Dusty & Rusty – 1951 GMC Truck

On June 28, 1947, Chevrolet released a brand new series of half, 3/4 and one ton medium duty trucks billed as Advance-Design. Featuring a major post war redesign, the trucks were also badged as GMC New Design. Together they were marketed as stronger and sleeker than the trucks they succeeded, the AK Series. The sales folks really had their work cut out for them, as the Chevy and GMC trucks were the best selling rigs in their class between their introduction and 1955, when they were replaced with the Task Force series. This handsome 1951 GMC isn’t specified by its rating, but we do know it hasn’t ran in 35 years. Does that make up for the lack of other information? If old blue turns you on, even though it doesn’t, it could be yours for $5,900 a bit east of Pittsburgh, PA. Let’s check it out.

Listed as a genuine barn find, it appears the seller was the finder. They call it a one owner since 1970 and say it hasn’t been on the road since ’85. The reason for its retirement isn’t mentioned, but the seller points to some bad body work done about the time it was put out to pasture. This raises some questions, but the repairs, as poorly as they may have been done, don’t appear structural. So if you’re good with patching, this may be a swell truck to restore. The seller offers the idea of building a rat rod or driving it as a survivor. If any, please choose the latter, though this author believes a truck like this deserves a restoration.

This GMC would have been fit with a 216 ci straight six and a shifter on the column. While they say it doesn’t run, the engine appears to be all there. There may be a relative term, as it looks more like pottery found caked in mud than a motor.

In 1951 these trucks went from a nine board wood bed to an eight board bed. Unfortunately there is no image of it, so the condition is a mystery. The truck does appear fairly well optioned for an old work horse. It’s still equipped with its original radio and it has some neat aftermarket extras, such as a rooftop air horn, headlight covers and some extra lighting.

This truck needs a lot of help, but at a $5,900 buy in there’s plenty of room to tinker. Or, you could buy it to just stare at the great styling of the 80 MPH speedometer. You couldn’t get that in these trucks after 1951. Good luck getting it up to speed, though. So, would you roll the dice on this old GMC truck, or are you calling it craps?

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