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balthazar

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Interesting... apparently this GMC is the rare Fleet option truck. Think of it as the basic 'work truck' pickup of 1955 for businesses that wanted the cheapest truck their money could buy. GMC used the Chevy front fenders and Chevy dash and added the mesh grille to save money. I'd like to see this truck's dash to confirm it.

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I remember this hood as we had a local guy with a GMC Cameo version.

It was red and had more chome on the front than the Chevy but it had the same bed as the Cameo.

To this day that was the best looking 50's GM truck I had ever seen. I would love to know where it is today.

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Very interesting WRT the Fleet Option- I missed that in the initial view.

Something still looks ascew tho. This:

http://www.oldgmctrucks.com/page0384.html

Shows the 'GMC' logo on the Chevy hood, but this one wears a GMC hood.

A lot can happen in 55 years tho.

Roger, I'm not picking up this era Chevy vs. GMC fender differences tho- what are they? I assumed they were the same.

Site claims less than 100 Fleet Option trucks ('55-59) are left.

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Very interesting WRT the Fleet Option- I missed that in the initial view.

Something still looks ascew tho. This:

http://www.oldgmctrucks.com/page0384.html

Shows the 'GMC' logo on the Chevy hood, but this one wears a GMC hood.

A lot can happen in 55 years tho.

Roger, I'm not picking up this era Chevy vs. GMC fender differences tho- what are they? I assumed they were the same.

Site claims less than 100 Fleet Option trucks ('55-59) are left.

I too thought the fenders were the same and the hood was cut for the GMC emblem.

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Very interesting WRT the Fleet Option- I missed that in the initial view.

Something still looks ascew tho. This:

http://www.oldgmctrucks.com/page0384.html

Shows the 'GMC' logo on the Chevy hood, but this one wears a GMC hood.

A lot can happen in 55 years tho.

Roger, I'm not picking up this era Chevy vs. GMC fender differences tho- what are they? I assumed they were the same.

Site claims less than 100 Fleet Option trucks ('55-59) are left.

I may be mistaken about the fenders being different. I know that the new replacement fenders sold by Chevy vendors state that they are interchangeable between Chevy & GMC, so maybe they were that way originally. I know the turn signals line up in the same area on the two trucks.

I too thought the fenders were the same and the hood was cut for the GMC emblem.

Technically I think the hoods were stamped out for the GMC hood ornament, as it's not just a cut line but has a rolled lip. GMC did produce about a 1,000 of their own version of the Chevy Cameo, called the Suburban Carrier Pickup (also referred to as the GMC Town & Country pickup).

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Hood are definitely different stampings as Roger stated:

-- -- -- -- --

The Palamino:

large_1957-GMC-Palomino-pickup-fvr.jpg

Sorry for the choice of words. I just was calling the hole a cut out knowing it was stamped. I don't think many people whould really think it was cut by hand. Imagine how long it would have taken to to do it and the quality. The hood are two different stanping based ont he truck I have seen.

Now take the Motorama truck in the photo and make it red and that is the restored truck I used to see around here. I liked it better than any Cameo I ever saw.

I can't remember what the production truck was call. Did they also call it the Palomino? the one we had here was the only one I have ever seen. If I recall the one in the photo was a Motorama truck or it at least is the same colors as the one they used back in 57? I think.

Edited by hyperv6
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Ok I did a little digging into my collection here and here is what the GMC Cameo was called.

The first marketing ads in 1955 called it the Town & Country Runabout.

Later in 1955 marketing ads called it the Suburban Runabout.

Later on it became the Suburban Pickup. The name change was because Chrysler already was using the Town and Country name. The styling was by Chuck Jordan and was inspired by the Nike Missle transporters he saw while in the service.

They were built from 1955-1957 and came pretty much as a Cameo but witht he Pontiac V8 or GMC inline 6.

