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1939 GMC AC101 Short Bed Truck Hot Rod Pickup HRPU Project Rocket Olds 303 1940

  • Price: Ask a price!
  • Condition: Used
  • Item location: Paradise, California, United States
  • Make: GMC
  • Model: Short Bed Pickup Truck AC101
  • Type: Standard Cab Pickup
  • Year: 1940
  • Mileage: 9,999,999
  • Color: Multiple
  • Engine size: 1953 Oldsmobile 303
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: None
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Multiple
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Vehicle Title: Rebuilt, Rebuildable & Reconstructed

GMC Short Bed Pickup Truck AC101 1940 Description

I have here for sale a project I've been slowly resurrecting for the past 10 years or so. This truck, by the numbers, is a 1940 GMC AC101 short bed pickup. As far as I've been able to determine it was originally built as a short truck by a company called Vanover Engineering Racing Products which was located near or next to Doug's Headers. They supposedly made forged rocker arms back in the day. From the little research I could find this truck was most likely built sometime between 1958 and 1962.
When I bought it, it had a 1956 Olds 324 4BBL mated to a 1954 Olds flat pan Hydra-Matic, and a rear end of unknown origin. No one, even on the H.A.M.B. was ever able to positively ID the numbers that were on the casting. The motor turned out to be already bored to the max, and failed sonic testing. The Hydra-Matic, upon inspection, ended up being trashed as well. The third member was sitting in the bed of the truck and had obviously been grenaded.
I liked the idea of the Olds running gear so I went with that. The frame is set p for the 49-57 ( maybe up to 59? ) Olds motors. Currently, it has a strong running 1953 Olds 303 4BBL that supposedly has only about 4000 miles on a full rebuild, according to the previous owner. I purchased it from a guy that was pulling it from his street rodded Olds Super 88 in favor of a modern motor. He had been driving it in the summers for the last four years or so. I think it'd been sitting for a while but it fired right up and runs well. It will need a bit of tuning. I put a brand new Pertronix ignition and coil in it to get it running. I did not run it a lot so I don't know what the compression will be after it runs long enough to really get loosened up, but the numbers were very good for having sat a while. In the video, you'll hear me misstate that compression was up over 100 lbs on all but a couple cylinders. When I referred back to my notes it turns out I was wrong. It had been a couple months between the time I did the compression test and having shot the video. Anyway, all cylinders were between 112-120 lbs. compression. Exact numbers are below

1 ) 120 2) 115
3) 120 4) 120
5) 112 6) 112
7) 112 8) 120

It has a 49-62 Olds / Cadstickbellhousingon it right now, which is quite desirable if you want to run a period stick trans. I would have kept it but didn't have another to mount the motor in the truck!

Over the years, I ended up replacing every piece of sheetmetalon the truck. In reality the only thing left that is what came with the truck is the frame which was set up for the Olds motor back in the day and is rock solid. No rot in the frame.
When I purchased the truck it was all 1940 sheet metal, and most of it was rotten. I happen to prefer 1939, so I replaced just about everything with 39 parts.
I replaced the entire cab and doors with the absolute nicest original condition 39 GM cab I have ever seen in person. It came from a California Department of Forestry 1 1/2 ton truck. It is a Chevrolet cab, so the gauges are also Chevy, and not GMC. There is NO rot anywhere in this cab or doors that I have been able to find, and I have looked long and hard.
The cab corners are solid inside and out, the front lower cowls where the front fenders come in contact with the cab are completely solid. ZERO rot. The original paint is still shiny under the fenders as you'll see in the pictures. The doors have NO rot in them at all. If you know anything about these particular cabs and doors you'll know that is nearly an unheard of situation. They are usually rotten and or vaporized in the areas I mentioned.
The grille is darn near perfect. A couple pencil tip dings, but other than that, it is so nice, I would be hesitant to even bother rechroming it. It is SO rare to find this grille in any shape at all, let alone this nice...
The chin piece underneath the grille is very nice as well. It's not perfect but it's as close as I've ever seen. I've seen them completely missing and I've seen them beaten and rusted to death. This one is solid. Took me a long time to find it. It's held in with sheet metal screws right now. It could be welded in as original but I figured that was a good thing to do after everything was fitted after final body work and prior to paint.
I have never had the windshield out to inspect it for rust damage, but considering how nice the rest of the truck is, I fully expect it to be in very nice shape, although there are obviously no guarantees.
I pulled the bed, which is a proper 1939 GMC short bed from a parts truck outside of Phoenix, AZ. Yes, that is different than a 39 Chevy bed. GMC used a corrugated steel deck in these years whereas Chevy used a wood deck. The floor in this bed has been cut out near the head panel, but I do have another bed floor that comes with the truck. One good bed floor could be made from the two, or the donor floor could be worked and repaired. They both have the usual wrinkles and stress tears you'd expect from a working truck of this age. No rust out though. Also, the rolls on the bed sides are REALLY straight. Very nice shape. This bed has been disassembled, which meant cutting spot welds that hold the floor to the sides and front panel. It is tacked and bolted back together only so it'll come back apart pretty easily in order to perform surgery on the floor.
There is no pedal assembly. Being as this was a hydra-matic it only had fuel and a brake before. The brake was suspended and it was not to my liking so I ditched it along the way. I had planned to use a frame mounted pedal assembly from a 39-46 medium or heavy duty GM truck. I hadn't gotten one yet.
The running boards are in good shape. The drivers side does have a crease along the front edge as is evident in the pictures. It's long and shallow. Not too bad as running board repairs go. No rust out.
I was holding out for a good used set of 39 only short bed running board splash aprons. Never found them. Good, USA made steel reproductions are available.

