APRIL 2024: YOU READ IT RIGHT…A 1953 GMC PICKUP WAS BOUGHT BRAND-NEW BY ITS CURRENT OWNER

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Frank Sigurdson was a young man when he walked into a GM dealership and left with a brand-new 1953 GMC pickup truck.

Frank still has the truck 71 years later and was willing to talk to MyStarCollectorCar about his long relationship with the ’53 GMC.

Jim Sutherland

Frank has strong rural roots in Central Alberta Canada and needed a truck that could handle farm work, along with his seismic job that added some extra income to his farming operation. The ’53 GMC was used to haul a trailer so Frank could move from job to job on the road, with his living quarters in tow behind the pickup.

Eventually farm work took over and the GMC spent about 20 years as a livestock hauler, along with any other tough agricultural tasks that came with the territory during that time frame. The truck was also Frank’s courting and honeymoon vehicle, so he keeps a photo of him and his wife in the cab of his GMC pickup.                             –

Over the years, the basic game plan for Frank was to keep his ‘53 GMC in good original condition and avoid massive alterations that would completely change the history of his truck. He did add a radio to the truck many years ago, likely to keep entertained while on one of its many long road trips for his job off the farm.

But Frank kept the truck’s factory straight-six engine and its three-on-the-tree manual transmission to maintain its originality. He also repaired or rebuilt any of the GMC’s mechanical components when the situation warranted it, along with a refurbishment of the pickup’s bench seat when it required attention after many years of use.

The truck has been repainted once over the years in its original color because Frank wanted to ensure it would be good for many years in his world.

A unique feature from a bygone automotive era in the factory starter located on the cab floor in the 71-year-old truck. There is an ignition key that needs to be turned on, followed by a driver’s foot pushed on the starter to fire up the truck’s engine. Another nod to the past is the vacuum wiper system that works when the driver lets his foot off the gas and stops working when the driver put his foot into the gas.

The truck’s six-banger engine still has its factory oil bath air cleaner that is an effective way to remove dirt particles before they are sucked down the carburetor.

The ’53 GMC had wooden floorboards in its bed, but years of heavy work took its toll on them, so Frank replaced them, another nod to his plan to keep the truck in good condition over the long haul of years. Speaking of wood, Frank removed the stock racks on his truck when it was no longer used as a critter hauler. 

A unique feature on the ’53 GMC truck is its windshield visor designed to shade people in the pickup’s cab from direct sunlight. Visors were not uncommon on domestic vehicles built during this time frame.

These days Frank and his GMC have earned an easier pace after so many years of hard work. It is very clear the 1953 GMC still has a special place in his world after 71 years of ownership.      

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

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