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Old 11-16-2002, 07:43 AM   #1
Brian76GMC
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Looking for info/owners of special edition trucks

Howdy truck nuts. Im so glad to have found this site!!!!! I have taken an interest in the special edition trucks GM offered in the '70's. I have a 1976 "Spirit of 76" GMC and just recently aquired a 1976 Indy Pace Truck, complete with an eagle decal on the hood and down both sides of the truck.
The "spirit" truck is blue and white with the chrome mouldings. The interior is what makes it unique. It has a red,white and blue bench seat, blue carpet, white door panels with woodgrain trim and small "Spirit of 76" emblems on them. The dash pad is blue with woodgrain as well. I have started a resto on this truck. The cab was replaced with a rust free western unit, all new GM front sheetmetal and trim. The interior is not put back in yet. I just recently found a dash pad and Im still wondering what to do with the worn/faded door trim panels. My truck is a 2 wd half ton. I have seen a 4WD drive version at Carlisle, Pa swap meet. I have not found any literature on this truck at all.
My other truck is a 1976 Indy Pace Truck. I just got this one from a guy whose brother bought it new. Its a 3/4 ton 2 WD truck. Its gray with red interior. It has a huge eagle decal on the hood and decals that run the length of each side of the truck. I recieved some literature with it. The truck is solid but the paint and decals are rough. I plan on repainting it soon and leaving the decals off. I doubt they are available and having them reproduced would probably cost a small fortune.
I have seen a Gentleman Jim truck before. It was brown and gold, highly optioned. Im not sure what year it was. I saw literature on this truck at a swap meet. Searching the web for info I came across a website about a "Beau James" truck. I had never heard of one of them before. What else is out there??? Anyone here have one of these unique trucks??
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Old 11-16-2002, 08:58 AM   #2
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Specialty trucks

I read with alot of interest your post. I have a 1976 Chevy C10 longbed 2WD pickup which is in desperate need of restoration and i was thinking of restoring it as one of the "special edition" trucks. now you said your trucsk were GMC and i waswondering if the Spirit of 76 edition was limited to GMC or did Chevy offer a version too. In addition do you have any pictures of the trucks you have?
Ive tried searching ebay and some of their sellers for brochures and stuff relating for these trucks but so far have come up with nothing. In addition ive looked through old magazines searching for ads for the special additions and found nothing too.
I have yet to try motor trend magazine and the like for info.
Please let me know if you find any info and i will do the same
Thanks
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Old 11-16-2002, 09:28 AM   #3
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i have never seen a gentleman jim truck before, but have heard stories... anyone have any pics?
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Old 11-16-2002, 10:14 AM   #4
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well, i did a lil online research... and i found a couple of pics that i'll attach... i ran into a website w/ info on special edition trucks and on model year differences:

http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/models.html

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Old 11-16-2002, 11:32 AM   #5
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I had a webpage with pics of the Spirit truck on AOL but I switched to a differant ISP. I havent found a place to post them on the web again. I want to scan my Indy truck brochures and post them as well. I think building a replica version would be hard. Finding a highly optioned truck, A/C, V8, AT and full instrumentation may be easy but the little things would be hard to duplicate. Exterior wise the Spirit truck looks just like the rest except the "Royal Sierra" emblems. There werent any decals that I know of. I bought it from the original owner and he said it never had any. The emblems on the door panels would be the hardest thing to find. Recovering the seat would be no problem.
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Old 11-16-2002, 01:19 PM   #6
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Brian76GMC:

Your post is a very interesting one! If you can, keep those trucks..the various special edition models that GMC produced from 1975 onward are getting harder to find all the time!

When I was a cub scout in grade school, the father of one of the boys in my troop bought a brand new Spirit of '76 Royal Sierra GMC C15 like the one you have. It was frost white on the outside with the same distinctive interior you describe. I was very envious of it even then, back in '76. I think I have seen it around town fairly recently, though its original lustre is gone.

Incidently, the Royal Sierra Package, which was a separate option from but apparently included with the 1976 Spirit of '76 package, was actually a bundled group of the most popular options, discounted at a special price savings, packaged with the GMC Sierra Grande trim level. It was specifically intended to boost sales during the normally slow selling winter and early spring months of the year, and was offered during each model year from 1975 to 1980 (actually the package was offered in earlier years too, though not under the "Royal Sierra" name). It competed with the Ford Explorer discount option package offered on Ford pickups during those years, as well as the Dodge Prospector option groupings. The Royal Sierra packages are identical in concept and content to the Chevrolet Bonanza packages offered during the same time frames.

