Mechanical Music: StrongArm-equipped 1969 GMC Sierra is a Standout

Bob Jacobowitz’s 1969 GMC Sierra has always been part of the family. Originally owned by his uncle in Vancouver, the Canadian-built longbed has lived a whole lot of life in the past half-century. It’s had highs, lows and times of uncertainty. Now, after a 25 year rebuild, it’s back better than ever.

“My uncle was one of my best friends,” Bob says. “We had lots of laughs, and he turned me on to the adrenaline of going fast.” In addition to his love for horsepower, Bob’s uncle was hooked on C10 pickups. Through the years, he owned at least 40 of them.

Bob’s uncle passed away in 1987. Five years later, Bob took the truck back home to Lake Tapps, Washington, and started planning a full restoration—with some much-needed upgrades. Shortly thereafter, the build began.

“I wanted to make the truck sit perfect,” he says. To help improve handling and ride height, he installed Ridetech StrongArms in the front and rear. Fully adjustable coil-overs were used on all four corners.

In the drivetrain department, he initially ran a 350 cubic inch Chevy that was on its last leg. “I had a 1966 L79 327 out of a Corvette on the floor, and I didn’t know where to put it,” he says. “So, I put it in the pickup. I got it re-dyno’d and all dialed in. It’s a kick in the ass to drive.”

Bob linked the smallblock to a rebuilt Turbo 350 transmission with a 2,500rpm stall converter and a shift kit. The combination is good for 400 rear wheel horsepower. The truck has no problem spinning the tires through the gears.

Distinguishing Details

Even with its updated underpinnings, Bob worked to keep the Sierra’s vintage look. The Storm Gray Metallic paint is actually a 2001 GM color, while the Oxblood Burgundy interior is 1969 original. According to Bob, the unique upholstery package was a one-year-only offering.

There’s a lot to like about the truck, but Bob is partial to the bed. “I waited until the right time of year to get the red oak,” he says, “and I used merlot wood stain.” To get that rich, deep color, he created a superheated workspace where he could keep the temperature at 90 degrees. After five full coats, he sealed it all with a lacquer finish. The end result is nothing short of stunning.

For Bob, this project has been a labor of love. He was never in a rush, and he never settled for anything less than the best. Now that the hard work is finished, he’s enjoying the truck—just like his uncle did all those years ago. “I just drive it,” he says. “When it’s nice out, it’s on the road. That’s all there is to it.”

A Closer Look

Check out the video below for a detailed look at Bob’s standout Sierra.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *