I heard an exhaust note that sounded old, unusual, and unfamiliar before I came upon the source: this ol’ GMC pickup, running at a fast idle as the owner tinkered and fixed. I was out on a walk round our temporary neighbourhood just after we moved from Toronto to Vancouver in September 2011; we’d used something that came before Airbnb to buy a month’s overpriced lodging in a basement that smelt of litterbox, and so there was great motivation to spend as much unlodged time as could be.
As you can see, this truck is painted in the ideal and legally-required turquoise-aqua colour. I dig the chrome front bumper and grille—much classier than white paint—and the grille guard is totally tubular. I’m not so keen on the chain link licence plate frame, but my ballot must’ve got lost in the mail or something.
I don’t know its model year, so I’m calling it a ’64-’66 even though the front turn signals are the larger ones first used in ’63. But this truck rolls its (four) eyes at nerds oogling the turn signals and hollers Hey, you! Don’t watch that, watch this:
It has a V6, you see—the kind you couldn’t get in a Chev truck, only in a GMC—and this big chrome badge is here to make sure everyone knows it, even when they can’t hear the exhaust note.
By the time I walked back past the truck on the way back to Casa del Catbox, the owner had opened the hood. So:
There it is, lookin’ pretty tidy. The crankcase breather is ducted to the air cleaner, which suggests this truck was first sold in California where such was required starting in ’64—hence my guess at ’64-’66 despite the ’63-’66 turn signals. The (oil bath!) air cleaner is perched atop a Bendix Stromberg WW 2-barrel carburetor, the kind used right from ’60-’66, so no further narrow-in on the year there. I’m not familiar with these trucks; are there production date clues I’m not seeing?