced on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Package. Actually, it was from a 1956 Chevrolet Belair car and 1956 Chevrolet Cameo. Once again, GM used this stamping from five year old tooling and saved production costs.

1957 1960 hubcaps 1

1960 Wheel Covers (above)

Stainless Steel on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Pickup. 15″ Wheels only.


1957 1960 hubcaps 2

1957-1959 Wheel Rings (above)

Chromed steel wheel rings that blend with optional chrome hub caps to give appearance of full-chrome wheels. 15″ wheels only.


1957 1960 hubcaps 3

1957 Chevrolet Trim Mistake

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1957 Chevrolet side trim unfortunately had the threaded holes that connects it to the fenders in the same position on the right and left sides. This creates a problem for many during painting. The right and left interchange! Therefore, body shops often attach them to the wrong side after painting the two fenders.

These emblems were made to look like a rocket with red-orange exhaust. Installing them incorrectly points this rocket in the wrong direction. The new paint lines created by tightening the emblems on the fenders prevent them from being reversed. The damage has been done!

Actually the emblems have “right” or “left” cast on their back side. If the shop would only look, the mistake would not happen!

gm trim mistake 1

Correct trim (above)

gm trim mistake 2

Incorrect trim (above)

1955-1957 GMC Fender Emblem

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1955 1957 gmc fender emblem

During the mid-1950’s most car and truck manufacturers begin to install optional V-8 engines in their vehicles. To set the vehicles apart from their six cylinders, V-8 emblems were designed.

This GMC front fender V-8 emblem was used during 1955 through 1957. The GMC letters were on both six and V-8 trucks.

The pictured Hydramatic emblem is removable and would not be in place on a truck with a 3 or 4 speed manual transmission.

1965 GMC Deluxe Fleetside

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1960’s, most still considered pickups work vehicles. The manufacturer designed them as haulers and few people owned them as their only family vehicle. However, a slight change was beginning with truck buyers as Americans began to have more disposable income. GM and other truck producers were aware that extras on work vehicles were finding more buyers. Each year additional pickups with deluxe equipment were ordered.

This 1965 GMC 1/2 ton is an example of this trend. Though it obviously had been a work truck, it’s optional deluxe features still remain intact. Looking at the trim shows how GMC designers were careful in adding expensive trim.

To keep cost down they placed chrome on the hub caps and grill of their base model pickup. The stainless windshield trim is identical to that placed on the Chevrolet deluxe cabs. The long anodized aluminum side trim is also Chevrolet. One exception: GMC did not use the narrow shorter side trim as found on Chevrolet fleetsides that ran parallel to this longer piece. See photo comparisons.

Most aluminum cab trim is very basic in design. Straight pieces butted together kept GMC’s cost low. Only the chrome plated die cast emblem with the word “Custom” shows extra design effort.

The curved door window trim did require extra tooling but was made of anodized aluminum. Note this aluminum window trim as it runs parallel a few inches from the windshield stainless. The use of two different materials on trim so close is very unusual.

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 1

GMC Single Trim Strip (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 2

Chrome Standard Grille (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 3

Window Aluminum and Windshiled Stainless (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 4

Econimical Side Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 5

1962-1966 Chevrolet Lower Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 6

Deluxe Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 7

Economical Side Trim (above)

1964-1966 GMC Custom

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With increased prosperity in the USA during the 1960’s the demand for more extras on cars and trucks was high. Manufacturers followed this trend with additional features, at least on their top of the line models.

GMC followed this movement even though their product was mostly for work related duties. While sharing much sheet metal with Chevrolet, they certainly did not want to look like their competitor so GMC designers made a point of adding no deluxe features to the new ‘Custom’ truck that would relate to Chevrolet.

What must have been a limited budget is reflected by the inexpensive trim on their new custom cab. The post behind the doors uses three pieces of straight anodized aluminum butted together to fill the space.

What looks like an amateur creation was truly a factory design. It almost appears they needed paint divided strips for their two-tone paint option! A more expensive piece is the curved side window trim with the unusual groove to fit into the door lines.

For their custom cab GMC chromed their pre existing white grill, V-6 hood side emblems, bumpers, and hub caps. Thus, their design and manufacturing costs were lessened. Even the stainless windshield trim was already available from the Chevrolet division. A new small chrome Custom emblem on the door post is an exclusive GMC only part. (This die cast emblem was also used on the rare deluxe model GMC Suburban.)

The remaining GMC ‘Custom’ feature appears to be the paint scheme when two-tone colors were ordered. Here designers seemed to have gone to excess. No copying Chevrolet here! There must have been a 20 minute meeting on the telephone in 1964 to decide which color went on which metal body panel.

The accompanying photos are from a 1964-66 GMC Custom ½ ton pickup that was seen parked along the street. The owner was not available for comment.

