Junkyard Find: 1968 GMC C1500 Sugar Magnolia Edition
Contrary to popular belief, the patchouli-scented hippies who followed the Grateful Dead around the country for 30 years rarely drove VW Transporters. No, they drove whatever beaters they could scrape up for cheap, preferably trucks or vans that doubled as sleeping quarters. Many of them chose big ol’ Detroit trucks, and this GMC survivor managed to outlive Jerry Garcia by a good 17 years before coming to rest in a Denver self-service yard.
Slapping a whole bunch of Deadhead stickers that you bought at “ Shakedown Street” on your truck is a serious commitment; I can say from personal experience riding in (or being ordered to put my hands on the hood of) friends’ Deadhead-sticker-encrusted hoopties that such vehicles attract plenty of law enforcement attention.
Let’s put on a song that the previous owner of this truck no doubt grooved upon often, though no doubt he or she preferred some muffly 17th-generation bootleg cassette version from a live show in 1974.
This thing no doubt sucked alarming quantities of gasoline, but splitting the cost among 11 dudes riding in the bed keeps per-person costs low.
You’d expect a V8 in such a truck, maybe a 327 or even a 396, but there’s a monster V6 under this truck’s hood.
I don’t know chapter and verse about these engines, but I’m pretty sure this one packs 351 cubic inches of displacement.
Nice minimalist instrument cluster here, with very few idiot lights.
How many variations of the “Steal Your Face” skull were made over the decades? This one has a 1982 date on it, which seems about right.
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I think they put tarps over the frame work in the back when It was time to catch some zzz's
Q. Why do Dead fans dance that way? A. To keep the music out of their eyes.