Cummins-Powered: 1963 Chevrolet Pickup

Lee AaronBy Lee Aaron

Take one of the best-looking pickups ever made and combine it with one of the best pickup engines ever made, and you get this Cummins-powered 1963 Chevrolet pickup, for sale here on eBay in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.  I love old trucks, but they do tend to be a bit lacking in power and refinement compared to modern-day trucks.  Is this the answer?  Thanks to Kyle for the submission!!

GM redesigned their pickups in 1960, making them more modern-looking and comfortable to drive, at least relative to their predecessors.  Pickups in the ’60’s, though, weren’t available with gobs of torque like today’s trucks are.  While the Cummins 6BT that’s been transplanted into this truck should give it a lot more pulling power than it left the factory with, I’d be concerned about the rest of the chassis’s ability to handle that much power.

I’d also be concerned about driving around with those bumper stickers, so a thorough inspection and destickering would be the first things on my list if I bought this truck.  This truck is a 3/4-ton, four-wheel-drive model, so perhaps it does have what it takes to do some heavy hauling and towing.  Oddly enough, while the diesel between the front fenders is what makes this truck unique, the seller didn’t provide any photos of it.  The seller does, however, provide lots of body and undercarriage shots, and while rust repair is evident on the body, the truck generally appears to be solid as described.  Also provided are several shots of the reupholstered front seat, which was completed in a Levi’s jeans theme.

While not to my taste, I can at least respect that the upholstery work appears to have been done well, with careful attention to detail to get the leather patch and pockets centered on the seat back.  The non-seating surfaces appear to be recovered using old canvas bags, an interesting and rustic touch.  Less well thought out, however, was the decision to cut a hole in the hood for the exhaust.  Must every truck with a diesel have a vertical exhaust stack?  A few minor nit-picks aside, though, I think this would be a cool truck to cruise around in, and if it’s up to it, an even cooler truck to haul the race car to the track with.

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Comments

  1. Andre

    In before someone gripes about the fake patina!

    ..which is terrible. I’d agree.

    Hit it with body/paint and a regular bench seat and it would be a fabulous truck.

    8
    • Christopher Wenz

      I seriously had to look at the photos again because I thought those blemishes were just an unfinished resto!

  2. Martin

    The engine weighs 1100 pounds. Unless there were serious mods to the suspension and steering I do not imagine it would be much fun to drive.

    6
    • Steve R

      That’s funny since when an old truck pops up on this site it’s not unusual for at least one person to suggest installing a Cummins. That makes sense, I don’t think I’ve seen many conversions into earlier trucks, that helps explain why.

      Steve R

      2
      • Jeepster

        The 4Bt Cummins works much better for the older trucks & Jeeps.
        Less weight + higher Revs

        3
      • Richard

        Who wants to hear a Magnified Rattle Can while driving this piecer? I would put a stock 283 4 bbl carb with a stock 4 speed tranny back in it. Paint it Red w/white top & add stock accessory side trim! THEN it would be a nice truck. I bought a ’63 (all white) brand new IN 1963! Was a Nice truck, but had a Gas guzzler 292 6 Cyl.

        4
      • Gay Car Nut

        Unless perhaps it’s a Cummins 4bt.

  3. Madmatt

    When this guy..”rolls Coal”..,his windshield
    gets a tint job.!Atleast put the “stack” thru the bed,
    Like a proper hillbilly..Lol.Very cool truck,I do really like
    the seat cover,those pockets could be very handy can holders.
    I like the stickers,but in this era,its best not to “offend”
    owners of vehicles that don’t have any….hahaha…

    7
    • Mountainwoodie

      I resemble that hillbilly remark!

      As for global whining seems like the owner of the truck is doing some. All that aside I like the truck, but yeah put those stacks in back….but maybe the builder knew something we dont. What that could be escapes me

      3
  4. Alexander

    Owner must be left-handed…that necking knob on the steering wheel is too low to the left for a right-handed person to get any use out of it. Unless one is always making sharp right-handed turns. Without power steering this could work the muscles on the turning arm.

    1
  5. Mountainwoodie

    One other thing.sure wish the seller had posted a video of that puppy running…..

    2
  6. geomechs

    I like the truck but can think of a lot better places to put a Cummins diesel. A good ol’ 292 would’ve done me just fine (it probably came with that). The Cummins engine is too heavy and would make the truck handle like pushing a brick on mud with a stick. 292, the Granny 4-speed, and a set of 4.10 gears; it will be a puller but will still go 60 and that’s about as fast as I’d care to go in a truck like that.

    9
    • Howard A Member

      Thank-you.

      5
    • Ken

      I had a ’59 GMC half-ton with a transplanted 292. That sucker in compound low (technical term for granny gear) could pull a freakin’ battleship.

      2
      • geomechs

        The concept probably inpsired the tug….

    • 68custom

      Great comments agree completely!

  7. 433 jeff

    I got one foot in each world, the Cummins is the way to go(12 valve 2nd gen)bit of the poop hits the fan and you need an injector pump, for that kinda money you can probably buy a few 292s a350 and still have money for groceries.

    2
    • geomechs

      I work on diesels for a living. Ever wonder why I don’t own a diesel? I see the bills that cross over the counter….

      2
  8. Jimmy

    Did I miss the pic of the engine bay ???

    1
    • Dean

      Seller will email some separately..I rather like it, but I’d certainly move the exhaust. I’m a bit fond of old Chevy trucks, especially manuals with “granny” gear. I had a 63 SB big back window…wish I still had it..

      1
  9. Dirk

    All knuckle-dragging coal-rolling red-neckers, the line forms here. As for me, I’d rather walk thanks.

    5
    • geomechs

      Well, my neck is about as red as they come, but I seldom drag my knuckles, except when I’m leaving the bar (a lot of people stepped on my hands). I walk upright and I don’t care for coal-rollers (even though I work on them). Aside from that I’m everything the Blue Collar guys say I am….

      3
  10. hatofpork

    I think the stickers are meant to be taken less than seriously. They certainly add patina!

    2
    • Chinga-Trailer

      Serious or not, if I were the seller, I’d remove them post haste!

  11. Eco_Turbo

    I don’t call it driving these old cars and trucks, I call it maneuvering my bulk around.

    2
    • George

      Look for a 62 and put a 454 with a 4 speed then it won’t lack power.

  12. Steve

    I like the truck and I like diesels but I’m not sure I like this diesel in this truck having read your expert opinions. I keep thinking the price is too high and haven’t seen anybody mention it. What do you think, truckers?

  13. Steve

    That exhaust stack has to be one of the dumbest things I have seen in awhile.

    2
  14. Wrong Way

    I would have to pray for forgiveness if I bought this bow tie! However if I were to cross the line and bought one this is the truck to draw me over! LMAO, I love this ol truck I think that it’s awesome with the diesel conversion!

    1
  15. Beaver Prince

    After looking at the Photos they sent me I placed a Bid we will have to see what happens! That being said I have noticed that a lot of people complain about cars and trucks but nobody trys to buy them HA! HA! SNORT!!!

    • Wrong Way

      I have tried to buy online many times and I know a lot of us have tried and do buy online! I myself have never won a bid as of yet! There are a lot who are participants on this site that are professional criticizers for sure! 🙂

      1
  16. Matt Tritt

    New, this truck should have come with a big-block V6, which would have had more than enough power to go around. I had a 65 2.5 ton GMC insulated box truck in the early 70’s with that engine, coupled to a huge 4-speed and 2-speed rear end. Power was never an issue, even with 6 tons of cargo. Same power, same MPG but it rode better. 🙂

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