Installing a Custom Glory Grille in Our 1964 “GMC”
Truckin’s longest-running project truck receives the first of several updates.
Being isolated at home does weird things to people. Staring at our various abandoned projects has really got us thinking about our priorities lately. All of the unfinished plans on the house, garage, and yard; and most notably, a couple half-built C10s covered up in the driveway. Since we had to cancel plans for any of our usual installs at shops, we had to turn the cameras inward and drum up some business right here at the house.
Our '64 "GMC" had a long life when we got it. (It's really a Chevy, as evidenced by the dash and factory 327 V-8, but it's had the GMC grille with quad headlights since we started the project in 2002.) It started out as a small-window longbed, but we took care of that, as well as removing gallons of bondo, out at Totally Polished back in the day. It debuted at Paso Robles in '03, with the same paintjob and Air Lift airbag kit you see here, but not much else. Over the years, we've added big brakes, billet "steel" wheels, a new column with power steering, a 700R4 transmission, aluminum radiator, and the list goes on. But spending most of the time outside covered up has taken its toll on the paint and other aspects of the truck. The flat black paint is now a patina, and moreover, the whole idea of doing a '50s look on a '60s truck, which was so fresh at the time, is beyond played out at this point. One of the things we always wanted to do was replace the GMC grille emblem with something a little more custom.
Since we're talking Truckin history here, we should tell you about the very first cover of Truckin. It featured a Dodge van named Old Glory that was owned by young builder named Jerry Wesseling. Jerry logged a ton of miles in Old Glory, hitting all the van runs, collecting tons of trophies in his Evel Knievel-like jumpsuit, and kissing the trophy girl on the way out—hey man, it was the '70s. In one of the many features on the van, the editor stated that right after the photo shoot, Jerry changed out the grille to a new tube design that would accommodate quad headlights, and was beginning to market it for sale. That was the beginning of Glory Grilles, and while Jerry has worn many hats since then, he has never stopped building one-off tube grilles for vans, trucks, and customs. We had been meaning to try and track him down for a long time, and when we finally did, it turned out to not be hard at all, as Jerry's son had helped bring him into the digital age with a website and social media.
Jerry gave us some options, but ultimately, we trusted his judgement on the tubing size and layout. We pulled off our grille, dropped it off with Jerry, and in a couple weeks picked up a freshly chromed masterpiece. The install and finished look of this grille is the first in our attempt to bring this truck out of the '50s and into, well, the '60s. Stay tuned right here for more of our at-home updates to our beloved project truck.
JW Enterprises- Glory Grilles