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Featured Trucks of the Month

Featured Truck Listings 2000 through 2018

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Chevrolet-GMC Feature Trucks

If you have purchased parts from Jim Carter Truck Parts to restore your truck, we are ready to accept your photos and narrative about your restoration. Please click here to submit your photos along with your story about your truck restoration and or repair project. Sorry, we can only take on 12 per year for Featured Truck of the Month.

Month Year Make Owner

2018

August 2018

1949

GMC ½ Ton Long Bed

Steve and Patty Briand

July 2018

1948

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Funeral Hearse

Rob Webster

June 2018

1956

Chevrolet Cameo plus Topper

Bill Steeley

May 2018

1951

Chevrolet ¾ ton pickup

Dr. Fred Young

April 2018

1969

Chevrolet Short Fleetside

David Griffin

March 2018

1939

Chevrolet ½ Ton (Australia)

Colin Carvolth

February 2018

1942

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Bill Sanders

January 2018 – 18 years!

1966

GMC

Ed Snyder

2017

December 2017

1942

Chevrolet 3/4 Ton

Roger Dunford

November 2017

1957

Chevrolet Cameo

John Wazorick

October 2017

1939

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Robert Bratcher

September 2017

1965

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Vinny Tumminia

August 2017

1941

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Jim Shaw

July 2017

1953

GMC Long Bed 1/2 Ton

Bill Miles

June 2017

1939

Chevrolet COE 108″ WB

John and Lisa Milton

May 2017

1948

GMC COE Deluxe Crew Cab

Cholly Nachman

April 2017

1937

Chevrolet Panel Truck

Burt Fulmore

March 2017

1948

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Deluxe Pickup

Dave and Julie McBee

February 2017

1951

Chevrolet Suburban

Jeff and Brenda Kuhn

2016

December 2016 / January 2017

1967

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Step Bed

John Toon

November 2016

1936

Chevrolet 1 1/2 Ton

Mike Russell

October 2016

1959

Chevrolet Spartan 100

Scott Phaneuf

September 2016

1951

Chevrolet COE Tow Truck

Jim Carter

August 2016

1947

Early Chevy 1/2 Ton

Joe Haney

July 2016

1953

GMC Deluxe Panel Truck

Max and Margaret Davis

June 2016

1949

GMC 3/4 Ton

Dale Jacobs

May 2016

1959

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Sam Caudle

April 2016

1938

GMC Cab Over, Roll-Back

Glenn Garrison

March 2016

1951

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup

Gerald Cooper

February 2016

1953

Chevrolet Canopy Express

Greg Fanning

January 2016

1953

Chevrolet 1 Ton Pickup

Greg Fanning

2015

December 2015

1952

Chevrolet Tanker Truck

Charles Shook

November 2015

1952

Chevrolet 2 Ton Caravan

Richard Howe

October 2015

1953

GMC 3/4 Ton

Possum Holler Garage

September 2015

1946

GMC 1/2 Ton EC101

Larry Dessenberger

August 2015

1957

GMC Napco 1/2 Ton

David & Julie Bailey

July 2015

1936

Chevrolet Low Cab 1/2 Ton

Bryan and Beth Frogue

June 2015

1935

American Doodlebug

Mr. & Mrs. Steve Mosley & Family

April/May 2015

1934-36

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Panel Truck

Unknown

March 2015

1947

Chevrolet 1 1/2 Ton Pickup-Open Express

Jim Carter

February 2015

1946

Chevrolet Ice Cream Truck

Don Ranville

January 2015

1953

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Vernon Buskirk

2014

December 2014

1962

Chevrolet 1/2 Ton 4×4

Nelson Good

November 2014

1941

Chevrolet COE

Earl Burk

October 2014

1952

Chevrolet UTE

John Smith

September 2014

1950

GMC 1 Ton Pickup

John Lesmeister

August 2014

1954

Chevrolet 3/4 Ton

Terry Millsap

July 2014

1950

COE

Kent Zimmerman

June 2014

1946

Chevrolet Panel Truck

Jim Winters

May 2014

1935

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Richard Wright

April 2014

1942

Chevrolet 1½ Ton

Herman Pfauter

March 2014

1949

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Randy Priebe

February 2014

1948

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Tad Shadid

January 2014

1946

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Paul Owsley

2013

December 2013

1950’s

Cars of Cuba

Anonymous

November 2013

1958

Chevrolet Cameo

Anonymous

October 2013

1969

C-10 Pickup

Mitch Jarvis

September 2013

1936

GMC

Pat Kroeger

August 2013

1946

Chevrolet 2 ton with Thornton Drive

Howard Jones

July 2013

1947

GMC

Joe Miller

June 2013

1939

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Steve Jones, New Zealand

May 2013

1946

COE Pickup

Bill Knoernschild

April 2013

1961

GMC Suburban

Clyde McKaba

March 2013

1939

Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Pickup

John H. Sheally II

February 2013

1961

Deluxe Chevrolet

Paul Bremer

January 2013

1934

Chevrolet Canopy Express

Kevin Koch

2012

December 2012

1951

Chevrolet School Bus

Butch Voigt

November 2012

1958

Chevrolet Cameo

Scott Phaneuf

October 2012

1935

Chevrolet Suburban

Ed Brouillet

September 2012

1951

Chevrolet 3/4 Ton Pickup

Richard and Delores Diestler

August 2012

1940

GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck

Mike Reese

July 2012

1953

Chevrolet Canopy Express

John and Michele Dunkirk

June 2012

1937

Chevrolet Canopy Express

Roger and Ginny Schuyler

May 2012

1947-55

Chevrolet Panel/Pickup

Rod Lentz

April 2012

1957

Chevrolet Suburban

Norman Smith

March 2012

1953

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Unknown, Chile, South America

February 2012

1971

Chevrolet Blazer

Russell Penniston

January 2012

1948

Chevrolet “Heartbeat of America”

Luke Stefanovsky

2011

December 2011

1937

GMC T-16 Cab Over Engine

Gary Witmer

November 2011

1959

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Cecil White, South Africa

October 2011

1935

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Roger Sorenson

September 2011

1954

Chevrolet Deluxe ½ Ton

Pat Jackson

August 2011

1936

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Pat O’Brien

July 2011

1942

Chevrolet Canopy Express

Scott & Betty Golding

June 2011

1945

Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton

Dirk Spence

May 2011

1946

Chevrolet ½ Ton

John Thompson

April 2011

1953

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Dave & Pat Moore

February/March 2011

1936

Chevrolet ½ Ton Pickup

Don Shew

January 2011

1950

Chevrolet
Truckstell Overdrive

Jim Brallier

2010

December 2010

1956

Opel

Jan van Bohemen, Belgium

November 2010

1946

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Dennis Odell

October 2010

1955

Chevrolet Suburban NAPCO

George VanOrden

September 2010

1948

Chevrolet Suburban

Jerry Rivers

August 2010

1946

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Jim Adams

July 2010

1953

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Colin Murphy

June 2010

1938

GMC COE

Jim Raeder

May 2010

1949

Chevrolet Suburban

Roy Asbahr

April 2010

1949

Chevrolet Panel

Udi Cain, Israel

March 2010

1964

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Mike Light

February 2010

1948

Chevrolet Suburban

Unknown

January 2010

1967

Chevrolet 1 Ton Pickup

Dan Kosteiny

2009

December 2009

1946

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Tommie Jones

November 2009

1938

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Don Cotrona

October 2009

1952

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Jim Swing

September 2009

1967

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Dennis Wegemer

August 2009

1951

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Jim Streeby

July 2009

1947

Chevrolet Suburban Woody

Don Bryant

June 2009

1957

GMC Panel NAPCO

Ralph Wescott

May 2009

1946

GMC 1 ½ Ton

Charlie

April 2009

1948- 49

COE & Chevrolet ½ Ton

Ken Wedelaar

March 2009

1939

Chevrolet Model XHJC

Brian Robinson

February 2009

1951

GMC ½ Ton

Tom Pryor

January 2009

1948

Chevrolet 3100

Scott Scheibner

2008

December 2008

1937

GMC Trailabout

Ron Loos

November 2008

1972

Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Edward Eckel

October 2008

1948

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Roger Darrow

September 2008

1940

Chevrolet ½ Ton

John Buhr

August 2008

1949

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Steve Jones

July 2008

1953

GMC ½ Ton

Jerry Willis

June 2008

1957

Chevrolet Cameo

Ken McCarty

March/April/May 2008

1954

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Angus McDougald and Linda Challand

February 2008

1941

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Jeff Lewis

January 2008

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Marty Bozek

2007

December 2007

1970

GMC

Roger Darrow

November 2007

1971

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Martin Hall

October 2007

1961

Chevrolet Deluxe ½ Ton

Greg Scott

September 2007

1937

GMC ½ Ton

Richard Carroll

August 2007

1936

Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton

Leo Stokesberry

July 2007

1959

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Don Lowery

May/June 2007

1972

GMC

Mark Erickson

March/April 2007

1957

GMC Palomino

Ralph Wescott

February 2007

1947

GMC COE

Steve Neilsen

January 2007

1961

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Bob Rhea

2006

December 2006

1946

Chevrolet COE

Jim Fassler

November 2006

1935

Chevrolet Suburban

Ed Brouillet

October 2006

1964

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Gene Satterfield

September 2006

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Tim Etes

August 2006

1951

GMC ¾ Ton Ton

Thomas Albers

July 2006

1941

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Jim Arrabito

June 2006

1972

GMC

Johnny Patterson

May 2006

1954

Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Richard and Lorie Baranek

April 2006

1936

GMC ½ Ton

Pat Kroeger

March 2006

1955

Chevrolet Deluxe ½ Ton

Travis Goggans

January 2006

1949

Chevrolet Panel

Mark Esposito

2005

December 2005

1940

Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Clyde Johnson

November 2005

1934

Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton

Steve Sickler

Sept/Oct 2005

1969

Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Glenn Sexton

August 2005

1939

Chevrolet 1 Ton

Will Perterson

July 2005

1938

Chevrolet

Dan Sauter

June 2005

1928

Chevrolet Panel

Spike and Donalda

May 2005

1955

Chevrolet

John Carlton

March/April 2005

1954

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Dale Current

February 2005

1939

Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Sergies Lucas

January 2005

1950

Chevrolet

Tim Kane

2004

December 2004

1955

Chevrolet Cameo

James Whalen

November 2004

1954

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Chuck Sanchez

October 2004

1950

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Paul Frey

September 2004

1959

Chevrolet Apache ½ Ton

Don Wyatt

August 2004

1968

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Terry Green

July 2004

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Kim Cooke

June 2004

1950

GMC ¾ Ton

Roger Uttecht

May 2004

1953

GMC 2 Ton

Rob English

April 2004

1957

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Eric Davis

March 2004

1954

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Steve Daily

February 2004

1956

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Denny & Bonnie Wegemer

January 2004

1946

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Denny & Bonnie Wegemer

2003

December 2003

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Ismael Perez

November 2003

1956

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Greg Sanders

October 2003

1946

Chevrolet Suburban

John Hart

September 2003

1937

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Al Lopez

July/August 2003

1950

Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Dusty Destler

June 2003

1952

Chevrolet Panel

Dirk Van den Bergh

May 2003

1948

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Mike Klepp

April 2003

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Bud Jones

March 2003

1953

Chevrolet Panel

Jack Minton

February 2003

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Mike Harness

January 2003

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Mike Cargill

2002

December 2002

1955

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Keith Gunn

Oct/Nov 2002

1963

GMC ½ Ton

Gary Ameling

September 2002

1953

GMC ½ Ton

Clyde Treser

August 2002

1951

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Dave Hinegardner & Billie Heaton

July 2002

1935

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Jim Johnston

June 2002

1953

Chevrolet ¾ Ton

Dennis Oland

May 2002

1954

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Rudy Parmenter

April 2002

1950

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Mark DeMonaco

March 2002

1941

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Tom Bollinger

February 2002

1969

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Danny Curran

January 2002

1954

Chevrolet ½ Ton

J.A. Ceschin

2001

Nov/Dec 2001

1951

GMC ½ Ton

Paul McGarr

Sept/Oct 2001

1959

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Olan Moore

July/Aug 2001

1950

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Joe Clark

May/June 2001

1950

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Don Forbes

March/April 2001

1946

GMC ½ Ton

Eugene Von Gunten

Jan/Feb 2001

1946

Chevrolet ½ Ton

Bruce Pile

2000

Nov/Dec 2000

1953

Chevrole ½ Ton

Bob Tucker

Sept/Oct 2000

1951

GMC ½ Ton

Rob English

July/Aug 2000

1966

GMC ½ Ton

Ed Snyder

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1960’s Featured Truck Article Links

Thursday, November 9th, 2017
Month Year Make Owner
September 2017 1965 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Vinny Tumminia
December 2016 / January 2017 1967 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Step Bed John Toon
December 2014 1962 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton 4×4 Nelson Good
October 2013 1969 C-10 Pickup Mitch Jarvis
April 2013 1961 GMC Suburban Clyde McKaba
February 2013 1961 Deluxe Chevrolet Paul Bremer
March 2010 1964 Chevrolet ½ Ton Mike Light
January 2010 1967 Chevrolet 1 Ton Pickup Dan Kosteiny
September 2009 1967 Chevrolet ½ Ton Dennis Wegemer
October 2007 1961 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ Ton Greg Scott
January 2007 1961 Chevrolet ½ Ton Bob Rhea
October 2006 1964 Chevrolet ½ Ton Gene Satterfield
Sept/Oct 2005 1969 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Glenn Sexton
August 2004 1968 Chevrolet ½ Ton Terry Green
Oct/Nov 2002 1963 GMC ½ Ton Gary Ameling
February 2002 1969 Chevrolet ½ Ton Danny Curran
July/Aug 2000 1966 GMC ½ Ton Ed Snyder

 

1950’s Featured Truck Article Links

Monday, November 6th, 2017
Month Year Make Owner
November 2017 1957 Chevrolet Cameo John Wazorick
July 2017 1953 GMC Long Bed 1/2 Ton Bill Miles
February 2017 1951 Chevrolet Suburban Jeff and Brenda Kuhn
October 2016 1959 Chevrolet Spartan 100 Scott Phaneuf
September 2016 1951 Chevrolet COE Tow Truck Jim Carter
July 2016 1953 GMC Deluxe Panel Truck Max and Margaret Davis
May 2016 1959 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Sam Caudle
March 2016 1951 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Pickup Gerald Cooper
February 2016 1953 Chevrolet Canopy Express Greg Fanning
January 2016 1953 Chevrolet 1 Ton Pickup Greg Fanning
December 2015 1952 Chevrolet Tanker Truck Charles Shook
November 2015 1952 Chevrolet 2 Ton Caravan Richard Howe
October 2015 1953 GMC 3/4 Ton Possum Holler Garage
August 2015 1957 GMC Napco 1/2 Ton David & Julie Bailey
January 2015 1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Vernon Buskirk
October 2014 1952 Chevrolet UTE John Smith
September 2014 1950 GMC 1 Ton Pickup John Lesmeister
August 2014 1954 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton Terry Millsap
July 2014 1950 COE Kent Zimmerman
December 2013 1950’s Cars of Cuba Anonymous
November 2013 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Anonymous
December 2012 1951 Chevrolet School Bus Butch Voigt
November 2012 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Scott Phaneuf
September 2012 1951 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton Pickup Richard and Delores Diestler
July 2012 1953 Chevrolet Canopy Express John and Michele Dunkirk
May 2012 1947-
1955
Chevrolet Panel/Pickup Rod Lentz
April 2012 1957 Chevrolet Suburban Norman Smith
March 2012 1953 Chevrolet ½ Ton Unknown,
Chile, South America
November 2011 1959 Chevrolet ½ Ton Cecil White,
South Africa
September 2011 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ Ton Pat Jackson
April 2011 1953 Chevrolet ½ Ton Dave & Pat Moore
January 2011 1950 Chevrolet
Truckstell Overdrive
Jim Brallier
December 2010 1956 Opel Jan van Bohemen, Belgium
October 2010 1955 Chevrolet Suburban NAPCO George VanOrden
July 2010 1953 Chevrolet ½ Ton Colin Murphy
October 2009 1952 Chevrolet ½ Ton Jim Swing
August 2009 1951 Chevrolet ½ Ton Jim Streeby
June 2009 1957 GMC Panel NAPCO Ralph Wescott
February 2009 1951 GMC ½ Ton Tom Pryor
July 2008 1953 GMC ½ Ton Jerry Willis
June 2008 1957 Chevrolet Cameo Ken McCarty
March/April/May 2008 1954 Chevrolet ½ Ton Angus McDougald and Linda Challand
July 2007 1959 Chevrolet ½ Ton Don Lowery
May/June 2007 1972 GMC Mark Erickson
March/April 2007 1957 GMC Palomino Ralph Wescott
September 2006 1955 Chevrolet ½ Ton Tim Etes
August 2006 1951 GMC ¾ Ton Ton Thomas Albers
May 2006 1954 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Richard and Lorie Baranek
March 2006 1955 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ Ton Travis Goggans
May 2005 1955 Chevrolet John Carlton
March/April 2005 1954 Chevrolet ½ Ton Dale Current
January 2005 1950 Chevrolet Tim Kane
December 2004 1955 Chevrolet Cameo James Whalen
November 2004 1954 Chevrolet ½ Ton Chuck Sanchez
October 2004 1950 Chevrolet ½ Ton Paul Frey
September 2004 1959 Chevrolet Apache ½ Ton Don Wyatt
July 2004 1955 Chevrolet ½ Ton Kim Cooke
June 2004 1950 GMC ¾ Ton Roger Uttecht
May 2004 1953 GMC 2 Ton Rob English
April 2004 1957 Chevrolet ½ Ton Eric Davis
March 2004 1954 Chevrolet ½ Ton Steve Daily
February 2004 1956 Chevrolet ½ Ton Denny & Bonnie Wegemer
December 2003 1955 Chevrolet ½ Ton Ismael Perez
November 2003 1956 Chevrolet ½ Ton Greg Sanders
July/August 2003 1950 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Dusty Destler
June 2003 1952 Chevrolet Panel Dirk Van den Bergh
April 2003 1955 Chevrolet ½ Ton Bud Jones
March 2003 1953 Chevrolet Panel Jack Minton
February 2003 1955 Chevrolet ½ Ton Mike Harness
January 2003 1955 Chevrolet ½ Ton Mike Cargill
December 2002 1955 Chevrolet ½ Ton Keith Gunn
September 2002 1953 GMC ½ Ton Clyde Treser
August 2002 1951 Chevrolet ½ Ton Dave Hinegardner & Billie Heaton
June 2002 1953 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Dennis Oland
May 2002 1954 Chevrolet ½ Ton Rudy Parmenter
April 2002 1950 Chevrolet ½ Ton Mark DeMonaco
January 2002 1954 Chevrolet ½ Ton J.A. Ceschin
Nov/Dec 2001 1951 GMC ½ Ton Paul McGarr
Sept/Oct 2001 1959 Chevrolet ½ Ton Olan Moore
July/Aug 2001 1950 Chevrolet ½ Ton Joe Clark
May/June 2001 1950 Chevrolet ½ Ton Don Forbes
Nov/Dec 2000 1953 Chevrole ½ Ton Bob Tucker
Sept/Oct 2000 1951 GMC ½ Ton Rob English

 

1940’s Featured Truck Article Links

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Month Year Make Owner
February 2018 1942 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Bill Sanders
December 2017 1942 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton Roger Dunford
August 2017 1941 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Jim Shaw
May 2017 1948 GMC COE Deluxe Crew Cab Cholly Nachman
March 2017 1948 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Deluxe Pickup Dave and Julie McBee
August 2016 1947 Early Chevy 1/2 Ton Joe Haney
June 2016 1949 GMC 3/4 Ton Dale Jacobs
September 2015 1946 GMC 1/2 Ton EC101 Larry Dessenberger
March 2015 1947 Chevrolet 1 1/2 Ton Pickup-Open Express Jim Carter
February 2015 1946 Chevrolet Ice Cream Truck Don Ranville
November 2014 1941 Chevrolet COE Earl Burk
April 2014 1942 Chevrolet 1½ Ton Herman Pfauter
March 2014 1949 Chevrolet ½ Ton Randy Priebe
February 2014 1948 Chevrolet ½ Ton Tad Shadid
January 2014 1946 Chevrolet ½ Ton Paul Owsley
August 2013 1946 Chevrolet 2 ton with Thornton Drive Howard Jones
July 2013 1947 GMC Joe Miller
May 2013 1946 COE Pickup Bill Knoernschild
August 2012 1940 GMC 1 1/2 Ton Truck Mike Reese
May 2012 1947-
1955
Chevrolet Panel/Pickup Rod Lentz
January 2012 1948 Chevrolet “Heartbeat of America” Luke Stefanovsky
July 2011 1942 Chevrolet Canopy Express Scott & Betty Golding
June 2011 1945 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Dirk Spence
May 2011 1946 Chevrolet ½ Ton John Thompson
November 2010 1946 Chevrolet ½ Ton Dennis Odell
September 2010 1948 Chevrolet Suburban Jerry Rivers
August 2010 1946 Chevrolet ½ Ton Jim Adams
May 2010 1949 Chevrolet Suburban Roy Asbahr
April 2010 1949 Chevrolet Panel Udi Cain, Israel
February 2010 1948 Chevrolet Suburban Unknown
December 2009 1946 Chevrolet ½ Ton Tommie Jones
July 2009 1947 Chevrolet Suburban Woody Don Bryant
May 2009 1946 GMC 1 ½ Ton Charlie
April 2009 1948- 1949 COE & Chevrolet ½ Ton Ken Wedelaar
January 2009 1948 Chevrolet 3100 Scott Scheibner
October 2008 1948 Chevrolet ½ Ton Roger Darrow
September 2008 1940 Chevrolet ½ Ton John Buhr
August 2008 1949 Chevrolet ½ Ton Steve Jones
February 2008 1941 Chevrolet ½ Ton Jeff Lewis
February 2007 1947 GMC COE Steve Neilsen
December 2006 1946 Chevrolet COE Jim Fassler
July 2006 1941 Chevrolet ½ Ton Jim Arrabito
January 2006 1949 Chevrolet Panel Mark Esposito
December 2005 1940 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Clyde Johnson
January 2004 1946 Chevrolet ½ Ton Denny & Bonnie Wegemer
October 2003 1946 Chevrolet Suburban John Hart
May 2003 1948 Chevrolet ½ Ton Mike Klepp
March 2002 1941 Chevrolet ½ Ton Tom Bollinger
March/April 2001 1946 GMC ½ Ton Eugene Von Gunten
Jan/Feb 2001 1946 Chevrolet ½ Ton Bruce Pile

 

1930’s Featured Truck Article Links

Sunday, November 5th, 2017
Month Year Make Owner
March 2018 1939 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton [Australia] Colin Carvolth
October 2017 1939 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Robert Bratcher
June 2017 1939 Chevrolet COE 108″ WB John and Lisa Milton
April 2017 1937 Chevrolet Panel Truck Burt Fulmore
November 2016 1936 Chevrolet 1 1/2 Ton Mike Russell
April 2016 1938 GMC Cab Over, Roll-Back Glenn Garrison
July 2015 1936 Chevrolet Low Cab 1/2 Ton Bryan and Beth Frogue
June 2015 1935 American Doodlebug Mr. & Mrs. Steve Mosley & Family
April/May 2015 1934-36 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton Panel Truck Unknown
May 2014 1935 Chevrolet ½ Ton Richard Wright
September 2013 1936 GMC Pat Kroeger
June 2013 1939 Chevrolet ½ Ton Steve Jones, New Zealand
March 2013 1939 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Pickup John H. Sheally II
January 2013 1934 Chevrolet Canopy Express Kevin Koch
October 2012 1935 Chevrolet Suburban Ed Brouillet
June 2012 1937 Chevrolet Canopy Express Roger and Ginny Schuyler
December 2011 1937 GMC T-16 Cab Over Engine Gary Witmer
October 2011 1935 Chevrolet ½ Ton Roger Sorenson
August 2011 1936 Chevrolet ½ Ton Pat O’Brien
February/March 2011 1936 Chevrolet ½ Ton Pickup Don Shew
June 2010 1938 GMC COE Jim Raeder
November 2009 1938 Chevrolet ½ Ton Don Cotrona
March 2009 1939 Chevrolet Model XHJC Brian Robinson
December 2008 1937 GMC Trailabout Ron Loos
September 2007 1937 GMC ½ Ton Richard Carroll
August 2007 1936 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Leo Stokesberry
November 2006 1935 Chevrolet Suburban Ed Brouillet
April 2006 1936 GMC ½ Ton Pat Kroeger
November 2005 1934 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Steve Sickler
Sept/Oct 2005 1969 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Glenn Sexton
August 2005 1939 Chevrolet 1 Ton Will Perterson
July 2005 1938 Chevrolet Dan Sauter
February 2005 1939 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Sergies Lucas
September 2003 1937 Chevrolet ½ Ton Al Lopez
July 2002 1935 Chevrolet ½ Ton Jim Johnston

 

1970’s Featured Truck Article Links

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Month Year Make Owner
February 2012 1971 Chevrolet Blazer Russell Penniston
November 2008 1972 Chevrolet ¾ Ton Edward Eckel
December 2007 1970 GMC Roger Darrow
November 2007 1971 Chevrolet ½ Ton Martin Hall
May/June 2007 1972 GMC Mark Erickson
June 2006 1972 GMC Johnny Patterson

 

1920’s Featured Truck Article Links

Sunday, November 5th, 2017
June 2005 1928 Chevrolet Panel Spike and Donalda

 

1964 – 66 Chevrolet Deluxe Cab Seat

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Examples of the correct seat in the 1964-66 Chevrolet deluxe cab are shown below.  The original brown insert material is almost impossible to locate however our two examples are so close!  The most original seat is # 1.  It wins the show.  However both are excellent examples of how they looked about 50 years ago.

                Notice in the photos of this optional deluxe seat (part of the deluxe cab package) could be obtained on either the big or small rear window cab.  Under the upholstery covering the frame of the standard and deluxe seats are not the same.  This top of the line deluxe seat described in the Chevrolet Sales Brochure as a full-depth foam cushion and upholstered with vinyl in red or beige depending on the choice of exterior color

#1
Test

#2

 

Mirror Polish Trim

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The set of 12 mirror polished stainless trims used on the 1947-54 deluxe Chevrolet panel truck. Includes the needed attaching clips. Show quality Part Number TRT400 – set $1,550.00.

1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar

 

The long mirror polished stainless trim that secures to the upper front fender of the 1947-54 Chevrolet deluxe panel truck. Securing clips are built into strip. Show quality Part Number TRT402 – Pair $195.00.

1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar

 

NOW IN STOCK!
Rear door light switch. For rear left double door and door post on 1937-54 panel truck. Factory indentions are in the body and door. Many new parts make this switch fit just right.
Part Number EL409 – Pair $69.50.

1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar 1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar

 

1964-66 Optional Air Filter

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

What an unusual and almost forgotten Chevrolet Truck option. Most 1964-66 truck enthusiasts have no idea this option was ever available.

Paul Bremer of Seward, Nebraska recently discovered a 1964 Chevy ¾ ton in a back row of a salvage yard with the remnants of an option air filter. This was Paul’s first encounter with this option after over 30 years researching older salvage yards in the mid-west. He took the attached photos and then began looking through 45 year old Chevrolet option books. Two drawings were found in a Chevrolet truck assembly instructions manual. They show this extra air filter was a correct option on 1/2 through 2 ton trucks. The actual primary filter in the salvage yard had been lost but the piping remained.

An interesting discovery: This optional air filter attaches to and pulls air from the driver’s side inner top cowl. However, the photo from a different truck shows no opening for this special air filter. Possible the factory made the cut in the cowl when it was special ordered. This inlet must have reduced dust into the air intake system. The original air filter on top of the carburetor pulls in dust direct from the radiator fan air that adds more dusty air direct from the outside.

Therefore, did the dealer cut out the hole in the customer’s truck to install the heavy duty air filter or was it factory installed only?

With ideas contact Jim at: jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com


With Optional Air Filter (in salvage yard)

Without Optional Air Filter

With Optional Air Filter (in salvage yard)

Interior Paint, GMC 1936-40

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Early GMC’s carried the same texture of interior paint as the Chevrolet trucks. However, to keep the two companies looking different, GMC used a dark gray wrinkle instead of the dark brown used on Chevrolet Trucks. GMC used the wrinkle style paint through 1940 but Chevrolet stopped this type of texture paint at the end of 1938.

This unusual texture finish was on all removable parts on the interior, including dash, door panels, header panel, windshield, headliner rear panel, post covers, etc. These pre-painted panels could be attached on the assembly line to the cab that had been painted a smooth exterior enamel of various GMC colors.

The interior photos are from an untouched original 1939 GMC belonging to Rob English of Franklin Mass.

1939-40 GMC Grill Bars

Friday, September 13th, 2013

An interesting fact! Their eleven horizontal grill bars are all the same.  Just a subtle way General Motors saved tooling cost on their smaller trucks.  Now you know a total grill can be created from miscellaneous damaged assembles.

The Demise of 1935 High Cab Pickups

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The Great Depression has reached a level not ever expected. About 25% of the country’s work force is without income. The Chevrolet Motor Company introduces a less expensive automobile (The Standard) to try to stop vehicle sales from their gradual downward spiral.

The 1935 1/2 ton pickup is kept as basic as possible to still be rated as a 1/2 ton and continues to have an actual bed with sides and a tailgate. In some countries, to lower costs, only a flat wood deck was provided on the new pickups. In the US, competition prevented the pickup from being this basic. Manufacturers were concerned not to go quite that far for fear of losing sales. The cab continued to be sheet metal nailed to a wood frame to create the body’s framework. At that time it was the less expensive method of cab construction.

The 1935 cabs were so basic they offered no place for a glove box, heater, or radio.  Even the grills were black and not chrome.  If you bought a pickup in 1935 it was because you had a hauling need as they were not a weekend pleasure vehicle. From the very beginning, during the Great Depression, and even later they were for work responsibilities.

Their hauling ability was the factor. The Chevrolet dealers understood during the depression years not to stock miscellaneous non-essential replacement parts for pickups. Owners would not purchase them. If a pickup rear fender was bent against a tire by a farmer backing into a low stump, it was hammered away from the tire. It may result in just a welded crack. If a hubcap was lost, it was not replaced. These problems did not affect it hauling ability and money during the depression was in short supply! It was the repair of mechanical items that was the priority. So these everyday 1935 workers continued their daily tasks on farms and for small businesses in towns and cities even with body damage, broken glass, noisy exhaust, leaking radiators, etc.

Then the worst thing happened! The United States entered World War II in 1941 and almost all small truck production stopped. Yes, these little basic 1935 1/2 ton’s continued to do their daily work. No replacement pickups were there to allow them to be just a replacement standby. If major body damage occurred, they were sent to a salvage yard and soon became recycled for the metal needed for the war effort. Of course, their rubber tires were always kept from salvage and could be quickly sold to waiting buyers. New tires were not available.

During years after WWII, the returning veterans demanded new and more modern houses, appliances, cars, and trucks. It became the largest boom time in our nation’s history. Many older material things reminded the middle age generation of the prior hard times in the country. The new was in! More disposable income in the US was available than ever before. Factories found it difficult to keep up with the demand for new cars and pickups. What did this do to the little 1935 1/2 ton? It was the end for most of the remaining survivors! If they could drive it, it could at least be the down payment on a new pickup and the dealer would probably scrap them.

Another item that created the death of even a better 1935 was the wood frame that held their cab together. Most of these work trucks had no garage or barn for protection from the weather. To replace the rotting wood in a 15 year old cab was not a consideration.

It gets worse! As the price of scrap increased, those searching for metal looked for anything available. When you need money and have no appreciation of a very tired 1935 1/2 ton, it becomes a prime candidate for the crusher.

It gets even worse! If somehow an actual real 1935 is found by an excited restorer years later, his high hopes for its rebuilding fades away. He discovers the price of a cab wood kit can be near $3,000.00 and replacement metal body parts usually must be handmade.

The following photos show a few of the remaining survivors. The owners of their ground up restoration will assure you the expense and time to make them correct far exceeds even a pickup two years newer with its all metal body.

Owner: Roger Sorenson La Crosse, Wisconsin
Owner: Richard Wright Westtown, New York

Owner: Jim Johnston Springfield, Oregon

1941-46 Bedside Improvements

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

A subtle improvement to Chevy and GMC pickup bedsides occurred in 1941.  Prior to this, truck owners that overloaded their pickup bed would sometime cause them to bend outward.  Heavy freight such as sand, gravel or a load of lumber placed substantial side pressure on the rear of the bedsides.  The sides were sometimes bent in outward and they could not easily be returned to their vertical position.

To help lessen this problem GM engineers in 1941-46 added a large rear wooden bed block.  It sat on the frame rail near the tailgate and as in prior years helped support the bed.  However, two holes were added horizontally.  Two bolts went through the bedside and pulled it tight against the large wood block.  The result was not a perfect fix but was a help to eliminate bent bedsides.


Rear block with 2 holes

Matching 2 holes in bedside

1954 Chevrolet Hydramatic Transmission

Monday, April 22nd, 2013


The first year of the Chevrolet pickup with a Hydramatic transmission was 1954.  Though it did not find a large percentage of buyers, this truck did open the door for an increasing number of this transmission in the coming years.

When sitting in the 1954 Chevrolet truck cab with this new option, some changes are immediately noted. To operate the starter motor on the original six cylinder, a button is pushed with the driver’s thumb just above the headlight switch.  The ignition switch still has 2 positions as earlier years.


The truck with a Hydramatic has an automatic choke on the carburetor, there is no need for manual pull choke.  Thus, GM installed a small blank out plug in the hole where the choke lever is usually found (at the left of the radio position).  At the right is another plugged hole which is usually for a throttle lever.

Of course, the main focal point is the Hydramatic shift selector attached on the column below the steering wheel.


For the new owner not acquainted with a Hydramatic, a paper sheet is slid over the sunvisor pad.  It lists the instructions for successfully operating those types of transmissions.


An interesting feature on the Hydramatic:  Turn off the engine while stopped in reverse and the transmission is in park!

1955-1958 Cameo and Suburban Overview

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The world famous Chevrolet Cameo and GMC Suburban are known by most early truck enthusiasts. They were created due to US citizens having more disposable income after World War II. Demand for houses, appliances, and vehicles were at times more than some factories could produce in a timely manner. In regards to vehicles, General Motors realized that options (offered by the factory) and accessories (offered by the dealer) were selling well on both cars and pickups. After a slight slowdown during the Korean War years, auto and truck extras were again available and good sellers. GM sales just kept getting better!

To help draw attention to their new soon to be introduced 1955 commercial line, the Task Force trucks, GM would announce a special deluxe ½ ton pickup. It would not be like their well known stepside pickup. The retail price would be almost 25% above the regular ½ ton. Often referred to as a “Boulevard Pickup”, it was too deluxe and expensive for most to be used in its beginning years for just hauling merchandise. It would be seen beside homes in newer suburban neighborhoods that had developed so fast after World War II. Those using a ½ ton for city work or farming were not GM’s targeted buyer on this model.

To sell this truck the best, the sales marketing experts of the Chevrolet Division of General Motors made a smart decision to not introduce them or any new Task Force trucks until Mid-1955. The marketing at the first of the year was totally devoted to advertising their new completely redesigned Chevrolet automobile. Only when these cars had been marketed for about six months did the ads begin again introducing the new trucks that would be in dealerships in mid-year. Thus, the Chevrolet dealers made two large hits in one year to attract new buyers. No doubt, the dealers couldn’t have been happier!

Actually the Chevrolet Cameo and GMC Suburban were a gamble. GM hoped to attract the customer that wanted a truck more for looks than for hauling. These helped draw customers into the showroom and made a statement about the buyer. They cost more but hauled the same cargo. If you looked close these trucks were mechanically the same as the base pickup. The full trim package that could be added to the standard pickup was included. Therefore GM already had most of this trim in stock. It was the redesigned fiberglass bedsides and tailgate that really stopped traffic among the truck enthusiasts. From a distance these special ½ tons looked somewhat like a Fleetside bed that would follow a few years later. The traditional rear stepside fenders were eliminated! Yes, whitewall tires even came on most when new. The extra cost was not only in the cab trim, a more deluxe interior, chrome grille and front bumpers but on the large fiberglass outer bed sides, their attaching parts, a special rear chrome bumper and a different way to store the under bed spare tire and wheel.

A strong advertising campaign in early 1955 often featured the new Cameo’s and Suburban’s as leading the pack of GM’s redesigned trucks. The mid-year introduction of these new task force trucks took off strong. It had been 7 years since GM had changed their truck body style.


1955 Cameo Factory Photo

1955 Cameo Factory Photo

Only 5,220 Cameo’s were sold in this half sales year. They were offered only in the combination of Cardinal Red and Bombay Ivory with specialized red and white interior. The GMC Suburban’s were said to have sold about 15% of this number. Not necessarily great by GM standards but a good solid start and it pulled truck buyers into the showroom.

The problem was the sales drop in 1956 even with offering most all truck colors. Only 1,450 Cameo’s found new buyers during a full 12 month year. It appears those wanting this unusual more expensive pickup had bought the year before.


1956 Suburban

1956 Cameo

1956 Suburban

It was obvious GM needed to do something to boost sales for the 1957 year. The Chevrolet Divisions Cameo not GMC, added very attractive bed side trim with a contrasting color between a pair of horizontal stainless strips. It certainly gave it a more updated appearance. Unfortunately, it did little to increase sales. The Cameo sales in 1957 only reached 2244 units!


1957 Cameo

1957 Suburban

1957 Cameo

General Motors, or any company concerned with their bottom line, do not like products that are losing or have no serious future. Thus a decision was made to stop production of these special vehicles in 1957. The new Fleetside pickup with 50% more hauling capacity was scheduled for 1958. Why not offer a very deluxe pickup with most all options on this new Fleetside and replace the Cameo and Suburban? This would cost GM much less but yet the finished product should attract attention like the earlier Cameo and Suburban. They could add horizontal trim to their standard Fleetside bed and not increase the cost like the Cameo bedsides with related spare tire components.

For General Motors this would be a winning decision, however what to do with the near 1,500 Cameo and Suburban beds at the end of 1957? Because of their large fiberglass sides, these complete beds, stored by most assembly plants in different states, had been made and assembled at the Corvette factory in St. Louis, Missouri. Dumping 1500 beds at the end of 1957 into a landfill would be a big financial loss even for General Motors!


1958 Cameo

1958 Suburban

1958 Cameo

To prevent such a loss, it was decided to continue selling the Cameos and Suburban’s until the supply of GM’s completed beds was eliminated. To protect the dealers from overstock of Cameo’s and Suburban’s the introduction of the most deluxe Fleetside pickup that was to have the attractive side trim would be postponed until 1959. The hope was this would keep most dealers from still having 1958 Cameos and Suburban’s in stock when the full trim Fleetside came out in 1959. Of course, this postponing of the full trim Fleetside until 1959 insured the dealer he could buy a remaining Cameo or Suburban and still sell them in 1958 to customers wanting a total deluxe pickup. If a buyer knew about the coming Fleetside pickup, he would probably pass over the 1958 Cameo and wait to purchase the totally new deluxe full trim Fleetside in 1959! Dealers would take a big loss on their remaining 1958 Cameo’s and Suburban’s in stock. It would also be bad public relations for those that had paid the larger price one or two years ago and now see the new 1958 models being dumped at a low price. They would see what they had thought was a Boulevard pickup being bought and worked. It would now become a low price ½ ton.

Note: The GMC “Suburban” was given that name to appeal to those extra income people that were moving to the fast growing suburban areas at the edge of the cities.

This 1959 Deluxe replaced the Cameo

1947 GMC Suburban

Thursday, March 21st, 2013




What a rare Suburban! We recently found these photos among some stored papers from 1999. An early 1947 GMC Suburban is rarely seen, so it just had to be placed on our website. This was the last year of the Prewar GMC’s and was carried into the beginning of 1947.

It was owned and restored by Mark DeVries of Bakersfield, California (he may still own it). During its ground up restoration Mark added new leaf springs, wheel cylinders, spindles, a high speed 3.55 ratio ring and pinion, clutch assembly, grille, headlights, fenders and running boards.

Mark even went a step further and black powder coated the frame and axles. The body color is the correct Narva green.

The pair of small accessory taillights were first offered in late 1947, but no doubt the GMC dealer would have added them on this older Suburban. When turn signals became popular, owners often requested these to be placed on their older Suburban’s and Panel trucks.

1953 Chevrolet Radiator Cover

Monday, March 4th, 2013



One of the rarest Chevrolet dealer installed truck accessories of the 1950’s.  Charles Callis of Union City, Tennessee recently found this original radiator cover that he installs for shows on his 1953 1/2 ton.

Note the Chevrolet logo on the lower right side to prove it’s the real thing!

It is pictured in the 1949 Chevrolet Salesman’s Data Book on the Truck Accessory page.  Chevrolet describes it as:

“For all models of trucks.  Adjustable; constructed of Fabrikold.  Aids engine warm-up.
Protects engine from cold blasts.  Improves efficiency in stop-and-go operations.”

The thin oil cloth type material did not last long either on the truck or during off season in storage.  No doubt the dealer discarded his unsold stock in a few years.

