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Posts Tagged ‘1965’

1965 GMC Deluxe Fleetside

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1960’s, most still considered pickups work vehicles. The manufacturer designed them as haulers and few people owned them as their only family vehicle. However, a slight change was beginning with truck buyers as Americans began to have more disposable income. GM and other truck producers were aware that extras on work vehicles were finding more buyers. Each year additional pickups with deluxe equipment were ordered.

This 1965 GMC 1/2 ton is an example of this trend. Though it obviously had been a work truck, it’s optional deluxe features still remain intact. Looking at the trim shows how GMC designers were careful in adding expensive trim.

To keep cost down they placed chrome on the hub caps and grill of their base model pickup. The stainless windshield trim is identical to that placed on the Chevrolet deluxe cabs. The long anodized aluminum side trim is also Chevrolet. One exception: GMC did not use the narrow shorter side trim as found on Chevrolet fleetsides that ran parallel to this longer piece. See photo comparisons.

Most aluminum cab trim is very basic in design. Straight pieces butted together kept GMC’s cost low. Only the chrome plated die cast emblem with the word “Custom” shows extra design effort.

The curved door window trim did require extra tooling but was made of anodized aluminum. Note this aluminum window trim as it runs parallel a few inches from the windshield stainless. The use of two different materials on trim so close is very unusual.

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 1

GMC Single Trim Strip (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 2

Chrome Standard Grille (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 3

Window Aluminum and Windshiled Stainless (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 4

Econimical Side Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 5

1962-1966 Chevrolet Lower Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 6

Deluxe Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 7

Economical Side Trim (above)

1965 Chevy Deluxe Suburban

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1960’s many Americans began to request deluxe features on trucks. More disposable income put extra items in reach for many households. GM recognized this area for more income and began adding more extra cost options.

The popular standard Suburban could be transformed into a more family vehicle by offering exterior trim and upgrading the interior. It would be even better for a family vehicle as well as pulling a boat or travel trailer. Highways were being improved and Americans wanted to see the country.

A more deluxe Suburban emerged in the 1960’s. To same GM costs, most components were simply from the top of the line Chevrolet pickup. Even the side trim was from the fleetside pickup. It only had length differences and the word “Custom” was engraved on each side.

Following are pictures of a rare 1965 deluxe Suburban. The outside is all original except for new paint. The interior had recently been changed so the attached photo is from an original salesman’s data book showing a deluxe pickup. The nicer appearing and more comfortable cushions also apply to the deluxe Suburban. Note the deluxe steering wheel (actually GM used this from a 1960 Impala), trim band on the glove box door, and the two tone color pattern on door panels.

1965 chevy suburban 1

Chrome bumper and anodized grill (above)

1965 chevy suburban 2

The rear appears to have no changes from the standard model other that the chrome bumper (above)

1965 chevy suburban 3

The upper side anodized aluminum trim is the same as the deluxe pickup except for the length differences. Even the short from spear starting the trim strip is the same as the pick up (above)

1965 chevy suburban 4

Note the word CUSTOM etched on the side trim (above)

1965 chevy suburban 5

Suprising, the windshield rubber does not hold stainless trim (above)

1965 chevy suburban 6

Custom comfort interior (above)

1965 chevy suburban 7

Deluxe Steering Wheel (above)

First Factory Air

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

first factory air 1

The demand for in-dash factory air conditioning or GM trucks greatly increased during the 1960’s. (Automobiles had this feature available since the mid 1950’s.) An under dash ‘box’ (Cool-Pack) was available on trucks since 1958, however, this unit was dealer installed and took up much cab room especially for a third passenger.

In 1965, Chevrolet (not GMC) offered the first factory in-dash system. As it was introduced in a pre-existing cab, a custom non-metal panel was designed to fit over a new stamped larger dash opening. Its three movable vents could blow cool air on all passengers!

This new air conditioning panel covered the portion of the stock dash that held the ash tray. Therefore, engineers created a small under-dash slide in ash tray just for factory air Chevrolet trucks in 1965-1966. Unfortunately, few people recognize this small ash tray once it becomes separated from the truck in a salvage yard. This will be an almost unobtainable item if you don’t have it on your truck!

1958-1964 Chevrolet Cool Pack Air

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When we look for rare Chevrolet truck accessories available during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, few are more unusual than the Chevrolet dealer installed “Cool Pack” air conditioning system. Truck cabs were not engineered for factory air as there had been little demand for this expensive accessory. Most people didn’t even have air conditioning in their homes, much less in a truck that was usually for work related jobs.

Chevrolet’s first attempt to provide truck air conditioning was the “Cool Pack.” The evaporator and blower unit was attached to the underside of the dash panel. It was good in the middle of the lower dash with a three speed column shift but had to be moved to the right if a 4-speed transmission existed. The floor shift lever prevented the air box to be center mounted in the cab. Yes, in this case the passenger certainly received more air then the driver!

With the introduction of factory in-dash air in 1965, the “Cool Pack” under dash system quickly lost its popularity. Its sales then were mostly to a few owners of late model trucks that wanted cooler summer comfort in their used vehicle.

1958 1964 cool pack air 1

Drawing from a 1950 Chevrolet truck accessory Manual (above)

1958 1964 cool pack air 2

An original under dash eveporator and blower unit. Note: the beige plastic case with silver “Cool Pack” letters and chrome plus blue bow-tie emblem. (Excellent condition for 45 years old) (above)

1958 1964 cool pack air 3

1958-1964 cool pack air 4

1958 1964 cool pack air 5

1958 1964 cool pack air 6