GMC Truck Abandoned for 81 Years Gets Second Chance, Engine Refuses to Die


In 1926, a two-ton GMC truck was driven from New York to San Francisco in five days. You can cover the distance notably faster nowadays, but it was quite an achievement almost 100 years ago. One that says a lot about old GMC trucks. But there’s no better ad than a video showing a vintage GMC hauler come back to life after sitting for more than 80 years in the woods.

Nope, that’s not a typo. I’m talking about eight decades. This truck was taken off the road in 1940, one year before the United States joined World War 2. That’s the first amazing fact about it. The second one is that the folks at “Jennings Motor Sports” decided to give it a second chance.

As you might expect from a vehicle that’s been off the road for… well… a lifetime, the truck is in really bad shape. There’s no footage of the GMC being pulled from its resting place, but moving it caused even more damage, with all wood components ruined in the process. But the frame and the front end are still in one piece, even though the engine hood is too rusty to stay in place.

But amazingly enough, the old 310-cubic-inch (5.1-liter) inline-six engine turns freely and it’s in relatively good shape for a 92-year-old mill. And the new owner is determined to get it running again. The old six-cylinder gets its first oil change in more than 80 years, new spark plugs, and, after a bit of maintenance, it actually fires up.

It takes a lot of effort and time to get it running, but it comes back to life and it doesn’t even sound all that bad given the circumstances. But it’s smoking like crazy and spewing oil everywhere, so the fun doesn’t last more than a minute.

But still, it’s amazing that this old engine still has some life in it and that it’s willing to run after so many years and with so little maintenance. I guess they don’t make them like they used to, right?

While it may look like a big pile of junk, this GMC is still salvageable. It does need a lot of sheet metal work and a new cab, but the frame looks good and it might be able to haul again with a proper restoration. With the inline-six still banging, I hope this GMC will get some proper TLC and make a comeback on public roads soon. This truck needs to survive to tell its story.