A Carryall was often a rancher’s best friend.
With all but the front seat removed, it provided
covered storage for tools and equipment.
Maybe even a good place to roll out a sleeping
bag. With all seats installed, ranch hands had
all-weather, all-terrain transport.
1960-66 GM Suburban Carryalls
FORGOTTEN MAY BE TOO HARSH A WORD, but you certainly don’t see
many ’60-66 Chevy and GMC Carryalls
around today. Their chiseled looks,
combined with a “highboy” stance,
make them sharp looking old iron.
In 1960, Chevy and GMC 4x4s had
moved onto a new track. No longer
were their four-wheel drive components
sourced as kits from NAPCO(Northwestern Auto Parts Company)
and installed on a special GM assembly
line.(NAPCO had been doing
four-wheel drive conversions since
the early ’50s, specializing in GM
trucks.) By 1960, the four-wheel drive
market had expanded past the point
of being a low volume sideline. It had
become big business and General
Motors began sourcing the components
You could order a Carryall with a tailgate or all-weather, all-terrain transport.
doors. The doors were standard on the windowless
model K1405 4x4 Panel. If you ordered the
Carryall with a tailgate, it was a K1406. With the
doors it was a K1416.
Even bigger news was the restyling
done to the GM truck line in ’60. Gone
were the rounded corners of the ’50s,
replaced by the crisp, fresh lines of the
hip ’60s. Both Chevrolet and GMC
shared the same bodies but remained
separate lines in many other ways,
most notably powerplants, but also in
the options area.
The ’60s brought innovations beyond
looks. Most of them came on the 4x2
trucks, such as the industry-first independent
front truck suspension. In the
4x4 department, GM opted to use the
more modern Dana 44 axle as opposed
to the Napco-modified GM H-033. GM
retained use of the Timken T-221
divorced transfer case, which NAPCO
had also used.
You don’t see this t-case often these days.
The Timken T-221 was a three shaft case from
the 1950s to 1970 in GMCs. It had a good record
for reliability, but because it was not a direct-drive
unit, it tended to be noisy and run hot. It
was a complicated unit with lots of bearings and
was based on a Timken design used in 6x6
trucks. Parts are expensive these days.
The ’60-66 Carryalls came on a 115
inch wheelbase and were equipped
with seating for six in a 3-3 configuration.
If you ordered the optional third
seat, you could seat eight in 3-2-3 configuration.
Luxury did not abound in this
era. These were the days where you had
to pay extra to get a heater and an interior
light. The Custom Comfort Option
(RPO Z62) lessened the blow a little with
foam-padded seats, special insulation,
a cigarette lighter, passenger side armrest
and sun visor. Tinted glass was
optional separately, as was an improved
recirculating heater. Power steering?
Uh-unh. Power brakes? Better start exercising. Air conditioning? No way...
unless you count the old “2-60” type.
A ’64 Chevy Carryall still at work but showing
the ravages of the years. It’s resplendent in the
faded remains of its red/white two-tone paint job.
(option number 544) This one was also decked
out with a V8, radio, roof rack and 4-speed.
The dealer had a number of GM approved
add-on goodies available to
help in the comfort and convenience
department. These included an add-on
Cool Pack air conditioning system, AM
radio, deluxe rear view mirrors, windshield
washers and even a Hydrovac
power brake system.
With a Chevrolet, you had the choice
of two sixes or the 283 V8. With GMCs,
you had the 305ci V6, period. This was
the era in which Chevrolet switched
from heavily promoting sixes for trucks
to pushing the V8s. Until ’60, you couldn’t
even get a V8 in a 4x4 Chevy. Even
early in the ’60s era, the number of
sixes produced was four times the
number of V8s. That began changing
as the decade rolled on.
For ’63, Chevy went to a new line of
sixes and the venerable four-main
bearing 235ci, and it’s big brother, the
261ci, were retired by the 230 and
292ci seven-main bearing engines.
These all-new sixes incorporated many
V8 internal parts. With a few minor variations,
the optional 283ci 2-barrel V8
remained unchanged in this era.
GMC dared to be different by introducing
60-degree V6 in 1960. It replaced both
the 336ci V8 (sourced from Pontiac)
and the venerable GMC 270ci inline
six. The 305 Jimmy was the first
American-built V6 engine, though
unlike V6s of later years, this 800
pound monster outweighed most V8s.
Power output was modest. The standard
engine started at 125 net hp, but
an optional, higher power 142hp version
was offered in the early years.
Later it was made standard. This
engine also saw use in big Jimmies
and was built in 351, 379, 401, 432,
and 478ci displacements. A Twin-Six
version was built by combining two V6
blocks into one casting to make a V12.
The 351ci version was converted to
make the infamous Toro-Flow diesel, a
few of which reportedly found their way
into GMCs of the period.
Beyond changing paint options and the obligatory annual grill change, the ’60-66 truck didn’t see
many cosmetic changes. The only major one was the hood. The ’60 and ’61 trucks had the very jetlike
intakes on the hood. For ’62 and beyond the leading edge of the hood was reshaped and the turn
signal/marker lights relocated.
There were no automatics available and a 3-speed Saginaw SM-318 “three-on-
the-tree” was standard, with the
legendary Saginaw SM-420 4-speed
optional. There have been reports of some
Powerglide equipped automatics in the
4x4s, but they are not shown in the factory
Data Books. The divorced Timken T-221
(a.k.a. the Rockwell T-221) t-case was
good and stout, though it was equipped
with a marginal 1.94:1 low range.
Left: The ’60-66 trucks were almost the last gasp
for divorced transfer cases from GM. The
divorced layout made for an easy
4X4 conversion of existing 4x2
chassis in the days before IFS. It
necessitated a higher stance for
front driveshaft clearance. This
is a ’62 or early ’63 truck, which
had the new style hood but still
ran the old style H-033 dropout
Right: Comfortable seating for eight... sorta... by ’60s
truck standards anyway. The K1406 model came
standard with a full-width rear seat. When
you ordered the third seat, the full seat
moved aft and a short seat went in the
middle. The 13 inch narrower center seat
was necessary for access to the back.
Rear axles vary somewhat over the
years, while the closed knuckle, Dana
44-5Fs handled the duties up front. In
the rear the venerable H-033 dropout
was used into ’63 for the rear of halftons.
It had a big 9.375-inch ring gear with 17-spline c-clip axles. From mid
’63 on the integral housing, 12-bolt 8.8-
inch truck axle took over, initially with 17
splines and later with 30.These General
Motors trucks are the bridge between
the old days of discomfort and privation
where 4x4 vehicles were used primarily
for commercial purposes to the days
when comfort and convenience
became important to a more recreationminded
customer. The Sport Utility era
began when the Carryalls morphed into
all-wheel drive station wagons. One
interesting final fact is that the familiar
name, Suburban, was seldom seen in
reference to these trucks.
from www.oramagazine.com used with permission