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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

October 2018

1937

GMC T-14 ½ Ton

Larry Shisler

September 2018

1958

Chevrolet ½ Ton Short Bed

Dick & Dolores Diestel

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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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.)

1967-1972 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967-72 Chevy Truck Model I.D.



We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1967-1968

1967 1972 truck tech 1

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13580 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (6 cylinder)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban

1969-1970

1967 1972 truck tech 2

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13580 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (6 cylinder)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×2 (1970 only)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×4
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban

1971-1972

1967 1972 truck tech 3

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×2
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×4
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban

Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

1967-1972 Panel Trucks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



These years are the ‘last of the breed’! Due to the increasing popularity of the new G-series van, panel truck sales had continued to suffer since the mid 1960’s. By 1970, General Motors panel truck production came to a halt. GM did not even wait until the end of the body series in 1972! This ‘enclosed body on a pickup truck chassis’ (used over 50 years) was now history.

If you ever see a 1967-1970 Chevrolet or GM panel truck, tip your hat. You are looking at one of the few survivors of the ‘last of the breed’.

1967 1972 panel trucks

1967 GMC Super Custom

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The first year of the 1967-1972 series of trucks had various characteristics that were unique to just that one year. For the perfectionist, 1967 GM trucks are always a challenge. Because the 1967 GMC trucks sold in smaller numbers finding one with most of its original components is unusual. Even rarer is locating a GMC Super Custom. Trucks at that time were still considered more for work than pleasure, so few put the additional money in the extra trim.

The 1967 GMC Super Custom in these photos is one of the better examples of this top of the line model. This pickup is owned by Martin Trefz in Lake Lotawana, MO. It was repainted the original red several years ago and unfortunately had its wheelwell and side trim removed at that time. Most everything else except the non original wheels remain factory installed.

1967 gmc custom 1

The 1967 grille stands out as different than other GMC’s in this six year series. From 1968 and newer the GMC letters were placed on the nose of the hood and not stamped in the grill.

On the deluxe models, the unique one year only “Custom” die cast emblems were displayed on the front fender. These are now very rare and were often removed during a repaint or minor restoration because of surface pitting and lack of new replacements.

Of course, as with other 67 makes, there are no side marker lights. Federal regulations made these necessary in 1968 and up. Thus, fenders on 1967 are one year only.

During this first year, only the deluxe cabs had upholstered door panels instead of bare metal. Instead of vertical pleats as the Chevrolet CST, the GMC Custom runs their pleats horizontally. This was the final year that both of these makes used the same arm rests that had been on GM trucks since 1964.

1967 gmc custom 2

Like the 67 Chevrolet, this year GMC, did not have chrome edges on the dash cluster. The coloring is reversed from the Chevrolet on its plastic dash cluster. The outer edge and inner rings are black. The flat surface is charcoal gray. The metal glove box door is matching colors.

Even on this Custom model, the outside mirror arms are body color, not chrome. The steering wheel is deluxe only because of the clear plastic horn button. Below its clear surface is a chrome disc with GMC letters, just try to find a horn button like this at any swap meet.

Because it is a custom, it comes with a big rear window. The other 1967’s have a much smaller glass here. Stainless trim surrounds both the front and rear window. The wing vent assemblies are trimmed in stainless, not black as on the other models.

1967 gmc custom 3

One very unique feature on both Chevrolet and GMC in 1967 is the chrome wing vent handles. They are a carry over from the 1960-1966 series. The stud assembly attaching these handles wraps around the wing glass edge. There is not a stud hole in the glass as in 1968-1972. Therefore, this glass is a one year only item.

Even on the Custom (and the Chevrolet CST) the horizontal chrome strip on the hood edge and the front fender tips did not come out until 1968.

1956-1959 Panel License Plate Bracket

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The rear license plate bracket for the 1956-1959 panel truck-very rare!



For the first time, this body style did not incorporate the tail light into the license light.

When GM designed the body to have two tail lights on the corners, it was necessary to design a license plate light that remained independant on the door position. This small bracket and light has become very rare in recent years.

NOTE: Strange, the first year of this panel truck body style (1955) continued with the combination tail and license light combination as the 1947-1954 design.

1955 1959 panel tail light 2
1956-1959 (above)

1955 1959 panel tail light 1
1955 only (above)

1956-1959 Panel License Plate Bracket
The complete combination – 1956-1959 (above)

Rear Bumpers

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

GM step beds during 1955-1966 are almost the same. They even use identical tailgates. Thus GM did not find it necessary to change the rear bumper stamping during these 12 years. However, there is one important difference which distinguishes the 1955-1959 from 1960-1966 rear stepbed bumpers.

 rear bumper plate

During 1960-1966 GM placed two stamped square holes (not in 1955 through 1959) on either side of the center dip below the license plate. This is because the later series had their license plate bracket attached to this bumper, not to the rear bed cross sill as in the earlier 1955-1959

Introduction of the GM Fleetside

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



Though fleetside pickups are the common style today, they certainly had a unique appearance in the late 1950’s. Until then, the stepside body style with outside rear fenders was the norm. With smaller horsepower from available engines, the limited hauling capacity in the stepside box was well matched to the existing power plants.

