Posts Tagged ‘1972’

Spring Noise

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The 1967-1972 – What’s That Noise? Gaining speed after you turn onto the highway, your GM truck (1967-1972), moves toward a cruising speed equal to the surrounding traffic. As your engine reaches about 2,000 rpm you suddenly hear a low hum up front. It does not stop as the truck speed increases. If you lower the windows, play the radio, or turn up the fan blower, this hum is not so noticeable but it is still there. How will you locate this noise source when the truck is stopped?

No problem. Others have researched this mystery noise, discovered the source, and stopped it. Who would have thought the culprit is the hood springs? It appears that on many GM trucks of this body style, the two coil hood springs develop this hum (like a tuning fork) as surrounding air speed increases. The sound becomes magnified as it transfers to the large sheet metal hood.

This noise is easily stopped by filling the coils of the hood springs with a towel or carved piece of foam. To produce what a difference this makes, tap your hood spring with a hand tool and listen to the echo. It does not occur when the coil is filled with material.

Who said automotive engineers walk on water?

spring noise

Forgotten 1972 Highlander

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


1972 Highlander

During 1972, a unique Chevrolet promotional pickup was introduced for a limited time in 1/2 , 3/4, and 1 ton models. This truck was designated the ‘Highlander’. Unfortunately, it did not have side emblems or related name plates that would cause people to remember this special model. On the actual truck the word Highlander was only listed on the glove box door inside ID sheet.

This vehicle was actually a modified middle series ‘Custom Deluxe’. The horizontal lower side trim has black inserts, not wood grain. The usual ‘Custom Deluxe’ chrome emblems are displayed on the front fenders. As with most of the 1972 GM trucks the dash housing, glove box lid, and door panels do not have the wood grain inserts as on the top of the line Cheyenne Super.

It is the cloth seat inserts that stand out on the Highlander interior. This feature was the special Scottish plaid nylon cloth seat insert material. Four plaid colors were available, depending on the exterior color.

GM used the top of the line 1972 Cheyenne Super seat covering but instead of the hounds tooth inserts substituted this unique Tartan plaid material. The vinyl seat edging, door panels, and seat belts were all parchment no matter the seat or exterior color.

1972 Highlander

The exterior feature of the Highlander is the attractive stainless wheel covers on the ½ ton. They have no emblem or letters and are specific for this particular model truck. (These actually had been used several years before as the stock 15 inch cover on the 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.) The 3/4 and 1 ton Highlander used hub caps, not wheel covers, that were stampings from the standard base truck.

Actually, the more advertised feature of the Highlander was three pre installed option packages. Chevrolet put together several popular factory options in a base package and reduced the total regular price as much as $260.00. Original equipment (standard on the Highlander package A) were chrome front bumper, upper body moldings, door edge guards, and Below-Eye-Line door mounted mirrors.

Package B included the above items plus turbo hydramatic transmission, power steering and tilt steering column. Package C added the above plus air conditioning and Soft-Ray tinted windows.

In today’s world, Highlanders have been mostly forgotten. Unless you bought one new or located an original piece of sales literature, it is likely that even GM truck lovers were not aware they existed.

1972 Highlander

Comment

Another example of General Motors saving production costs: On the 1972 GMC only, the Chevrolet Highlander seat material was an option on their Wide-Side (fleetside) and Suburban. To give this seat insert a different appearance, than the Highlander, it appears the material was turned 90o so the stripes ran the opposite direction.

1972 Highlander

1972 GMC (optional) (above)

To get the most sales from the special Scottish plaid used in the 1972 Highlander, GM used it in one other application. The special Highlander seat covering could be obtained with the 1972 Suburban. It, like the Highlander truck, was a custom Deluxe series with lower side trim having satin black inserts. The special wheel covers were not used on this Suburban body.

Two of the enclosed pictures are from Frederic Lynes, who has these pictures of his 1972 avocado green and white Suburban the day it was bought new. Note the Highlander seat coverings.

Mr. Lynes also furnished the two photos of the 72 Hawaiian blue vehicle showing a great color view of the Scottish plaid. Frederic Lynes can be contacted at stingrayl82@comcast.net.

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


1972 Suburban Highlander

During the late 1970′s, trucks accelerated their change from a more commercial work vehicle to one desired by the family as their everyday transportation. During 1967-1972, Chevrolet and GMC introduced names such as CST, Cheyenne and Sierra Grande to show buyers that their trucks were no longer just for work. Options that rivaled cars could now be ordered for their vehicles.

Surprisingly, the Suburban was held back as the trend toward very deluxe trucks continued. This vehicle was not given the top of the line appointments as the trucks. The middle series in the pickup line was the ‘best’ in the Suburban. Though this was changed in the new 1973 body style, the 1972 Suburban lacked wood grain trim, bucket seats, and the more deluxe door panels. The rubber floor mats were colored to match the interior but carpet was not an option.

The following pictures are of a totally original 1971 deluxe Suburban. Note the door panels. They are almost identical to the Cheyenne pickup but lack the horizontal wood grain strip at the top. Outside lower moldings have satin black inserts, not wood grain. The seat covering is the Custom Deluxe style found on middle series pickups. The blue floor mats are rubber, not carpet. There is, however, a unique upper trim molding used only on Suburbans when you ordered the more deluxe unit.

To get the most sales from the special Scottish Tweed used in the 1972 Highlander, GM used it in one other application. The special Highlander seat covering could be obtained with the 1972 Suburban. It, like the Highlander truck, had lower side trim with satin black inserts. The special wheel covers were not used on this Suburban body.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

Mr. Lynes also furnished the two photos of the Hawaiian blue Suburban showing a great color view of the Scottish Tweed. (Frederick Lynes can be contacted at stingrayl82@comcast.net)

The enclosed pictures are from Frederick Lynes who has these pictures of his 1972 avocado green and white Suburban the day it was bought new. Note the Highlander seat coverings.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

1969-1972 Blazer Tailgate

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



Are you on a hunt for a new 1969-1972 Blazer tailgate? It may not be as difficult as you think. GM saved much money by using a 1967-1972 Chevrolet Fleetside tailgate!

1969-1972 blazer tailgate

The one difference is a narrow strip of stamped sheet metal attached to the top edge. Most used Blazer tailgates, whatever their lower condition, still have this strip.

This metal strip is necessary for a good seal when the upper lift gate is lowered with its rubber strip. The tailgate strip is held in place with seven sheet metal screws.

On at least the 1971-1972 Blazer, the strip is also held in place by a long strip of double sided tape (like used to hold the decorative side trim in place). By removing the screws, cleaning rust and old paint, it can be attached to the new tailgate. Presto! You have a new Blazer tailgate.

1969-1972 blazer tailgate

1968-1972 Longhorn

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



In recent years seeing the unusual Chevrolet Longhorn or similar GMC Custom Camper (1968-1972) has become a very rare occurrence. These oversize pickups, with 8 1/2 ft. bed floors, were built for work and thus there is a very limited survival rate. Most seen today started life as they were advertised carrying a vacation camper. They were usually more taken care of during their beginning years and the camper protected their wood bed from weather. Later in life, their heavier rear suspension caused them to be used more as a work truck.

The creation of this large pickup relates to GM’s trend of keeping down costs on what they suspect will be a low volume vehicle. With limited parts investment and by using pre-existing components, this new model was born in mid 1968.

The chassis had already been in existence since the beginning of the body style in 1967. It’s 133″ wheelbase was used under the 1967-1968 1 ton stepside pickup with leaf springs. Most of the components of this new Longhorn fleetside box had also been used on the earlier pickups. To create this new longer fleetside bed, GM simply produced a pair of six inch vertical bed extensions to place between the pre-existing sides and front bed panel. This filled the gap created in front of the bedsides when the 127′ wheelbase chassis was extended to 133 inches.

An expensive metal floor was not a part of this new longer fleetside pickup. A traditional wood plank floor with metal bed strips kept GM’s cost at a minimum.

To draw attention to this larger pickup, the Chevrolet division included ‘Longhorn’ die cast chrome letters secured at the rear of the sides. GMC’s designation was ‘Custom Camper’ and these letters are on each door above the chrome handle, not on the bedsides. To make it a little confusing, GMC also used these Custom Camper emblems in the same location on their heavier 3/4 ton, 127″ wheelbase pickup, with leaf springs. This shorter long bed could be obtained with either a wood or metal bottom bed.

