Jim and George Bernardo's 1948 GMC
1948 GMC 1/2 ton pickup truck owned and restyled by Jim and George Bernardo of Bernardo Auto Body of Milford, Connecticut. The truck was built as a rolling advertisement for their shop, and when it was not shown at shows, it was used for chasing parts.
In the early stages, the truck was white with pinstriping and scallops by Al Battista. Later on the frontal area on the truck was reworked to accept reversed 1958 Chevrolet quad headlights and a custom made grille. The front bumper was replaced with a rolled pan that was dressed up with two chromed bullets. The front fenders were flared, and the hood was rounded. The top was chopped 5 inches, and featured a handmade scoop. Quarter panels from a 1952 Ford were molded to the bed and rear section of the car. The rear of the truck featured a handmade grille opening that ran a 1958 Ford grille and 1950 Buick taillights. Tubing was used around the opening. The tailgate was made from a 1952 Ford hood. The body was covered with 3 gallons of Candy Apple Red paint that Jim and George rubbed to a high lustre. It was dressed up featuring lakes pipes, dual spotlights and Moon discs. The upholstery, fender covers and tarp were matched in red and white rolled and pleated Naugahyde. The headliner was rolled. It was powered by a modified 1952 Chevrolet engine.
Custom Rodder Cover Car
Once completed, the truck took first prize in the radical custom truck class at the Hot Rod & Custom Car World's Fair in West Springfield, Massachusetts. It was featured on the cover of Custom Rodder February 1960, and the feature story described the Bernardo Brothers truck as one of the smartest pickups in the country.
In 1960 the Bernardo truck was featured in Rod & Custom November 1960. According to that story, the top was chopped 4 inches. This version featured a nerf bar up front, replacing the chromed bullets. At the time, the engine ran two carbs on a McGurk manifold. When the story was made, the car had won 13 trophies.
In February of 1961 the car was displayed at the Hartford Autorama, along with 6 other Bernardo Customs, according to the souvenir pictorial from the show, that version of the car featured a custom Candy Gold finish.
In June of 2020, the old custom was owned by Shawn Jennings. Having 30 years of experience restoring and building cars, Shawn was working on making the truck mechanically roadworthy so he could drive it. His goal was to ultimately restore it back to its former glory and show it again.
Magazine Features and Appearances
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep history alive. For as little as 2.99 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have additional information or photos to share about Jim and George Bernardo's 1948 GMC.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.