Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects '59 GMC Panel: adding side windows

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Moonglow, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Moonglow
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 426

    Moonglow
    Member

    It's been quite a while since I've posted much on the HAMB, as I sold my '29 Model A project a few years back.

    I've recently had a hankering to dive back into another HAMB worthy project, this time in the form a surfer wagon of some sort. It looks like that a decent wagon starts at about $10K (and up). I'm looking for a running/driving project, and one that's not a total rust bucket.

    On the other hand, panel trucks seem to go for much less. The example's asking price is $5,500, which is in the ballpark of what I can afford to spend initially on the project.

    So, I'm thinking about adding side windows to a truck like this, maybe enlarging the back windows to match the new side ones. I'd add a total of 4 side windows with the correct rake and size (approximating the height of the "cab" side windows) to look pretty much "factory". Buy adding side windows & enlarging the back ones, doing a tin woody paint job, new interior etc......presto.... I'd have a budget friendly surfer "wagon". I'm OK with the side opening back doors, typical of a panel truck, rather than a station wagon rear door/window set-up.

    I'm thinking either plexi windows or laminated tempered glass units from a local glass shop, set in a "universal" rubber molding.

    As a side bonus, I'd find a panel truck to be very handy from a utility point of view, as the sale of my 2001 Toyota PU would mostly fund this my surfer wagon purchase. So.......no back seats planned for this surfer wagon.

    This sounds to easy to be realistic. Am I missing something?

    Thanks guys,
    David
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 59bones
    Joined: Dec 13, 2010
    Posts: 349

    59bones
    Member
    from Illinois

    Please don't ruin that truck with cheezy side windows! If you want windows and a truck of that style, find a Suburban.
     
  3. Moonglow
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 426

    Moonglow
    Member

    I don't do cheesy........ unless it's a burger.
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,339

    squirrel
    Member

    Find a suburban to study how the windows are done. They are pretty complicated...even if you leave out the sliders, and use solid glass. The sheet metal panel is not flat, it is a compound curve. Making a hole for glass that looks good is not a trivial job.

    And the glass in the rear doors is the same on panels and Suburbans.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,893

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Just remember; you can't put the genie back in the bottle!
     
  6. As a long time owner and fan of panel trucks.....it's yours, but, please don't.
     
  7. Moonglow
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 426

    Moonglow
    Member

    I thought that Suburbans were all (or nearly all) 4 doors. Apparently not, as seen in the attached photos.

    That being said, Suburbans (if you can find them) are way more much money than panel trucks. Thus my thinking on adding windows to a panel truck.

    Squirrel, I'm seeing inset windows, but don't see compound curves in the side glass. Maybe the inset makes up for the curve? So in my case, plexi might work better as it could take the (apparently) gentle curve of the side panels?
     

    Attached Files:

  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,339

    squirrel
    Member

    The metal panel has a compound curve, the glass is flat. Originally they had a fixed window and a slider, and the frames that hold this stuff tend to rust out. I put solid glass in my 57, got rid of the sliders. The mid 60s Suburbans were made with solid rear side glass and sliders in the front side windows, I had a 66 like that...so I learned that I could use the rubber for a later one to put solid glass in the 57, and it worked out pretty well.

    If you put plexiglas in the side panels, with a typical rubber gasket, it will look like crap. Seriously.

    201703.jpg
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  9. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,893

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Some were two section only sliders, my 66 is a factory four section slider.
    There was a time that repro rubber was not available, may be in production now.
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,339

    squirrel
    Member

    I got that rubber in 1998 :)

    I think the number of sliders had to do with how many seats came in the truck. But I could be wrong.
     
  11. Moonglow
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 426

    Moonglow
    Member

    Thanks Guys.......
    It looks like the orange and white example I found may have started life as a panel truck, and had the side windows added? That glass looks more flush than the factory set-up. This is the look I'd be going for. So perhaps the key to pulling this off is to find the right rubber, and not use a universal seal?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,339

    squirrel
    Member

    I think that one is a suburban, but might have larger glass, glued to the outside of the metal lip of the window opening. Like new cars are built. The rubber I used sets the glass behind the lip, as original.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  13. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,309

    phat rat
    Member

    Burbs were all 2dr until 67 then 3dr until 73
     
  14. Moonglow
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 426

    Moonglow
    Member

    Makes sense.
    Thanks Jim.
     
  15. If you're interested, I have a set of 55-59 rear side windows- going to be using the front set myself :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  16. chop job and mgtstumpy like this.
  17. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,915

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^^ I'd say if you're going to start with a full panel, then this is the way to go about it; one single piece of glass ^^^^^. Anything else (Lexan, Acrylite, etc), will just scratch. JMO. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  18. COCONUTS
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 603

    COCONUTS

    How about just adding the rear side window from a 39 Chevy coupe, or something like that. One of the writers for R&C did that to a panel truck he was building some years back.
     
  19. I seen this one at a local swap meet, he said the windows are original and from the inside it did look that way, ex military vehicle. 20180623_115638.jpg 20180625_094931.jpg 20180625_094944.jpg
     
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  20. swade41, do you know if that one is still for sale?
     
  21. I'm sure, it was pouring rain that day and not much traffic, do you want the info in a pm ? 20180623_115807.jpg 20180623_115807.jpg 20180623_115629.jpg 20180623_115723.jpg
     
  22. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,002

    BJR
    Member

    I think if you really look at the difference in cost, if your time is worth anything at all, between buying a Suburban and a panel with the added windows done nicely is not that different. The resale of the Suburban will be way more then a panel with added windows. And everything else you do to fix it up will cost the same as doing a Suburban, with much less return in the end.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  23. 4woody
    Joined: Sep 4, 2002
    Posts: 2,083

    4woody
    Member

    Does it have to be a GMC? If not, a Dodge Town Wagon would typically be less money, and they were available in 4wd as well as 2wd if that is a plus for you.
     
  24. 50's Chevy panel trucks $4,000 to $8,000
    50's Chevy Suburbans $12,000 to $35,000
    Why would anyone want to convert a panel???
    Just be careful or it will look like convert RV, added bonus once it is a 'windowed' vehicle it become a wagon and no longer a truck, cheaper Rego
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.