Caprice Pratt’s 1965 GMC

Customer: Caprice Pratt

Lives in: Alaska

Vehicle: 1965 GMC 3/4 Ton 4×4

Bought this truck in: April 2012

Where did you get this truck? A long-distance friend who knew we were looking, found it while walking through his neighborhood in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. We flew down on other business and ended up taking it to our place in Okanogan, Washington that same weekend.

This truck spent most of its life as a “feed truck” on a farm in Oregon – only 53,000 original miles! The previous owner, a Christian sheriff in Couer d’Alene, was a family member of the original owner and had purchased it a few years before we came along. He had great sentimental attachment, but said he never seemed to be able to find the time or the resources to restore it in the way he wanted. (We keep him in the loop with pictures.)

What condition was it in when you got it? Except for the farm-wear, it was in really good shape when we bought it. The frame was solid and rust-free. It had minimal body rust in the typical areas. The oak bed had aged hard. The body panels were in remarkably good shape except for one bed side – something bad had definitely happened there in its past.

In true Pratt form, we proceeded to disassemble the entire vehicle that first weekend. We ordered all the parts on our list when we returned to Alaska. We then flew back down to Washington on Friday, May 4th; completely re-built (replaced metal and got it in primer) the truck that weekend; got it to the paint booth in pieces on Monday; got the painted pieces back on Thursday; pulled an all-nighter on Friday and had it to the Omak OK Friendly car show by Saturday. (That’s a record for us!)

Is there anything other work that you would like to do this truck? We’d like to freshen up the engine compartment a bit, but that will be good busy work for a long Alaskan winter.

What was the hardest part to find? A paintable rear bumper! (Man you can find chrome ones everywhere, but the painted ones are a rare find.)

What other vehicles do you own?

  • 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe
  • 1968 AMC AMX
  • 1937 Chevy Sedan Delivery (Steel)
  • 1937 Chevy Sedan Delivery (4X4 Fiberglass)
  • 1938 Chevy Custom Coupe
  • 2005 Ford Mustang

What is your next project? They are all projects! Even when you think they’re finished, they’re not. The next “big project(s)” are the two Sedan Deliveries – the fiberglass one is being hand-built from scratch and the steel one will be completely restored for a nationwide retirement road trip.

Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing a restoration project? Research, research, research and buy quality parts from The Filling Station. You know how contractors always say “measure twice, cut once?” Do the same with your restorations. With the advent of the internet, it’s easier than ever. There are all kinds of specialty clubs and forums out there with enthusiasts for your particular project – use their successes and learn from their mistakes instead of making your own. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box – just because you can’t find an original part, doesn’t mean that you can’t improvise. Our Dad/Father-In-Law, Bob Carr, who is an old hotrodder from way back when always tells us “parts is parts!”

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