14 April 2015

Car Stuff: Fantasy Garage #18

(Sorry this didn't happen yesterday; things were busier than I expected...)

The Fantasy Garage doesn't have any trucks. If for no other reason, it would be nice to add a truck as a runaround vehicle to acquire parts for the other FG cars as needed. Current trucks don't hold much interest for me (though if I were in that market, I'd most likely acquire a new Ram pickup), and a vintage truck is more in keeping with the overall idea of the Fantasy Garage.
Dodge A100 van (image from allpar.com)
I've always liked the "forward control" vans that GM, Ford, and Chrysler made during the 1960s (where the engine is positioned ahead of the front axle and the driver's seat is right above the axle), since those are the first vans I can remember seeing as a child, but I think I might wait before adding one of those. I'm feeling like a pickup makes more sense now. I don't think I'd want a 1950's truck because aesthetics are a consideration, and pickup trucks didn't start to get anything resembling styling until the '60s.
1963 Dodge pickup (image from Old Car Brochures)
Dodge pickups were the ugly ducklings of the period, placing function ahead of form until their 1972 redesign, and I've never been much of a fan of Ford's trucks, though I will admit that their late-1960s design was nice-looking (and my father had one for a while). I think the nicest-looking pickup design of the 1960s is GM's 1967-72 Chevrolet and GMC. (I encountered two of the GMC versions at a car show last September.)
1970 GMC pickup (my photo)
Chevy and GMC trucks have shared body panels for decades and each generation has differed only in minor styling elements like grille treatments. GMC trucks have always been priced higher than their Chevy counterparts, so they tended to have nicer trim and interiors. For this generation the GMC trucks had dual headlights while the Chevy trucks made do with single headlights, and mainly for this reason I prefer this period's GMC trucks.
1969 GMC Fenderside pickup (image by Mister Lou from deviantart.com)
One more important choice needs to be made: the type of pickup box. The more traditional exposed-fender box offered flat sides inside the bed, but by the late '60s it was being overtaken by one with flush body sides, which looked more carlike and stylish. But on older trucks, I think the older-style fendered box looks more honest and purposeful, and the ones on these trucks are especially nice-looking, with contours in the sheet metal that match those of the cab. One drawback to a "fenderside" bed is that the tail lights are housed in external pods that must be attached to the body, but this is a minor issue.

No comments: