What a great example of the mid 1950’s when the United States’ population began (for the first time) to have a little extra disposable income. Our Featured Truck of the Month, a 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ ton pickup is an example of this developing change. The first owner obviously wanted a little more than just a pickup truck to park behind the barn while he used the family sedan to go shopping in town or parking in the church lot on Sunday. This was the time when pickups began to emerge as a little more than a vehicle that only saw water to wash off dirt naturally when it rained. In that era few pickups were given valuable space inside a farm building or a company warehouse.
The real General Motors experiment would be the next year with the introduction of the Chevrolet Cameo Carrier and the GMC Suburban Pickup. Their popularity would show if the 1950’s buying public was ready for a pickup with extras. In 1954, the buyer added most options and accessories to his base work truck. This was the beginning of the American Truck love affair that has continued more than 65 years!
This month’s Featured Truck is a 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe pickup (loaded with extras by 1954 standards), owned by Byron and Eleze Fuller of Symsomia, Kentucky. Finding a ½ ton pickup with so many options is very unusual and they realized it rarity. They found it in California 14 years ago and had to trailer it to Kentucky. It had received a basic restoration so this was a great pickup to work with and add even more extras.
The Fullers are real truck enthusiasts and are seen with their pickup in so many shows within a few hundred miles from their home. This pickup is considered Eleze’s and Byron drives a red 1955 Chevrolet first series pickup as his special ½ ton truck. Yes, it’s a family hobby!
They are members of the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) that is considered the largest truck club in the world. Byron and Eleze are seen each year at the conventions wherever they are being held in the U.S.
Here are some facts about this unusual pickup but first here are two definitions:
- OPTIONS: Factory installed (with an extra cost) items special ordered when the vehicle is being ordered.
- ACCESSORIES: Installed after delivery by the dealer or owner
This 1954 has many for a pickup of the mid-1950’s
- Five window deluxe cab
- Hydromantic Transmission
- Power Steering
- Transport Blue (No Extra Cost)
- Shell White Top (Chevy’s first two tone cab)
- Rear Bumper
- Right side Taillight
- Right side sun visor and arm rest
- Electric Wiper motor
- Cigarette lighter
Accessories have been gradually added over the years
- AM Radio and Antenna
- Factory clock
- Front Bumper guards
- Right side mirror arm
- Outside Sun Visor
- Running Board Safety Treads
- Deep 8’’ wide X 15’’ wheels for slightly wider radial tires.
- By-Pass Oil Filter
The Fuller’s 1954 stands out at all shows with the great restoration and extras. Byron mentioned a big concern on the factory 4-speed hydrometric transmission. It operates great but where would he find a rebuilder if something broke in this rare vintage unit?
The above is a Chevrolet drawing showing the power steering option on an early straight axle ½ ton.
With a 235 Six Cylinder engine
Note: The Pump is secured to the generator which has a one inch longer armature with gear for turning this add-on.
You can contact Byron and Eleze through email at firstname.lastname@example.org