1959 GMC Fleetside

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DozerII

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
4,765
Location
Saskatchewan Can.
Hey everyone I figured if I'm back I might as well start on a new build. I think I posted some pictures of this one when I purchased it just over two years ago. Pretty straight with the normal rust except above the windshield and that is real bad. I purchased the repair panels and just picked up a complete front clip for parts today.
The first thing on the agenda is making the long box into a short box, once that is complete I plan on stretching the cab about 6 inches, then the whole works is going on a 2003 Chevy Silverado 2wd chassis with 5.3 LS.

I need some help and opinions on the box, I feel whether its's long or short GM got the rear wheel placement wrong. Most have less box side behind the tires and more in front stock this model is opposite. To make it a short box I have to remove approximately 19 3/4" overall 9.25"front and 10.5 rear, I'm thinking I should go 7.25"front and 12.5"rear.

What do you all think?

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Sweet project Glen! I agree there is room for improvement, but I've also seen one with the wheel opening moved way back and it looked goofy. I think moderation is your friend here. You're cutting the box sides anyway, can you do the first cut and then mock it up to have an idea of how it might look either way?
 
I love it. The color is killer!! I also agree on the wheel placement. Just a hair less in the back is best!!
 
I love 58's and 59's. Those dual headlights made all the difference over previous years. To me, short beds make the cab look too big proportionally so naturally I wonder what would happen if you stretch the cab and shorten the bed? Having said that, I think shrinking the bed sides behind the wheels would help to keep the bed looking longer.
 
I agree with Snopro, whacking the 19" off at the back would look goofy. I saw one like that and it still sticks in my mind, because I throw up occasionally. Anyhow, you are on the right track with your measurements.
I was going to suggest just what ORR suggested, 'Photo-shop' it and see what you think.
Keep on tinkering.
 
I`d also consider a subtile chop, good sectioning and air ride.... patina can be left as is, please... :D

j/k good project Glenn , I`m sure it will turn out great. [P
 
Sweet project Glen! I agree there is room for improvement, but I've also seen one with the wheel opening moved way back and it looked goofy. I think moderation is your friend here. You're cutting the box sides anyway, can you do the first cut and then mock it up to have an idea of how it might look either way?

Thanks Collin, yup getting it right will make or break the look.

I love it. The color is killer!! I also agree on the wheel placement. Just a hair less in the back is best!!

Thanks LB

Nice prodget[cl
I like the rear side about. 2/3s of the front [S
Waiting [P

Thanks Soltz

I love 58's and 59's. Those dual headlights made all the difference over previous years. To me, short beds make the cab look too big proportionally so naturally I wonder what would happen if you stretch the cab and shorten the bed? Having said that, I think shrinking the bed sides behind the wheels would help to keep the bed looking longer.

Thanks ORR I feel the same way about the 4 headlight design but we are in the minority[S

I tried my hand in paint[S

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Looks good!

I tried that too but mine didn't turn out that good, I'm going a little less on the cab stretch.
 
Love it![cl[P[P[P

Thanks Coup

I agree with Snopro, whacking the 19" off at the back would look goofy. I saw one like that and it still sticks in my mind, because I throw up occasionally. Anyhow, you are on the right track with your measurements.
I was going to suggest just what ORR suggested, 'Photo-shop' it and see what you think.
Keep on tinkering.

Thanks MM I might have seen the same one your talking about and ya NO.

I like it too. Maybe start with some templates, plywood or some beefy cardboard to see what you think [S

Thanks Bman there will be a whole lot of measuring and thinking done before the firs cut

I`d also consider a subtile chop, good sectioning and air ride.... patina can be left as is, please... :D

j/k good project Glenn , I`m sure it will turn out great. [P

Thanks Dutch no air ride here i'm done dealing with leaks:mad: I was thinking about a chop but am still on the fence
 
I prefer the 55-57 single headlight versions, but have seen a few sharp 4 light models.

SWB looks best, I like just a little more behind the wheel and a slightly longer section between the wheel and cab. Tires centered in the wheel wells. I remember seeing one that they only shortened behind the wheels, it looked like a mobile home puller or a semi truck with a bed. Kinda goofy.

Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will turn out great!
 
I prefer the 55-57 single headlight versions, but have seen a few sharp 4 light models.

SWB looks best, I like just a little more behind the wheel and a slightly longer section between the wheel and cab. Tires centered in the wheel wells. I remember seeing one that they only shortened behind the wheels, it looked like a mobile home puller or a semi truck with a bed. Kinda goofy.

Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will turn out great!

Thanks Bama
 
Back at it, got the entire box disassembled ready for measuring. Also picked up a complete 59 GMC front clip to replace some bad parts on mine.

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This photo is one I found on line
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This is my crude cut and paste to show the mods. I'm thinking the box is too short, I may not make it a complete short box. Take the full 12.5 "out of the back and only 3 or 4"out of the front?

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I found measurements from GM and it looks like a long bed is 9.25" longer front and back than a factory short bed. I think your longer cab is going to change things visually a lot. I would start there and do the bed after, to get a cohesive overall look. I think doing most off the back will be a lot, considering factory short bed proportions. However I'm sure you'll knock it out of the park.

Here's a good resource for measurements in case you weren't aware of it. https://www.gm.com/content/dam/company/no_search/heritage-archive-docs/vehicle-information-kits/chevrolet-trucks/1959-Chevrolet-Truck.pdf
 

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I did some interesting calculations.

Percentage of bed behind center of rear wheel for different generations of GM fleetside trucks:

1959: Long bed: 51.9%; Short Bed: 51.5%
1965: Long Bed: 48.5%; Short Bed: 51.1%
1985: Long bed: 47.8%; Short Bed: 54.0%
1993: Long bed: 53.5%; Short Bed: 60.1%
2005: Long Bed: 42.7%; Short Bed: 46.8%

These numbers were based on what was available for measurements, so the 2005 are a little more iffy than the others but gives you an idea of how proportions have changed over the years and what percentages you may be after. The 1993 numbers don't make a lot of sense but I ran the numbers for that body style from 3 different years and it was the same for each year.

The later trucks (at least 67 and up) taper at the bottom of the box side from the rear wheel well to the back of the box and I think it makes it appear shorter. The 55-66 trucks seem to be flat, and it tricks the eye into the proportions looking weird.
 
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From seeing your work, I figure you've got a pretty good eye! Lay it out in your mind the best you can, then paint that steel canvas! I bet it'll turn out great...
 
The thick pillar is what throws it off. If you extend the door that same amount and keep the narrow B pillar, it will look like the top has been chopped a bit due to the longer window. Or extend both the door and widen the pillar the same amount.

Just my two cents,:rolleyes:might not be worth that…:D
 

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