When we saw this beautiful restored 1946 GMC ½ ton EC101, we were really impressed. It just had to be our September 2015 Feature Truck of the Month! After all, we had not had a 1946 GMC in this section since 2001.
The proud owner and restorer is Larry Dessenberger of Parsons, Kansas. Why did Larry pick this year GMC to complete a frame off restoration? His comment: “I wanted to restore a vintage truck, had a very nice 1996 GMC, so a 50 year older GMC pickup would be perfect to show the old vs the new”.
The hunt finally ended in Buffalo, Missouri when Larry found a 1946 GMC that had been in storage 25 years. The restoration then became a serious project that required almost 3 years with very few days off! The result is a factory fresh GMC now 70 years old.
It has its restored original full pressure 228 cubic inch inline 6 cylinder engine, 3 speed transmission, with the correct 6 volt electrical system. Even the wiring harness is cotton cloth covered as are vehicles of the pre 1950’s.
To be sure the restoration would be done only once, the mechanicals were replaced including kingpins, brakes, clutch assembly, fuel system, spring pins and shackles, transmission internals and drive-line bearings.
The color is Bamboo Cream, with Butterscotch fenders. Certainly bright for 1946, however still seen occasionally in 1946.
The painted interior is silver brown. Slightly different than the hammered silver brown used on that year of Chevrolet trucks. One of the special GMC standard items (not available on a Chevrolet) is the metal ribbed bed bottom. Larry found one and it fits just right! Even the GMC lettering is correct on the tailgate (Chevrolet used no lettering). Look at the round taillight. It is GMC only!
A very unusual GMC accessory that Larry found and restored is the correct GMC dealer re-circulator heater. What a rare find!
He felt this would allow more comfortable driving on cold dry Kansas winter days.
Point of Interest: Take a look at the GMC horizontal bar grill. General Motors found another way to save money between GMC and Chevrolet trucks. Though the fenders and hood are the same, GM created a grill the same size but with a very different appearance from the vertical bar grill of Chevrolet! It allowed the GMC dealer to have a truck that did not so much as the Chevrolet.
The GMC inline six cylinder engine has a full pressure oil system. Thus, the dash oil gauge reaches 80 pounds. Chevrolet stops at 30 pounds.
Since the restoration completion in about early 2013, this little GMC has won a wall full of trophies and is one of the top attention getters at any show. What a great example to those considering a correct restoration!
Surprise to all of us! Larry is considering the sale of his special GMC due to some developing health issues. It is now posted on a very popular antique vehicle website: Old Ride.com.
This GMC was also given a nice right up in the May/June magazine issue of Vintage Truck Magazine on page 12.
You can contact Larry Dessenberger at his email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not a Chevy but Close
Right Side. Correct Olive Color
Silver Brown Interior Color
There is that Rare GMC Re-circulator Heater
Pure GMC Round Taillight
Bringing it Home! As Found in Buffalo, Missouri