Elite Streets Magazine - The All Encompassing Custom Auto Enthusiast Magazine

Just One More Thing... By Joe Greeves

You know that cartoon image where the snow ball is rolling down the hill, getting bigger and bigger as it rolls? It steers its own course and to say the least, the outcome is uncertain. That's sort of the way David Veres, of Jacksonville, Florida felt about the build process for his '67 GMC. Although never quite as out of control as the snow ball, the list of custom modifications on the truck kept growing larger and larger until David wasn't sure his dream truck would ever hit the streets. "There was always one more thing I wanted to do," he told us.

We understand exactly. Spending time creating your masterpiece is a good thing but there is a downside. Should you run out of time, patience, motivation, or money, you could lose it all. Obviously, David knew when to quit and the story has a happy ending. For his efforts, he has a super sanitary, show-stopping ride that is a continuing source of pride.

David found the '67 GMC in the classifieds and began the process of making it his own. Original plans were to simply clean it up and use it as a daily driver but very early on, the snow ball started rolling. The truck had already been treated to a rebuilt 350 Chevy V-8, Turbo 400 automatic, and Ford 9" rear. Veras and his good friend Clarence Glover knew that the stock chassis needed a fair amount of upgrades to benefit from the new power source. After swapping the slipping Turbo 400 for a 700R4, they boxed the frame for strength and added a C-notch for clearance. Subtracting altitude and adding attitude, the pair chose lowered Chisholm leaf springs for the rear along with AIM dropped spindles and lowered springs up front, ensuring that both ends stayed in close touch with the asphalt. Incorporating some modern Whoa! to the already considerable go, David completed the chassis mods with new four-wheel disc brakes. The final plus for the power train was the Billet Specialties wheels, 18X8 rims up front and 18X9.5s in the rear, wrapped in Dunlop rubber.

The philosophy behind the customizing plan was simple. Make the body straight and smooth while letting the classic lines show through. Subtlety became their mantra and only when you see the truck side-by-side with a stock version can you appreciate the range of changes involved. First on the list of distractions to be eliminated was the vent windows, replaced with a single pane of glass. Rain gutters were cut and repositioned to more closely follow the contour of the doors. Bed work began with filling the stake holes, relocating the tailgate latch inside, recessing the license plate, and smoothing the tailgate and rear pan. Frenched taillights, cowl louvers filled in, and wipers removed all added to the smooth new lines. Once the front bumper was trashed and the roll pan faired into the body, the pair started on the grille. David felt the headlights protruded a little too much so many hours were spent moving them back just a fraction. The headlight bezels were molded to the grille and more tweaks added to the grille opening to make everything fit perfectly. All trim pieces and emblems on the truck were removed prior to paint.

As the exterior of the truck continued to take shape, several areas of the interior were revised, beginning with the cab-mounted gas tank. The smelly old tank was replaced with a fresh, 16-gallon fuel cell in the bed. With a little extra room in the cab, David installed a new Chevrolet bench seat, tilt Chevelle column with Grant wheel, and new B&M shifter on the new 700R4. A set of Dolphin gauges keeps him in touch with the big V-8.

At this point, David's desire to actually drive his truck finally overcame his desire to complete a few dozen more modifications. Stepping in front of the snow ball, David threw up his hands and committed to paint. Those were words his good friend Clarence was eager to hear. As the paint gun specialist at the local BMW dealer, Glover was up to the task. Since color is usually the first thing you see, the pair chose a high-tech blend of shades that would accent the new clean lines of the truck. Clarence sprayed two complementary hues of Glasurit custom mixed colors that they named Hard Pearl Bronze and Galaxy Pearl Orange, separating them with a tapering stripe of purple and green. Multiple coats of clear create the ten foot deep shine. The finished truck instantly became a spectator magnet drawing crowds every where it goes.

Now that it's done, the original $2,000 truck has transitioned to the "I don't want to know" price range but David doesn't regret a penny. Winning numerous Goodguys awards and trophies from local shows, the truck was fun to build and now even more fun to own. We think he got in front of that snow ball just in time!


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