During the 1950s, the hot setup for four-wheel-drive Chevy and GMC pickups came from NAPCO, which provided the Powr-Pak 4X4 Conversion as a bolt-on package that turned a regular rear-drive truck into a capable and durable off-roader. The conversions started as dealer-installed options but later were installed at the factory.
The Pick of the Day is a 1955 Chevrolet half-ton pickup restored to how an original NAPCO-equipped truck would have come from the dealer. The lofty stance was part of the 4X4 conversion, so while it might look as if a modern lift kit has been applied, this was actually how they came.
This step-side pickup looks like a time capsule from a Forest Service past, in Air Wing Gray with painted rather than chromed bumpers and grille. It is powered by a 235 cid six-cylinder engine hooked to a four-speed manual transmission with “granny” first gear, which provides slow but mighty takeoff power from a dead stop.
From the Tucson, Arizona, dealer’s description in the ClassicCars.com advertisement, the truck has just over 51,000 miles on its odometer and is apparently ready to hit the dusty trail. The NAPCO conversion includes a dual-range transfer case that is rubber mounted for smooth operation.
The dealer makes no mention as to whether this was an originally optioned NAPCO pickup from the era or if it has been converted in more-recent times – there are several companies that advertise NAPCO installations for vintage GM pickups. That would affect the value but take nothing away from the ownership experience.
Whatever the case, this is a good-looking classic Chevy that’s nicely equipped and offered at the reasonable price of $25,997. The question now would be whether to subject the well-painted pickup to the potential dents and scratches of off-road exploits, or merely use it for cruising around and showing off.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day