AYALA 51 GMC Restoration PART 2
In 2011 the Historic Ayala GMC Shop Truck changed hands once again. The new caretaker is in the process of a full historical correct restoration.
Progress Report Part 2.
A couple of weeks ago the new caretaker of the Gil’s Auto Body Works 1949 GMC Shop truck reported that the restoration on the Ayala Shop Truck had started. In out FIRST report we shared some details on the original interior and paint colors, the backdating of the frame and engine and a few more details. This historic Custom could not have been in better hands, since every little detail will be brought back to how it looked in the early 1950’s when it was first created by Gil and Al Ayala, and serve as their shop hauler, and doubled as rolling advertising for the Shop. A feature article on the Gil’s Auto Body Works GMC Shop Truck can be found here.
Jim send us a couple of photos of the latest update. All the body panels have in the meantime been completely blasted to bare metal. When Jim bought the truck it from Bruce Geisler, it had a set of 80’s dummy spots mounted on the A-Pillars. But fortunately included with the sale came a box with the original Appleton S-552 spotslights, that were installed by the Ayala’s. Well, they ditched the 80’s dummy spots and started to test fit the original Appleton S-552’s. “It’s so cool to see all of the original custom bent brackets align with the holes drilled by the Ayala shop.”
Body and dash were blasted to remove the multiple layers of paint. With the dash installed temporarily the team test fitted the Original Appleton S552 Spotlights that came in a box with the truck. The fit like a glove, every bend the Ayala’s made to them back in the early 1950’s, to clear the dash, still work.
When the interior was removed prior to the blasting the team found out how the Ayala’s had lowered the seat in the truck. In one of the old magazine articles it was mentions that Gil lowered the seat 3 inches to compensate for the reduced headroom from the chop. Well here is how they did it. They cut Pie-shape channels into the floor and added new mounting bolts into this recess. It’s pretty smart as it lowers the seat while still retaining the adjust-ability of the seat slider. It sure is cool to see the original work of the Ayala’s.
After the blasting the Ayala work to lower the seat became better visible. The pie-cut shaped tunnel was welded into the floor, and two new mounting bolts were added a few inches below the original location.
Jim also send this never before seen photo of the inside of the truck when Geisler got it back in the late 80’s from the wrecking yard. At this point it is believed that most of what can be seen here is from the Ayala days as Bruce Geisler changed very little of the interior from the Ayala version. The only thing in this photo that was added when Bruce owned the truck, was the striping on the dash.
While working on the Pick-Up Jim discovered that the GMC was actually an 1949 model and not the 1951 it is mostly revered to. Most likely Gil used 1951 doors, which include vent windows, or modified the ’49 doors to have vent door installed.
Special thanks to Jim Bobowski for the new update.
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