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GMC Celebrates 100th Anniversary

July 24, 2002

The year was 1902. That's when entrepreneur Max Grabowsky sold his first truck to the American Garment Cleaning Co. of Detroit. Grabowsky flourished, and the company turned out 75 trucks. "Any motor trucks that were built in that period of time had to be built by innovators," said Don Meyer, GMC historian. "Max was a very good inventor. And the first trucks were quite successful." Meyer says these trustworthy trucks helped jump-start the auto giant General Motors Corp. By 1909, GM was growing fast and, brought Grabowsky under the corporate umbrella. The GMC logo, which stands for General Motors Truck Co., was first seen on trucks in 1912. GMC generated business in many industries throughout the years -- including buses, vehicles that could be used on water and land, and military trucks. "GMC built almost the majority of the vehicles for World War II," said Arthur Pope, military vehicle restorer. "They built almost 600,000 of these six by six, two-and-a-half ton GMC trucks. And they came in different body styles -- the most prevalent on was a canvas cover that hauled the troops as well as supplies, and a lot of gas for General Patton's tanks." Today, GMC manufacturers some half a million trucks a year with capabilities that exceed even the toughest expectations, according to the company. The centennial is a remarkable milestone, highlighting the fact that he company has focused on trucks -- and only trucks -- longer than any other manufacturer.
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