Ugly Truckling: Alan Harvey’s Diesel-Powered And Airbrushed ’85 GMC

The automotive industry as a whole is a family. Inside this industry there a clicks, groups, or genres of vehicles but sometimes, something sweet happens and these worlds collide. For instance, you take the low rider/hot rod scene and throw it in a blender along with some diesel power and you’ve got yourself something bad to the bone.

Not to say the diesel scene doesn’t have flash or pizazz with pinstriping and custom paint but in my opinion, that’s more of a low rider or hot rod scene upgrade. Houston, Texas native, Alan Harvey, doesn’t care what fits where because creating something like this has been a life long dream. It’s taken time and dedication but the wait was worth it.

 

“I have dreamt about having an extended cab Chevrolet pickup truck since I was a little kid,” Harvey said. “It’s taken some time but we’ve finally got it where we want it.” I will be honest. I do not know much about these older GM trucks but what I can say is this is easily one of the coolest looking ones I’ve ever seen even after attending many, many events.

Over the last year or two, Houston has suffered from some pretty bad floods but luckily this truck has made it through it all safely. One thing Harvey noted, though, was that the roof on this truck did, in fact, go through the flood and it has been rehabilitated into what it is now and remolded onto this truck cab.

This truck was made fun of from the beginning. In fact, “Ugly Truckling” was its nickname from the get-go. But now, for short, it’s just called “Ugly”.

This is Harvey’s 1985 GMC 1500 that has started out literally in pieces. “The truck was converted to an extended cab in 1985 by Overland Coach. When I bought the truck, with the help of my friend Jason, we cut the bondo roof off and shortened a crew cab roof to fit it,” Harvey said. “We made multiple trips to the junkyard to get measurements on windows, metal from a Dodge Dakota so we could graft it on the inner and outer window structure, and so much more.”

There are few areas on the truck that stand out like the firewall. The right-hand side of the firewall has actually been replaced with a cut-up tailgate off of a 1947 GMC pickup. 

I’m seeing a trend here that Harvey didn’t care what it took to make it, his resourcefulness paid off as he’s physically made parts to put this truck together. “The chassis is a stock front half with a 3.5-inch Z and Chassis Fab front suspension, rear half is 2×4 rectangle tubing two-link rear suspension with track locator bar, and the rear differential is a 9-inch unit from Moser Engineering with Yukon Gear and Axle locker with 3.89 gear,” he said.

This Moser rear differential features Wilwood Engineering rear brakes for better stopping, too. As for the engine and transmission, these items came out of Harvey’s stepfather’s truck. He bought this truck new but unfortunately, the truck was totaled after 26-years of life but Harvey gave them both a purpose once again as you can see.

With the body torn off and the frame exposed, Harvey did everything he could to make this frame and everything else shown slick, clean and painted.

Continuing on with this unique build, Harvey used that engine and it’s a trusty 12-valve, 5.9-Liter Cummins turbo diesel. This Cummins ticker is nearing the half-a-million mark and still chugging right along. Backing this engine is a Getrag five-speed manual transmission. For a master cylinder, all that would function is an OBS Ford unit. That being said, there is a little bit from all the big manufacturers here.

Other features on this truck are a 1964 GMC dash and low-back bucket seats. As you can tell from this photo, she is sitting low and it looks great. That representing the flag on the rough is a great touch, too.

Now, patina may not be your thing but this isn’t the, or at least what I think, the traditional way. This isn’t a clear coat over a truck that is weathered. This is a 100-percent airbrushed truck. The patina look, the change of colors, the rivets all over the truck, it’s all airbrush. This is insanely cool and I can’t imagine how long it took to make all of this look this good.

“All of the airbrush work was done by Cody Fry in his home shop and once it was done, it was clear coated here at my shop with Summit Racing brand Hot Rod Satin Clear,” Harvey said. “Everything this truck has been through has been done here at my own shop minus that airbrushing.” With that being said, he must be done with it now, right?

Nope. Harvey let us know there are still a ton of upgrades he’s looking to do and we’re excited to see the final product. “I have future plans still yet on this truck. I want to do a full custom interior, a bangin’ stereo, Vintage Air A/C and heat, Dakota Digital gauges, pinstriping, 3.23 gears, NV5600 six-speed transmission, and a compound turbocharged, built 12-valve Cummins engine,” he said.

The interior? That’s a must. The stereo? That’s a must, too. All of this is a yes for us, Mr. Harvey, especially the compounds and built engine. Nothing screams awesome like that truck with a ton of power.

I can’t imagine how long the preparation took on this but I’m sure it was a wild amount. It was all worth it seeing it now.

If you’re interested in seeing this truck, Harvey let us know that he will be at every single Texas or Louisiana truck show or event that his work will allow. Our good friends over at Goodfellaz Co. put together an insane video of the truck and you should definitely check it out below. Their video really showcases just how cool this truck really is.

For more information about diesel performance parts, the latest truck features, and the newest event coverage, stay tuned to Diesel Army. What are your thoughts on the “Ugly Truckling”? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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