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 email@example.com