The 1958 GMC Half Ton Stepside / Photos, Specs, Model History

Featured is a nicely restored 1958 GMC Half Ton Stepside Pickup. This model is part of the Task Force Series of light trucks which were introduced in 1955.

One of the first differences you’d notice from the previous years models were  the new quad headlights. You would also notice the grille redesign which gave the front end a straighter more conventional appearance. New for the 1958 GMC model year was factory air conditioning.

GMC as a truck brand was created out of a merger of the Reliance Motor Car Company and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company within General Motors. GMC as a brand was officially introduced in 1912 at the New York International Auto Show with the first truck built in July of 1911. GMC is an abbreviation for General Motors Company.

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1958 GMC Stepside

GMC and Chevrolet Trucks

At first glance both the GMC and Chevy light trucks look similar. In a great many ways they are but of course one difference between the two nameplates is price. Generally, GMC is considered an upscale Chevy truck.

While engines and most styling are shared between the two nameplates, there are differences. A heavier suspension system, more powerful braking, and bigger transmissions are a few examples. In addition, the GMC models offer more interior features which place GMC as luxury light trucks. Not to take anything away from Chevy light trucks, for all of these GMC enhancements the price tag of course is higher.

The Stepside Styling

Pickup truck evolution settled on two bed styles. These were referred to as fleetsides, and stepsides. Depending on the automaker the names given to these two styles may have had different terms, sometimes named sportside and flareside, In regards to the Flleetsides the cargo bed stretched over the rear wheels with flat side panels.

While the stepside light truck models were around for decades and decades, production of these styles were phased out during the late 1970’s. There were several reasons why this occurred. Less cargo capacity, not necessarily aerodynamic and thus not as fuel efficient. Eventually the stepsides became out of favor with many buyers.

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The 1958 GMC Steposide Specifications

The ‘1955-’59 GMCs, which were called the Blue Chip series, were available with a 6 cylinder in addition to the Pontiac sourced V-8. The six was actually a GMC manufactured engine, rather than a Chevrolet or Pontiac engine. This was the 270 cubic inch inline six with 140 HP.  For 1958 GMC introduced the first real GMC made V-8 at 283 cubic inches and rated at 160 HP.

Engines available for 1958 include a

As a side note, 1955 saw the introduction of an optional V-8 for both Chevy and GMC trucks. Since GMC did not have their own V-8 they used the Pontiac engines in light duty trucks. As mentioned above this changed in 1958.

During the Task Force Series years, the base transmission for the GMC Half Ton was a three speed manual. Options included overdrive, a heavy duty three speed manual, a four speed manual and a Hydra-Matic four speed automatic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Wheelbase 108.0 inches.

Total GMC production for 1958 was 55,950 vehicles. Out of that number about 18,600 were built in Canada.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below….

1957 GMC Half Ton

1946 GMC CC 152

Reference material for this article included..the GM and GMC archive collection. For a good deal of additional GMC Truck information along with forums check out www.gmctruckclub.comGMC: The First 100 Years by John Gunnell.

The GMC Pickup Collector Vehicle

Both GMC and Chevrolet light trucks from the latter 1950’s are very popular collector vehicles. The GM Task Force Series introduced some great styling changes.

gmc stepside

Overall condition, mileage, restoration and particular engine and transmission will effect sales price. Current auctions sale results for 1958 GMC Stepsides in good condition average in the $25,000 to $35,000 range.. Examples are found lower and some much higher and some have sold for six figures.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)