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Restore Or Rat Rod? 1940 GMC AC150 Pickup

The person who buys this 1940 GMC AC150 Pickup will undoubtedly have a vision in their head for this vehicle. The question remains whether that vision is for a faithful restoration or whether they would use it as the base for a rat rod or a custom build. Regardless of which path they choose to follow, they will be starting that journey with a Pickup that appears to be solid and complete. Located in Murdock, Minnesota, you will find the GMC listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $5,400, and the reserve has been met.

Since day one, the Pickup has belonged to the same family, and it has been parked in storage since 1980. It shows all of the wear-and-tear that you might expect in this type of vehicle, but it is surprisingly free from rust problems. There are some sections in the bottoms of both doors, but this seems to be about the worst of it. What can be seen of the floors show little more than surface corrosion, and the rust-prone cab corners look quite promising. While it might not have a lot of rust, it makes up for this by wearing more than its share of dings and dents. The fenders have borne the brunt of this, and it will take plenty of work to address this damage, along with welding up various splits and tears in the steel. All of the chrome is present, although components like the grille will require a trip to the platers. All of the glass is intact, and the wind-out windshield works as it should. Who needs air conditioning when you’ve got that feature?

While General Motors produced a wide variety of 6-cylinder engines that saw service across their entire fleet, one of the most easily forgotten was the 228ci version. It has tended to be lost in the mists of time and was only ever used in commercial offerings. It was introduced into the GMC range in 1939 to replace the Pontiac six and remained part of the range until 1953. That’s what we find occupying the engine bay of this Pickup. Rated at a touch under 31hp, this was not a powerhouse when it came to performance. However, its power and torque figures weren’t far shy of the larger 248, meaning that it offered acceptable performance for the era. This engine is original to this vehicle, but it doesn’t currently run. Its condition is unknown, and I get the impression that it hasn’t roared into life for around 40-years. Given these motors’ tough nature, it might not take a lot of work to have it singing once again. That will be good news if the buyer is intent on a faithful restoration. I do not doubt that if the ultimate dream is for a custom or rat rod build, this 228 will probably be consigned to the pages of history.

It’s hard to get a clear understanding of the Pickup’s interior because the seller only supplies a single photo. What can be seen is an interior that will require a complete refurbishment. The seat will need a new cover and padding, while all of the painted surfaces wear varying levels of surface corrosion. However, whipping the interior of one of these vintage pickups into shape is about as easy as an interior restoration comes. They are easy to dismantle, and all it takes is some basic preparation and painting skills to have them sparkling once again. That’s a task that could be tackled in a home workshop, although the next owner might have other ideas if a faithful restoration isn’t on the agenda.

Bidding on this 1940 GMC AC150 Pickup has been strong up to this point, but it sits in an affordable range. It is easy to see why because this is a classic loaded with potential and possibilities. I would love to see somebody restore this beauty to its original glory, but I would understand if the next owner chooses to follow a different path. Regardless of the dream, I believe that the buyer will have an attention-grabber when the process is complete. I hope that they start work on it soon. It has been waiting patiently for 40-years. That’s long enough in my book.


  1. Howard A Member

    Nice find, but you know how I feel. Someone going to make a quick $5g’s, that’s for sure. Beautiful designs, state of the art for 1940,, snowballs chance in Hades it will remain stock.

    Like 8
    • Steve R

      Nobody’s going to make money flipping this truck. It’s not the most desirable year and its a long bed.

      The auctions closing bid will be its true market value.

      Steve R

  2. Todd

    These are very difficult to find. It should definitely be restored.

    Like 4
  3. Don Page

    Make it safe to drive, fix the seat, and drive it as is.

    Like 14
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Driver quality restoration would be the way I would take this one. Not nearly as many of these compared to a Chevy. I would paint it something other than the dark green that truck builders seemed to insist on painting them back in the day. Lots of choices out there. That 228 engine is one tough contender. I wouldn’t do anything to it but rebuild it. I’ve always been somewhat surprised that Chevy stuck with the splash-lubed Babbitt-pounder when it could’ve used a full-pressure engine like this. But then, Chevy obviously had a good formula because its bottom end held up as good as these. Just bring it over to my place and I’ll look after it…

    Like 8
    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, I seem to remember a lot of vintage trucks were green with black fenders. Your yard gets any more vehicles, they’ll be able to see it from space. One thing for sure, if this haybaler could talk, with those side boards, SOMEONE did a lot of shoveling,,:)

      Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        “Jimmy”, not Haybaler, still, a lot of shoveling.

        Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. Are you spying on me from Google Earth? Actually if you look at my place right now it’s nothing but a massive snow bank. A major system collided with another over Central WA last weekend and we got an inch of rain followed by a foot of snow. I-15 was pretty well shut down from Great Falls to the border. Then the temperature dropped down below zero on Monday. With the wind chill it was getting close to the ex-wife’s side of the bed (Kenzie still can’t believe that I was married to someone who hated me that bad). Anyway—Yeah that green color, 3/4 of the trucks were painted that dark cow-patty green when I was a kid. My ‘47 was green and is going to have that same livery as well as the calf-scour yellow grill. My ‘35 was green but I think I’ll treat it to something a little more sporty (like gray or calf-scour yellow lol). My Binder was only available in (9) colors (with or without black fenders) in ‘38: International Red (duh?), maroon, blue, two shades of green (ugly dark and seasick), two shades of brown (tan and doggie-do), and a nice orange, and a canary yellow. But like most others dark green was dominant. My truck is actually tan with black fenders. I told Kenzie that I might paint it orange and she seemed go along with that.

  5. Pete Phillips

    Only 31 horsepower? Come on, that has to be a typographical error.

    “Rated at a touch under 31hp”

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Typo, I read, the 228 put out 93hp.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        They might be referring to ‘Taxable’ hp although I think it’s more of a European thing. My ‘49 Chevy is in the neighborhood of 29 taxable HP.

  6. angryjonny

    Ooooh, damn. This is quite literally about 30 miles away from me.

    Like 3
  7. lbpa18

    The fenders always lose the battle with the front end loader when the tractor isnt stopped BEFORE contact with the truck. Lots of history here.

  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Just hammer those fenders out to a nice finish, redo the seat, get that tired old engine fired up, service the brakes and drive this bad truck. Grease went a long way on steering components on these old beasts. Paint is an option on a vehicle like this. Green is my favorite color, so perhaps just clean it real good and apply wax liberally, repainting the repaired fenders as needed.
    Oh well, whatever the new owner does will be an improvement.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  9. H C Member

    Love it just a blank canvas and reasonbly priced. Either restomodded or done original would be great

  10. 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

    Notice the wheels on this, they are original equipment on ’39-early ’47 GMC and Chevy 3/4 ton pickups. Kind of trick replacement wheels for ’30s – ’40s Chevy cars as they are 6 hole 15″ and bolt directly to the passenger cars, including the clips for the factory hubcaps. They don’t have the safety beads like later tubeless rims so you should use tubes. I looked long and hard before finding a set in a scrap pile to put on my ’41 Chevy Special Deluxe.
    I like vehicles in the their original state, I would make this truck run nice, make sure brakes and suspension safe and drive it as often as I could!

    Like 2
    • Jimmy Novak

      Say, how were you able to post a photo here?

  11. Phlathead Phil

    Kewl old beast of a truck.

    Price is CORRECT!

  12. Jimmy Novak

    Curious as to how you were you able to post a photo here.

    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      Necessary to be a member.

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