1970 GMC Sierra Grande Custom Camper Longhorn 402

This is my recently restored 1970 GMC Sierra Grande Custom Camper Longhorn.  The "Longhorn" is a bit redundant and inaccurate as it was the name used for the Chevrolets, but the GMC naming is a little more confusing, so to assist people searching for long wheel base information, I've included it.


This is not an ad, as this truck is not and will not be for sale.  But for posterity and accuracy, this is the equipment the truck left the factory with:

- Sierra Grande Model
- Custom Camper equipent (long wheelbase, wood bed, HD everything, 1-ton frame, etc)
- Rust free California truck kept by original owner's family until a few months before my purchase
- Complete three year nut-and-bolt, frame-off, body rotisserie restoration.  Not a single unrestored part remains, but all original parts where possible.
- Big Block 402
- Four Season Air Conditioning
- Rare (for old trucks) Buckets and Console option
- Gauges, triple tanks (removed at restoration), and numerous other options
- West Coast Senior "big rig" style mirrors

During the restoration the following options were added:

- Tach
- Tilt
- Positraction
- Speed Warning Instrument Cluster
- AM/FM (factory radio case with modern digital guts)
- Cab lights
- Chromed the mirrors to de-uglify them and de-mass them so they don't visually dominate the truck so much
- Chrome GMC wheels (but original white 16.5 wheels with bias plys tires and hubcaps sit next to it)

The Restoration

I performed the restoration myself with these exceptions:  Musclecar Restorations in Wisconsin painted the cab and body, reinstalled the glass and installed the new trim; Rick at RPMDyno.com rebuilt and dyno'd the original engine; Kirkland transmission built the automatic transmission, and Differentials Northwest rebuilt the rear end.  A local shop did the seat upholstery but I wound up tearing it apart and redoing it my satisfaction.  It's really frustrating when a complete amateur such as myself has to redo a professional's work (particularly when the amateur has already paid the professional), but I'm picky.

While I've done a lot of mechanical work I had never untaken a full restoration - this was my first.  I took approximately 400 photos, which is far too few.  I wrote down each step I took during teardown, but not enough sub-steps and notes.  I bagged and tagged all fasteners logically but did not keep a "map" of what was where so I wound up going through all of the bags to find the bag I wanted more times than I can count.  These things are but a few of what I'd do differently next time, but that's why it was a learning experience!  If I already knew it all, it wouldn't have been rewarding.