I could not find production numbers but they have to be very very rare. The Cameo is rare on it's own and I imagine the GMC was built to less than 1/4 og the Chevy totals. I know my GMC Sprint SP was built less than 600 units so I would think this truck may have been built less than 1000 units per year with few remaining today.

I wish I knew where that red one is today. It as restored to near 100 point condition.

For a good example of a Fleet grill truck check page 62 of the book GMC The First 100 Years. It has a 1958 GMC 350 Stake bed truck with the fleet grill back in the day. Note the 59 Cannonball Semi at the top of the page is someone know and see at local shows and the Pontiac Nationals at Norwalk. The truck is starting to show a little wear now but is still in great condition.

Edited by hyperv6
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GMC used optional Pontiac V-8s '55-57.

Had their own smaller 336 CI V-8 in '58-59.

The GMC 305 V-6 came out for '60, and 'replaced' the V-8 option, as the 305 was the new 'top' motor for a few years. Other motor was a GMC 270 I-6.

By '63, GMC offered the GMC 305, the Chevy 230 I-6 and the Chevy 153 I-4.

V-8 returned starting in '68 (Chevy 307 & 396).

Last year for the last unique GMC engine was the venerable 305 for '70.

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^ Well, it's not a true 'dream car', just a 'paint & trim' job. They tend to fly under the shadow of the 'true' dream cars, but there were plenty of them, even in the '50s.

The general consensus is that GMC had but 1 dream truck; the '55 L'Universelle.

I'm sure you're right about that, but this is the first one I've ever learned of. Do you have other examples?

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In looking around- these so-called 'mood cars' may have been a Cadillac staple moreso than across GM.

'55 Cadillac Celebrity

'55 Eldorado St Moritz

'55 Fleetwood Serie 60 Special Westchester

'56 Cadillac Castillian

'56 Cadillac Gala ('Wedding Car')

'56 Cadillac Palamino (!)

'57 Cadillac Series 60 Special Dictator

These were all mostly production-bodied cars with custom trim/ interiors and shown at Motoramas and other public shows.

It can be challenging to separate the factory prototypes/ styling exercises from the shown cars.

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Hood are definitely different stampings as Roger stated:

-- -- -- -- --

The Palamino:

large_1957-GMC-Palomino-pickup-fvr.jpg

That is one gorgeous show truck!! I have never seen that picture of the Palomino before. The interior is leather - something that wouldn't be commonplace in a pickup truck for another 40 years! It truly was a one-off show piece, showcasing a lot of factory options and unique trim (the upper bed trim was not put into production, unlike the '57 Chevy Cameo). hyperv6, no offense was meant by me. Many non-GMC guys like to say all GM did was "cut a hole in the hood" for the GMC badge. Yes, a hole was stamped, but it is more than just "a hole" (again, not directed at you). As far as I know, only the gold Palomino existed; however, we know GM made more copies sometimes for different venues. I have never seen or heard of a red one though (only the gold). And the Town & Country/Suburban Carrier was also offered in 1958 with a very small number (like the Cameo, until the steel fleetside/wideside came to market). There is one '59 Suburban Carrier, and the collector you mentioned owns that one:

Ralph Wescott, Member #0005, owns this collection of 1955 through 1959 GMC Suburban Carriers. His 1957 Palomino and his 1959 are one of a kind trucks.

Ralph$20Wescott$20GMCs$20042007.jpg

I'd love one of these fiberglass-sided trucks. To me that would be the "Holy Grail" of these classic trucks. I often regard the new Sierra Denali as the modern-day Suburban Pickup (back in the '50s the Cameo was considered a luxury truck, and the Suburban Carrier was basically to sit in the GMC dealer's showroom to sell options, hence why approximately 300 a year were made - one for each GMC dealership).

Now, for some pictures:

1955

1955-1957-gmc-suburban-1.jpg

1955-gmc-suburban.jpg

1956

53217868_pr.jpg

*Official GMC factoy photo from '56 with Oldsomobile hubcaps?