You can contact Charles by email at:  charlespcallis@juno.com

Change-over to Sealed Beam Headlights in 1940

Friday, March 1st, 2013


In 1939 US auto and truck manufacturers realized the following year would be the introduction of the revolutionary new we call them “almost” sealed beam headlight bulbs.  These first “almost” seal beams were very unique by the newer standards 15 years later that most of us are acquainted with.  This early sealed beam assembly was much like the later design except it had a much smaller 2 filament light bulb inside.  Yes, the inside reflective plating was sealed inside with a glass fluted large lens that was now part of the total assembly.  This reflective coating was sealed from outside air and oxidizing did not occur.  There was no loss of shine with age.  It was one of the best improvements in safety since the introduction of bulb headlights.

A very interesting characteristic of these first “almost” seal beams:  A small hole from a flying rock did not burn out the unit.  The argon gas that protected the glowing filaments from quick burn-out was still inside the small internal bulb.

Red seal beam bulbs introduced in the mid 1950’s were different.  They were one large argon filled assembly.  When cracked by a flying rock, they instantly burned out.  Imagine the number of new designed sealed beam bulbs that were lost by vehicles driving at high speeds on gravel roads behind other vehicles!  There must have been a run on the old style obsolete units in rural areas.

The 12 volt sealed beams were not made with the early design “small in the reflector” design.

For most car and truck manufacturers it was too late to do a major redesign of the headlight assemblies for the 1940 year.  Chevrolet and GMC trucks reshaped the metal edge on the 1939 bucket so the new seal beam bulbs fit perfectly.  For those not having a detailed eye for auto and truck changes, it would probably never be noticed.

For those buying a new 1940 vehicle after driving with the old style reflector bulb design, it would be the most significant change in years.  The gradual diming of their lights over the years as the silver reflector tarnished was now history.  Yes, the owner could have removed the glass lens from his older vehicle, polished the silver plate, and reassemble; however it would be like today; most drivers would not take the effort.

Below are photos of the earlier 1937-39 headlight and the new 1940 redesigned for the new seal beam.  The visible part of the buckets is identical including the chrome rings.  It’s only the hidden edge for the “almost” sealed beam bucket that is different.

 


1940 Sealbeam bucket

1937-39 and older headlight-reflector bucket

1940 “Almost” Seal beam Headlight

1937-1939 and older Headlight

“Almost” Seal Beam front

“Almost Seal Beam side

“Almost Seal Beam metal back

1934-35 Australian Chevrolet

Friday, February 15th, 2013



These photos might be of interest to US owners of 1934-35 Chevrolet trucks. The Australian design is very similar however there are just enough differences to catch the attention of the close observer.

Examples: The hood sides and doors are quite different. Check the curved door bottoms. Of course, this also makes the cab different.

Probably the most unique feature is the lack of roll-up door windows.  Maybe to help lower the retail price, Chevrolet used “side curtains”!  When the rain came, the curtains with see through inserts were snapped in place on the door exterior to keep the driver and interior just a little dryer!

The wheels, grille emblem and radiator shell are like the US. We suspect the drive train and frame rails are also the same.

Of course, the US ½ and 1 ½ ton use the same cab. No doubt Australia follows the same guidelines.

Photos provided by: Bob Johnson, Melbourne, Australia

1934-35 Australian Chevrolet 1 ½ ton 1934-35 Australian Chevrolet 1 ½ ton

1936-38 GMC Grille Centers

Monday, February 4th, 2013



What a rare occurrence! At the 2011 America Truck Historical Society Convention in South Bend, Indiana, we found both a 1936 and a 1937 restored GMC truck with the correct grill — each at different booths. You can go to every truck show for many years and never see even one. Therefore, we just had to get a few photos and make some comments. After all, this may never happen again.

Though at quick glance, the GMC grilles of these two years may seem the same, however, look close. The die cast assembly at the top of the 1936 and 1937 grille center gives the impression that the vertical grille bars extend through the emblem. They don’t! It’s an illusion; the tops are die cast and give the appearance that the verticals extend to the top.  A hood ornament above repeats the GMC letters.

The 1936 grille center assembly consists of seven vertical 3” wide hollow chrome bars all the same size. The length is 25 1/4″. The notches in the receiving die cast housing (hold these verticals in place) at the top and bottom are the same for each bar.

By 1937-38 the center vertical bar became wider. It increased from .3” in 1936 to .625”. It tapered back to align with the positioning of the other six side bars. The overall length was shortened to 24”.

These notches in the die cast top and bottom receiving housings are therefore different due to the width change in the center bar. The 1936 and 1937 may look the same on the outside but are not where they attach to the vertical bars. See photo. Chrome was not used to add to the appearance.  These bars were painted silver.

By 1938, the upper grille bar housing was modified.  It doesn’t have the upper die cast vertical bars. They even eliminated the GMC letters on the hood ornament above the grille.

Note:  All these upper GMC emblems are also extremely rare. If off the truck, they usually find a hobbyist’s collection. If they don’t have the GMC letters, such as on 1938 hood emblem, most people don’t know what they came from.  Once separated from the truck in a salvage yard they go to the iron pile.


1936 GMC Grille

1936 GMC Grille Center Bars

1937 Grille Center Bars

1938 Upper Grille Bar Housing

1936 GMC Grille Center

1937 GMC Grille Center

1937 upper grill bar extension front view

1937-38 Upper on bottom side

Wood Bed Strips

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

What an unusual idea!  If you have clear coated your bedwood, replace the metal bed strips with dark stained wood.

 

Of course, this is for a pickup not used for hauling, however as the owner said “If you clear coated your bedwood instead of painting it as original, you were not planning to work with it anyway”.

1957-62 GM Tool Bag

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

One of our good customers, Scott Phaneuf of Hatfield, MA recently purchased a NOS (New Old Stock) GM tool bag with all the correct tools. It was found in a San Diego dealership back storeroom. Somehow it had not been thrown away over these many years.

In earlier years canvas tool bags were with the vehicle when new at no extra charge. Later they became an extra cost option and this design is our feature item. As the quality of clear vinyl improved, they could now use this material as part of the tool bags.

Photos show the pouch, the enclosed tools, and the original cardboard box that kept the total package. The part number 987322 was for customers that had bought most all General Motors cars and trucks between 1957 through 1962.

Suburban Rear Quarter Panel Holes

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The full rear quarter panels for the 1947-55 Chevy/GMC Suburban were made all the same at the metal stamping manufacturer.  To save money these panels were not made different if the Suburban was to have the double doors or the tailgate style opening in the rear.

Thus, when the Suburban was provided with a lift and tailgate combination the 4 holes for the “double barn door” hinges in the quarter panels were filled with rectangular rubber plugs.  This was not just for appearance but prevent rain water from reaching the body interior.

These photos show the plugs painted in body color; however it is questioned if this is correct.  By 1950, Suburban buyers had the choice of the 12 pickup colors.  It would have been more economical for all to have black rubber plugs instead of 12 boxes with the optional color prepainted plugs on the assembly line.

The other thought:  These plugs were painted when the full body was given its final color.  This would mean GM planned on the enamel body paint being of the quality that would successfully adhere to rubber over the years.  We don’t usually see this combination in other GM vehicles.  Special paint for rubber only is used!

Comments on how it really occurred:  Email us at jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com

$100.00 Paint Job — Really Nice!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

On an early Monday morning a customer, Mike Riley of Kansas City stopped by our shop to obtain some older Chevy truck parts needed during the past weekend. As I followed him to his mid-1980’s Chevrolet pickup he brought my attention to his new white paint job. He read about a home garage procedure on the internet and decided to try it.

He certainly was proud of how nice the paint looked. The project began with the usual fine sanding, taping trim, and covering windows. Next came the surprise that has generated this article. Mike bought 2 ½ quarts of industrial grade Rustoleum paint from a local hardware store. He also purchase 2 ½ quarts of Acetone to be used as the thinner.

Spraying the 1 to 1 mixture with his small home compressor was adequate. If the small compressor needed to occasionally build up pressure, no problem. It takes 20 minutes for the paint to dry to the touch, so it easily blends together. One coat does it all!

I was amazed at how nice it looked in our driveway that morning. Mike said the rules were to not polish the drying paint for 60 days. He had just polished the two month old paint on the nose of the hood that morning and I must admit it had a great smooth shine.

This procedure is probably not for the show truck but for the fun daily driver it may be just the way to go for the “do- it yourself” restorer. Mike says the industrial Rustoleum colors are limited so you must pick a more common choice when deciding.

Another important tip while using this painting method; Mike didn’t want to get paint overspray throughout his garage so he did the procedure outside in his driveway. A garden hose used by a friend kept the concrete wet during the spraying. This helped eliminate dust in the painted surface but equally important stopped overspray from settling on his driveway.

Before 1954

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Before 1954 on 1/2 tons, the frame rails were given a large arch as they passed over the rear axle housing. With a broken leaf spring or overloading the bed with too much weight, the frame rails will lower many inches before contacting an axle bumper. It was a system that worked for over 20 years on 1/2 tons when the frame rails were forced down toward the rear axle. A hard rubber axle bumper was placed under the hump in the frame to prevent metal to metal contact when this occurred.

For 1954 a totally redesigned pickup bed resulted in a three inch increased depth of the bed for more load volume. Some of this increase required a lower arch in the frame rail over the axle. There would be less space here so the rubber axle bumper was changed in length and was moved to the side of the frame. See photo!

Therefore, this prevents a correct interchange between the 1949-53 1/2 ton frame and the 1954 and newer frame. If this is done the beds will not have the correct relationship to the height of the cab.


1947 to 1953

1947 to 1953

1954 to 1955

1954 to 1955

Firewall Identification

Monday, August 20th, 2012

When finding a 1946 and older Chevy/GMC truck cab, identification may be difficult. Here is a quick way to come very close to the correct year.

The stamped stiffeners on the firewall tell the story.

1936-38
No Stiffeners
1939-40
Two Vertical Stiffeners
1941-46
Cross Design Stiffeners

American Ingenuity

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Needed are some logs without bark and a table saw. Cut in half and add tongue and groove. You have a truck flat bed!

1939 – 1946 Grilles

Friday, August 10th, 2012

To keep General Motors truck costs down, Chevrolet and GMC ½ through 2 ton shared many components during the late 1930’s through the 1950’s. However, when it came to the grille, the focal point of the truck, changes had to be very noticeable.

The truck designers were limited in creating a new grille as both makes would still have the same front fenders and hood. For these limitations, the designers actually did quite well. They almost made them able to be exchanged from one make to another. On the 1941-46, only the small filler panel between the grille and fender top had to be slightly modified.

The attached photos show how two grilles can be different and yet fit in almost identical sheet metal areas of the trucks.


1939-40 GMC

1939 Chevrolet

1940 Chevrolet

1941-46 GMC

1941-46 Chevrolet

1947-1955 GM panel truck seats

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Attached are some pictures of the correct 1947-1955 GM panel truck seats. The right side was a factory option. This would be special ordered if the owner was planning on two passengers. Though they have been recovered with cloth instead of factory “leatherette”, they are correct in all other ways. What is interesting is how GM made the optional right side seat to fold up against the dash. This was necessary to allow easier access to merchandise up front. No need to unload freight to get to the front storage area. It appears the seat frame and floor is painted the original grey color. A thin sheet of insulation is placed between each of the body supports. This was to lessen road noise and slow some heat from entering the cab on hot days. Another interesting feature on panel trucks; the single horizontal oak board on each side of the interior helps prevent damage to the exterior sheet metal walls. If a stack of transported items tipped while the panel truck was making a corner, there was less chance of dents being placed on the sides. Note the long metal lid over the floor box which is under the factory optional right seat. This is only provided in the panel truck and canopy express bodies.  It kept the driver’s papers in a neat compartment so they did not slide or blow across the floor.

1947-1955 GM panel truck seats 1947-1955 GM panel truck seats

1960-66 GMC V-12 Engine

Monday, July 2nd, 2012


1960-66 GMC V-12 Engine

Forgotten by most is the gasoline V-12 engine made by the GMC Division of General Motors in the mid 1960’s. This very large one piece engine block was made for GMC’s largest trucks. Examples of these vehicles were water carrying fire truck, and off road vehicles such as quarry trucks which hauled tons of rock. As can be imagined, the pulling power of these trucks must have been at the top for GMC’s fleet.

Unfortunately, due to the weight of the truck and engine, most were sold to metal recyclers when their working days were over. Most of the few remaining V-12 engines are in fire trucks that have been used only during fires or fire training.

The attached photos show a ½ ton 1964 GMC with one of these V-12’s made to fit for display at shows. Owner unknown. What a mechanical project to fit it into a small ½ ton.

As far as gas mileage, we suspect they almost have to pull a gasoline trailer to keep the engine supplied!

1960-66 GMC V-12 Engine 1960-66 GMC V-12 Engine
1960-66 GMC V-12 Engine 1960-66 GMC V-12 Engine

1936-46 GMC Taillights

Monday, July 2nd, 2012


1936-46 GMC Taillights

Though things were shared between GMC and Chevrolet trucks, General Motors made sure many items remained very different during the early years.  GMC preferred very few things to be similar to Chevrolet. Their customers needed to see an almost stand-alone truck with the higher price of the GMC.

One very obvious difference is the change in taillights. There is no comparison to Chevrolet. The massive GMC stamped steel one piece bracket combined with a redesigned 4 inch taillight makes the pair a “one of a kind”.  They do not interchange with Chevrolet during these years.

Finding any of these parts during a total 1936-46 GMC pickup restoration has become almost impossible. It is said a shop is attempting to remake the bracket, however, if that happens the taillight will be almost as big of a project to get. The light is not being reproduced.

Hint: This taillight was also used on Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile station wagon tailgates from about 1949 through 1952.  Therefore, you will see more lights than GMC brackets at swap meets.

1936-46 GMC Taillights 1936-46 GMC Taillights
1936-46 GMC Taillights 1936-46 GMC Taillights

Same tail lights on early GM Wagons!

