In a sea of candies, pearls, and chrome, it's tough to stand out from the crowd; however, at Goodguys' 2006 Northwest Nationals, one pickup really caught our attention. With its navy blue body, black fenders, and near-stock stance, it was actually pretty nondescript, but it had a certain quality that quietly beckoned. Furthermore, the closer we looked, the more it rewarded us with near obsessive detailing and conscientious modifications.
Most people would probably wonder why someone would go to all that trouble to build something typical car show crowds overlook. Then again, Doug Leibrant isn't trying to please any crowds. The group he's used to impressing is considerably smaller and far tougher to impress: Pebble Beach judges.
Even though he admits falling for the '37 Chevrolet design decades ago, this particular truck beckoned to him, too. "I found it hard to leave," he said. "The more I looked, the better I liked it...very few bolts or screws had been turned since it came from the factory."
Despite the seller's rather dear asking price, this pickup proved worthy of an AACA restoration, as Doug found out during disassembly. His initial observations bore truth, as the pickup effortlessly yielded buckets of untouched hardware and virgin, shiny tin. I won't bore you with the details of a straightforward restoration, so let me relay what I think makes it unique.
The truck's color is stock Boatswain Blue and Black, and even though Doug says he laments not painting the body with a base/clear process, the single-stage DuPont formula doesn't look inappropriately shiny for a restoration, as most base/clear jobs do.
The pickup's interior is equally detailed. Instead of spraying the cab panels body color, Doug commissioned Northwest Powder Coatings, Inc. in SeaTac to replicate Chevrolet's brown wrinkle finish in powder. While he restored the stock instruments, he replaced the oil pressure and ammeter with higher-capacity '37 GMC pieces. Cedardale Auto Upholstery's Paul Reichlin reskinned the bench in appropriate vinyl; Doug equipped it with '40s accessory Greenfield Co. belts. Other goodies include an NOS heater and a '70s Realistic FM radio detailed to match the cab.