1972 GMC C1500 Survivor Original Patina Truck

Price: US $7,200.00 Item location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
  • Make: GMC
  • Model: Sierra 1500
  • Type: LWB
  • Trim: Base
  • Year: 1972
  • Mileage: 96,200
  • VIN: TCS142J512505
  • Color: Ochre
  • Engine size: 4.1L Inline 6
  • Number of cylinders: 6
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Parchment
  • Safety options: DISK BRAKES, SEAT BELTS
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1972 GMC Sierra 1500

1972 GMC C1500 Original survivor truck with fantastic original paint and patina

This truck was originally sold at Bill Eischeid Buick Pontiac GMC, 514 S. Broadway, Edmond OK 73034. It was used as a local in-town delivery vehicle for a local business called "Blaircrest" (Painted on each door but faded and worn) from approximately 1973 until around 1984 when it was purchased from the business by one of the employees who drove it until 1986. As I was told, the front brakes went out and he decided to park it and put in a V8 when he could. The truck was parked under a shed, but not completely protected until.... Fast forward to 2012, the truck's owner had a neighbor who had been asking to purchase the truck for some time and realizing he was probably never going to get around to working on the truck, sold it. The neighbor proceeded to rebuild the carb, clear out and repair the original radiator, clean and seal the original gas tank, new fuel pump and put on new dist cap, wires and plugs and it fired up, although ran poorly due to timing and carb issues. He kept the truck for a year or so but could not work out the rough running issues so listed it for sale. I purchased it in 2013 as a diamond in the rough. The front brakes were still shot and it ran like it had a quart of molasses in the carb, but it drove and sorta stopped well enough to make it 30 miles home. That's when the fun started.

First the brakes. The back brakes were strong and adjusted well thankfully. The front passenger brake was gripping with about 20% capacity. The front driver brake was non existent. Those 30 miles home felt like a week in Guantanamo, but back to my story. It turns out someone had already tried to fix the front brakes and had snapped off both bleed nipples. Rather than deal with drilling out the old nipples and replacing them, I removed both sets of front calipers and replaced them with a correct rebuilt pair. I kept the original calipers...just couldn't break up the set after so many years. At the same time, I removed the rotors and took them to have them measured and surfaced if needed. Amazingly, the original brake rotors were just that, all original. They were virtually original spec and were in great condition. Nobody had been jamming on the brakes in this truck apparently and I was thankful! I took my rotors and calipers home, installed them all along with new wheel bearings, bled the system and guess what? Turns out I was a brake man. The truck stopped like a champ IF you understand that "champ" is relative as this truck has no power brakes. It will stop on a dime, if that dime is about 50 or 60 feet long. Power brakes could have been added for a relatively small investment but again, I didn't want to change anything on the truck if I didn't really need to. Plus, this is no speed demon so putting around town at 40, it stops as well as anything.
Conclusion: All brakes, including the parking brake work very well for non-power brakes.

Second the engine. Diagnoses mode begins. I made 2 changes here that I don't regret which is convert the distributor from points to a Pertronix electronic ignition and replace the original wiring harness with one from Brothers. With the distributor changed from points, I tried to set timing but that sucker just would not hold at 4 degrees without dying. Turns out, while the previous owner was working on the issue, the distributor itself wasn't tightened 100% and was off by hair causing some issues. That along with the original carb having a defect after being rebuilt were the culprits. I kept the original carb and bought a newly remanufactured one that was as tight as could be. At that time I ran all new vacuum lines and now it runs right as rain. It is still a 45 year old carburetored GM Inline 6 cylinder with 96,000 miles so it takes about 6 peddle pumps to get the carb primed and then you have to sit and let it warm for 60 seconds before it's really ready for service, but it runs smooth as a sewing machine then. With the brakes and motor sorted out, it was ready for it's first real drive. Around town was a success, down to the Sonic for a Dr. Pepper and then on to the highway. I took it easy and the truck responded very well. 0-60 isn't really something you wan't to be worried about unless you have a calendar handy. It will run 60 mph just fine and dandy and it's a really smooth ride. It will go faster, but it's a 3 speed transmission with no overdrive so it's winding the motor pretty good by 70. That's as fast as I've gone in it and it was fine. The engine bay heater box is cracked so you can see tape over it in the engine pics. I have an original replacement that is in excellent condition I was going to swap it out if I ended up doing a Classic Air conditioning system. The heater box is included in the sale. Here is a video of the truck running. It's pretty quiet compared to a v8.

Third the wheels and tires. The truck had all 5 original wheel with 5 completely different flat tires on them. It also came with some oversized wheels and tires that I drove home with. They'd be ok for some other truck, but not this baby. I had to strip the original wheels as they had plenty of surface rust, then primed and painted. Here I made another change. The original truck came with white wheels and white dog dish small hubcaps with a red GMC on them. Only 3 came with the truck, and while I could have hunted down a 4th, they weren't in great shape, had some surface rust on the inside of them, and I just thought the truck needed better so I looked for other options. I found this set in the same town where I bought the truck. They were a dressier hubcap for the Sierra line, are correct for this year GMC and as soon as I saw them I knew they belonged on my truck. Those with a brand new set of narrow white walls really set the truck off and now the ride is as good as it ever was. I kept the spare in the bed, and someone else though it looked so good there, they decided to take it back home with them. So, now it's got 4, not 5 and I hope they dropped that tire on something valuable when they got it home. But, there were still things to do on ol yella...

