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1964-1966 GMC Custom

With increased prosperity in the USA during the 1960’s the demand for more extras on cars and trucks was high. Manufacturers followed this trend with additional features, at least on their top of the line models.

GMC followed this movement even though their product was mostly for work related duties. While sharing much sheet metal with Chevrolet, they certainly did not want to look like their competitor so GMC designers made a point of adding no deluxe features to the new ‘Custom’ truck that would relate to Chevrolet.

What must have been a limited budget is reflected by the inexpensive trim on their new custom cab. The post behind the doors uses three pieces of straight anodized aluminum butted together to fill the space.

What looks like an amateur creation was truly a factory design. It almost appears they needed paint divided strips for their two-tone paint option! A more expensive piece is the curved side window trim with the unusual groove to fit into the door lines.

For their custom cab GMC chromed their pre existing white grill, V-6 hood side emblems, bumpers, and hub caps. Thus, their design and manufacturing costs were lessened. Even the stainless windshield trim was already available from the Chevrolet division. A new small chrome Custom emblem on the door post is an exclusive GMC only part. (This die cast emblem was also used on the rare deluxe model GMC Suburban.)

The remaining GMC ‘Custom’ feature appears to be the paint scheme when two-tone colors were ordered. Here designers seemed to have gone to excess. No copying Chevrolet here! There must have been a 20 minute meeting on the telephone in 1964 to decide which color went on which metal body panel.

The accompanying photos are from a 1964-66 GMC Custom ½ ton pickup that was seen parked along the street. The owner was not available for comment.

The wear on the original paint and trim give no doubt that it was an untouched factory GMC. Its pure condition deserved ‘a second take’ and the following pictures were a result.

Note: Even on the Custom GMC pickup, the large back cab window was optional. Many did not want the extra sun on their neck or in the cab during hot summer days. Therefore, this deluxe cab was ordered with the small rear glass.

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