Well-equipped 4-wheel-drive trucks from major manufacturers have been among the best selling vehicles in the U.S. for decades, but this hasn’t always been the case. There was a time when if GM wanted to sell a go-anywhere utility, they had to turn to an outside supplier to make it a reality.
In 1942, NAPCO, the Northwestern Auto Parts Company of Minneapolis, MN, began selling their “Powr-Pak” 4×4 Conversion to owners of GMC and Chevrolet pickups as well as other brands. With their rugged drive technology proven in World War II, by 1956 GM began to offer the NAPCO drive as a regular production option (RPO). However, 1959 was to be the final year of this arrangement, as a redesign of the suspension for 1960 meant that GM would market its own system and the NAPCO equipment was no longer compatible.
This 1959 Chevy 3100 Fleetside Deluxe NAPCO truck has been restored to a level normally only seen on high-end passenger cars — but nevertheless attention was paid to ensure that the correct finishes and details were used, so it can’t be considered “over-restored.”
(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)