We have separation…

Posted: October 17, 2011 in GMC truck, Vintage trucks

As the pictures show, the ’76 GMC truck, and (what I’ve learned is a ’67) Diamond Reo camper are now officially divorced after a 35 year marriage.  The custody battle was short, the camper is going to live with an old boyfriend in Missouri, and will soon be re-united with a Diamond Reo “Trend” truck. 

The GMC chassis is going to the gym to tone up and shed 76.5 inches of length and ugly fat it gained marrying the camper, and is reported to have “hooked-up” with a much more age-appropriate, if a little wide in the hips, “Big Dually” pick-up box, recently moved here from Texas. 

I actually drove the truck (with no brakes whatsoever!) from Dads place home, thinking I’d shorten the chassis here, as his shop doesn’t have a welder plug, and it was full of junk.  A quick assessment of the length of the truck, and the length of the spot in my garage where I could park it quickly put that idea to rest.   It lacked about 5 feet of fitting in the shop, and I’d have to park the wagon outside the entire time the truck is down.  Not happening.   I did clean up the shop here the other day, and hosted the Gilmore Garage Works crew, but the thought of dragging that old truck in a cutting it up next to the Diamond T (see the clean shop below), just didn’t seem like a good idea.

The shop does look good, don’t you agree? 

So, today Dad and I cleaned up the shop at his place, a LONG overdue task.  We threw out a BUNCH of stuff I thought Dad wouldn’t part with, scraps of lumber, old iron, and so forth, and I wired a welder plug-in.  It was fun working with him, and we got things nicely organized so now he can work in there on a woodworking project he has planned too.  It’ll be good.

We came back to my place and I drove the truck back to Dads.  It runs pretty good, considering it’s running on 20-year-old gas, and no parts fell off going back.  (Coming over here, one tailpipe, then a muffler fell off, then chunks of broken leaves from the springs started falling out.  It seems the camper was so heavy, that several leaves broke, and without the weight on the chassis, the broken chunks just fell out.  Kim had to dodge junk all the way home!)  The lower radiator hose started leaking just as I pulled the truck into the shop, so that 7 mile round trip is as far as it’s gonna go untill the hoses, belts, tires, and brake job get done.

Even though his shop is 30 feet deep, the truck wouldn’t fit and be able to close the door!  I fixed that by removing this huge auxiliary fuel tank, which must have about 15 gallons of 20-year-old gas in it, and lopping off the last foot of the frame.  (We left the tank outside on the apron in front of the shop, hoping someone will steal it for the gas…)  Even so, the hood is tight up against the bench, and the frame rails are about an inch from the door.  That’ll change as soon as 76.5 inches are removed from the middle, and almost 2 more feet off the back of the frame!

Check out the 70’s classic plaid vinyl seat, and rubber mat in this bad boy!  You can’t see the aftermarket cruise control and FM converter under the dash, but they’re there.  I’m leaving the interior as is, although a better radio may be in order.  Plans are for a chrome front and rear “step” bumper, and some stainless dually hubcaps.  The box came with some “Harley Davidson” mudflaps, so I’ll ready for trailer trash parties at TCT events!

So, I’m sort of geeked about getting the truck shortened and the box on it.  It’ll be fun, I’ve always liked that series truck, especially the “Big Dually”, and now I have one.   The 3″ wheel spacer’s, needed to use the narrow “commercial” rear axle came the other day, and I’m going to order a hood this week, as the orignal is rusty all along the front, just from setting in the barn all this time. 

It’ll be my own “Cowboy Cadillac”, I need to get a gun rack for the back window, and a “Gilly’s” bumper sticker!  It’d be sort of fun to do it up “Nudie” style, with six guns as grab handles on the cab, cowhide seat inserts, floor mats, and longhorns on the hood, but that might be a bit much, even for me.

  1. Kim says:

    You didn’t mention that the beast lacked the ability to stop!

  2. Bob Rice says:

    I like both of your trucks,the diamond T pickup will fit in my garage just fine….bring it over !!!

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