Pink was a power color in the mid-to-late 1950s for Detroit’s finest. Many cars from this era had pink paint jobs in either a two-tone or tri-color combination as an option to make these rides stand out in a crowd.
The bold color choice was largely limited to vehicles of the 1950s and early 1960s but some manufacturers continued to offer pink as a color choice into the 70s.
A pink 1971 GMC pickup truck definitely stood out in a crowd of vintage rides and we wanted to get the story behind the color choice.
We learn as we go here at Auto Round-Up and our first instinct about the pink and white GMC made us guess the unusual color choice was a custom paint scheme. We were aware of Pink Panther Mopars in the early 1970s but we had never heard of a factory pink GMC truck.
Owners Robin and Cathy Gall filled in the blanks on the unique paint scheme on their truck. It was a special order pink color scheme called coral ice by the GM boys and it made the truck very rare in terms of production because very few customers chose pink trucks in ’71.
Robin spotted the truck “sitting in the trees on a farm” in 2001 and decided he should buy the truck. Initially he intended to change out the faded pink paint for a more subtle paint scheme until he learned about the rarity of the truck.
Robin felt he should preserve the integrity of the truck by repainting it with its pink paint scheme. The task was not easy because GM could not provide a color match for him but he got lucky because the original owner had damaged the original tail gate and stored it.
The tailgate was protected from the sun in storage and Robin was able to match the color with a modern water-based paint.
The tailgate was not the only thing replaced early in the truck’s history. The original 350 engine blew up in 1973 and was replaced under warranty that year. Robin has added a few modern upgrades to the replacement engine, including Vortec heads, to give the GMC some extra jump.
The GMC required plenty of work to bring it back to its former glory because it had worked hard and retired badly in the grove of trees. The rockers, cab corners and fenders were replaced or repaired during the cosmetic surgery phase of the restoration project.
The seat has also been recovered and the entire truck has been returned to its former pink and white glory by Robin and Cathy. The process took about 5 years and now the two of them get to enjoy the GMC on the road.
Robin told Auto Round-Up the truck “rides really nice because it’s the first time GM built a truck that rides like a car because of its coil spring suspension”. The GMC also has air conditioning, power steering and power brakes on its creature comfort list, so it has more luxurious comforts than most of its early 1970s pickup counterparts.
Robin likely never envisioned himself as the proud owner of a factory pink 1971 GMC, but he is very happy with his unusual truck from the Nixon era.
It makes for a great conversation piece.