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WWII Door Handles

Shortages during this major war was the reason for many modifications of Chevrolet and GMC door handles. War demands for die cast material changed handle designs on military trucks as well as the few commercial vehicles bought by civilians.

The attached photos show these war time designs. The exterior handles have a stamped steel outer cover. Their inner liner is thinner metal and much more susceptible to rust. The entire assembly at times holds moisture resulting in damage during below freezing temperatures.

Both the inside doors and window handles were made with flat steel. This was covered with a Bakelite or plastic type material in a mold. It prevented rust and gave the shape of the earlier die cast handles. Unfortunately, years of heat and cold caused shrinkage and cracks. Pieces broke away and finally the internal metal strip is all that remains of the original handle.

The door handles usually had a short life but did serve the purpose during a time when better material was not available. Most were exchanged, with the chrome die cast style, after the war.

WWII Door Handle 1

Exterior handles; Side view with one ferrule still attached.

WWII Door Handles 2

GMC Exterior handles; Side view of metal stamping.

WWII Door Handles 3

Interior handles; The full set. Middle windshield handle not used by military.

WWII Door Handles 4

Interior handles; Close up of a pair for a door.

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