Category Archives: ’58 GMC

The ’58 GMC Fleetside

Besides the Apache, this is our other in-house build. It will be the culmination of all of our mistakes. Wait… did I say that right.

Despite the way it looks, the Fleetside is relatively rust-free. It is also minus engine and trans, and interior, and gauges, and, and, and. So, it really is a clean slate. Our goal is to make it go fast, stop fast, and get around the bends confidently.

As it stands, we will probably continue with our theme song:  carbureted small block Chevy, simplicity, safety, and creative problem solving. Stay tuned as we get ready to initiate the build.

Decision Time on the 1958 GMC

The Barn has been at a standstill long enough. It is time to formulate a plan for the ’58 GMC, known around here as the “orange truck.” This helps us distinguish it from the blue truck, the black truck, and the green truck. We try to keep things simple because… what was I saying?

Rear quarter view of the 1958 GMC fleetside pickup.
The ’58 GMC, in the yard awaiting its fate.

Generally speaking, the choice is between:

An LS-based resto-mod with a coil spring, disc brake front end, trailing-arm rear suspension, automatic transmission, power everything, etc., etc., or

An imagined NASCAR truck as it might have been configured in 1958… a small block, carbureted engine, retaining the drum brakes and leaf springs setup, manual transmission, with power steering.

In either case, we will want to focus on making the thing as quiet – free or rattles – as we can. Although the NASCAR truck would be lower, not so low that it can’t be driven to the lumber yard,

Considering that the truck has no engine or transmission, and that the rear end is an unknown quantity, it will be an expensive build (for us). I am guessing the “race” truck would be in the $15,000 area for parts alone, while the LS resto-mod would be more expensive but not excessively so. Heck, even rebuilding the hubs and spindles so that we can roll the thing into the barn is turning out to be surprisingly expensive.

I welcome your comments as we continue to scratch our heads and debate the alternatives.