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1960 GMC K30 - '60 of 46s

Posted in Project Vehicles on January 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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What the 1950s were to American car styling the 1960s were to trucks. Round fenders and big grilles gave trucks distinctive personalities back then. With this in mind, enthusiast Glen Olivera wanted a unique 4x4. He consulted with GM Truck Center (GMTC) in Burbank, California, to create a truck that didn’t look like anything out there.

Glen Olivera works in offshore exploration, looking for black gold. His 1960 GMC K30 is set up to conquer brown crude. The face is still stock. No LEDs or HIDs have modernized it yet.

A 1960 GMC was the starting point. GMTC wanted to see how much tire it could take with a moderate lift. Guessing that the 50-year-old frame couldn’t handle the stress of huge tires, GMTC took a donor 1985 K3500 and shortened it to fit the older sheetmetal.

A 1-ton frame obviously needs a heavy-duty drivetrain. GMTC built a Vortec 454 out of a ’99 Suburban with roller rockers, an Edelbrock intake, and an Edelbrock carburetor under a big K&N can. A supercharger might appear in the future.

A ’99-vintage 454 produces the power. GMTC went restomod on it, dumping the fuel injection for an Edelbrock intake manifold and carburetor.

Bulletproof running gear comes from the ’85-issue K3500 parts. Custom driveshafts with 1410 U-joints connect the NP205 to 1-ton axles. The Dana 60 front axle has a Power Lok. GMTC added a custom crossover draglink; braking power is bolstered by a hydroboost unit.

Suspension lift comes from a Skyjacker 6-inch leaf lift. To fit the 46-inch Baja Claws with minimal lift, GMTC reformed each fender. This involved radiusing 12-22 inches of metal from each. The lips were then hand-formed to keep a factory look. Inside, the cockpit is basic. Four Equus gauges, a carpet kit, and vinyl upholstery do the job.

Glen Olivera has apparently achieved his goal: owning a truck that isn’t a clone. (His secondary criterion: size does matter.)

Low and wide makes for a stable ride on the 46-inch Baja Claws. GMTC fabbed a simple rear bumper to keep the body lines uncluttered. The emblems remain for nostalgic reasons. The fenders were opened up as much as 22 inches in some areas, then hand-formed to imitate the original lips.

Six inches of total lift and 46s without bulbous fenders make this GMC a functional classic.

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Tech Specs
1960 GMC K30
Drivetrain
Engine: GM Vortec 454, Edelbrock intake manifold and carburetor, K&N air cleaner, Thorley headers, Flowmaster mufflers
Transmission: SM 465, Centerforce clutch
Transfer case: NP205
Front Axle: Dana 60, Power Lok, 4.56 gears
Rear Axle: GM 14-bolt, Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears

Suspension
Springs & Such: Skyjacker 6-inch lift kit
Tires & Wheels: 19.5/46-16 Mickey Thompson Baja claws; 16x12 Weld Racing Evos
Steering: GMTC crossover

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