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1957 GMC Napco

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WOW! What an unusual totally restored truck. When we were first shown the photos of this step side pickup, we saw this was special. No one we knew could recall anything quite like this.

The pickup is a 1957 GMC Napco ½ ton (Factory 4 wheel drive) with 125 inch wheel base. Not only is this an almost 60 years old unusual pickup but then add an original Pontiac V-8 as its engine. (Chevrolet did not offer a V-8 on their early Napco 4 wheel drive pickups).

When the demand for V-8 engines began to develop in the mid 1950’s, GMC had none to offer! Their answer was to use the 347 V-8 used in the Pontiac car. Thus, such a large cubic inch for a ½ ton pickup. Of course, no Pontiac logos were shown. GMC decals were placed on the valve covers.

The proud owners are David & Julie Bailey of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. David found the GMC on the internet and Julie encouraged him to own it. It would be an excellent replacement for their specialty car, a 1992 Pontiac Trans Am. The pickup was in Salmon, Idaho. Quite a long distance from their east Oklahoma home. They quickly recognized the unusual qualities of this pickup and bought it! What a long drive to Idaho with a flatbed trailer, however the GMC was just as good as they had hoped. It fit nicely on their trailer and off David & Julie went on their long trip back to Oklahoma.

They are members of the Pontiac Oakland Club International which has now welcomed all GMC owners to be part of the fun. The club has over 9,800 members in the US and other countries. You can contact the club website at: www.poci,org. David belongs to the local chapter, The Indian Nations Pontiac Car Club with 60 members. He is also president of the local GMC chapter with 100 members.

This Idaho GMC was in such good mechanical shape, David drove it almost daily in his home town for 6 years. Brake problems began to develop in the last year and repairs seemed to be temporary at best. Therefore, the long distant plans for a total restoration was moved up. It was decided to disassemble it to the bare frame and start back like it left the factory in Pontiac, Michigan almost 60 years ago. The Baileys even did the frame better than new. It was sand blasted and given a powder coating!

Finally four years later David & Julie had a new 1957 GMC Napco. Julie even helped install the new windshield among so many other things. At least an extra year was spent waiting for more skilled people such as a body shop and upholstery to find time to work on it. All body parts were restored and painted individually. It was the Baileys that had to assemble the parts without chipping the paint. What a job! The original colors were used, Seminole Brown and Panama Cream. The other factory option is a fresh air heater and side mount spare tire.

Also included is the factory 2 barrel carburetor, 347 cubic inch V-8 with dual exhaust, 4 speed transmission, and Spicer transfer case.

The Bailey’s current project is building a new home in Broken Arrow, however this time a separate 30 x 50 garage will be included. We wonder what specialty vehicle will be placed in all the extra space this building provides.

ADDITIONAL NAPCO DATA

Prior to 1957 the four wheel drive system used on General Motor’s trucks were provided and installed by specialized independent firms not connected with GM. These “kit” companies included American-Coleman, NAPCO, Marmon-Herrington, PABCO, etc. and made assemblies for many truck manufacturers. Beginning with 1957, General Motors selected NAPCO as their first official supplier of 4 x 4 units placed on Chevrolet and GMC trucks. Now dealers could sell factory-ready units as well as provide replacement parts listed in the GM Master Parts Catalog. GM used the NAPCO system exclusively between 1957 and 1959, however this name is not found in GMC or Chevrolet data books! Independent local NAPCO franchise dealers continued to install these units thru at least 1963. NAPCO’s can be identified by the raised N-A-P-C-O lettering on the forward side on the front axle housing.

You can contact David & Julie Bailey at: david.beetle@cox.net

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One of So Many Awards!

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Excellent From the Back Forward

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The Long “M” Continued in 1957

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Nice New Interior

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Just After the Final Paint

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New Seminole Brown Paint

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The Upper Hood Says it All

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Bed During Assembly

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The Pontiac 347 V-8 gets David & Julie’s Touch

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Bringing it Home Before the Restoration

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Close View of it Arriving in Oklahoma

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Not Bad for 45 Years and No Restoration

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Everyday Work Truck Engine

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Napco Transfer Case Made by Spicer

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Caulk Letters Showing 4WD from the GM Factory

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Grandson, Ian, in the Driver’s Seat

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