When the optional deluxe upper trim was ordered on this long bed, it’s new six inch extension was placed to the rear of the bed. The resulting trim joining point was therefore not in line with the vertical bed extension joint at the front.

By altering suspension components both the Chevrolet and GMC 133 inch wheel base pickup could be ordered with either a ¾ or 1 ton rating. These special trucks were available from mid year 1968 through 1972. They were not continued with the introduction of the new 1973 body style.

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 1

Upper trim joint at rear of bedside. (above)

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 2

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 3

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 4

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 5

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 6

1968 longhorn 7

The Following is reprinted from the May 1969 issue of Motor Trend

Article byV. Lee Oertle

Why would anyone lay down $4,549.45 for a slick-looking pickup truck, even if they do call it the Longhorn? That kind of money will buy a Chevrolet station wagon, or an Impala or an SS Chevelle. That question nagged me the day a Chevrolet official handed me the keys and turned me loose in a new Longhorn pickup. When I asked a Chevrolet truck salesman the same question a few days later, he replied:

‘You’re talking about a window-sticker price, buddy. The actual base of a Longhorn pickup is $2,738 plus destination charges. The rest of it is locked up in accessories and quite a bit of optional equipment. Look at the list ‘ air conditioner alone is $392.75. Then the Turbo Hydra-Matic adds another $242.10, and the Custom Sport Truck package jacks it up another $247.50. And then; At that point, I waved him away, ‘Yeah, yeah ‘ I got eyes. I just didn’t read the fine print.’ I said, testily.

The salesman’s lips tightened a little. ‘The time to read fine print is before you buy ‘ not after.’

Good advise. Further down the sticker price list I noted that power steering on the Longhorn was $113.50. Another stopper was the $80.40 for a spare tire and wheel. On a deluxe pickup, I sort of, well, expected that a spare tire and wheel would be standard equipment. But then, I hadn’t really done my arithmetic. A quick refresher course proved that of the original sticker price of $4,549.45, a staggering $1,811.45 of it covered extras, accessories and options. Freight, license, sales taxes, carrying charges on the loan and insurance might easily push the final tally over the brink of $5,000. That’s an expensive neighborhood no matter where you live, and if anyone is tired of reading about the prices before he hears about the performance, he’ll know how I felt when I finally got behind the steering wheel.

As I rolled off the Chevrolet lot, the salesman parted with the words, ‘who buys the sticker price, anyway?’ I suppose that’s true.

IT’S DIFFERENT

From the moment a shopper takes his first walk around a Longhorn, he’ll know it’s not just another pickup. As a matter of fact, he’ll notice that it’s a longer walk. The wheelbase is up to 133 inches on this model and the cargo box is a full 8 ½ feet in length. For those not familiar with pickups, the standard pickup (any brand) has an eight-foot cargo box. The extra half-foot was added by shoving the regular cargo box along the frame ‘ and then by inserting a short panel at the forward end of the box where it intersects with the cab.

Why all the noise over a slightly larger pickup? In order to understand the significance of this, remember that any change to basic dimensions on a truck involves tremendous expense and/or ingenuity on the part of cost-cutting engineers. It’s bigger, yes, but the clever way the job was done probably hasn’t increased its construction cost very much. The next logical question would be, why? Why a longer wheelbase, for example? Anyone knows that the longer the wheelbase trucks require more turn-around space.

But, looking at it from the Chevrolet viewpoint, a longer wheelbase also improves the ride, offers a more stable platform, and makes a much better carrier for all kinds of loads. This obviously affected Chevrolet’s judgment. For instance, a suburban home owner will like the big cargo box for hauling a variety of material. The tailgate drops down to provide about 10 ½ feet of load length platform.

In case anyone wonders about how the suspension system can handle the extra length, here is the message printed in Chevrolet literature on the subject: ‘Because it’ll be carrying larger loads than other pickups, it’s been especially engineered for extra support and better balance all along its 133 inch wheelbase. Its rear suspension, for instance, is built around tough two stage leaf springs for steadier going and surer handling.’ (Coil spring front suspension teams with the rear leaf springs.)

POWER TEAMS

The Longhorn is available with five different engines and several different transmissions. Our test truck was equipped with a 396 cubic inch V-8 rated at 325 horsepower. (the other engines include the standard 250 cubic inch 6, a 292 cubic inch 6, a 307 cubic inch V-8 and a 350 cubic inch V-8.)

PERFORMANCE

The Longhorn bench seat is a firm, comfortable, non-slip type that gives the driver a feeling of command. It is neither too high for comfort nor so low that shorty-drivers have to stretch their necks. The instrument panel includes a tachometer, speedometer and functional oil and temperature gauges.

Start the engine and a muffled growl, low and strong, comes lightly through heavy cab insulation. Step on the accelerator and the Longhorn instantly takes hold. While 325 horsepower doesn’t sound too exciting in a passenger car, in a pickup it can be hairy under a lead foot driver. Lightly loaded, the Longhorn still hangs on tight right up through the gears. Surprisingly, there was little wheelspin except on wet streets after a rain.

I had no stop-watch with me but I know that the Longhorn will probably be the first pickup up a steep hill. Meant more for power than speed, the 4700-pound Longhorn nevertheless comes on strong in situations where it really counts. A pickup with a smaller engine, for example, often has a difficult time entering freeways. But the Longhorn gets right out there despite a ton of hay riding the cargo deck. In the hands of an amateur an empty pickup would be a handful. Crank it on too fast, too often, and the rear wheels will chirp or slip-grab as they try to deliver traction faster than the lightly-loaded rear tires can bite the pavement.

Our particular test truck had the optional three speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. As far as I’m concerned, no other transmission makes sense with this combination of truck, engine and load ability. Shoving a stick-shift unit into the Longhorn makes about as much sense as hitching up an elephant to a pony cart.

Underneath, our test unit was wearing a Maximum Traction differential and an axle ratio of 3.07:1. Chevy rates this combo good up to about 7000 pounds. For loads over 7000 pounds, they suggest the optional ratio of 3.54:1. Though we didn’t tote anything exceptionally heavy, we found the 3.07:1 ratio an excellent choice for normal driving.

HANDLING

In this department, the Longhorn gets unusually high marks. It has a square-cornering ability few sedans can match and a sure-footed stance that keeps it straight when braking or lane-changing. By adding just 200 or 300 pounds of weight near the rear of the box, the pickup handles even better. )Extra weight cuts down on wheelspin.) Overall, the Longhorn is a solid-feeling pickup that any driver will appreciate.

There’s more than enough power for any load situation. The 396 is currently the largest engine available in a factory pickup (in any brand). The Longhorn should make a great carrier for a half-dozen trail bikes, for towing a boat, or for hauling a rented coach now and then. The luxury interior and comfortable cab will probably lure many new buyers away from station wagons and sedans. If you haven’t tried the new breed of pickups, you’re missing a most versatile family vehicle. The Longhorn is a smooth newcomer that undoubtedly will spark a host of imitations. It offers the longest wheelbase and largest cargo box of any two-door pickup, plus larger engines than competitors. As for the price? Well, like the man said: ‘Who pays sticker price, these days?’

PROBLEMS

Lest anyone suspect that I’ve been on the Chevy payroll, I have a few reservations about the Longhorn. For one thing, window glass on the driver’s side liked to slip sideways and climb up outside the channels every now and then. My guess is that the glass is a little too small for the track, or the channels were misaligned. On cold mornings, I’d climb into the cab and then, with one breath, all the windows frosted over. The longhorn is one of the few truck-cabs I’ve tested that would not clear up with the vent-windows cracked open. Steamy vapor clung stubbornly to the inside of the windshield. The only way to clear it away was to turn on the defroster full force, roll down one window, or both. On a cold morning, neither method pleased us very much.

From a purely personal viewpoint, I found it strange that Chevrolet would spend so much on interior design, but so little on panel coverings. The cab ceiling and much of the door panel areas were bare metal. Now, in a work-duty pickup that might be practical. Metal is more durable than plastic coverings, obviously. But in a class-type pickup, which the Longhorn most definitely tried to be, I found it objectionable. (There, it’s off my chest.)

1967-1972 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967-72 Chevy Truck Model I.D.