Fourth the exhaust. The truck came with what I assume was either it's original exhaust or one replaced in the late 70's or early 80's. It was loose, rattled like damn train and had so many pinholes there wasn't a drop of exhaust coming out the back of the truck. Luckily, the intake / exhaust manifold gasket was sucking air like Hoover 9000 so I replaced it and while doing so, found a huge crack in the exhaust manifold. I pulled the entire assembly off, and rather than separate the originals, with the luck of the gods, I found an NOS intake / exhaust set (2 piece) for a good price and just replaced it and the gasket. With that done, I ordered a DIY exhaust from Brothers Trucks and installed it. Turns out, I'm a so-so exhaust guy. It sounds good, but a couple of the mounts rattle now when I drive and it's a little annoying. That said, it has a full new exhaust from the manifold to the tailpipe.

Fifth the paint and body. When I saw this truck, the paint was the reason I bought it. I could tell it was all original and besides the rocker and cab corners, it was in excellent condition for it's age. I use a gentle soap to clean it and Griots poly wax to wax it. As you can see, these pics were taken 24 hours after a wash and wax in my driveway. The rusty rocker is a point of contention for me. I wanted to keep it as original as possible, and If I replace the rocker, then why not the cab corners since they both have small holes in them. And if those then the cab has to be repainted, so the bed would have to be repainted.....you get the picture. I'll let the next owner make that decision for themselves, however I like the truck with just a little rust as it came down through the years. It earned every dent and ding. There are a couple, see the pics, nothing huge. One below the gas tank filler and one on the cab top above the windshield on the passenger side. Neither bother me much, but both could likely be taken out with Paintless Dent Repair without affecting the original finish. There is some surface rust in the engine bay, the inner fender under the battery on the passenger side has some rust. In the bed where the tailgate meets the bed floor, there are a couple of rust through spots, size of between dime and quarter size. The bottom of the passenger side door that is next to the rusty rocker panel is also showing some rust as you can see in one of the pics of the passenger door. The front bumper is all original, but I had to repaint the back bumper. It was the part most exposed to the elements when the truck was parked so I painted back white like the dealer would have had it. Also, I added a "President Nixon Now More Than Ever" original campaign bumper sticker from 1972.

Sixth the interior. Here is where I probably did the most work. It came with a parchment (white) interior, which looks great on the truck, but is tough to keep clean and parts aren't as common as a black interior. I took out the white seatbelts and bench seat. The original rubber floor mat was disintegrating so I bought a replacement. The seat cover was also falling apart and not salvagable so I simply added a small layer of memory foam matress topper to the factory foam and wrapped the seat in a real Pendleton blanket. I also added in seat heaters for both driver and passenger for colder days. It's all removable or can be kept and even used with a factory style seat cover. The dash pad was just foam, so I replaced that and the steering wheel was no good so that also got replaced with a factory style. They don't make this style reproduction interior door panels so I cleaned these up and used an original color vinyl paint that looks factory. The door and window handles are new replacements as the ones that came on the truck were broken. The interior cab light was cracked so I replaced that. The seat belts were thoroughly and gently cleaned but are not perfect. Keep in mind these were used for at least 12 or 13 years before going off the road, but they still turned out pretty good. The retractor on the driver side needs to be re-attached correctly so the spring will pull the belt back in, but it hasn't bothered me. One thing needed is new heater duct hose. It's a really small thing, but the original hose is a type of cardboard and just doesn't hold up. Probably $20 and 30 minutes to fix but I haven't driven the truck in cold weather to use the heater although it does work along with the blower.

Seventh is maintenance. Everything that's wearable has been replaced except the door window felts which should probably be done. The oil has been changed a couple times since I've had it, I flushed the transmission and replaced the trans filter. The rear end was flushed and serviced and a new carrier bearing added on the driveshaft. All grease points have been hit. It could probably use 2 new engine belts. The ones on it are only 3 years old with a few hundred miles, but they show some cracks. If I wasn't in a hurry, I wouldn't have a problem driving this truck about anywhere.

Eighth is paperwork. I have some of the original paperwork including state inspection notices and other docs showing mileage along the way. It has it's original owners manual and an Oklahoma state map along with all the receipts from work I've done. It currently has a 1972 Oklahoma tag on it but I have the last tag it officially had from 1985.

LastI've struggled with whether to sell ol yella here for awhile. I don't have garage space for it and I don't want to leave it out unprotected for long, especially an Oklahoma winter so I'm hoping I can find someone who will give as much of a damn about it as I have and keep it as close to original as possible. These low optioned work trucks just didn't survive intact. Almost all the inline 6 trucks were converted to V8 at some point or they've been cannibalized for parts. This truck somehow managed to make it through in relatively good shape. It's not perfect, but it's never been rebuilt so it's got old car issues. If the engine is really warm on a warm day and you shut it off too quickly after stopping, it will chug a bit (called dieseling) before finally shutting off. This sometimes can flood the carb and takes about 20 minutes to clear itself out. It's only happened to me twice, but something to know. When it's idling at a stop light, it really wants to pull like the torque converter is engaged and going, even at 600 rpm, so I usually shift to Neutral when at a stoplight. Remember, no power brakes, so when truck wants to go, truck goes unless you give it some leg power. Luckily it does have power steering that works great! Use the Buy It Now and I'll include my old GMC shop manuals and dealership binder! Probably a $100 value, but I've never even seen another one of these binders.