Nice thread, and that is a great picture of a Gentleman Jim, too!

Ken
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Old 11-16-2002, 08:53 PM   #7
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Brian,

Before you remove the decal's on the pace truck take a lot of detailed photo's of them cuz you may not ever see a set like them again and if you change your mind you can always have someone reproduced some for ya. IMO that truck will be worth alot more $$ if restored to it's original condition.

I have a friend that does that very thing he says he can reproduce any factory decal's from photos and a few key measurement's, dont know how much $$ it would run but that's what makes it a pace truck and the vin# of corse.


Have you ever contacted chevrolet customer asst. and asked about a restoration kit for either truck?? If not try that.

Also one other special edition truck that i know of is called a LONGHORNE. I belive it was offered in the 60's & 70's

Good luck
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Old 11-16-2002, 10:43 PM   #8
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Nice truck

Real nice truck. I would think real hard about modding a rare truck. They are becoming more scarce every day.

Looking at the pic above, something I've always wondered. Why did GM think it would look better for the bottom of the bed right behind the rear wheels, to angle up to the bumper? There was a photo in I think in Chevytruck mag a long time ago. The guy changed it to more straight, like this:


I think this looks a hundred time better.

Sorry for getting off topic.
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Old 11-16-2002, 11:52 PM   #9
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I'm glad to see some traffic on this topic. I posted a very similar question about a week ago, and didn't get any responses.

I have a 1975 GMC Gentleman Jim, and a week ago, my uncle found and bought another one. We have seen a total of five and there are two more pictures on the internet. Also funny that you mention because I have been working on a GMC Special Edition truck web site for a few weeks now. It's not ready to go live yet, but I'll post here when it is.

I have a Gentleman Jim brochure and a couple Indy 500 Special Brochures and some ads from the 1980 Indy Hauler. I'd really like to see scans of the literature you have, it's really interesting to research these old trucks.

Here's a picture of my Gentleman Jim:


Anyhow, PM me if you are interested in swapping some pics of the literature. I'd love to put it up on my website.
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Old 11-17-2002, 12:24 AM   #10
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Joe,

I am, as I type, uploading a tad over 14 megs of magazine scans to my site. I'll post a link here when done so you can drool over all these special trucks.

http://www.73-87.com/truck_mag_scans


Mike

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Old 11-17-2002, 05:07 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

Mine's not as rare but definately not common especially being a Bonanza and a Big 10 both in the same truck.

Mike thanks for the pics
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Old 11-17-2002, 08:00 AM   #12
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Mike, glad to see you like and are adding the pics...people will love to see that kind of stuff!

Elgracho, sorry I have not gotten back to you but everything I was going to send you Mike will be uploeading to his site. I have recently recv'd some more info from Killew that was not on the CD I gave Mike...I am going to scan that stuff in next week.

In the packet I got it has 77 Indy 500 info, Gentleman Jim, Amarillo stepside, Jimmy Street Coupe, Impact 76, and an article on Amarillo/Ford 460/Lil Red Express shootout.

If anyonr is interested PM me and I will get the info to you electronically.

-Jeff
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Old 11-17-2002, 10:49 AM   #13
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Jeff,

send it to me and I'll put it on the site.

The link above is for the directory of the scans. It works. I will have a page of all the different links today sometime. I plan on reworking a few things while I'm at it.

Mike
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Old 11-17-2002, 01:49 PM   #14
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Mike

nice images! i particulary found some humor in the "rough country" ad with the slogan "feel the ride" (of course with a picture of some female's rear-end! )

http://www.73-87.com/truck_mag_scans/RUFCNTRY.jpg
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Old 11-17-2002, 06:36 PM   #15
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Great Response!

Hey this is working out great so far! I will see about getting my Indy Truck brochures scanned. How do you get in touch with GM customer service?
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Old 11-17-2002, 06:45 PM   #16
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I have a page up now for the scans.

Magazine Scans

As far as the GM Restoration Packet, here's the info.

---------------------------------

GM CUSTOMER SERVICE (Canada and the United States only) # 1-800-222-1020

GM Customer Service #s for outside the United States.
EUROPE: 61 42 602 309
MEXICO: 011 525 329 0800

GM CUSTOMER SERVICE ADDRESS

CHEVROLET
P.O. Box 33170
Detroit, Michigan 48232-5170

------------------------------------

You will need to have your VIN handy.


Mike
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Old 11-17-2002, 09:09 PM   #17
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Mike, I knew you would like the Rough Country ad!!

At least she is getting in a Chevy PU!!
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Old 11-17-2002, 11:22 PM   #18
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I don't know if my truck has a special package, it doesnt say on the option tag but....
the truck has these rare options
1977 silverado 3/4 ton camper special
power windows, power locks
two tone metallic maroon
yellow trim
orignal mag wheels
buckskin custom cloth interior
wood floor bed
trailer towing package
400 small block
cruise control
tachometer
orignal 8-track player
tranny cooler
oil bath oil filter
cargo light
mahogany woodgrain dash
chrome trim on grille (also yellow)
front and rear large sway bars
chrome rear step bumper
dual exhaust
Its one very high optioned truck
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Old 11-18-2002, 01:37 AM   #19
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Hooter afraid not. Yes you have most if not all the options but the Silverado itself is what makes it more common than the others.
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Old 11-18-2002, 02:03 PM   #20
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I dont care it still is a nice truck
wish it was in a bit better shape. Oh well its gettin there
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Old 11-18-2002, 02:15 PM   #21
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So what are all the special editions? Here are the ones I can think of:
1975 GMC Gentleman Jim
1975 GMC Beau James
1975-1980 GMC Indy 500 Special or Indy Hauler (they changed the name at some point, my 76 brochure calls it the special)
1975-19?? Royal Sierra / Bonanza (not so much special editions, but sorta)
1976 GMC Spirit of 76 (still want to see a picture!)
1977 GMC Desert Fox
1977 GMC Sarge
1976 1/2-1977 Jimmy Casa Grande / Blazer Chalet (not really a special edition per se)
1977-1981 Chevy Sport (again, not a special edition, an option package)
1978-1981 GMC Street Coupe
1979 Amarillo GT - I really wonder if this was available all over the US. The two magazine articles on the scans page show many differences between the two trucks (one says Amarrillo GT, one just says Amarillo, different wheels, cab spoiler etc) It seems like a regional truck (Texas?) to me.

Are there more?

When was the Chevrolet Outdoorsman produced? I've seen references to it, but never a picture, ad, or any other literature.
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Old 11-18-2002, 02:41 PM   #22
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Where's KIILew? I bet he's got literature about all this stuff. I've never seen anyone who know's more about our trucks history.

Ken, you out there?
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Old 11-18-2002, 05:50 PM   #23
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Errors in magazine articles...

I hate to bring this up because the information just provided by Swervin Ervin and others is so cool look at and a great resource for anyone trying to figure out the history of these trucks, BUT there is some misinforation out there. The best example I can point out is that in this ariticle: Big 10 Page 4 It makes the claim that ALL Big 10's (and one might infer Heavy Halfs) had a 454. This is just not true, ask BIG 10.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I was surprised to learn about the Amarilllo edition, I'm certainly not trying to say I know everything, but I just wonder if that truck ever really made production. Has anyone seen one of these in person?

The problem is, I don't really know what to take for the "truth." There seem to be so many possible combinations that it's hard to prove that something never existed or even always existed.

Anyhow, I love learning more about the history of these trucks and the more I learn, the more there is to know. Keep it comin!
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'84 Chev C10 Short Wide - Super duper plain (manual steering, manual brakes, no dome light, no cig lighter)
'85 Chev C10 Short Wide - Super plain
'86 Chev C10 Stepside Silverado
'86 M1031 CUCV
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Old 11-18-2002, 08:05 PM   #24
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Joe,

there was a big discussion about the Armarillo on another board. As far as I remember, no it was never put into production. I believe it was one of GM's great ideas that never went past a magazine test drive.

The scans were not done by me. But as any magazine article goes, they make mistakes. I've read a ton stuff in magazines with articles that were way off base. This is why I take what I see in one of them with a grain of salt. A lot of folks read some of this stuff and swear by it. I'm not one of them.

I didn't put the scans on my site as a fact thing. It's only scans of magazine articles and photos.

Mike
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Old 11-18-2002, 08:16 PM   #25
ElGracho
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Swervin,
I sure didn't mean to insult or in any way say that the misinformation in that article was your fault. I was just less eloquent about saying what you said. As we all work together to try to piece together the history of these cool old trucks, we need to remember the magazine articles don't always tell it all.

Thanks a lot for putting those scans up for everyone to see, I sure have enjoyed looking at them.

Anyways, I'm always anxious to see more, anybody have more articles, more pictures of special edition trucks, more brochures or more anything?
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'83 Chev C30 Crew Cab Dually
'84 Chev C10 Short Wide - Super duper plain (manual steering, manual brakes, no dome light, no cig lighter)
'85 Chev C10 Short Wide - Super plain
'86 Chev C10 Stepside Silverado
'86 M1031 CUCV
'89 R3500 Flatbed
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