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Advanced Times Three: 1952 GMC 9300

GMC Canada must have felt like they really needed to one-up the American version of GMC 3100 when they were deciding on what to call their version. They weren’t content with just doubling the 3100, they had to triple it! Alright, so that probably isn’t how they came up with the name, but you never know. This particular 9300 sure has an awesome look to it and tons of potential. You could leave it looking as is and turn it into an eye-catching driver, a wild rat rod or you could restore it back to pristine condition! Whichever direction you’d like to go with it, you can find it here on eBay in Shelby, Montana with a current bid of $2,500 and no reserve.

Other than the name, there really isn’t any significant difference between this rig and it’s 5-window American counterpart, which means parts are plentiful, information is readily available and it will be incredibly easy to work on. While this one has dents, scrapes, and rust it looks like a great starting point. The cab corners are going to need work, but you can get patch panels and they won’t even break the bank.

Power comes from the good old 216 cui Stovebolt inline six. Unfortunately, the seller hasn’t attempted to start it, so it’s hard to say what kind of condition it’s in. If it’s beyond saving and you’re on a budget, it might set the route you’ll want to take. A small block would be a fairly simple swap and cheap swap, plus it would offer better performance.

The interior is showing it’s age, but thankfully there isn’t much to it. New seat upholstery, door cards and some detailing would make it usable. Bringing back to original condition will require a little more work, but not much. The biggest concern I see here is the damaged windshield, but replacements are available and will set you back about $50 per side, plus the cost of new gaskets that is.

While I’m sure there are plenty of you out there that would want to fully restore this truck, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I’d be tempted to leave the outside looking ratty. Fully restore the inside, repair any serious rust, install a V8, upgrade the brakes, install new wood in the bed and it will be one unique truck. And if the novelty of the original look ever wears off, painting it in the original color is still an option. So, what do you think of my idea for it?


  1. Uncle Bob

    Being a 3100, or 9300 if you will, wouldn’t that be just a 1/2 ton of potential?

    Like 4
  2. R Soul

    Here’s one I had visions of fixing up back in the 70’s. Unfortunately my vision was blurred and I ended up selling it for what I bought it for. I can’t recall the year or model, though it was a GMC. It also wasn’t a five window year.

    Like 3
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Another Stovie-powered GMC, down in Shelby, no less. There were a lot of Canadian trucks (especially) that migrated across the border into Montana in the late 40s and early 50s. Some say that during the Korean conflict there wasn’t as much of a shortage in Canada as there was in the States (even though both countries fought over there) so a lot of farmers and construction owners bought new trucks and farm equipment in Canada, duties and taxes be damned. If you lived in the border region the closest dealer was in Canada and that helped as well. There were also a lot of farming operations and marriages that spanned the border into both countries. I might add that there was a hospital 10 miles into Canada and a lot of American babies were born in Canada because it was much cheaper. Anyways, this truck, with its slug of numbers would do just fine at my place, Stovie (I’m not scared of a 216) and all. I wouldn’t do a thing but fix it and drive. Maybe a paint job a little further down the road….

    Like 7
    • David

      Hi Geomechs,

      I’ve noticed that you comment on many of the trucks that my brother and I post on barnfinds. You seem to have a great depth of knowledge on them.

      We are based just north of Montana, in Alberta. We would be interested to meet you over a coffee sometime in Montana.

      Let me know your availability and we can see what we can work out.



      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi David. Depending on where you are, I can meet you just about anyplace. You wouldn’t happen to be in Taber on Saturday (massive show and shine there) or Waterton on Sunday (another massive show and shine there). Drop me a line at geomechs@netscape.net. I’d love to hook up.

        Like 0
    • R Soul

      Hi geomechs, could you help jog my memory on the truck I posted above? I can’t recall the year or model. Thanks in advance.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi R Soul. I can certainly help to at least narrow down the year your truck was made. First of all, the 5-window option was available almost from the get-go; I read somewhere that 5-window wasn’t available in the initial production of the Advanced Design trucks but was for the ’48 models. Looking at your door handles, tells me that you have a ’51 at the newest; they started using push-buttons in ’52. I don’t see the RH side of your truck so all I can do is tell you that the fuel tank was initially on the frame; it was moved into the cab in ’49. Chevy was good enough to use some variants on the hood trim through the years while GMC continually produced the same thing. Consequently, the VIN will ultimately tell you everything else. Hope this helps. G

        Like 0
      • William Cassida

        The truck in the photo doesn’t have a vent window so it is 1950 or earlier. Vent windows were standard in 1951.

        Like 0
  4. Duane

    GMC trucks from this era didn’t come with the 216. They normally came equipped with the 228. The 228 had a few more horsepower, an oil pump and bearing inserts.

    Like 3
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Yes, the 228 was the standard powerplant for GMC light trucks south of the border. The Canadian versions were essentially Chevy with GMC badging. I might add that even the Canadian GMC trucks had some differences besides the grills: When the automatic transmissions came out in approximately ’53, the Chevy trucks ran a 235 with Powerglide while the GMC units ran the same 235 but a Hydramatic.

      Sound confusing? Wait till you hear about the ‘Maple Leaf’ truck….

      Like 1
      • Ed

        That hydramatic would have made a great pickup for the times

        Like 1
      • Doug

        Some of the Chevy trucks with the 235 came with the 4 speed Hydramatic –
        I had a ‘ 57 3100 panel truck that came that way. From 1955 -57, the GMC V8 was the Pontiac engine – I’m not sure about the ’58 and later trucks. I recall seeing a ’55 Pontiac 2dr station wagon that came with a 235 when I was working in a gas station – I don’t recall what the trans was. It may or may not have been built in Canada, since Canadian Pontiacs used Chevy engines for a lot of years.

        Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        The hydramatic was a nice transmission, albeit a heavy brute. And you mention Chevies from the mid 50s, I do recall seeing early ’55 models and early Task Force jobs with hydramatics as well. GMC used the hydramatic all the way through on both sides of the border. At least I never saw anything but, until the 60s when things changed again.

        Like 0
  5. Ken

    “3100” is Chevrolet nomenclature that does not apply to GMC trucks. An American-made 1952 GMC half-ton truck is referred to as a 100.

    Like 4
  6. John Kingston

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