Location: Leduc, Canada
Joined: 12/13/2009
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Builder, Restorer, Old-School, Hot Rodder, Street Rodder, Custom Rodder, Build-It, Drive-It, Classics, Rat Rod, Off-Road
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"The Rat Tow Truck"     1936 GMC 101

Introduction / Overview:

This truck is proof that you don't have to the same thing as everyone else to have a great Rat Rod or Hot Rod!

This truck originally started it's life as a 1936 GMC 1 ton long body panel truck, for some reason at some point in it's life the body was cut off at the belt line, and the rear was bobbed, the cab area was removed (presumably because it was wood framed) and a 1937 Dodge truck cab was grafted in, the hood top is bobbed 37 Dodge truck with modified 1936 GMC hood sides. As far as I have found out, the truck was customized in the mid to late 40's and was turned into a tow truck with a hand crank Weaver Auto Crane tow truck deck... It sat behind an abandoned garage in a small town in northern Alberta Canada till the late 80's or early 90's when it was picked up by a tow truck company in Edmonton Alberta to be restored as their mascot. Several years later they in turn sold it to a small auto wrecker where it sat for a few more years till my dad found it, he traded a 1982 Ford Escort Station wagon for he hulk of a truck, and we borrowed a tow truck to bring it home... and there it sat till the summer of 1995 when it was used as a background prop in the TV series Jake and the Kid for 2 seasons, then it sat at home again till 2002 when we finally decided to dive into it.

We started with trying to reuse the original but badly butchered frame, but due to severe structural damage we opted to locate a frame with a suitable width of 33 inches and the same wheelbase... and as it turned out that happened to be a 1977 GMC 3/4 ton truck I just happened to have on hand with a new engine! the frame fit like a glove, and the wheel base was only out 1/2 of an inch.

Once the body was on the chassis we began to build and modify the frame to body mounts to accept the much narrower body. Eventually we had the truck running, then we had a new drive shaft made and plumbed the brakes, and I drove it for the first time... it left a lot to be desired but it was still a huge leap forward from where it had been for so long.

Last June we finished the final body mount designs, and I proceeded to wire the entire truck from scratch, no kits, no diagrams... I even went so far as to custom build LED taillights inside vintage Guide clear lens housings, when they are it they are intense to say the least.

as of my writing this the truck is basically finished only needed a headliner, door panels and interior lights.

Drivetrain: 350 Chevrolet V8, 4 bolt main, TH400, 4bbl Edelbrock, dual exhaust, heavy duty 3/4 ton rear differential, Hand made wire harness.
Chassis: 1977 GMC heavy duty 3/4 ton truck frame and suspension, all rebuilt, custom built body mounts, frame bobbed, engine and transmission set back 6 3/4 inched for rad-shell clearance.
Wheels and Tires: Special inset wheels normally used for rail road service trucks, 19.5 tires.
Body & Paint:

60 year old thickly applied bad paint over thick lead body work and rust. Vintage trailer lights for side makers, vintage Guide clear lens lights for tail lights as well as a pair of custom converted  LED 1940 Chevrolet parklights as tail lights, 1932 Pontiac park lights converted to run dual filament bulbs, H4 converted 1934 Buick headlights mounted on modified 1933 Plymouth headlight stanchions turned 90º and swapped form left to right.

Interioir: Toyota bucket seats on custom built bases, 1936 GMC lower dash, 1937 Dodge truck upper dash and windshield crank assembly, Volairé steering column, XM Satellite radio, CD, MP3, Sony Explode 220 watt stereo, Clarion Kevlar speakers.
Lifestyles: Builder, Restorer, Old-School, Hot Rodder, Street Rodder, Build-It, Drive-It, Rat Rod