1959 GMC Apache Pick UpView vehicle description
Part of Chevrolet’s ‘task force’ series of vehicles, the Apache was the light duty member of the family, featuring 12-volt electrics, a host of V8 gasoline-powered engines, numerous bed lengths depending on the purchasers requirements, and power steering/brakes were available as optional extras.
Over the years, numerous aesthetic and mechanical changes were implemented for each successive model year - as is commonplace for the US car market - with the ‘fleet side’ bed introduced for the first time in 1958, as seen on this Apache.
The 1958-onwards models also featured a redesigned front end with quad headlights, full-width front-end grille, inset parking lights and other minor changes.
Replaced in 1960, this 1959-registered model is from the last year of ‘task force’ production, and features the above aesthetic upgrades, along with redesigned fender badging to differentiate it from the preceding 1958 model.
Purchased by the vendor’s business as a genuine ‘barn find’ vehicle, this 1959 GMC Apache appears to have come to the UK some time during 2015/2016, though its history is otherwise largely a mystery.
Judging from its condition and well-weathered advertising graphics, the truck appears to have been used as a marketing tool by its previous owners, which appear to have been a pizza company based in Exeter, South Devon, before being laid-up for a number of years.
Following the purchase of the vehicle, the truck was given an extensive check-over by the vendor’s mechanics, with a full fluid flush being carried out prior to starting. Despite having sat for a extended period of time, however, the vendor reports the 350ci V8 engine fired up ‘virtually first time’ and is reported to be in strong, healthy condition as far as the mechanics were aware.
Similarly, the underside and chassis looks to be solid and in good order, with no concerns noted during the post-purchase inspection.
After a brake fluid bleed, the truck has been driven around 50 miles whilst in the custodianship of the vendor with no issues making themselves known, and plenty of heads being turned whilst out on the road.
On the Outside
With its faded advertising graphics, genuine ‘barn find’ patina, dirt and dust, this Apache is every inch the ‘rescue’ vehicle from an aesthetic point of view, offering the next owner a seemingly endless raft of opportunities as far as restoration is concerned. A full strip-down and re-build to concours spec is one option, or the mechanicals could simply be given a once-over and the bodywork left as-is, displaying its hard-earned patina and going along the popular ‘sympathetic restoration’ route.
Naturally, there are plentiful signs of age, wear-and-tear and corrosion to note. If you’re looking for a showroom-fresh slim of Americana, you’re in the wrong place, though we feel this patina holds a certain charm about it, and we’d be tempted to simply detail the car and retain its hard-earned character.
The bodywork, for example, exhibits several patches of bubbling, corrosion and wear, most notably along the rear load area ‘steps’ behind the cab, along the nearside front wing, offside rear wing and along the lower edges of both doors.
Similarly, the paintwork is a number of different shades of off-white/cream, whilst the advertising graphics from its previous life as a marketing tool are showing their age now, and would likely best be removed and replaced with the new owner’s business or more generic adornments.
All four wheels - along with the spare wheel - show corrosion and pitting to the chrome finish, but are solid and holding air. Whilst the tyres may be matching, a new set would likely be advisable due to having spent a long period of time sitting unused.
The good news is that both the rear bumper and front chrome grille trim look to be in very good condition, all of the light lenses are free from damage, and there are no obvious indicators of any accident damage history that we can see.
On the Inside
As per the outside, the interior shows plenty of ‘signs of life’ though it appears to have fared significantly better than the outside, having been seemingly preserved by a lack of use and dry storage in recent years.
The most obvious issues are the missing door trim panel on the nearside (drivers) door, whilst the dashboard shows a gap due to a missing HVAC/Stereo unit, and the steering wheel is quite clearly not the factory-specification item.
Otherwise, however, the red vinyl/leather bench seat looks to be in great condition with no obvious damage, rips, tears or heavy wear, whilst up above the headliner is in excellent shape with no sagging, staining or damage noted.
The rear load bed shows some signs of life, ‘rust dust’ and imperfections, but appears to be solid from a simple visual inspection.
Under the bonnet, the 350ci V8 engine looks to be largely dry - always a good sign, in our experience - and everything looks to be in its right-and-proper place, whilst offering plenty of potential for further beautification, improvement and aesthetic transformation should the next owner wish to do so.
There are no reported mechanical or electrical issues to the best of the vendor’s knowledge, though a full brake system flush/overhaul was advised by the vendor’s mechanics during the post-purchase inspection.
Looking under the bodywork, the chassis looks largely solid and free of any concerning signs to our eyes, with no structural or problematic issues reported by the vendor. As ever, however, we’d welcome independant in-person inspections at our Abingdon HQ; Simply use the ‘contact seller’ button above to arrange an appointment.
Included with the vehicle is the V5, showing two former keepers and the fact it was first registered in the UK during April 2015, along with one set of keys.
What We Think
With plenty of potential for further transformation, improvement and restoration to the tastes of the next owner, this 1959 GMC Apache offers a world of possibilities, as either a marketing tool, long-term project or potential future show car.
Offered with genuine barn-find patina and mechanically ready to enjoy, we estimate a value of £10,000 to £15,000 when the hammer falls.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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