Regardless if you are walking through a cruise night, a major national event, or merely surfing pages on the information super highway, you have the opportunity to see an endless array of classic trucks, each with their own unique story to tell. Many times, the owners can tell you every unique detail surrounding their hauler’s history including build codes and when it rolled off the production line, or who chopped it and then laid down the vibe.
However, for every well-accounted ride, there are others that will never know their truck’s family tree. These are the trucks that have been used and abused, put away wet, and treated to an arduous work ethic. Many times they were given up for dead once their engines stopped working, while at other times some received new powerplants to keep forging on. While their pasts might not sound pretty, many of them escaped to find homes with appreciative new owners. These are the trucks with checkered pasts, the once unappreciated workhorses that somehow find their ways to greener pastures once their tough days are done.
Bram Young of Wellesley, Massachusetts, grew up worshiping classic trucks and hot rods from a young age, living the dream through die-cast miniatures from the likes of Matchbox, Corgi, and Hot Wheels. This evolved into building scale models with plenty of modifications infused into their tiny unique forms. From there it was off to the races as he quickly followed by hopping-up bicycles and go-carts while also starting to work in his dad’s cabinet making business.
As the years passed, Bram moved on to college pursuing his passion for visual design, while also incorporating trucks and cars into his creative illustrations and paintings. Once out of school he became involved in buying and selling classics as well as continuing as a professional graphic designer. In ’98 he completed his first frame-off restoration on a ’55 GMC 100 pickup and never looked back. He never forgot his cabinet making skills, however, when he opened Bramz Rodz in ’08 to continue restoring classics while applying his unique woodworking nuances into each ride.
One afternoon while searching for a fresh project truck, he just so happened to find a clean ’51 GMC 100 on eBay and wasted no time placing the winning bid. Once the truck arrived from Florida at his shop, it was time to take a deeper look into its overall condition. Many times you hear horror stories of purchasing a vehicle sight unseen without having the chance to crawl under it or take it for a quick spin, but Bram didn’t find any surprises on the truck. It was rock solid, fully drivable, and ready for his personal tweaks.
The ’51 was a perfect platform to allow Bram to undertake an exercise in simplicity by taking something with the right aura and transform it using certain creative elements to bring it to the next level. While little is known about the past of this particular GMC, you can easily see that its well-worn, patina-clad body and minor tidbits like the vintage 1951 Bonneville waterslide decal on the windshield let you look into its potential past. Whether it was owned by a hot rodder serving as a push truck on the salt in the early ’50s or spent time on a ranch, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild about its history. Let’s take a deeper look into this classic cruiser to see just want makes it tick.