1947-55 Suburban/Canopy Express Tail Light

Monday, June 25th, 2012

What an ingenious way to keep a tail light in view! General Motors realized that with the tail gate in the lowered position the center tail light still had to be seen by the following traffic. At times the gate will stay lowered when longer freight is carried.

Therefore, the 5” round light is attached to a swing bracket. This bracket is moved by a ¼” vertical rod inside the tailgate. As the gate is lowered, the rod is moved by a hidden attachment on the edge of the body. Thus, the light is always visible!

These photos are of a 1953 Canopy Express owned by John Dunkirk of Southaven, New York.

1947-55 Suburban/Canopy Express Tail Light 1947-55 Suburban/Canopy Express Tail Light

Solving Bad Gasoline Problems

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Leaving your truck, car, or most all gasoline operated equipment in storage is asking for trouble!  Many of us, as hobbyists, collect more cars and trucks than we will drive at least monthly.  They sit in the back of your garage or are stored across town in a friend’s garage, barn, etc.

Three to five years later when it is time to move them, they usually won’t start.  You find in some cases, you cannot even get fuel to the carburetor.

After placing the blame on the carb, fuel pump, or filter, you finally (after hours of work) it comes down to bad gasoline.  How did this happen?

The answer is simple.  In today’s world ethanol is added to some gasoline as much as 10%.  It gives more fire power to the gasoline that has been reduced in octane partially with additives that help lower air pollution.

This ethanol (alcohol) is damaging to many rubber and neoprene seals in your fuel system.   Even worse, with the formula of modern gasoline plus ethanol, it will even change to sludge in your fuel system including the tank during long storage.  Additives placed in ethanol gas to prevent fuel deterioration is said to be effective not more than about 1 ½ years.

All this spells “Big Money” to clean your fuel system. Just taking your fuel tank out of your vehicle, having it cleaned at a radiator repair shop (there aren’t many of these businesses anymore) will cost a minimum of $300.00.

We recently visited a small engine repair shop where 30 hedge trimmers, chain saws, and weed whackers were waiting to be repaired.  The shop owner said 95% were there because of using gasoline with ethanol.

The answer to prevent this problem may be easier than you think.   If possible STOP using gasoline with ethanol in your vehicles that are rarely driven or started.  In our state, Missouri, there is no ethanol at many of the premium grade gasoline pumps http://e0pc.com/MO.php.  This maybe the answer in your area.  Check the gasoline pumps in your state and see if your premium gas is ethanol free.

Some of you may remember the days prior to the 1970’s when you bought a vehicle that had been sitting 5 to 10 years.  The gasoline smelled terrible but the motor would start.  If it had brakes, you could even drive around the block.  There was no alcohol in the gasoline.

Use premium gasoline in your stored vehicles or any yard equipment with limited use if it is without ethanol.

In Missouri, the approximately .20¢ extra per gallon for premium fuel far outweighs the headaches later!!

Solving Bad Gasoline Problems

1961 Chevrolet Truck Assembled in Brazil

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012


During 2012 National Convention of the American Truck Historical Society, we met some real truck enthusiasts that had traveled to the show from Brazil. One was, Antonio Sergio Hurtago, an owner of an older American truck museum in San Paulo.

I was given a very interesting current 12 month calendar from this museum. The most surprising page featured a 1961 Chevrolet truck assembled in Brazil. Study the attached images carefully of the cab on this larger work truck. It can be immediately recognized as a United States 1947-55. So that’s where GM sent some tooling for their famous Advance Design body! The GM factory in Brazil continued with this popular cab for additional years!

Look closely again. GM in the US did not continue to produce Advance Design gauges, so look at the photo of the 1961 dash. Yes, the 1955-1959 Chevrolet dash gauges were the ones of choice in the Brazilian factory during at least 1961.

This new Brazilian Chevrolet truck is so different from the US models, yet there is just enough prior parts, it makes it an excellent candidate for study.

1955-59 GMC Heater Control Panels

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012


For the first time in truck manufacturing General Motors made a heater available at the factory for Task Force trucks in the 1955-59 years. Yes, the dealer could still add a heater if you requested after the new truck purchase.

Here, we feature the GMC heater dash panel for these years. In the photo, the deluxe fresh air controls have chrome die cast housing, temperature control and defroster levers plus the fan speed switch. You could even adjust for inside or outside air intake.

The recirculator heater control also has a very interesting control panel installation. A hole is punched in the heater blank-out plate. A double switch is pulled to allow more water flow into the heater core. The same knob can be turned to operate the fan motor speed. See the photos with the remaining screen printed lettering on the plate. Very ingenious.

Another interesting photo is a GMC blank-out plate with the round heat knob. Here, the owner used the punched hole and an aftermarket switch. Of course, this is for fan speed and the water in the core is not regulated.

Note: The shape of the two heater inserts in the photo look as though they have a different bend, however this is only the angle of the photo!

1947-53 Gauge Mystery

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

We ask our readers: What is the correct color for the letters and numbers for the 1947-53 Chevrolet truck dash gauges? Were they white? Have they slightly yellowed after 50 years and now have a more cream color?

Our company has made the decals both with white and slight yellow hue. We had assumed the originals have slightly yellowed with age. See photo.

I welcome your opinions at jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com

1947-1953 Guage Mystery

Clearance Light Mystery

Friday, April 20th, 2012

During the April 2012 Portland, Oregon swap meet, we noticed a very unusual feature on a 1972 Chevrolet ¾ ton. Five GM optional clearance lights were set on the front of the cab above the windshield. The surprise was the inverted dimples stamped at the factory. Amber plastic lenses are secured here. See photo.

Could this mean you received a different cab when you ordered the clearance light option? It seems unlikely these relatively inexpensive plastic lenses would result in the production of a special ordered cab. Could this be? What happens years later when the plastic is sun baked, broken, and GM has discontinued these lenses? Does the truck then run with just the dimples?

We request your help. Can someone explain the story on the 5 raised metal dimples? Email your comments to: jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com.

Amendment to above article:

We appreciate the visitors to our website tech article on the 1971-72 cab clearance lights. Their comments have helped clear the mystery of whether a different cab was required if you ordered the five lights on the top of the cab.

The answer is: “Yes, a different cab roof was made just for these lights”. The answer to the question even goes deeper. The pictured clearance light lenses were offered from 1971 through 1991 and are often referred to as “firemen hats”.

Earlier in 1969-70 the lenses were more rounded and collectors referred to them as “hockey pucks”. It is not yet known if a different cab roof was offered in 1967-68.

We recently found an original 1972 Chevrolet Truck Data Book. Under options they show the 5 roof marker lights as number U01 at a list price of $26.00. It does not go into the requirement of Chevrolet using a different cab. We suspect this was GM’s concern and not the retail buyer.

Our thanks for much of this data goes to Trevor Keiffe in Kansas and Chris Welch in Yukon, Oklahoma.

1972 Chevrolet
1972 Chevrolet 1972 Chevrolet
1972 Chevrolet 1972 Chevrolet
1972 Chevrolet  

1960-61 GMC Deluxe Pickup

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012


1960 GMC Deluxe Pickup
As the US economy was making its gradual improvement that began after WWII, truck and car buyers started ordering more options and accessories.

To help attract buyers that wanted a little extra, manufacturers such as the GMC truck division, began offering a more deluxe package. It gave no additional working ability to the base model trucks but certainly added eye appeal. A different paint scheme, add-on trim, and more tasteful interiors were usually part of this deluxe package. The customer could pay one additional price and all the extras came together. The dealership made additional income and buyers received all the extras GMC engineers designed to be part of this one price extra.

This example of a now rarely seen deluxe 1961 GMC pickup is owned by Steve Colburn of Salinas, CA. It is an untouched original! What a great way to see how GMC did it over 50 years ago is to look at Steve’s GMC.

Though sharing most of the metal panels with Chevrolet, the GMC Division wanted no part of using most any trim other than their own. They created it only for the 1960-61 GMC.

Look closely at the changes GMC placed on Steve’s ½ ton to be different than Chevrolet.

Paint scheme: The color division line is often under the trim though sometimes at the point where two body lines meet. For example: The top of the bed exterior side is welded to the lower panel. This is a division line.

The horizontal stainless trim under the rear window was used on all 1960 and 1961 deluxe GMC’s. It was similar to Chevrolet but each end is totally different. See the cab article-1960-66 Chevrolet Cab Trim on this website.

The stainless vertical cab trim behind the upper door is a GMC only item.

Of course, the grille is totally different than the Chevrolet and is chrome on these deluxe models.

Bumpers are like Chevrolet and are chromed.

The white standard GMC hub caps were chromed.  Steve has them, but he is looking for the wheels.

The cab seat cushions are the same between Chevrolet and GMC, however the vinyl and cloth covering is designed differently.

The word “Custom” displayed on the deluxe 1962-1966 GMC, is not used on the 1960-61.

The stainless windshield trim is shared with Chevrolet.

The V-6 hood side emblems (GMC only) are chromed only on the deluxe cab.

Steve Colburn’s 1961 GMC deluxe package pickup is the “real thing”. In its over 50 years the correct trim and colors remain. Even its 305HP V-6 is still in place. To find another example in this untouched condition would be almost impossible! You can contact Steve at stevencolburn@gmail.com

1938 GMC 1/2 Ton Engine

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

It’s 1938 and the GMC division of General Motors is entering its third year of small truck production.  Prior to 1936, the GMC line consisted of only larger trucks normally bought by businesses and government agencies for heavy hauling.  The Great Depression was in full swing and GMC needed more sales to add to their financial bottom line.  To help sales and even save some of their dealers from bankruptcy, GMC began to market light trucks in 1936.

When GMC developed their first 1/2 and 3/4 ton pickups (T14 and T16), they had no smaller engines that would fit these light weight trucks.  They wanted no part of using the low oil pressure six cylinder engine in the Chevrolet trucks.  Knowing their own small light weight full oil pressure six cylinder was under development (to be introduced in 1939) they had to find a temporary engine.

The answer was in the Oldsmobile Division.  Their strong inline six cylinder flat head engine was just what GMC needed.  It was used for the three years prior to the introduction of GMC’s own overhead valve full pressure engine in 1939.

One exception to this rule was in the 1/2 ton 1938 pickup.  Possibly for economic reasons, the Pontiac inline six cylinder flat head engine was used in the small 1/2 ton during 1938.  It was hoped this would lower the retail price on the 1/2 ton just enough to help GMC dealers better compete with the small pickup competition that were all fighting for the limited sales during the depression years.

The following two photos show a rebuilt 1938 GMC engine owned by Ron Loos of Redding, California.  This Pontiac engine will soon be returned to his 1938 GMC.  The most interesting part of this engine block is the Pontiac Indian head crest cast in the right side.  GMC used it just as they bought it from the Pontiac Division of General Motors in 1938!

Photos by Ron Loos, Redding, CA

1938 GMC 1/2 Ton Engine 1938 GMC 1/2 Ton Engine

1958-59 GMC Economy Pickup

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

There is certainly truth in the statement:  Auto and truck manufacturers are in business to show a profit!  Based on this, the General Motor’s truck division made a decision for 1958 that sales could be increased in an area that had been mostly ignored in prior years.
1958-59 GMC Pickup

The GMC division found they were weak in commercial truck sales and yet the market was there!  The large quantity buyers were commercial fleet and government agencies.

In fact, even the smaller towns in America use at least a few trucks for daily maintenance responsibilities.  General Motors wanted more of this high volume business for their GMC division.

There was one problem.  The lighter GMC’s were known for extra trim and larger engines.  The pricing separated them more from being sold to volume customers.  The truly big buyers usually wanted more bare bones, lowest price transportation.  Chrome and engine size had limited interest.  A person in an office buying fleet vehicles for a company is usually told to obtain the best price and stay within a budget.  The make of a car and truck was not as important as the price.  This was costing GMC a very large number of sales.  It appears they could not compete when price was the first criteria.

Behind closed doors, steps were taken to increase volume but not lower GMC’s profit line. Thus an economy model was introduced in 1958.  A few of the changes are as follows:

1)      Gone was the expensive chrome grille with the attractive multi-piece park light assemblies.

2)      Even single headlights reduced the price.

3)      One piece stamped steel bumpers were painted black.

4)      The full inside metal dash is replaced with less expensive 1955-59 Chevrolet design.

5)      The small Chevrolet bowtie at the bottom of the 1955-59 Chevrolet gauge face was replaced with GMC letters.

6)      The seats were non-pleated vinyl.

7)      The smaller inline six cylinder engine was standard equipment.

8)      Hubcaps and emblems were painted.

9)      Extra cost options would be rear bumper, radio, heater and 4 speed transmission.

Do any of these GMC economy trucks exist 50 years later?  Most second owners bought them from the fleet owner with only work in mind.  Few restorers today will look twice at these ultra economy trucks when deciding on a project to build.  However, if you want a truck that is almost one of a kind in today’s world, find a 1958-59 GMC economy model!

1968-72 Blazer Seat Belt Storage

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

To correct the concern about seat belts not being readily available, GM added a few extras during these years.

On the outer side of bucket and bench seats a sheath and spring operated roller kept the belt clean and out of sight when not being used. It kept this belt always in the same place when needed. On the center of the bench seat, the passenger and driver is expected to have the belt beside them on the cushion and ready for use.

On trucks with bucket seats and no console, GM added small non-metal pockets for the buckle on the inside of the seat. They were attached to the edge of the bucket seat with two fasteners. It’s very rare to find these seat belt pockets in trucks today.

With the accessory console in place, these two pockets cannot be on the side of the seat cushion. The seat belt buckle fits into a rectangular metal pocket in the top of the console.

1968-72 Blazer
Seat Belt Pocket, No Console
1968-72 Blazer
Seat Belt Pocket, With Buckle
1968-72 Blazer
Seat belt pocket in accessory console

1968-1972 Blazer Passenger Seat

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012


Though most of the first design Blazers came with a passenger seat, it was still an extra cost factory option. Originally created by GM with encouragement from the US Postal Service, it was felt they would be just right for mail delivery in a 2-wheel drive version. Most, but not all, other buyers wanted this right side seat and paid the extra cost!

Pictured is an all original seat in a position that allowed an extra passenger to reach another option, the rear seat. This non-folding passenger seat moves forward something like the two door Suburbans of the 1940’s through mid 1960’s.

1968-1972 Blazer   1968-1972 Blazer

1939-46 1/2 Ton Suburban/Panel Gas Tanks

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The gas tanks are totally different on the more common pickup versus the panel truck/suburban body, though the two frame rails, drive train, and front sheet metal are the same on each 1939-46 ½ ton.

On pickups the 18 gallon tank sets comfortably and safely within the seat riser and below the seat cushion. Over a million of these pickups were sold during this production period.

The panel truck and suburban were totally different animals. They had no protective seat riser. In fact, there was not even a passenger seat in most panel trucks. For protection, their 16 gallon gas tank was placed inside of the right frame rail and under the body. This gives the tank the safety of the frame rail and being in front of the rear axle. In the attached photos, the totally different shape of the panel and Suburban is quite obvious.

Gas tank removed from a 1941 panel truck.

1939-46 1/2 Ton Suburban/Panel Gas Tanks 1939-46 1/2 Ton Suburban/Panel Gas Tanks
1939-46 1/2 Ton Suburban/Panel Gas Tanks 1939-46 1/2 Ton Suburban/Panel Gas Tanks

Under the seat tank (usually on smaller trucks)

1949 – 1955 GMC Grille

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Surprise!  The well known GMC grilles from 1949 through early 1955 use the same bars.  This includes the more popular ½ ton through the very large over the road and quarry trucks.  Chrome or painted, the four horizontal stamped metal bars are identical.  Look at the following photos.  The grille bars interchange!

1949 - 1955 GMC Grille

1949 - 1955 GMC Grille

1949 - 1955 GMC Grille

1949 - 1955 GMC Grille

1949 - 1955 GMC Grille

1949 - 1955 GMC Grille

Chevrolet Engine Oil Pump Screens

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

In the days when car and truck owners as well as mechanics did maintenance, GM made these responsibilities much less complicated.  An excellent example was the screen below the engine oil pump.

Due to no oil filters and no detergent additive in the motor oil (to keep dirt in suspension), the oil pump screen was necessary.  Tiny dirt particles settled to the bottom of the oil pan as was expected.  The small dirt particles finally became dirt chunks stuck to the bottom of the oil pan.

GM wanted no chance that a chunk or clot of dirt might be drawn to the pump.  Thus, oil pulled into the pump had to pass through this screen.

These photos show several early screens used by various Chevrolet six cylinder engines.  Note the used screen on the 1937-53  216 engine.  Its rounded screen is held in place by a single wire.  The wire can easily be unhooked from the housing.  The screen then drops out for easy cleaning.

Chevrolet Engine Oil Pump Screens
1929-36
Chevrolet Engine Oil Pump Screens Chevrolet Engine Oil Pump Screens
1937-53 wire holding screen 1937-53 wire unhooked to remove screen

Mice Love Old Chevy Trucks

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Short of cats? When older vehicles are left unattended, mice find a way to get inside. It’s their natural instinct! The damage they do with their families over a few years is a disaster to metal. They don’t seem to leave the nest when their bladder says “it’s time”.

This nest was recently found inside a 1941 Chevrolet ½ ton door when the inside panel was removed. There it was as you see it, the past home for many generations of mice.  It appears they removed much padding from the adjacent seat!

Mice Love Old Chevy Trucks Mice Love Old Chevy Trucks

See below this 1940 Chevy upper air dam under the hood.  What a perfect place for a mouse house. Out of the reach of cats, hawks, snakes, wind and rain! The little guys just keep bringing in more nesting materials. They make more and more babies and of course we know what else they do that rusts out the sheet metal.
Mice Love Old Chevy Trucks

1941 Chevrolet Panel Truck Interior

Friday, September 9th, 2011

I found these pictures among some papers stored 16 years ago. The owner of this 1941 panel truck is forgotten, however it is understood why these pictures were taken and placed in storage. Even that long ago, a very original ’41 panel was almost never found.

In this case, it was the interior that was the attention getter. Yes, the inside had been repainted. That was the easy part! It is the seat, bedwood, and storage compartment lid that are so pure. The seat is not only 1941, but the upholstery is very important. It is the same as when it came off the assembly line. Even the threads are still secured well to the vinyl panels. A unique small storage compartment in the floor to the right of the seat has a wood lid! Could this be due to cost cutting on a lower production work vehicle? Yes, it is the correct cover!

The wood planks in the bed from the rear of the seat panel to the back door are black, not varnished. Note: The metal bed strips. The two outer ridges extend slightly above the wood surface. This protects the wood from being continually rubbed by sliding miscellaneous boxes.

For the perfectionist, these photos are proof of how it was when the dealer offered the panel trucks 70 years ago!

1941 Chevrolet Panel Truck
Driver’s seat in correct position
1941 Chevrolet Panel Truck
Bottom side of wood toolbox lid.
1941 Chevrolet Panel Truck
Right side of driver’s seat.
1941 Chevrolet Panel Truck
Wood toolbox lid beside toolbox.
1941 Chevrolet Panel Truck
Driver’s seat moved forward. Dangerous during stops. Hauled merchandise can slide forward pinning driver to steering wheel.
1941 Chevrolet Panel Truck
Wooden lid (with finger hole) over toolbox. On right side of drivers seat. Covered if there is an optional passenger seat.

1937 to Early 1938 Chevrolet /GMC Gas Tank and Seat Cushions

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

So unusual to place a gas tank under the seat with no fill pipe outside the cab! To engineer this big change for 1937 was expensive and very different from earlier years when it was under the bed. Why was this done? What advantages could this have been over an outside fill spout? Was gasoline theft during the depression years a big problem?

To add gasoline on a 1937, the right lower cushion half was raised up toward the back which exposed the threaded ‘bung’ on the surface of the tank. It meant a person stood outside by the right side of the cab, raised the cushion half and added fuel. This is how it was done! If it was raining or snowing, the driver or the attendant stood there fueling. Maybe you kept an umbrella stored in this small cab for emergencies. Maybe gas station employees knew that when a 1937 Chevrolet or GMC truck drove in to get gas in the rain, a raincoat was needed. If some gasoline was spilled while filling, the vapor was smelled throughout the cab. If you were a cigarette smoker, well—–!!!

We were fortunate to recently obtain a set of 1937 original seat cushions. Even the upholstery on the two lower halves was still intact. The non-spout gas tank from the same truck came in the set.

Before they were requested by a serious collector, pictures had to be taken. Finding a pure set again in one place would probably be impossible.

An interesting feature is the plywood bottom on the right side removable cushion. The rectangular hole in the plywood prevented the springs from ever sagging and touching the electric gas sending unit. This must have been placed there to also protect the gas tank and bung from contact with a passenger’s weight on the seat. Engineers knew that a spark from an electric short near gas vapor would be a disaster!

We think these photos will be very interesting to the 1937 GM truck enthusiast. This way of tank filling continued into early 1938. Probably during the depression years, the manufacturer used their extra bodies and tanks that were left over from 1937 until supplies were depleted. Of course, this changeover would vary depending on the assembly plant.

The in- cab gas tank is also unique. It lies neatly inside the seat riser. The twist cap (bung) hole for adding fuel is at least 10′ away from the sending unit (protection from a gasoline pump add nozzle). For some reason the tank is built with two drain holes. One is always plugged and therefore the tank can be used in two type cabs. Maybe the gasoline outlet is different for right or left hand drive trucks!

Both Cushions have original upholstery Easily removable wood bottom half cushion. Note: the 2 small blocks to keep cushion secure on the seat riser.
Open spring half cushion for driver Both cushions raised above gas tank.
Plywood notch fits above gasoline sending unit. Sending unit in place.
Gasoline add bung and adjacent air vent. Open bung during refueling.
Top of tank. Note: Sending unit, bung, and air vent. Bottom of tank. Note: 2 Gas outlets.

Amendment to 1937 to Early 38 Chevrolet / GMC Gas Tank and Seat Cushions:

Several years after the above article was posted, a pair of original bottom cushions appeared at our shop. The owner stated they were from a 1937 pickup that had been in the family since it was a year old.

As the underside is covered with a sheet of rusted thin metal, it would appear it is original GM. We now wonder if the wood plywood bottom in the first article is factory installed or the result of a very skilled carpenter attempting to add additional years to a deteriorated set of original cushions. You be the judge!

SURPRISE:  As of December 2016, new 1937 gas tanks are in stock.  Just like GM made them 8 years ago!

Speedometers to Go…

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Rebuilt Speedometers for Chevy Trucks & GMC Trucks


Quality Rebuilt Speedometers

When your older truck needs a rebuilt speedometer, think of us! Our company, in combination with a local specialized shop, provides a quality product that you will be proud to place in your vehicle.

With most new repair parts, no longer available, we obtain used speedometers from across the country. Only the best parts are removed. These are combined with available new components to create a quality finished product. The following photos show various stages in the repair process.

Speedometers

Work Bench

Parts Inventory

Finished Products

1941-1946 Park light and Headlight Assemblies

Monday, June 20th, 2011


At the beginning of the 1941 Chevrolet and GMC truck body style, the parking light assembly was placed on top of the headlight bucket.  This was the first time both were placed on the fender as a pair.  All worked well together.  To save tooling costs, GM chose to add a pre-existing assembly from the year before on the 1940 Pontiac car.  No changes were made from this Pontiac park light assembly except its long sheet metal top was now painted and not chromed.

Overseas during World War II, when civilian front fenders were used on GM military trucks (instead of the more famous flat fender ‘army truck’ style) General Motors created a parking light that emitted a small strip of light to be seen at a shorter distance.

Beginning in 1942 and continuing through mid 1947 (when this body design was discontinued), GM used a much less expensive park light housing on civilian trucks.  A one piece stamped metal cover was attached to the headlight bucket for a fraction of the cost as in 1941.  This also used a smaller less expensive glass lens.

Therefore during this 6 ½ year truck production (1941-Mid 1947) the same headlight buckets were on Chevrolet and GMC trucks.  The difference was their hole punching which adapted to changes in parking light assemblies.

1942-45 Military

1942-45 Military

NOTE:   THE 1941 PHOTO WILL FOLLOW SOON

1960 – 1966 GMC V-6 EMBLEMS

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011


During these years, GMC’s claim-to-fame motor was their V-6. In fact, from 1960 through 1964 this is the only engine they offered in their vehicles. The emblem on each side of the hood showed the world the truck had the V-6. A strong large cast-iron block had a two-barrel Stromberg carburetor. The spark plugs in the head were above the exhaust manifold, quite different than the Chevrolet V-8 design (even today) with the plugs below their manifold.

In 1965, GMC began to also offer an inline 6-cylinder, which was the first time ever that GMC and Chevrolet shared motors. It was actually the great little 250 6-cylinder that Chevrolet introduced earlier in 1963. As their base motor, it had a lower price point, provided better gas mileage, and required less expense when repairs were needed.

GMC held strong to this V-6 motor design. It was offered through 1969, even after they began also using the Chevy V-8 in 1967. The V-6 emblems were not displayed at the end of their 1966 body style.

1960 - 1966 GMC V-6 EMBLEMS
1960-62
1960 - 1966 GMC V-6 EMBLEMS
1963-66

1936-37 GMC Grills

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011


What a rare occurrence! At the 2011 America Truck Historical Society Convention in South Bend, Indiana, we found both a 1936 and a 1937 restored GMC truck with the correct grill — each at different booths. You can go to every truck show for many years and never see even one. Therefore, we just had to get a few photos and make some comments. After all, this may never happen again.

The 1936 grill consists of seven vertical .3′ wide hollow chrome bars all the same size. The length is 25 1/4′. The notches in the receiving die cast pieces (hold the verticals in place) in the top and bottom are the same for each bar.

By 1937-38 there was a change in the center vertical bar. It became wider. It changed from .3′ in 1936 to .625′. It was also tapered back to align with the positioning of the other side bars. The overall length was shortened to 24′.

The notches in the die cast top and bottom receiving pieces are therefore different due to the width change in the center bar. They may look the same on the outside but are not where they attach to the vertical bars. See photo. Chrome was not used to add to the appearance. These bars were painted silver.


1936 GMC Grill

1937 GMC Grill

1937 upper grill bar extension front view

1937-38 bottom view

Aftermarket Dual Rear Wheels

Monday, April 18th, 2011


What a unique invention. When you have a 1947 through 1959 single rear wheel 3/4 or 1 ton GM truck and need more pulling power, this is the answer. American ingenuity at its best!

This new steel center hub extension includes eight long bolts to reach the original wheel studs. This holds the factory wheel in place and then provides a threaded end for the original eight lug nuts which are holding another matching wheel.

The buyer of this aftermarket kit just had to be sure his new outer tire was the same height as the original inner tire.

Pictures and data from Scott Golding, Stratton, NE.
email: scottandbetty@hotmail.com

1947-54 Radio Antenna Installation Warning

Friday, April 15th, 2011

It is very important where to drill the hole for the new radio antenna. The results of making a slight mistake will stay in your mind for many years to come!

Radios during these 1947-54 Advance Design years were never installed at the factory. This was done by the authorized GM Dealer. In the box that contained the new radio was a paper template that prevented mistakes when drilling the antenna hole. This hole in the cowl was so close to the belt line that the body to the antenna seal gasket even lacked an edge where it touched this body belt. Even with GM moving the antenna so close to the belt line there is still only about 1/2″ clearance to the hood when it is open. See photo.

The sad realization occurs later when a new radio antenna is installed by an amateur. He drills the hole in the cowl (correctly on the driver’s side) about another 3/4′ forward. He smiles as the radio works great. He doesn’t smile a week later when he tries to raise the hood to check the oil. It won’t raise! The rear hood edge hits the antenna. A rubber plug later put in the new hole is always a reminder of what a 1/2′ can do.

