From 1939 to 1959, GMC built a series of medium-duty trucks called cab-over-engine, or COE. Exactly as the name suggests, the cab was located above the engine, as opposed to the modern cab behind the engine layout. This configuration was advantageous in that it allowed the truck to be more aptly maneuvered in tight spaces, docks, alleys, or other confined areas. The cab height gave the driver a more commanding view. As regulations changed for medium and heavy-duty trucks, the GMC COE disappeared.
In more recent years, the medium-duty GMC COE has become popular as a hauler for vintage or custom cars, or a show piece in its own right. Our feature car is a GMC COE-bodied 2001 Chevy S-10 chassis. The build was completed in 2018. It is propelled by a 4.3-liter fuel-injected V6 backed by a four-speed automatic transmission. To accommodate the dimensions of the GMC COE, eighty-four inches in height, seventy-nine inches in width, and 200 inches in length, certain modifications had to be made, such as the bed being extended. Additionally, the cab itself needed to be restored, the cab corners, floor pans, rocker panels, headlight towers and buckets, and the chrome headlight bezels all needed to be rejuvenated. The cab and bed were sand blasted to bare metal. Two coats of epoxy primer were applied prior to application of the lustrous Fire Red Pearl paint finish.
The interior of the GMC COE has been entirely revamped, and is now home to the modified Chevy S-10 interior. The dash has been trimmed and fitted, and all controls function. The installation, just above the COE’s engine doghouse, looks as if it were meant to be there. The gray leather seats from the S-10 have also been installed in the tall chassis, adding an element of comfort over the original issue seats. The S-10 tilt steering column and steering wheel round out the modern fixtures.
This unique GMC COE will cross the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas event June 17th-19th at the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall.