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1970 GMC 2500 Custom: Retirement Plan

Posted in Project Vehicles on November 1, 2012
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Retirement, for some people, means daily brunch at the country club, getting the Cadillac washed once a week, and spending wintertime in Florida. This isn’t David Teeple’s style, however. Teeple, a retired Lockheed Martin quality engineer, is often found behind the wheel of his ’70 GMC 2500 Custom, exploring trails that would stop a normal fullsize truck dead in its tracks.

His GMC is a textbook example of how to build a fullsize truck for the trail without scrambling the retirement nest egg. He estimates the GMCs value at only $20,000, but the truck is fitted with proven, common parts that have a reputation for longevity. “I performed some work, but most modifications were performed by Curtis Lee and Kevin Bryant. Curtis and Kevin have turned this truck into a very capable rock crawler for my retirement pleasure,” Teeple says.

How capable is the truck? “We have wheeled The Rubicon, Fordyce Creek Trail, and now The Hammers at Johnson Valley. This rig has handled all obstacles on all trails without winching. Most recently she managed Chocolate Thunder and Sledge Hammer. Yes! This beast made it up Chocolate Thunder easily,” Teeple triumphantly notes.

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The Details
Owner/Hometown: David Teeple/Wheatland, California
Vehicle/Model: 1970 GMC pickup
Estimated value: $20,000

Teeple scoffs at the idea of carpet in his rig, and that pretty much sets the tone for the interior, which is designed to be simple, functional, and comfortable. The tub is lined with Herculiner; there’s a Grant steering wheel; MasterCraft Safety Rubicon seats; G-Force Racing Gear four-point harnesses; Sony head unit; and a center console snagged from a Chevy Blazer. Teeple monitors engine vitals via six VDO gauges and they’re set in a custom Lexan panel.

Type: GM 383ci V-8
Aspiration: Howell TBI, Edelbrock intake, Thorley headers
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 400/420

Transmission: NV4500
Transfer case: Advance Adapters Atlas 4.3:1

Front: 52-in GM ½-ton leaf springs, Bilstein 5150 piggyback-reservoir 14-in-travel shocks
Rear: 63-in GM ½-ton leaf springs, Bilstein 5150 piggyback-reservoir 8-in-travel shocks, traction bars

Front: Dana 60, Reid knuckles, Ruffstuff diff cover, PSC hydraulic-assist steering/Detroit Locker
Rear: 14-bolt, disc brakes with Ruffstuff disc brake brackets, Ruffstuff diff cover/welded spiders
Ring and pinion: 4.56:1

Wheels: 15x10 Rock Crawler w/Ruffstuff beadlock rings
Tires: 38.5x14.5-15 Interco Super Swamper TSL SX fw

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