Hood Closed Hood Open Hood Open

1936 1/2 Ton Wheels

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011


General Motors was coming out of the wire wheel era by 1936. This as well as wood spokes had been a standard with most cars and light trucks since the beginning at the turn of the century. The new stamped steel wheels on Chevrolet 1/2 tons were easier to produce, and was less susceptible to side damage on rough terrain or in an accident.

We find that both 17′ design 1/2 ton wheels were available in 1936, the transition year. In 1935 all 1/2 ton used wires and all 1937’s had stamped steel wheels.

The two attached photos are Chevrolet promotional pictures from 1936. These 1/2 tons are the same except for the wheels.

NOTE: GMC’s first entry into the 1/2 ton market was 1936. These used the new stamped steel artillery wheels like the later 1936 Chevrolet.

Cab Over Engine “COE” Scrapbook Page 2

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011


One of the most unique GM body styles is the famous COE (Cab Over Engine) design. By placing the cab over the engine of a large truck the wheel base could be shorter. This allowed the same maximum payload to be carried in a shorter truck.

These became quite popular in crowded downtown deliveries. The COE truck could turn in a shorter radius, on tight corners, iin narrow alleys, and still carry the same payload.

Disadvantages:

  • rougher ride for drivers
  • engine maintenance more difficult
  • cab interior was hotter in summer with engine under the cab
  • The driver and a passenger did not slide on the seat to get into the cab. They used two steps and a special hand grip to climb up and gain access to the cab interior

Back To – Page 1 COE Trucks


Click images to enlarge

Billy Marlow 1946 Chevrolet COE Billy Marlow 1946 Chevrolet COE Billy Marlow 1946 Chevrolet COE 1946 Chevrolet COE
1946 Chevrolet COE Owned by: Jim Cadorette 1946 with 2000 6.5 turbo diesel with 4 speed Over Drive

1948 COE 1948 COE 1948 COE coe steps
1951 COE 1940 COE 1940 GMC COE 1947-1955 Fender Pad

1948 COE 1939 1946 COE Grab Handle 1939 1946 COE mirror red coe
Owner: Koos Diedel from the Netherlands…1950 Red, 3 years to make it more “Freeway” friendly. Buick V-8, Air ride & so much more…”1951 Black – Bone Stock” 1939-1946 COE grab handles (to pull yourself up into the cab) 1939-1946 The left 2-leg mirror arm attached to the door. 1941-1946 Close Up – COE Grill

red COE 1939 1946 COE Grab Handle 1939 1946 COE Grab Handle coe steps
1947 – 1950 GMC COE 9 foot 1 ton 1947- 1953 pick up bed on a modern chassis. 1947 – 1953 COE 1941-1946 COE Steps, To get into the Cab…

1941 COE 1949 COE 1940 COE
1941 COE
1949 COE
1939 COE
Starting a COE restoration from the ground up.

1940 COE 1949 COE 1950 COE 1941 COE
1940 Chevrolet COE
Looks Expensive
The Restoration Begins 1950 COE
1941 Chevy COE

1950 Suburban COE COE
Combine a COE and the same year Suburban
Look what you can do in your backyard


Stubby Gus

Bet you never saw one of these! A 2 ton truck you can park alongside all the automobiles in a shopping center parking lot.

This one of a kind 1952 COE truck is owned by Tim Tawney of Emmett, Idaho. He found it for sale three years ago and it was love at first sight. Its frame had been shorted to an unbelievable 91”. This is about the size of an early Volkswagen Beetle. Though 60 years old, it still has its correct wheels and 235 low pressure six cylinder engine. The paint, believed to be about 30 years old has the aged patina look that only time can create.

One of the trucks most unique features is the tow rig secured to the small frame extension behind the cab. It was manufactured by the Weaver Tow Company in 1918. This is a “2 speed hand crank” unit so the driver must manually operate the lever to lift the auto before it is pulled. Those were the days!

Tim is only the fourth owner. Fortunately, the 12’ door on his home garage allows for a place it can be kept in very bad weather. Where does he use this COE? Of course, Tim drives it to work every day at a local auto parts store. It must attract more attention than the sign on the building.

The Tawney Family has a name for most of their vehicles and this COE is referred to as “Stubby Gus”. You can contact Tim by email at: Tims70@hotmail.com or Facebook at: Stubbygus@facebook.com.

Back To – Page 1 COE Trucks

Cab Over Engine “COE” Scrapbook

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011


One of the most unique GM body styles is the famous COE (Cab Over Engine) design. By placing the cab over the engine of a large truck the wheel base could be shorter. This allowed the same maximum payload to be carried in a shorter truck.

These became quite popular in crowded downtown deliveries. The COE truck could turn in a shorter radius, on tight corners, in narrow alleys, and still carry the same payload.

Disadvantages:

  • rougher ride for drivers
  • engine maintenance more difficult
  • cab interior was hotter in summer with engine under the cab
  • The driver and a passenger did not slide on the seat to get
    into the cab. They used two steps and a special hand grip to climb up and gain
    access to the cab interior

Go To – Page 2 COE Trucks

Billy Marlow 1946 Chevrolet COE Billy Marlow 1946 Chevrolet COE Billy Marlow 1946 Chevrolet COE Billy Marlow 1946 Chevrolet COE
1946 Chevrolet COE, Billy Marlow (all above) Read Billy’s Story..click here

1948 COE 1954 COE 1954 george coe 1951 Jim Carter coe
1948 Owner Ken Wedelaar, Midland Park, NJ
1954 Owner George Coe
1951 …Owner Jim Carter, Independence, MO

1940 COE 1946 chevrolet COE 1946 chevrolet COE 1946 chevrolet COE
1940 Owner, Unkown
I found this 1946 COE in Fall City, WA and it is now in Soldotna, Alaska. I shipped the truck From Tacoma Wa to Anchorage Alaska on Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE). I have driven it about 500 miles since I bought it.
Jim Fassler
Soldotna, Alaska

1948 COE 1948 COE 1948 COE 1948 COE
COE Salvage Yard
1941 – 1946 for Parts
1946 for Parts
1940 Unknown Owner

coe three headlights
coe red truck
coe red truck
coe red truck
Three clear seal beams on a 1946! What could have been the purpose? 1941-1946 GMC owner unkown 1938 GMC COE… Owner Jim Raeder Altoona, PA.
1954 Chevy COE

big ugly cab over engine cholly coe
Cab Over Engine….Chevrolet Ugly Truck
Owner Unknown
Look to the right! 1948 GMC Crew Cab Owned by Cholly Nachman Could this be your Grandfather?

If you would like your Chevrolet or GMC Cab Over Engine featured on our website, please send us an email along with your name, year, make, and model of your truck along with your photos. You can email your information by using our contact email form…click here

We don’t care if they are Ugly!!!


COE Cover Photo

Another fine example of an old
Chevrolet Cab Over Engine Truck…

NOTE: You can make a beautiful COE from misc. parts. This truck has a 1954 cab (one piece windshield), 1947-1953 grill and 1954 parking light housings in the fenders.

Go To – Page 2 COE Trucks

1938 Complete Wood Bed

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011



In the Chevrolet truck assembly plant in Petone, New Zealand near the capital city of Wellington, a bed was not part of the pickup. This was in the 1930’s through mid 1940’s. The reason was to keep cost lower and to sell more trucks. The two rear fenders were wired flat to the frame for the new owner’s future use. This new owner could then have a deck or bed of his choice made locally. Most were made as a flat platform.

Robert O’Keeffe of Wanganui, New Zealand decided he wanted a bed on the 1938 pickup he was restoring like those seen on US trucks. He went a little further than many restorers. As a woodworker, he decided to make a ‘total’ wood bed and even use an exotic wood!

Check these photos. Rob is obviously a woodworking artist. The truck is a ‘head turner’ at any show.

What a project!

With the interest he received from the recent article on our website, he is considering offering these wood beds to others. The price in US dollars will be about $4,000.00 but this depends on the year and length.

Rob even knows a special freight company that sends merchandise weekly from only New Zealand to Los Angeles by ship. They arrange all truck line connections. The low price is surprising!

You can contact Rob @ okjoiner@xtra.co.nz

1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed 1938 complete wood bed

 

1934-1936 Side Mount Spare Tire Mounting

Friday, December 17th, 2010



During the early years, most roads were not paved and the quality of tires was far from that of today. Thus, tire repair was very big business. It was necessary for vehicle manufacturers to provide the easiest access to the often needed spare tire. Part of driving a car or truck was knowing how to change a tire.

On the 1936 and older pickups, the tire storage space was limited. GM chose to place a dip in the front fender and a 29″ vertical rod from the frame rail to the cowl for the tire and wheel support clamp. A long nut is threaded to the top of the rod and tightens a curved metal over the tire.  No the pickup did not use the chrome “T” handle on the car.

In viewing restored ½ ton pickups at shows it is amazing that most use the chrome die-cast “T” handle that came new on passenger cars. Not correct!  The pickup uses a hexagon securing nut.  It is designed to be turned by the lug nut tire tool usually stored under the seat cushion.

Why the difference is unknown. We assume the “T” handle nut is more convenience to turn.  The car driver would get less dirt or grease on clothes or hands during a tire change, plus the car was usually on smoother roads, not on the rough surfaces of a farm field or back roads that might loosen the securing nut.

Replacement hard parts for most of this side mount system are not being reproduced. Originals usually must be restored. The rubber grommet that protects the cowl and fender metal from the side mount hardware the securing nut and 29″ support rod are available from Jim Carter Truck Parts along with a few other older GM truck full stocking dealers.

INTERESTING: The Chevrolet 1/2 ton (1934-1936) placed the support well in the right front fender. The 1936 GMC (first year for their 1/2 ton) it was in the left front fender. The support hardware is the same. Just another way of the two marquis showing their individuality with limited expense.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
Pickup inside view. Not quite like a Chevy car.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
The 29″ vertical rod is at an angle, too far through the cab mounted support.  Shown is the top dark threads where this retaining nut fits.

1934-1936 Vacuum Wiper Motor

Friday, December 17th, 2010



This little vacuum wiper motor has such a unique appearance! They have become quite rare in recent years.

Manufactured by Trico for just this truck, it fits above the windshield frame on the left side of cab. A dealer accessory for the right side.

They have sometimes been called a “sweetheart” wiper motor due to their strange appearance.

1934-1936 vacuum wiper motor

1934-1936 vacuum wiper motor

Spring Noise

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The 1967-1972 – What’s That Noise? Gaining speed after you turn onto the highway, your GM truck (1967-1972), moves toward a cruising speed equal to the surrounding traffic. As your engine reaches about 2,000 rpm you suddenly hear a low hum up front. It does not stop as the truck speed increases. If you lower the windows, play the radio, or turn up the fan blower, this hum is not so noticeable but it is still there. How will you locate this noise source when the truck is stopped?

No problem. Others have researched this mystery noise, discovered the source, and stopped it. Who would have thought the culprit is the hood springs? It appears that on many GM trucks of this body style, the two coil hood springs develop this hum (like a tuning fork) as surrounding air speed increases. The sound becomes magnified as it transfers to the large sheet metal hood.

This noise is easily stopped by filling the coils of the hood springs with a towel or carved piece of foam. To produce what a difference this makes, tap your hood spring with a hand tool and listen to the echo. It does not occur when the coil is filled with material.

Who said automotive engineers walk on water?

spring noise

Birth of the Blazer

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The debut of the famous 4×4 Chevrolet Blazer was in 1969. It had little competition and stood alone as a combination off-road and daily driver utility vehicle. Chevrolet truck dealers were taken by surprise! Waiting lines soon occurred requesting this new and unique car/truck vehicle.

By 1970, production was in full swing. GMC also entered the project this second year by replacing the Chevrolet and Blazer insignias with GMC letters and a “Jimmy” emblem. A major addition in 1970 was the introduction of the two wheel drive Blazer and Jimmy. This was partially due to commitments by the U.S. Postal Service. Fewer than 1,000 of these were produced or less than 10% of overall production. Most government orders were in six cylinders though some V-8 two wheel drive models found buyers in the private sector.

Sales of this unique vehicle spiraled. By 1972, production had increased the volume of the introduction year. It was named, Motor Trend’s “Utility Vehicle of the Year.” In the April 1970 issue of Car and Driver magazine, they said “The drivetrain pieces are well designed, rugged, and long proved by use in Chevy’s light trucks.” GM referred to it as their do anything, go anywhere vehicle.

The demand for these car/truck vehicles today is stronger than ever. Its short 107″ wheel base, ease of handling, and many parts interchanging with pickups, make it an excellent investment vehicle to drive daily or keep in storage.

birth of the blazer 1

birth of the blazer 2

 

1972 Suburban Highlander

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


1972 Suburban Highlander

During the late 1970’s, trucks accelerated their change from a more commercial work vehicle to one desired by the family as their everyday transportation. During 1967-1972, Chevrolet and GMC introduced names such as CST, Cheyenne and Sierra Grande to show buyers that their trucks were no longer just for work. Options that rivaled cars could now be ordered for their vehicles.

Surprisingly, the Suburban was held back as the trend toward very deluxe trucks continued. This vehicle was not given the top of the line appointments as the trucks. The middle series in the pickup line was the ‘best’ in the Suburban. Though this was changed in the new 1973 body style, the 1972 Suburban lacked wood grain trim, bucket seats, and the more deluxe door panels. The rubber floor mats were colored to match the interior but carpet was not an option.

The following pictures are of a totally original 1971 deluxe Suburban. Note the door panels. They are almost identical to the Cheyenne pickup but lack the horizontal wood grain strip at the top. Outside lower moldings have satin black inserts, not wood grain. The seat covering is the Custom Deluxe style found on middle series pickups. The blue floor mats are rubber, not carpet. There is, however, a unique upper trim molding used only on Suburbans when you ordered the more deluxe unit.

To get the most sales from the special Scottish Tweed used in the 1972 Highlander, GM used it in one other application. The special Highlander seat covering could be obtained with the 1972 Suburban. It, like the Highlander truck, had lower side trim with satin black inserts. The special wheel covers were not used on this Suburban body.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

Mr. Lynes also furnished the two photos of the Hawaiian blue Suburban showing a great color view of the Scottish Tweed. (Frederick Lynes can be contacted at stingrayl82@comcast.net)

The enclosed pictures are from Frederick Lynes who has these pictures of his 1972 avocado green and white Suburban the day it was bought new. Note the Highlander seat coverings.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

1971 Argentina Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



During a recent trip to Buenos Aires, this Argentina built 1971 Chevrolet ½ ton was seen beside a downtown street. Its unique features causes us to take a strong second look. The more we observed this clean little shortbed, the more we saw features that were special to this South American Chevy.

The driver was not available so we just took pictures and studied the differences. It appears the GM plant in Argentina used parts from the earlier series of Chevrolet trucks to save much money. This helped make the vehicle more affordable for the local buyer.

Some of the more obvious differences are as follows:

  • Note the clear park light lenses. (Amber color lenses have been a federal requirement in the U.S. since 1963.)
  • The wing vent handles were on U.S. trucks in 1960-67 and the total assembly in the U.S. is 1967 only. Why change tooling if the prior design serves the purpose?
  • The unique Posi-Traction differential emblem was placed on the right fender, not the left.
  • Check out the economy heater panel. It consists of a rectangular plate and three pull or turn levers that operate the re-circulator heater. The knobs control temperature, fan speed, and defroster. This system is similar to the basic heaters offered in the mid 1950’s in the U.S.
  • The bed is the most noticeable difference in the Argentina ½ ton. It’s tailgate was used in the U.S. in 1958-66, however, it has been modified for the South American trucks. Special latches secure the gate in the closed position. By modifying the bed sides and the older heavier tailgate, limited new tooling was required. Yes, to save costs it even uses tailgate chains!
  • The wheelwell tubs are also produced with no tooling. Forming, bending, and welding create this finished product.
  • The metal corrugated bed bottom does not have the same spacing as the US produced pickups. Thus, the floor was produced locally to save production and shipping costs.

A real money saving technique is the use of 6 bolt wheels. See side mounted spare tire in attached photo. In the US, 1971 was the first year for disc brakes and 5 bolt wheels. In Argentina, a big savings was to keep the 1967-1971 non-disc brake system. Therefore, we see the 6 bolt early wheel on this 1971.

In this 1971 Argentina example, the fenders and bedsides are without marker lights. (These were required in the U.S. by 1968.)

Check the tail lights! These are 1960-1966 on U.S. produced Fleetside pickups. This truck even had the red bow-tie molded in the red lens.

Note the resulting sheet metal differences in the rear of the bedsides. There is not any metal contours for the U.S. style, 1967-1972, tail light to fit. There are no back-up lights and using earlier light assemblies lowers production costs.

Yes, this feature truck had been repainted in past years but it is doubtful if the tail lights were added to give a custom touch. In Argentina, pickup trucks are used for the purpose they were designed ‘ as a worker. There, trucks are not Sunday drivers and aren’t given appearance changes that would require the owner’s disposable income. They are valued in their ability to haul merchandise!

1971 Chevrolet truck

Wheel well tubs made without tooling (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

The full back view (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Clear park light lenses (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Note: basic heater lever panel (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Posi-Traction fender emblem (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Tailgate latch holds older gate to bed side (above)

1969-1972 Blazer Tailgate

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



Are you on a hunt for a new 1969-1972 Blazer tailgate? It may not be as difficult as you think. GM saved much money by using a 1967-1972 Chevrolet Fleetside tailgate!

1969-1972 blazer tailgate

The one difference is a narrow strip of stamped sheet metal attached to the top edge. Most used Blazer tailgates, whatever their lower condition, still have this strip.

This metal strip is necessary for a good seal when the upper lift gate is lowered with its rubber strip. The tailgate strip is held in place with seven sheet metal screws.

On at least the 1971-1972 Blazer, the strip is also held in place by a long strip of double sided tape (like used to hold the decorative side trim in place). By removing the screws, cleaning rust and old paint, it can be attached to the new tailgate. Presto! You have a new Blazer tailgate.

1969-1972 blazer tailgate

1968-1972 Longhorn

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



In recent years seeing the unusual Chevrolet Longhorn or similar GMC Custom Camper (1968-1972) has become a very rare occurrence. These oversize pickups, with 8 1/2 ft. bed floors, were built for work and thus there is a very limited survival rate. Most seen today started life as they were advertised carrying a vacation camper. They were usually more taken care of during their beginning years and the camper protected their wood bed from weather. Later in life, their heavier rear suspension caused them to be used more as a work truck.

The creation of this large pickup relates to GM’s trend of keeping down costs on what they suspect will be a low volume vehicle. With limited parts investment and by using pre-existing components, this new model was born in mid 1968.

The chassis had already been in existence since the beginning of the body style in 1967. It’s 133″ wheelbase was used under the 1967-1968 1 ton stepside pickup with leaf springs. Most of the components of this new Longhorn fleetside box had also been used on the earlier pickups. To create this new longer fleetside bed, GM simply produced a pair of six inch vertical bed extensions to place between the pre-existing sides and front bed panel. This filled the gap created in front of the bedsides when the 127′ wheelbase chassis was extended to 133 inches.

An expensive metal floor was not a part of this new longer fleetside pickup. A traditional wood plank floor with metal bed strips kept GM’s cost at a minimum.

To draw attention to this larger pickup, the Chevrolet division included ‘Longhorn’ die cast chrome letters secured at the rear of the sides. GMC’s designation was ‘Custom Camper’ and these letters are on each door above the chrome handle, not on the bedsides. To make it a little confusing, GMC also used these Custom Camper emblems in the same location on their heavier 3/4 ton, 127″ wheelbase pickup, with leaf springs. This shorter long bed could be obtained with either a wood or metal bottom bed.

When the optional deluxe upper trim was ordered on this long bed, it’s new six inch extension was placed to the rear of the bed. The resulting trim joining point was therefore not in line with the vertical bed extension joint at the front.

By altering suspension components both the Chevrolet and GMC 133 inch wheel base pickup could be ordered with either a ¾ or 1 ton rating. These special trucks were available from mid year 1968 through 1972. They were not continued with the introduction of the new 1973 body style.

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 1

Upper trim joint at rear of bedside. (above)

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 2

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 3

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 4

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 5

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 6

1968 longhorn 7

The Following is reprinted from the May 1969 issue of Motor Trend

Article byV. Lee Oertle

Why would anyone lay down $4,549.45 for a slick-looking pickup truck, even if they do call it the Longhorn? That kind of money will buy a Chevrolet station wagon, or an Impala or an SS Chevelle. That question nagged me the day a Chevrolet official handed me the keys and turned me loose in a new Longhorn pickup. When I asked a Chevrolet truck salesman the same question a few days later, he replied:

‘You’re talking about a window-sticker price, buddy. The actual base of a Longhorn pickup is $2,738 plus destination charges. The rest of it is locked up in accessories and quite a bit of optional equipment. Look at the list ‘ air conditioner alone is $392.75. Then the Turbo Hydra-Matic adds another $242.10, and the Custom Sport Truck package jacks it up another $247.50. And then; At that point, I waved him away, ‘Yeah, yeah ‘ I got eyes. I just didn’t read the fine print.’ I said, testily.

The salesman’s lips tightened a little. ‘The time to read fine print is before you buy ‘ not after.’

Good advise. Further down the sticker price list I noted that power steering on the Longhorn was $113.50. Another stopper was the $80.40 for a spare tire and wheel. On a deluxe pickup, I sort of, well, expected that a spare tire and wheel would be standard equipment. But then, I hadn’t really done my arithmetic. A quick refresher course proved that of the original sticker price of $4,549.45, a staggering $1,811.45 of it covered extras, accessories and options. Freight, license, sales taxes, carrying charges on the loan and insurance might easily push the final tally over the brink of $5,000. That’s an expensive neighborhood no matter where you live, and if anyone is tired of reading about the prices before he hears about the performance, he’ll know how I felt when I finally got behind the steering wheel.

As I rolled off the Chevrolet lot, the salesman parted with the words, ‘who buys the sticker price, anyway?’ I suppose that’s true.

IT’S DIFFERENT

From the moment a shopper takes his first walk around a Longhorn, he’ll know it’s not just another pickup. As a matter of fact, he’ll notice that it’s a longer walk. The wheelbase is up to 133 inches on this model and the cargo box is a full 8 ½ feet in length. For those not familiar with pickups, the standard pickup (any brand) has an eight-foot cargo box. The extra half-foot was added by shoving the regular cargo box along the frame ‘ and then by inserting a short panel at the forward end of the box where it intersects with the cab.

Why all the noise over a slightly larger pickup? In order to understand the significance of this, remember that any change to basic dimensions on a truck involves tremendous expense and/or ingenuity on the part of cost-cutting engineers. It’s bigger, yes, but the clever way the job was done probably hasn’t increased its construction cost very much. The next logical question would be, why? Why a longer wheelbase, for example? Anyone knows that the longer the wheelbase trucks require more turn-around space.

But, looking at it from the Chevrolet viewpoint, a longer wheelbase also improves the ride, offers a more stable platform, and makes a much better carrier for all kinds of loads. This obviously affected Chevrolet’s judgment. For instance, a suburban home owner will like the big cargo box for hauling a variety of material. The tailgate drops down to provide about 10 ½ feet of load length platform.

In case anyone wonders about how the suspension system can handle the extra length, here is the message printed in Chevrolet literature on the subject: ‘Because it’ll be carrying larger loads than other pickups, it’s been especially engineered for extra support and better balance all along its 133 inch wheelbase. Its rear suspension, for instance, is built around tough two stage leaf springs for steadier going and surer handling.’ (Coil spring front suspension teams with the rear leaf springs.)

POWER TEAMS

The Longhorn is available with five different engines and several different transmissions. Our test truck was equipped with a 396 cubic inch V-8 rated at 325 horsepower. (the other engines include the standard 250 cubic inch 6, a 292 cubic inch 6, a 307 cubic inch V-8 and a 350 cubic inch V-8.)

PERFORMANCE

The Longhorn bench seat is a firm, comfortable, non-slip type that gives the driver a feeling of command. It is neither too high for comfort nor so low that shorty-drivers have to stretch their necks. The instrument panel includes a tachometer, speedometer and functional oil and temperature gauges.

Start the engine and a muffled growl, low and strong, comes lightly through heavy cab insulation. Step on the accelerator and the Longhorn instantly takes hold. While 325 horsepower doesn’t sound too exciting in a passenger car, in a pickup it can be hairy under a lead foot driver. Lightly loaded, the Longhorn still hangs on tight right up through the gears. Surprisingly, there was little wheelspin except on wet streets after a rain.

I had no stop-watch with me but I know that the Longhorn will probably be the first pickup up a steep hill. Meant more for power than speed, the 4700-pound Longhorn nevertheless comes on strong in situations where it really counts. A pickup with a smaller engine, for example, often has a difficult time entering freeways. But the Longhorn gets right out there despite a ton of hay riding the cargo deck. In the hands of an amateur an empty pickup would be a handful. Crank it on too fast, too often, and the rear wheels will chirp or slip-grab as they try to deliver traction faster than the lightly-loaded rear tires can bite the pavement.

Our particular test truck had the optional three speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. As far as I’m concerned, no other transmission makes sense with this combination of truck, engine and load ability. Shoving a stick-shift unit into the Longhorn makes about as much sense as hitching up an elephant to a pony cart.

Underneath, our test unit was wearing a Maximum Traction differential and an axle ratio of 3.07:1. Chevy rates this combo good up to about 7000 pounds. For loads over 7000 pounds, they suggest the optional ratio of 3.54:1. Though we didn’t tote anything exceptionally heavy, we found the 3.07:1 ratio an excellent choice for normal driving.

HANDLING

In this department, the Longhorn gets unusually high marks. It has a square-cornering ability few sedans can match and a sure-footed stance that keeps it straight when braking or lane-changing. By adding just 200 or 300 pounds of weight near the rear of the box, the pickup handles even better. )Extra weight cuts down on wheelspin.) Overall, the Longhorn is a solid-feeling pickup that any driver will appreciate.

There’s more than enough power for any load situation. The 396 is currently the largest engine available in a factory pickup (in any brand). The Longhorn should make a great carrier for a half-dozen trail bikes, for towing a boat, or for hauling a rented coach now and then. The luxury interior and comfortable cab will probably lure many new buyers away from station wagons and sedans. If you haven’t tried the new breed of pickups, you’re missing a most versatile family vehicle. The Longhorn is a smooth newcomer that undoubtedly will spark a host of imitations. It offers the longest wheelbase and largest cargo box of any two-door pickup, plus larger engines than competitors. As for the price? Well, like the man said: ‘Who pays sticker price, these days?’

PROBLEMS

Lest anyone suspect that I’ve been on the Chevy payroll, I have a few reservations about the Longhorn. For one thing, window glass on the driver’s side liked to slip sideways and climb up outside the channels every now and then. My guess is that the glass is a little too small for the track, or the channels were misaligned. On cold mornings, I’d climb into the cab and then, with one breath, all the windows frosted over. The longhorn is one of the few truck-cabs I’ve tested that would not clear up with the vent-windows cracked open. Steamy vapor clung stubbornly to the inside of the windshield. The only way to clear it away was to turn on the defroster full force, roll down one window, or both. On a cold morning, neither method pleased us very much.

From a purely personal viewpoint, I found it strange that Chevrolet would spend so much on interior design, but so little on panel coverings. The cab ceiling and much of the door panel areas were bare metal. Now, in a work-duty pickup that might be practical. Metal is more durable than plastic coverings, obviously. But in a class-type pickup, which the Longhorn most definitely tried to be, I found it objectionable. (There, it’s off my chest.)