Ready to Roll: 1953 GMC 100 Pickup

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

The climate in California tends to generally be very kind to vehicles, and this 1953 GMC Pickup demonstrates the benefits perfectly. It has spent its entire life there, and for an original and unrestored 66-year-old vehicle, it is in solid condition. Not only does the Pickup appear to be structurally sound, but it is also mechanically strong. The owner has now decided to part with this old girl, so if it’s a Pickup that appeals to you, it is located in Sacramento, California, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

I’ve grown to really love these old Pickups, especially when they look like this one. They just ooze character, and you can see that they’ve worked for their living. This one is solid, with no visible rust issues with the frame or floor. There is a small amount of rust in the corners of the cab, but that isn’t terribly unusual and should be easy to repair. The timber in the bed is also gone, but you could choose to either replace it or to substitute steel in its place.

The owner currently uses the Pickup on a regular basis, so the interior is quite serviceable. The upholstery on the seat looks quite good, but the rest of the interior shows all of the character that you would expect from a work-horse of this age. Honestly, the only thing that I would change in there would be to either locate the missing blanking plate for the dash where the radio should be or try to find a period-correct radio to install.

Mechanically, this GMC really does shine. Under the hood is a 228ci straight-six engine. This is backed by a 3-speed manual transmission with a fully operational electric overdrive. The owner takes the Pickup on all sorts of roads, from highways to dirt tracks, and he says that it handles all really well and that with the overdrive engaged, it will happily cruise along on the highway at 65mph all day. The Pickup also rolls on virtually new Firestone DeLuxe tires. It’s worth taking a bit of a look at this YouTube video, as it provides a walk-around of the vehicle, and you can also hear the engine starting and running. That engine sounds really smooth and clean.

This GMC Pickup is a bit of a blank canvas, and the new owner can choose what path they would like to take with it. They could choose to undertake a full restoration, use it as the base for a rat rod project, or drive it as it stands. I’d probably have the wheels powder-coated, fit some really nice timber to the bed for contrast, and leave the rest of it exactly how it is. The owner has set a BIN price of $15,500 for the GMC, but the option is also there to make an offer. Would you buy it at that price, and if you did, what would you do with it?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. geomechs geomechsMember

    They just keep on coming. If I could afford to buy every decent truck that came through here I would have a storage facility that would compete with a couple of BJ’s tents. This is a very nice project truck and it would look great at my place. The 228 engine is a reliable performer but it won’t get you anywhere fast but it will GET you there. Like so many others that come down the pipe if this one came my way it would be a work in progress. The apple green would have to go though…

    Like 4
  2. HoA Howard AMember

    Ugh, here we go again. They’ve GOT to be kidding. I tell ya’, and I say this everytime, but Cal. has such a twisted sense of value. Maybe amongst themselves, but this kind of pricing doesn’t fly in the rest of the country, does it? Maybe $15g’s in restored condition, but this a $5g truck, tops. A friend in N. Wis. had one like this in his garage, hadn’t run in years, and if I would have stayed in Wis. I’m sure I would have gotten it, as his health is failing, we talked like in the $1,000-$1,500 dollar range. Maybe I’m too hung up on the prices, but I can’t think I’m alone. $15g’s for a ratty old GMC, I just don’t think so.

    Like 17
    • Mountainwoodie

      HoA- Being a denizen of the Left Coast I agree with you completely. Pricing out here reflects a weird mix of ” look what he’s asking” and a supply of mostly rust free examples of everything.Throw in the car culture from yore, and you have a recipe for skyhigh asks. These 5 windows, GMC and Chevy alike were a dime a dozen in Colorado in the very early Seventies and we all drove them….I wont even get into to what we paid for them.All that said, nothing stops anyone from going to the midwest, finding a guy like you who has one and buying his iron………

      Which is what I would do. But then I’m cheap and dont fool easily :) Well, there was that Le Mans…oh yeah and that Beemer….well…………

      Like 4
      • Beatnik Bedouin

        I’m originally from SoCal, Howard, and I am floored at some of the prices people are asking for stuff in my homeland, these days. I agree that $5K would be more realistic.

        I’m not sure if the who pricing thing has been affected by the plethora of gold-chainers at Friday cruise nights, the picker/collector TV shows or both?

        Like 2
  3. Bear

    This is a nice example of TRUE “Patina”.  
    It shows its age well.
    Looks pretty solid (only some minor rust thru in the cab lower rear corners, probably some rust will be found on the cab floors & door bottoms too, but should be minor.)
    These are great old trucks.
    I’d LOVE to drive this to “cars & coffee”!! :-)

    Like 2
  4. Darren Dover

    I live in the rust belt and if I had these setting around here the sky would be the limit on prices. I have seen worse examples that have sold for crazy prices that make this one look like they are giving it away. Idk how they do it

    Like 2
  5. Jim

    I also live in the rust belt but this one is way over priced. I just bought a ’51 in December for $17,000 that is 100 times better shape with all original sheet metal no rust, solid floors, new chrome and a fair pain job. I would not pay more than $5000 for that one. This is also the less desirable GMC, mine is a Chevy.

    Like 5
    • Ken

      Less desirable to you, maybe. Lots of people would disagree with you. I’d love to have a warehouse full of ’47 – ’53 GMC pickups. Advance Design Chevys are nice, but they’re a dime a dozen compared to the Jimmies, which had larger, purpose-built truck engines instead of the automobile engines used in the Chevys.

      Like 1
      • HoA Howard AMember

        I agree, GMC’s are more desirable, not $10g’s more, but there were probably 10 Chevy’s sold for every 1 GMC. Back then they really were more than a Chevy with lockwashers. Different grills, different dash, and I believe they used Pontiac motors.

        Like 1
  6. bill

    I don’t believe overdrive was available from the factory untill 1955.

    Like 2
  7. Chevy Guy

    My dream truck is kind of like this GMC, but i would like a 1949 chevy 3100 like this pic i found.

    Like 2
  8. Little_Cars Little Cars

    Overdrive could be aftermarket? Dunno. Something ordered from the back of a car mag back in the day. Dunno. Not a 5-figure truck over here in Tennessee. They are everywhere and typically as much rust free as this one if kept up. There is even a fella selling the individual cabs from all years, bed kits, and LED dashes for said trucks on the Craigslist. The apple green finish is/was pretty common on these trucks. They look better in any color but green IMHO.

    Like 1
  9. Leslie Carpenter

    This truck is a hot mess.. rot in the corners of the cab in the front and rear… also the title doesn’t match the truck VIN or the block number..

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds