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New Project: 1954 GMC Fuel Tanker Truck

Some folks have a strong brand loyalty to the cars they collect. Some prefer only muscle cars while others prefer to collect early 1900s brass cars. There is no limit to the specific limits a collector might put on his collection. We on the other hand like anything with an engine and at least 4 wheels.

Of course we do have cars we have more passion for than others. Our newest Project Car is not a car and it falls into a rather strange subcategory of any definition of a collection. We discovered a 1954 GMC Texaco Fuel Tanker truck at a recent auction and for some stupid reason felt we needed it for our collection. As soon as my wife and I purchased it the first words out of both of our mouths were; “What the heck are we going to do with that?”

It is all original with lots of patina and is really cool and all that but what do you do with one of these? Do you restore it? Rat Rod? Hot Rod? Make some kind of car hauler out of it? Fill it full of beer and have a party?

First things first, it does not move under its own power. We were told it runs and shifts but there are no brakes. I looked for the master cylinder and it is missing. The Tanker is 25 feet long and appears to weigh approximately 8 tons. It is a six cylinder with manual transmission. All of the pumps and gizmo’s to make it a tanker appear to still be there. There is very little rust in the Tanker and it is as solid as a tank, pun intended. There are 4 individual fuel tanks for carrying different fuels. I found a California inspection sticker on the truck from around 1978. It may have been used at one of the airports in CA but have no knowledge of where, when or for how long.

Our first efforts will be to repair the brakes, see if we can make it run and move. If that is possible then we will give it a grease job, check all the fluids and see for how long it might move and if it is at all safe to drive. Depending on what all that tells us will give us a basis on which to build our more long term plans.

What do you think? Did we waste our money or did we find the beginning of a new fad? If you had this in your garage (it better be a big one) what would you do with it? Leave us comments below or send an email to: rfleener@comcast.net.

Here is the other thing, just a small item; we don’t know squat about big commercial trucks like this. Have no idea where to get parts or anything else. If you do, help us out…..PLEASE!

We will keep you posted on every small step of the way of this Texaco Tanker’s rebirth.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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  1. Put all new Chevy or GMC heavy duty dually pickup engine and running gear under it.

  2. I say do the following:

    1. Replace the brakes, get it running and driving safely and somewhat reliably

    2. Dump it on the ground with airbags. Leave everything else exactly how it is now.

    Alternatively, I suppose you could call the folks from American Pickers and see if they’re interested in it, since they’re in Nashville now.

  3. +1 for dumping it on the ground with airbags. you might be able to convert one of the tanks for air?

    my other thought would be to put a Duramax engine in it with the running gear and use another part of the tank for diesel fuel. would be a pretty good hauling truck at that point.

  4. We have a very similar truck that we are currently building. Cummins motor with air bags. Pics can be seen at Rusty Balls Speed Shop on Facebook

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