The wear on the original paint and trim give no doubt that it was an untouched factory GMC. Its pure condition deserved ‘a second take’ and the following pictures were a result.

Note: Even on the Custom GMC pickup, the large back cab window was optional. Many did not want the extra sun on their neck or in the cab during hot summer days. Therefore, this deluxe cab was ordered with the small rear glass.

1964 1966 gmc custom 1

1964 1966 gmc custom 2

1964 1966 gmc custom 3

1964 1966 gmc custom 4

1964 1966 gmc custom 5

1964 1966 gmc custom 6

1964 1966 gmc custom 7

1964 1966 gmc custom 8

1964 1966 gmc custom 9

1964 1966 gmc custom 10

1964 1966 gmc custom 11

1964 1966 gmc custom 12

1964 1966 gmc custom 13

1960-1966 Chevrolet Differences

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

To keep production costs down during the 1960-66 Chevrolet truck series, GM made very few changes on their ½, ¾, and 1 ton. Only the more skilled truck enthusiast can correctly identify each year in this series. Keep this following data close at hand when you evaluate these years.

1960

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 1

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 2

Dual headlights. The sheet metal part of this hood will be used only two years. The Apache name on the side plate carried from the earlier series. The Chevrolet letters are stamped in the bottom of the grill housing.


1961

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 3

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 4

A grill modification places the Chevrolet letters in the center of an insert. Half ton wheels change from having three clips to three nubs in their center to secure a different design hub cap.


1962

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 5

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 6


1963

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 7

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 8

Only year in the series with round headlight rings. The side fender emblem is more vertical in shape. The final year in the series for the classic wraparound windshield. This also will change shape of the doors and result in a completely redesigned dash. This is the big year for major mechanical changes. A new design short stroke 230 six cylinder is standard. The famous 235 six (1954-1962) is history. Torsion bar front suspension (1960-1962) is replaced with the more conventional coil spring front end.


1964

1960 1066 chevrolet differences common 9

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 10

Basically the same truck mechanically and body. GM has a good thing going! The noticeable exterior differences are the chrome side emblems. The flatter windshield is a trade mark of these four years.


1965

1960 1066 chevrolet differences common 9

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 11


1966

1960 1066 chevrolet differences common 9

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 12

1960-1966 Chevrolet Cab Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Though at first, a new person in the GM truck hobby might think all 1960-66 Chevrolet cab trim (only on the deluxe models) is the same. In reality no less than three changes occurred during this seven year body style.

During 1960 (maybe into early 1961) the optional stainless cab side trim on the Chevrolet truck was designed to attach to a long connecting horizontal trim strip. After production began, GM discovered that new owners could easily dent this more delicate trim. When carelessly throwing items in the bed or during fast stops, cargo could hit the stainless. This problem was solved by discontinuing this horizontal strip. The connecting ends of the side trim were then modified to show no evidence of a past attachment (see photo)

Therefore, side trim part# 8768843 and 8768844 as well as the horizontal strip #8768842 are very difficult to locate 45 years later. Most 1960 truck restorers must compromise and use the more readily available 1961-63 side trim.

In 1964, a major change occurred in the construction of this cab trim. Chevrolet followed the trend of other new vehicles and also began using aluminum trim. It was anodized to keep its shine and the production cost was less. It required lower pressure to be stamped as compared to the previous stainless steel. Thus, the tooling lasted much longer.

1960 1966 cab trim 1

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 2

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 3

Top piece in photo-1960 with notch. | Lower piece in photo-1961-1963 notch removed (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 4

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 5

1960 Stainless Trim (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 6

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 7

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 8

1964-1966 Cab Trim (above)

1960-1961 Chevy GMC Side Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the early 1960’s GM’s majority of truck buyers chose the base truck with few dealer installed options. It was ending an era of very limited disposable income among the average US citizen.

General Motors saw the trend toward more extras on trucks and began to offer visual extras such as two tone paint, side trim, and upgraded interiors.

Though there were limited takers, both Chevrolet and GMC offered full length stainless steel side trim during 1960-61. Note: Cab and front fender trim are the same on both makes. It is the fleetside bed trim that is a different length. On the Chevrolet, the rear “C” side piece requires this trim to be shorter than the GMC. See images below.

1960 1961 chevy gmc side trim 1

Chevrolet (above)

1960 1961 chevy gmc side trim 2

GMC (above)

1960-1961 Chevrolet V8 Emblem

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

By the 1960-61 years, the V-8 emblems on Chevrolet were not placed on the truck’s doors or fender but were only on the nose of the hood. They were shaped different when the truck came with a 283 V-8 instead of the standard 235 six cylinder. The V-8 front emblems have become very difficult to locate. Most remaining trucks show much pitting on the chrome V-8.

1960 1961 chevrolet v8 emblem

1959 Deluxe Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The bed side trim moldings were used on the second year Fleetside Chevrolet deluxe pickups for just one year, 1959. General Motors waited one year after the Fleetside introduction to give their dealers time to sell all their 1958 Cameos (The end of this model) so there was not two deluxe designs available at one time.

The bed moldings added much to the 1959 deluxe pickup. In addition GM used many trim features that were once on the 1955 and 1958 Cameo cabs. These side moldings came on both 6 and 8 foot bed lengths. Thus, this bed trim was the main new expense General Motors had in creating a 1959 deluxe Fleetside. (And these new Fleetside beds could carry more merchandise than a Cameo!)

 

1959 deluxe trim 1
Oops, this truck lacks the necessary red marker reflective decal behind the three vertical openings.

1959 deluxe trim 2
The right side bed trim package, (not including the tail light bezel)

1959 deluxe trim 3
Front die cast small spear.

test
1959 Fleetside NAPCO 4×4 “Better than New”!

1958-1959 Chevrolet vs GMC Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With the new Fleetside bed design in 1958 the Chevrolets placed a chrome emblem on the bed side with the word “Fleetside”. However, GMC referred to this new bed as a “Wideside” to not copy Chevrolet. A Wideside emblem was never created, thus the GMC bedsides are without letters. (The horizontal bedside trim is a 1959 option).

(images by Ralph Wescot)

1958 1959 trim
1958 Chevrolet
1958 1959 trim 2
1959 GMC

1956 Hydromatic Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One of the rarest emblems of the mid-1950’s is the 1956 Chevrolet Hydramatic front fender trim. A small percentage of ’56 Chevrolet pickups were equipped with the Hydramatic, so many enthusiasts have never seen this item.

At a glance it looks like the one used with the non-automatic and thus it is often over-looked. This is a very in demand part as even restorers adding newer modern automatic transmissions are joining in the hunt.

1956 hydromatic trim

1955-1959 GMC Emblems

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1950’s, V-8 engines began to gain popularity. Many became an option in full size cars and trucks that normally were provided with a six cylinder. When this occurred, most vehicles were given a body emblem advertising that the larger power plant was under the hood.

1955 1959 gmc V8 emblems

1955-1957 (above left) | 1958-1959 (above right)

GMC trucks were no exception. During the 1955-59 body style, two different shapes of V-8 emblems were used. Both die cast designs were attached to the front fender below the GMC letters. The above picture shows these V-8 emblems and the different GMC letters that appeared above them. If the truck came with a six cylinder, only the letter emblem was used on the fender. Today, as many older trucks are given modern V-8 engines, the original V-8 emblems have become almost impossible to find. The demand for these rare emblems has far exceeded their availability.

1955-1959 GMC Bumper Guards

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

GMC bumper guards during these years were standard equipment and stamped from the same heavy gauge metal as the bumper (a different style and lighter gauge metal were dealer accessories on Chevrolet light trucks).

A slight change in design was made at the end of the 1956 year. A more decorative pointed end was given the guards during 1957 through 1959.

1955 1959 gmc bumper guards 1

1955-1959 GMC (above)

1955 1959 gmc bumper guards 2

1955-1956 GMC (above)

1955 1959 gmc bumper guards 3

1957 GMC (above)

1955 1959 gmc bumper guards 4

1957-1959 GMC (above)

1955 1959 gmc bumper guards 5

1955-1959 Chevrolet (above)

Hub Caps-Used 15 Years

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Many of the tech articles on this web site emphasis’s the subtle ways that truck parts were made economically by GM. Truck often received Chevrolet car items that were used the year before. Sometimes even other GM brands sent their older items to be placed on assembly line trucks.

Of all the ways GM saved money on truck parts, none is more unique than the savings on 1/2 ton hub caps. Chevrolet pickups used the same baby moon style hub cap from 1940 through 1955. The skins and basis are the same. A relative inexpensive addition was simply changing the lettering or emblems on the outer brass skin. They required a change in tooling, not expensive for a company the size of the Chevrolet Motor Division. The stamping department just kept making the same base and skins. The skin surface stamping changed as was required by the design department each year.

Check the following pictures. The base hub caps are all the same. Some of the car hub caps are the same as the trucks. Even GMC trucks decided to use these caps between 1947-55. After all, just placing the three GMC letters on the skin added much savings to the company’s bottom line.

hub caps 1

1940 Chevrolet 1/2, 3/4 ton and car (above)

hub cap 2

1941-1946 1/2 ton, 1941- 1945 3/4 ton, and 1942 -1948 car (above)

hub cap 3

1947-1951 GMC, Chrome (above)

hub cap 4

1947-1951 Chevrolet, Chrome (above)

hub cap 5

1954-1955 1st Chevrolet (above)

hub cap 6

1952-1953 Chevrolet Painted (above)