One Family Since New: 1963 GMC Pickup

A story popped up recently about a Chevy Apache pickup stolen from the fourth-generation family owners who used the truck for hunting and fishing (find that sad tale here at What a bummer – but if the truck doesn’t turn up, they may want to take a look at this one-family owned GMC Long Bed pickup here on eBay that’s been with the same owners in California since new. I can’t imagine letting go of a family heirloom like that, but there’s no reserve and bidding opens at a mere $2,500.

Here’s a picture of the GMC back in the day, wearing a different color scheme and the classic camper top that likely made the truck a gateway to any number of adventures. I love the quad headlights on these and the huge GMC logo in the grill; the bed has mounting points for the camper section and the seller notes that numerous modifications have been made over the years to support an R/V-friendly lifestyle. Heavy duty brakes, suspension and clutch round out some of the enhancements made.

Pictures aren’t great, but the interior looks decent for what it is. The door panels show some classy wood veneer inlays and the bench seat appears untorn. The CB radio is a must-have in a rig that lives on the road, and I’ll actually be adding a period K40 CB system to my Toyota HiAce when that’s back on the road. The seller says they haven’t used the GMC in years like they used to and moving it along is better than letting it continue to sit. The 305 V6 is said to run “very well” and an aftermarket cruise control system has been added.

The body looks OK, not great – but I’ll bet it’s largely rust-free given its location in Aptos, California. This is near Santa Cruz, one of my favorite destinations when on a West Coast trip. The camping lifestyle is strong out there, and it seems cruel for this classic long bed to go anywhere other than where the climate supports R/V living. Bidding seems awfully cheap to me, and unless there’s some hidden fees waiting for California residents, it looks like someone could snag a classic GMC pickup for less than $5K.


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  1. Steve R

    Cars from Aptos can be incredibly rusty since it sits on the coast. It just depends on how far inland you are.

    The owner seems to really care about the truck. I hope the lack of quality pictures and the home brewed modifications don’t prevent the truck from selling.

    Steve R

  2. Nrg8

    What’s all the stuff under the hood on the drivers side

    • JW

      I would also like to know what those complex gizmos are.

    • John Taylor

      It looks like perhaps they have taken the photos with a phone that doesn’t correct for being taken in one direction, there is a photo where it appears right hand drive so I am guessing that photo is also the same deal.

  3. Whippeteer

    It must be a work horse. It’s got saddle bags.

  4. Rube Goldberg Member

    Must have been sitting a while, that’s an old 23 channel CB (looks like a Midland) Nice truck, seems a little low priced for Cal. That’s what this type of truck goes for in Colorado. 305 V6 was one of the best motors made. That vacuum canister on the inner fender, I believe, is the power brakes and next to it is the (crude) speed control.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Oops, I should have said, the best V6 ever made. The best motor ever, I feel, is the in-line six, in all forms.

      • Mountainwoodie

        Maybe so Rube, but my ’72 250 Inline 6 is one thirsty engine…and it only has a 2 barrel on it…maybe it needs another rear end with better gearing……

  5. Beatnik Bedouin

    Rube’s right about the power brake canister and primitive cruise control bits.

    This looks like a pretty good basis for a restoration, especially if one could find a period-correct slide-in cabover camper to finish off the project.

    If I was still living stateside, it would be the sort of project I’d tackle and then take the finished article back to the original owners to show ’em. From my experience, doing so is always appreciated…

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like everything I see except for those tacky fuel tanks. They would be the first things to go if that truck made its way in my direction. ’63 was the last year for the knee-knocker door frame and the first for coil springs in the front. Those torsion bars that were used before gave some problems but mostly on the larger trucks. This would be a great truck to have although my supreme favorite was the ‘Eyebrow Hood’ models of ’60 and ’61.

    • Whippeteer

      Fuel tanks? The “saddle bags” have no top on them and have hinges, so I don’t think that they are fuel tanks.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Whippeteer. I stand corrected; you’re absolutely right. I took a closer look and saw that there are a couple of saddle tanks. The reason I first thought they were fuel tanks was that there were a few trucks in my region outfitted with tanks that closely resembled those. I always thought they were tacky, not to mention dangerous.

  7. Whippeteer

    Although the seller states that it was always used with a camper, it was sitting out for a long time with nothing on the back based on the condition of the bed.

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