1956%20GMC%20Suburban%20Carrier%20fsvd=KRM.jpg

1957

b8f915abf4.jpg

1958

lot178.jpg

*This '58 was Steve McQueen's, the famous actor, truck

0.jpg

1958_GMC_Series-101.jpg

By the way, here's two photos of the '57 GMC Palomino from October 20, 2007 at a car show in Lakeland, FL:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddog3d/1662113645/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddog3d/1662982736/in/photostream/

Going back to the original topic of this thread, here's an interesting take on a '58/'59 Fleet option GMC (for those two years, GMC used the factory '58/'59 fenders but installed a '55-'57 single headlight instead of the dual-quad headlight setup). This one appears to have benefitted from some extra trim in its restoration (grille):

1007cct_13_z+goodguys_spring_nationals+1958_GMC.jpg

(here's a slightly modified '58/'59 Fleet option GMC): 605691.jpg

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That is one gorgeous show truck!! I have never seen that picture of the Palomino before. The interior is leather - something that wouldn't be commonplace in a pickup truck for another 40 years! It truly was a one-off show piece, showcasing a lot of factory options and unique trim (the upper bed trim was not put into production, unlike the '57 Chevy Cameo). hyperv6, no offense was meant by me. Many non-GMC guys like to say all GM did was "cut a hole in the hood" for the GMC badge. Yes, a hole was stamped, but it is more than just "a hole" (again, not directed at you). As far as I know, only the gold Palomino existed; however, we know GM made more copies sometimes for different venues. I have never seen or heard of a red one though (only the gold). And the Town & Country/Suburban Carrier was also offered in 1958 with a very small number (like the Cameo, until the steel fleetside/wideside came to market). There is one '59 Suburban Carrier, and the collector you mentioned owns that one:

I'd love one of these fiberglass-sided trucks. To me that would be the "Holy Grail" of these classic trucks. I often regard the new Sierra Denali as the modern-day Suburban Pickup (back in the '50s the Cameo was considered a luxury truck, and the Suburban Carrier was basically to sit in the GMC dealer's showroom to sell options, hence why approximately 300 a year were made - one for each GMC dealership).

Now, for some pictures:

1955

1955-1957-gmc-suburban-1.jpg

1955-gmc-suburban.jpg

1956

53217868_pr.jpg

*Official GMC factoy photo from '56 with Oldsomobile hubcaps?

1956%20GMC%20Suburban%20Carrier%20fsvd=KRM.jpg

1957

b8f915abf4.jpg

1958

lot178.jpg

*This '58 was Steve McQueen's, the famous actor, truck

0.jpg

1958_GMC_Series-101.jpg

By the way, here's two photos of the '57 GMC Palomino from October 20, 2007 at a car show in Lakeland, FL:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddog3d/1662113645/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddog3d/1662982736/in/photostream/

Going back to the original topic of this thread, here's an interesting take on a '58/'59 Fleet option GMC (for those two years, GMC used the factory '58/'59 fenders but installed a '55-'57 single headlight instead of the dual-quad headlight setup). This one appears to have benefitted from some extra trim in its restoration (grille):

1007cct_13_z+goodguys_spring_nationals+1958_GMC.jpg

(here's a slightly modified '58/'59 Fleet option GMC): 605691.jpg

No offense taken I just could have used a better word.

The red truck you posted is like the one that was near where I grew up. Man I loved that truck.

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The Fleet Option grille is a fascinatingly cheesy, period treatment.

-- -- -- -- --

The '55-56 is my favorite.

I wonder what the story was behind those....GMC dealers wanted a cheap model to compete w/ Chevy dealers? Strange...

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As is the majority case now, there are those that prefer Chevy & those that prefer GMC.

Fleet Option was obviously a value-priced option for those who wanted the most affordable GMC.

Remember- the Divisions were run independently then- this was not 'GM decided to pit Chevy against GMC', it was GMC fighting for sales against everyone else.

Edited by balthazar
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