The front fenders are VERY nice. The driver's side has one small spot of rust through near the bottom front. Easily fixable. There is none of the usual heavy wrinkling normally found in these fenders.
The 1939 only rear fenders are in very nice shape... Some rot where the running boards attach, but not so much that they couldn't easily be fixed. No wrinkles, and no farmer straps ever welded to them... Original 39 only braces are in tact. Good 39 steel fenders are rare as hens teeth!
The inner fenders are exceptionally nice as well. Usually, these are cracked, bent, louvers tweaked, rusted, etc. These are great. The ones that came on it were butchered for some badly made headers.
Speaking of headers. The new owner will need to order up or fab some front dumping block hugger headers for to accommodate the motor to frame fit. I had to pull the exhaust manifolds off to fit the motor in the frame because of the way they dump. The stock manifolds will be included.
The front bumper does have one pretty significant bend in it, but I'm pretty sure that can be fixed by a good chrome shop.
It has 1940 only sealed beam headlights. The original trim rings are in very nice shape.
Unfortunately, I was never able to find a proper 39 GMC tailgate. It will come with a 40 tailgate. The main difference is just in the diameter of the rolls both top and bottom, which match the larger diameter bedside rolls on the 40 bed sides... You'll need to purchase either used or reproduction trunnions/hinges if you want to use this 1940 tailgate, as the rolls are a larger diameter than the 39 rolls.
This bed does need new rear stake pockets, and the bedside does need some really ratty seatbelt buckles removed... Some kind of lame seat belt tailgate latch system was booger welded in way back when. Very nice USA made reproduction stake pockets and all related hardware are available from Mar-K in Oklahoma.
The center hood hinge needs to be replaced. Replacements are available from The Filling Station in Oregon.
The rims are proper 39-46 Chevy/GMC 3/4 ton artilleries... 15 x 5.5 or 6 I believe. They are definitely significantly wider than a 1/2 ton wheel. I had custom adapters machined for the rear Olds rear end to go from 5 lug to 6 lug.
Three out of the four tires are very good original Firestone bias ply tires. The left rear has a slow leak and has some cracking in the sidewalls. There are no tubes, and obviously, these wheels are meant to run tubes. I would not hesitate to run the fronts and the right rear, but the left rear should be replaced.
The front axle is out of a 52 Chevy 3100, so the truck can run Bendix brakes all the way around, and also has the advantage of larger diameter kingpins.
The stock steering column will not currently fit in the truck with the Olds 303 starter competing for the same space. The new owner will need to obtain a starter changeover housing ( frequently available aftermarket ) and probably a high-torque mini-starter, available from Ross Racing in Ohio, if they want to run a stock steering column.
That being said, this stock starter was freshly rebuilt and functions like a champ.
There is no mechanical fuel pump installed on the motor... I will include a rebuildable core mechanical fuel pump.
There is no wiring harness whatsoever in this truck, and no means of fuel delivery installed.
I temporarily wired it up and used an electric fuel pump to get the motor running, but that setup does not come with the truck. I am, however including the brand spanking new Pertronix Ignitor and Flame Thrower coil I purchased and installed for the purpose of establishing that the motor is a good runner.
The radiator is a recored 1939 GMC unit. It is configured a little differently than stock. I think the core is a little taller than stock. It showed no signs of leaking at all during the time I ran the motor.
There are no rear brakes. There are wheel cylinders which could be replaced or rebuilt/sleeved with stainless, and the emergency brake cables and center pivot are there. I don't think the remaining Olds parts will be too hard to source, but it might be easier to adapt something more readily available... Your call.
The truck does come with all the headliner bows and weather stripping retainers. The pot metal rear window retainer is in good shape. They are often times broken.
I think, but cannot be sure, that the under seat gas tank is in very good shape. Usually, if the floors are rotten the gas tank will be too. Since this cab is rust free I would guess the tank is too. Another rarity. It'll need to be cleaned and probably sealed just for good measure but I think it'll be in good shape. The seat has no upholstery. These springs are not the ones from this cab. They are from another truck I used for parts.
The door mechanicals, as you'd expect, need to be completely rebuilt although the windows do function if not very well.
There is no windshield crank present. It is a one year only crank, unfortunately, but they are frequently available here on eBay.
There is nounder-bed spare tire rack. I was never able to find one. I honestly can't figure out why so many of these trucks are missing the spare rack...
There are more miscellaneous parts that will come with the truck, I just don't have a good listing of them.
Last but not least... I do not have a title for this truck. I have a bill of sale from the previous owner, a registration and license plates from the owner before him. However the vehicle number was the original GMC six cylinder motor number, so it wouldn't have done anyone any good because that's obviously been gone for close to 60 years.
The frame number is clear and visible and that will be good for titling purposes. I know some states don't issue titles for a truck this old, some are a total nightmare, but in most states as long as the frame number is good and can be documented it should be fine. Especially if an ID plate is affixed to the cab that matches the frame. Those tags are readily available from Jim Carter Antique Truck Parts.
If you have any questions, either send me an eBay message or give me a call between the hours of 9 AM and 9 PM Pacific Standard time. My cel number is 805-231-1645.
The truck is located in Paradise, CA which is about 90 miles due north of Sacramento.
Buyer is responsible for arranging to ship the truck. I can store the truck for up to 30 days while arrangements are being made.
This truck is being sold as-is, where-is, and I make no warranties, implied or expressed. I have done my best to represent the truck as accurately as possible. Please ask any and all questions you may have for clarification before bidding if there is ANYTHING you are unclear about. Thanks for your interest and or bids!
Please see video of engine running below:

2017 08 07 14 09 26 - YouTube

Video will open in a new window


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