Owner: Rob English
I note the absence of GMC participation on the featured trucks so I though that I’d send in some photos of my current project: a 1953 GMC 400 series with livestock body and twin double telescoping hoist.
I bought this truck on eBay last year and was skeptical that the stated original miles were 5,000. Upon receipt of the truck, I was amazed to find that it was indeed the correct mileage.
This truck was in service as a fire foam truck at American Cyanamid’s chemical plant in Bound Brook New Jersey from it’s original purchase in 1953 until the early 90s when the plant closed up. It was then sold to a local nursery at auction and the new owner pulled the fire apparatus off the back and then installed a livestock body and hoist off a larger 500 series GMC truck that he found in a farmer’s field. The larger 500 series had a shorter body by a few inches and also had a Clark five speed transmission. While GMC did not offer the Clark 5 spd in this model in 1953, the owner found it a lot easier to simply fuse the 500 series transmission, body, and hoist onto the 400 series than to try to make the existing SM420 4 speed and pump work. The result is a truck that will pull down a 300 year old oak and can haul up to 20,000 lbs. of weight but will not win any speed contests.
This truck is set up to carry a big load with 20′ Dayton wheels normally found on larger trucks. The original 270 GMC engine pulls this beast down the road. I use it as a manure mover on my horse farm and for general hauling. It’s been converted to 12 volts which always bothers me because my experience is that people convert to 12V because of slow start cranking, and the problem is battery cables ‘ not the six volts pushing the starter. The ID plate is the key to understanding what your GMC truck is and the serial number is the single most important piece of information a vintage GMC owner can have for identification. I have an extensive GMC serial number decoder on my website at www.oldgmctrucks.com
I have relied on Jim Carter Antique Truck parts for all the needed parts for this truck, as I have in the previous five GMC projects I’ve done over the last 15 years or so. Thanks to Sheba Queen and Jim for being there with those parts that we could never find in a lifetime of searching. I wonder if anyone at Carter has ever tried to calculate how many old GM trucks have been born again thanks to your parts?