GMC History

GMC is one of America's most well known automobile brands. A division of General Motors, GMC has been producing trucks and pickups for more than 100 years. It is a brand that is very typically and proudly American. From the earliest of designs, GMC trucks have proven to be sturdy workhorses and used extensively in industry, agriculture and more recently, as popular suburban vehicles.

GMC's Beginnings
GMC started out as the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company. Rapid was founded in 1902 by two brothers, Max and Morris Grabowsky. Their first truck was essentially a motorized horse wagon and named a Rapid because it could reach a top speed of 10 miles per hour. The single cylinder, chain-driven dray machine was initially held in some skepticism as the driver was perched high up on the front end of the vehicle. At the same time, another truck company by the name of Reliance Motor Company also began production on trucks. These two Detroit companies flourished and by 1906, Rapid had a production plant in Pontiac; they had produced 200 units in their first year of production. In 1908, business mogul William Durant founded General Motors. He had already acquired Buick, Oldsmobile and Oakland, and he ostentatiously decided that he needed a trucking product line to round off his acquisitions. Unable to decide between Reliance and Rapid, he ended up buying both-Reliance in 1908 and Rapid in 1909. The two companies continued to maintain independent production for a while. By 1913, all production was moved to the Rapid plant at Pontiac and the GMC brand was officially launched as the trucking division of General Motors.

Helping out With the war Efforts
With the onset of the First World War, GMC stepped up its production of utility trucks and provided the U.S. forces with a broad range of vehicles which included ambulances, delivery trucks, and big rigs designed for long distance travel. By 1918, over 90 percent of GMC's production was for military vehicles. During the peace time, many developments were made on the GMC trucks and at the outbreak of World War Two, GMC once again turned its focus towards the military. Between 1941 and 1945, GMC produced more than 584,000 vehicles for the U.S. Army. In 1942, all production on civilian vehicles was prohibited and only resumed again in a limited capacity towards the end of 1944. One of the most significant designs used in World War Two was that of the "Duck," a six-wheeled amphibious vehicle that was used extensively in sea-to-land invasions and river crossings. Twenty-one thousand of these vehicles were delivered to the U.S. Army during the war and GMC received an Army-Navy award for excellence for its war efforts.

Significant Developments in GMC Over the Years
Through the years, advances in engineering made the designs of today possible. So many things that are taken for granted were significant milestones in the history of automotive engineering. For example, in 1920, pneumatic tires replaced solid rubber tires for the first time. This made for a far more comfortable ride and helped make the vehicles much lighter. A year later, electric headlamps replaced the oil lamps and in the heavy-duty models, a dual range seven-speed transmission became the standard. Tractors with heavy-duty trailers were introduced in 1923 with a carrying capacity of up to 10 tons. In 1925, brakes were introduced on all four wheels as a standard. In the late 1920s, most GMC trucks were fitted with Buick six-cylinder engines that were more powerful and fuel-efficient. By 1927, with its new plant in Pontiac, GMC was the proud owner of the world's largest truck production plant. In the late 1930s, GMC started to pay more attention to the exterior design and styling of the vehicles. The change was most noticeable in the sleek lines and two-tone colour schemes. In 1937, GMC introduced the Suburban, a lightweight utility vehicle with just two doors and benches at the back. In the same year, hydraulic brakes replaced mechanical brakes on all light vehicles. Throughout the following decades, the GMC vehicles evolved, making the company a household name in America.

GMC Today
With advances in engineering and design, the GMC line has continued to expand over the decades. Cummins and Caterpillar engines are still synonymous today with heavy-duty GMC transport vehicles. A broad range of SUVs, lightweight trucks, and all-terrain vehicles have become popular family vehicles. What started out as humble beginnings has now become a brand synonymous with American engineering and design. GMC is undoubtedly one of the most well-known American brands.At Robert Auto Plaza we have a large inventory of new and used cars in kansas. We are one of the finest Kansas City car dealers as well as offering GM Service and Parts. Visit online for a free test drive.

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