We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1967-1968

1967 1972 truck tech 1

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13580 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (6 cylinder)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban

1969-1970

1967 1972 truck tech 2

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13580 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (6 cylinder)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×2 (1970 only)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×4
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban

1971-1972

1967 1972 truck tech 3

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×2
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×4
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban

Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

1967-1972 Panel Trucks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



These years are the ‘last of the breed’! Due to the increasing popularity of the new G-series van, panel truck sales had continued to suffer since the mid 1960′s. By 1970, General Motors panel truck production came to a halt. GM did not even wait until the end of the body series in 1972! This ‘enclosed body on a pickup truck chassis’ (used over 50 years) was now history.

If you ever see a 1967-1970 Chevrolet or GM panel truck, tip your hat. You are looking at one of the few survivors of the ‘last of the breed’.

1967 1972 panel trucks

1946-1972 Ring and Pinion

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One series of the famous “drop out” GM differentials was used between 1946 and 1972 on 3/4 and 1 tons. The complete assembly (often called a pumpkin) will interchange during these years with no alteration.

The highest gearing in this series is the 4.10 ratio and is found in most 1967-72 3/4 tons with automatic transmissions. Therefore, those “low gear blues” often associated with 3/4 and 1 tons during the late 1940′s and 1950′s can be greatly improved with no visible exterior changes. Originally these older trucks had a ratio of 4.57 in the 3/4 tons and 5.14 in the 1 tons.

Once a 4.10 pumpkin is located (usually in a local wrecking yard) it is a basic interchange requiring little more than new gaskets and gear grease. Your truck’s personality is now changed!

This interchange will fit perfectly if the “complete” pumpkin is used.  The 1963-1972 carrier is necessary and it will be part of this total assembly.  The change-over will not work if you only use the ring and pinion.

The only negative to this changeover is if you are hauling a ton of gravel up a mountain road with the original smaller six cylinder!! In this example a lower geared differential is best.

Dim Lights

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When you notice your head, tail and dash lights are often dim, sometimes even flicker on a rough road, check your cab to frame ground cable

Because the 1967-1972 cab and radiator supports are seperated from the frame by rubber mounts. GM used a small mount woven wire ground strap that by-passes one cab mount. This insures electrical flow even if the cab mount bolts become rusted and electrical current can not flow properly.

You must be under the cab to see this by-pass cable. Yes, GM planned for the trucks later years when rusty mounting hardware caused the lights to dim

dim lights ground strap

1969-1972 Head Light Bezel

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Contrary to what almost all Chevrolet truck parts dealers list in their catalogs, the 1969-1972 headlight bezels were not alike. Though today all are reproduced in bright-anodized aluminum. This is actually only correct for 1971-1972.

The 1969-1970 bezels were black stamped steel even on the most deluxe models. This color is necessary to blend with the two horizontal black lines in the center grill bar.

If you don’t have the correct stamped steel bezels for your 1969-1970 Chevrolet, paint the 1971-1972 aluminum copies in satin black to match the grill stripes.

1969 headlight bezel 1

1969-1970 on Left | 1971-1972 on Right (above)

1969 headlight bezel 2 1969 headlight bezel 3

1967-1972 Cargo Light

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The cargo light above the rear window on the 1969-72 GM cab was a factory option and is mostly seen on the more deluxe trucks. This light is controlled from a switch beside the interior dome light and is wired so it will not operate while the truck is in the forward gear. This prevents the bright 21 cp bulb from being on while the truck is on the road which would create road glare to following traffic.

To save GM production costs, the clear rectangular lens in this cargo light housing is the same as a 1969 Camaro right side parking light lens.

1967, 1968-1972 Hazard Flasher

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1968-1972 hazard flasher unit is not self canceling as in 1967. The only way to cancel the later hazard flasher is to pull the knob out. This feature was incorporated into the 1968 truck so that the hazard flashers could be operated when the vehicle is being used for slow speed operations. It became a problem in 1967, when the flashers would self cancel when turning on a job site or related small work area.

1972 Door

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One might assume that because the 1967-1972 cabs are the same, there is also no difference in the doors. Yes, they will interchange, however, there are several visible door differences for 1972.

During this year only, a countersunk hole exists in the interior door panel several inches from the wing vent vertical post. A Phillips screw here helps prevent the interior and exterior door panels from separating with this improvement the horizontal window seal stays in better alignment with the side glass.

