20 Interesting facts about GMC
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- 22 May 2018
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
GMC is a division of the American car manufacturer General Motors (GM). The company focuses mainly on production of trucks and utility vehicles. It is well known to the general public largely for its SUVs, busses, vans, pickups, commercial trucks and military vehicles. The GMC division of GM is one of the most influential car manufacturers on North America and Middle East markets.
And here are some reasons why this is the case.
1. The history of GMC starts on early XXth century, when in 1900 two brothers and vehicle enthusiasts Max and Maurice Grabowsky managed to design their own truck, powered by single-cylinder engine. The company developed some of the earliest commercial trucks ever assembled. The newly created enterprise was called the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company. This company was incorporated into the General Motors holding in 1908. Occasionally, another car manufacturer, called the Reliance Motor Car Company become a part of General Motors, the same year.
Eventually, those two divisions of GM were united in 1911 under the name of GMC Truck.
2. In 1912, the newly created division of GM had already manufactured 20 000 vehicles.
3. In 1916, the trucks of the GMC design had taken part in the first cross country racing. The vehicles crossed North American continent from Seattle to New York in 30 days. A decade later, in 1926 the company had beaten its own record by traversing the United States from New York to San Francisco in 5 days and 30 minutes.
4. During the First World War company took on military vehicle development, producing around 10 000 military vehicles of different design between 1917 and 1919.
5. In 1925 the GM had bought the controlling interest in the Yellow Coach bus manufacturing company. After the merging with GMC Truck, the new division was named GM Truck and Coach Division. From now on, the company got opportunity to produce both light-duty and medium-duty trucks under its brand.
6. The 1927 was the year when T-series vehicles were introduced. In 1931, the T-95, a heavy-duty truck has arrived. This 15-tonn cargo truck with a tri-axles configuration was equipped with an air brake controls and a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
7. In 1929 GMC gets interesting order, which consisted of the development of special trucks for transportation of circus animals, particularly elephants.
8. At the beginning of 1930th, a milieu called for creation of the new truck design – a cab-over style truck. The modification of the truck with the engine located under the cabin had ended by the mid-30th. This arrangement has been further developed and the range of trucks in this class was expended by ADF, ADC, AF and AC modifications. The same period of company’s history was marked by an effort to establish production of advanced diesel engines. Giving the importance of the diesel engine for the automobile industry, the company’s decision to set-up the very own production line proved to be the reasonable one.
9. In 1938 the new vehicle type – a pickup, was introduced to the American market. This class of vehicles had got a cult following in the USA the later years. GMC entered the new market segment with its recent model, the T-14 – a 0,5-ton light duty truck. The customers’ reaction to the new pickup truck was rather warm.
10. The Second World War had significantly boosted the company growth. All along the war years, GMC produced military equipment en masse. One of the most extraordinary WW II models was probably amphibian truck DUKW. It’s considered to be the first mas-produced amphibian truck in history. The six-wheel-drive amphibious modification of the 2-ton CCKW truck was widely used by the U.S. military during the World War II. This unconventional cargo truck was used for the transportation of goods and troops over land and water. It was powered by a 270 in (4,425 cc) GMC straight-six engine. It weighed 6.5 tons empty and operated at 80 km/h on road and 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h) on water. It was 9.4 m long, 2.51 m wide, 2.17 m high with the folding-canvas top down and 2.6 m high with the top up. 21,137 were manufactured. It was not an armoured vehicle, being plated with sheet steel between 1.6–3.2 mm thick to minimize weight. A high capacity bilge pump system kept it afloat if the thin hull was breached by holes up to 51 mm in diameter. A quarter of all DUKWs held a .50-caliber Browning heavy machine gun in a ring mount.
11. During the post-war years, GMC cars had become very popular. The pre-war models were selling well, even without major changes in the design. At the late ’40s, an H-series model had arrived. This new GMC cab-over truck, could be equipped with sleeping compartment on the customer’s request.
12. The introduction of the 4WD model in 1956, a light-duty 4-wheel-drive pickup truck, was a milestone event for GMC company.
13. The distinguishable GMС Crackerbox got its name for its box-like shape. The model was offered to customers in two variants – with sleeping area and without it. The vehicle was produced by GMC between 1950 and 1968.
14. In 1968 GM had introduced the Astro-95 model, a cab-over style truck. This truck design proved to be very popular. Its refinements included semi-circular dashboard, new windshield with improved vision and better cab design. The model was discontinued in 1987.
15. In 1970 company introduced its new model – the GMC Jimmy. I was offered in both two-wheel-drive (2WD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) variants. This station wagon was among the most influential SUV models in US automotive history.
16. In 1987 GMC discontinued the bus manufacturing that lasted since 1925. The GM division had sold its bus subdivision, completely giving up bus production that lasted around 62 years.
17. In January 1988, GMC became a part of the Volvo White Truck Corporation – a major truck manufacturing group. The company engaged in the joint venture with Volvo concern under the designation of New Family.
18. The modern line-up of the American car manufacturer consists of Safari minivan, Yukon SUV, Savana minibus, Sonoma pickup, Envoy SUV and others. While incredibly popular in North America, those models have limited success in Europe. GMC cars are the epitome of the American idea of what should be a vehicle, in particular, the mid-size, multifunctional truck.
19. GMC Sierra 2500 HD, a heavy-duty pickup truck tuned by Pacific Performance Engineering, set a world record for top speed while towing. This incredible car has made another piece of automobile history by rightfully taking its place in the new Guinness World Records in 2013.
20. The Hollywood star Jessica Alba drives the GMC Yukon. The well-known American actress admires reliability and practicality of the full-size SUV. According to her, – “Such a vehicle can fit the shopping for whole family, children with children’s seats and all my dogs.” Space and security – perhaps this is the essence of the GMC vehicles.