Clifford: The Low Red ’62 GMC
In a world where old school GM pickups are all the rage, its hard to stand out from the rest. We’ve seen this classic truck movement go from basically nothing to what is now the hottest segment on the custom scene. Many styles have been brought forward from the biggest builders and the things we like most are the small details that make them unique.
For Chad “Goose” Goswick, his father has a ’66 GMC and he wanted to customize one like it for himself. As classic GM trucks are being picked up left and right, it’s getting hard to find good rust-free vehicles. With that being said, Chad ended up finding this ’62 instead of a later version of this pickup. Though most will not notice, there are small differences on this truck that make it more distinct.
Starting with the chassis, the ’60-’62 trucks have a beefy X-member frame that’s rigid and quite different from ones found on ’63-’66 trucks with the same body style. Though it is great for stability, the aftermarket hasn’t really developed easy-to-install suspension parts for it. Since it was a bit difficult, Chad turned to Brooks Ekren of Built by Brooks to get this truck on the ground. Brooks removed the front torsion bar suspension and fabricated a custom independent suspension that uses Classic Performance Products spindles with disc brakes and a modern rack and pinion steering unit. For the rear, the trailing arms were replaced by a four-link with pan hard bar and the frame was notched to clear the 55T rearend.
Getting the truck to a drivable state is a set of Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags that raise the vehicle up when inflated. Supplying air to the system is a set of hardlines created by Jason Berland of Arizona High Test, which are connected to the AccuAir Endo VT tank and Viair 444 compressors. Not only does the air suspension allow for adjustability with a simple selection on the AccuAir TouchPad, but the ride quality is superior than conventional spring setups. Once the chassis was finalized, it was powder coated by Caesar Mata of Matador Rod & Customs.
When it came time to power this truck, Chad wanted something good for cruising. He then picked a 454ci big block V8 from a donor ’65 GMC. From what he knew, it was previously rebuilt and set to run for plenty of miles ahead. The engine was dropped in with a Turbo 350 automatic transmission and a 2-piece driveshaft was used to avoid rubbing issues on the frame. Fuel is supplied from via a 600-cfm Edelbrock carburetor and intake. Letting exhausted gases out is a set of stock manifolds and a 2 ½-inch exhaust with Flowmaster Super 10 Series mufflers.
Some of the things that distinguish these GMC’s apart from the Chevy’s is the front grille with floating letters and lack of reverse lights. True fans would agree that the wraparound (knee-knocker) windshield on the ’60-’63 version of this truck has a better appearance, but Chad wasn’t fond of it at first. The one thing he couldn’t stand the sight of was the rear window and he had Nick Sinioris of Phoenix Hotrod Company perform the big back window conversion while also replacing all the seals with ones from Precision Replacement Parts. Once complete, Chad was able to fully appreciate the look of the windshield combined with the large back glass.
One of the previous owners painted this truck in a non original red paint, which was still in good condition. Chad decided to leave it alone yet freshen up the look by powder coating the grille and bumpers white. Topping off the exterior is a set of 22-inch GM “Transit” wheels along with a set of reproduction hubcaps for ’55-’59 GMC trucks. The wheels were then covered in 265/35R22 Nitto NT420S all-season truck and SUV tires. These ultra-high-performance tires were the perfect choice as the asymmetrical design aids in providing a quiet and comfortable ride while allowing for cross-rotation and look great, too..
Moving inside the cab, all the sheet metal was painted light gray to clean it up. New carpet was installed, and a Snowden bench seat was secured with a mounting kit from Pro Performance. On the dash is a Retro Sound radio that powers the speakers mounted in the kick panels. The gauges were replaced by a Dakota Digital VHX cluster that uses a Pro Performance mounting bezel. Lastly, the transmission is now controlled by use of a floor mounted Lokar Performance Products shifter.
Though Chad was originally looking for a different truck, he grew a passion for this ’62 GMC. With some help from Robert Isaacson, this truck was built in a backyard garage and the results speak volumes. Chad now drives it on a regular basis and even made a long haul from Queen Creek, AZ to Conroe, TX for the 2020 Lone Star Throwdown. Along the way, a new fuel pump had to be installed but other than that, this truck made the drive in good form. After putting it through the test of a long haul, Chad has confirmation that his unique ride will last him for many years to come.