The full interior door panel was updated in 1972. A sub panel (wood grained on the deluxe model) covers the upper area behind the door handle and window crank. This raised panel requires the handle studs to be approximately a 1/2 inch longer. Therefore a use 1972 window regulator and door remote will not properly interchange with a 1967-1971 door.

1972 door

1967-1972 4 Wheel Drive Decal

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967 1972 4  wheel drive decal

This original, well worn, glove box decal was recently uncovered in a salvage yard. It relates front hubs on a four wheel drive and how to engage and disengage them. Our 67-72 experts have never seen this decal. Can anyone tell us if this was a factory decal or just added later when replacement hubs were installed? Please contact us if you have any information.

Tailgate Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It was during these years that General Motors began offering more style to their pickup truck line. Though most still considered a truck as a work vehicle, a growing segment of pickup buyers were being strongly influenced by trim and accessories that even rivaled many automobiles.

For the first time on GM fleetside pickups, decorative trim became available on the tailgate of their middle and upper level models. Even on the basic gate that had no trim, the stamped letters were given a contrasting color. During all of 1967-1972, the middle and more deluxe series gates carried three upper strips making one line running the width of the gate. These three strips were the only tailgate trim offered for 1967-1968. During 1969-1972, an additional horizontal strip (66 3/4′ long) was attached to the lower gate edge but only on the middle series fleetsides.

It was on the top of the line 1969-1972 pickup that Chevrolet went all out in tailgate appearance. On the 1969-70 CST and 1971-1972 Cheyenne, the lower trim strip was replaced with a very attractive wood grained horizontal band at the center. Though it covered the basic Chevrolet and GMC stamped gate letters, the band carried its own chrome die cast letters over the wood (vinyl) decal.

The following photos show both the three styles of trim on the 1967-1972 fleetsides. Note the lower narrow strip is not placed on the gate with the wood band. Tail light rings or bezels are designed to harmonize with the tailgate trim. The 1967-1968 CST light trim is different than the later design.

tailgate trim 1

1969-1972 Middle Series (above)

tailgate trim 2

1969-1972 Cheyenne (above)

tailgate trim 3

1967-1972 Chevrolet (above)

tailgate trim 4

1967-1968 Chevrolet CST (above)

1967-1972 GMC Grills

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The main cross grill stamping making up the 1967-1972 GMC grilles may at first appear the same but they definitely are not.

The more noticeable difference is the large GMC letters stamped in the center of the 1967 grille (one year only). Therefore, these three letters are not placed on the hood front as during 1968-1972. Between 1967-1970, the vertical center bar (3″ x 10″) is slightly raised above the outer edges.

This vertical center bar on the 1971-1972 GMC grille is slightly depressed between its outer edges. This depression is painted satin black. At a distance, it gives the appearance of a split grille with two equal halves.

1967 1972 gmc grills 1

1967 (above)

1967 1972 gmc grills 2

1968-1970 (above)

1967 1972 gmc grills 3

1971-1972 (above)

1967 1972 GMC Standard Tailgate

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967 1972 gmc standard tailgate 1

To make the base fleetside tailgate just a little different from Chevrolet, GMC kept their letters body color and surrounded them in a contrasting color. On Chevrolet just the letters have the different color.

1967 1972 gmc standard tailgate 2

1967-1972 GMC (above)

1967 1972 gmc standard tailgate 3

1967-1972 Chevrolet (above)

Fender Mistake

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

How did this happen? Strange but true. The 1971-1972 right front Chevrolet pickup fender has one of its two 350 emblem holes punched incorrectly. This causes the horizontal emblem to slope down at the rear. The left fender is correct.

The person that owns this all original 1972 truck states that all 1971-1972 Chevrolet trucks have this unusual feature. You can always recognize an aftermarket replacement fender. Their holes are correctly placed.

fender mistake 1

Right side with slope or 350 Emblem (above)

fender mistake 2

Left side parallel to marker light (above)

Blazer and Jimmy Speakers

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One of the most unusual features of the 1967-1972 series of trucks is the unique placement of the 1969-1972 Chevrolet Blazer and GMC Jimmy radio speaker. Unlike the pickup, Suburban, and large trucks; the radio speaker is not under the top of the dash. In fact, the dash does not even have grille slots to allow sound to come from a speaker.

Because of the Blazer and Jimmy’s removable top, GM knew that some would occasionally be caught in the rain. This would quickly ruin a speaker that was in the traditional location. Thus, on the 1969-1972 Blazer and Jimmy only, the factory radio speaker is in the right side interior quarter upholstery panel behind the front seat. If the vehicle did not come with interior rear panels, the speaker was out of sight at the bottom edge of the dash.

blazer speakers 1

blazer speakers 2

1972 Chevrolet 3/4 ton

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Owner: Edward Eckel

1972 chevrolet

My truck began life as a 1972 3/4 ton Custom chassis cab with a 350, heavy-duty camper suspension and four on the floor. I purchased it new in November 1971, and by February 1972, I installed a camper body on it. It remained this way until 1995 when the camper body was no longer reliable, having developed some fatal leaks causing some structural weaknesses. It was no longer practical or economical to keep it as a camper. I was faced with the dilemma of what to do with it. I decided to put a bed on it and spruce it up a bit, keeping if for cruise night fun. It had already served us for over 120,000 miles as a camper and was deserving of a comfortable retirement. It has never spent one day in a garage and still stays outdoors but now under a very good car cover. The original plan was only for a paint job and to install a pickup bed.

As it always seem to happen, you can’t simply ‘spruce it up.’ Once you start, you need to go all the way and fix everything. It ran perfectly so I just added some polished trim to the engine, put in a cam, roller rockers, headers, MSD ignition and added an Edelbrock four-barrel carb. on a new Edelbrock manifold.

After locating all the parts to build a nice rust free bed since in New Jersey most are rusted away, things came together nicely. Since it was an 8 foot bed, new bed sides were unavailable so those came from Southern California. Last year with the help of a few good friends, the bed went on then this spring the last of the front end parts and the engine compartment were finished. I kept the original Hawaiian blue color but made it a more sporty two tone, adding the white cab top and in between the side moldings then added all the necessary trim to complete the look. The interior is partly original, part new. The dash was stripped and refinished but the rest of the interior paint is original. The seat, visors and door panels are original but the dash pad, carpeting and steering wheel are replaced. The old 16.5′ wheels were replaced with 16′ aluminum ones and the bed sports an oak natural wood floor with all the mounting hardware of polished stainless steel.

There are many more little things left to be done as time allows to make it even better but for now it looks good and drives well. The first trip to our local cruise night after it was finished I was awarded a trophy so I’m glad my hard work is appreciated by others more talented than myself.

Edward Eckel

1972 chevrolet 1972 chevrolet 1972 chevrolet

1972 GMC

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Owner: Mark Erickson

1972 gmc pick up truck

First I would like to thank all of you for great service and quality parts.

I started working on my 1972 GMC 4×4 in 1999. I did my best at a frame up restoration and am pleased with its turnout. I have never done anything like this before and it has been a great experience. I finished this truck in April of 2007. Still have some touch-ups but it is on the road. Thanks again and I can’t wait to get him muddy!!

Mark

1972 gmc pick up truck 1972 gmc pick up truck 1972 gmc pick up truck

1972 gmc pick up truck

1972 GMC

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Owner: Johnny Patterson

1972 gmc pick up truck

Maych is a 1972 GMC Sierra Grande 1/2 ton pickup. He is named for my father, Martin Hamilton Patterson. I was 2 years old when my father died in an automobile accident, so I never really knew him. But for as long as I can remember, when friends or relatives spoke of my father they would always call him Maych. It was not until I was a teenager that I learned Maych was not my father’s given name but was what a youngster heard when his initials, M. H., were spoken with the sweet southern accent of my youth.

Maych has won numerous awards including “Best Chevy Truck” — what can I say, they didn’t have a trophy for “Best GMC Truck”. Maych even has his own web site (http://www.pattson.com/maych) where I’ve chronicled his restoration from day 1 until the present, including costs.

One of the first items I purchased when I began Maych’s restoration was a set of new seat covers from Jim Carter. Even though they were practically the last item to be installed, the seat covers were such an exact match to the originals, I wanted to have them on-hand in case Jim Carter decided to quit carrying them.

1972 gmc pick up truck

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