In the 1950s, trucks were trucks like men were men. But, starting in 1955, General Motors began applying automobile styling to its trucks, giving them the “Harley Earl” look while clearly continuing to offer what truck buyers were looking for. And, if you wanted four-wheel-drive, NAPCO’s Powr-Pak became a legitimate option starting in 1956. Our Pick of the Day, a 1957 GMC 100 NAPCO pickup, is one of the finest combinations of beauty and brawn from the 1950s. It is listed on by a private seller in Osprey, Florida. (Click the link to view the listing)

The ”Blue Chip” series of GMC trucks were introduced for 1955, just like Chevrolet’s “Task-Force” trucks. They actually were introduced in the middle of the model year, so they’re known as second-series 1955s. Though today it seems Chevrolet and GMC trucks are practically identical under the skin, light-duty GMCs were powered by GMC inline-sixes and Pontiac V8s back in the day. New features usually found on cars included wrap-around windshield, integrated headlights, and an optional wrap-around rear window for some models. GMCs looked busier than their Chevrolet brethren but, hey, it was the 1950s, so the GMCs arguably looked tacky but tough.

NAPCO (Minnesota-based Northwestern Auto Parts Company) engineered accessories for workhorse vehicles, such as winches, bodies, and auxiliary transmission, among others. After World War II, NAPCO offered a 4×4 conversion kit marketed as the Powr-Pak that could be added to any Hotchkiss-driven truck chassis. The $900 (give or take, depending on the year) kit weighed just over 1,400 pounds and could be installed by a dealer or a DIYer. A fine selling point was the ease of installation and removal, handy when moving up to a newer vehicle and transferring the mechanism.

Starting in 1956, NAPCO’s Powr-Pak became a factory option on GMCs, with Chevrolet following for 1957. However, when General Motors redesigned its trucks for 1960, the corporation also began producing its own 4×4 system in-house as the Powr-Pak system was incompatible with the new independent front suspension design.

This 1957 GMC 100 NAPCO pickup is a ½-ton 4×4 that was bought by the current owner 12 years ago and given a total frame-off restoration that was completed in 2017. Per the seller, every vehicle component was either replaced, refurbished, or rebuilt. The body was repainted in Cumulus Blue metallic by Scott Ashman Auto Body in Sarasota, with chrome replated by Space Coast Plating and Metal Refinishing in Melbourne.

“The original 347cid V8 was rebuilt by The Big Machine of Sarasota,” with a Holley four-barrel carburetor added. “Both the four-speed manual transmission and two-speed transfer case were rebuilt by Jim Dowell Transmission of Sarasota,” adds the seller. A custom dual exhaust system from MagnaFlow, Vintage Air climate control system, Retro Sound stereo, and LED headlights are several concessions to modernity.

This mighty GMC currently has almost 78,000 miles on its chassis, though the odometer was reset upon restoration and currently reads 37 miles. Over $125,000 was invested in the restoration, making the $95,000 asking price appear like a bargain.

Click here for this Pick of the Day.

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