If the customer required a pickup with more hauling volume, the stepside was simply made longer. To compensate for the extra gross weight, the manufacturer lowered the differential gearing. Thus the small engines continued to serve well but the result was a slower highway speed.

With the introduction of the Chevrolet high oil pressure 235 six and 265 small block V-8 engine, power was now available to allow for a radical new bed change. Pickup bed dimensions would be increased side to side in addition to length. Extra hauling capacity on the same wheelbase could be now handled by the additional horsepower. With the same wheelbase, an approximately 50% increase in bed capacity was created with GM’s new fleetside.

Both Chevrolet and GMC introduced the same fleetside in 1958. It came in both six and eight foot lengths on the 1/2 ton chassis. The eight foot box could also be ordered on the 3/4 ton frame. (If you needed a 1 ton pickup the prior long stepbed model still remained the only choice.) No doubt, these new fleetsides created much notoriety in a world of stepside pickups. To draw even more attention GM placed chrome die cast “Fleetside” lettered emblems toward the rear of each bed side.

This first GM fleetside box style was offered only two years until a redesigned side was introduced in 1960. The early bed 1958-1959 sides can be easily recognized due to their long 5″ wide horizontal spear stamped in the middle. These terminate at a unique round rear taillight which is also special to just this bedside.

A very deluxe optional model of this new fleetside was introduced in 1959. Some feel it was to replace the recently discontinued Cameo Carrier. It featured additional bed trim, stainless window moldings, chrome grill and bumper, plus a nicer interior. Its sides came with long stainless steel strips and die-cast ends beside the horizontal bed spears. This bed trim is very rare today! Unfortunately, the few original beds remaining make reproducing these horizontal trim strips financially impractical.

introduction gm fleetside 1

introduction gm fleetside 2

The featured early fleetside for this article is a 1959 Chevrolet short bed. Its owner is Olen Moore of Odessa, Missouri. He recently completed a three year ground up restoration to exact factory specifications. Olen even used the correct Galway Green, a very popular color during that era. Notice the stamped side spears and upper rear fleetside chrome emblems.

introduction gm fleetside 3

introduction gm fleetside 4

introduction gm fleetside 5

GM’s First 4×4

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The momentum of four wheel drive popularity definitely began after World War II. The need for this off-road extra during the war forced 4×4 technology to develop at a fast pace. Thus, during the early 1950’s, several independent companies began to appear offering a four wheel drive kit for light duty trucks.

Major pickup manufacturers were not yet offering this as one of their factory options so a great opportunity existed for new companies. Kits from emerging companies such as Marmon Harrington, NAPCO, American Coleman, and Fabco were designed to fit specific makes of trucks. For those that traded their vehicles regularly, these kits could be removed and installed under a newer truck. This was a big selling point as the finished product plus labor usually retailed for almost as much as a new light truck.

It didn’t take long for General Motors and other major light truck producers to realize a 4×4 option should be made available to their new vehicle buyers. Why should their franchised GMC and Chevrolet dealers be taking new unsold pickups to nearby independent installers to add the 4×4 option?

General Motors solved this problem and with less investment capital! Rather than engineer a totally new system (4×4 were not big sellers nationwide), GM installed an assembly line unit that was already being used. The Northwest Auto Parts Co. of Minneapolis, MN (NAPCO) was contracted to provide kits to one of GM’s truck assembly plants. As NAPCO was already the main installer of 4×4 systems under GM vehicles, this marriage was a natural.

NAPCO would continue to have their franchised installers in most major cities, however GM would offer the same system from their assembly plant. Of course, when GM used the system in 1957-59, they left off the chrome NAPCO trim fender plates and did not refer to the word NAPCO in their shop manual. The large letters NAPCO were always cast in the front axle housing in view to a person looking under the front bumper.

The following pictures are from an original 1957 Chevrolet 4×4 brochure. Note the emphasis on rugged use.

GM's First 4x4

GM's First 4x42

1955-1959 GMC Hood Emblems

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



On the task force body style, 1955-1959, the GMC hoods began quite different than Chevrolet. Beginning in 1955 a large opening, 5.25″ x 25″, was used to hold a set of die cast GMC letters attached to a decorative grill.

In 1957 this grill was removed in place of a perimeter ring. Why the less attractive ring was added is a question. Possibly this grill held leaves and restricted some air intake or maybe it was a change just to be change. There was no hood opening in these last two years of this series.

By 1958-1959 GMC and Chevrolet shared the same design hood with only trim differences.

1955 1959 gmc hood

1955-1956 (above)

1955 1959 gmc hood

1957 Starndad (above)

1957 Chrome Hood Emblem

1957 Deluxe (above)

1955 1959 gmc hood

1958-1959 (above)

1955 1966 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1955 Second Series-66 Chevy Truck Model I.D.

1955 1966 Truck

We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1955 2nd Series

1955 truck tech 1

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
H 3100 116 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
H 3124 116 ½ ton Cameo pickup
M 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed pickup
F 3400 104 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
G 3500 125 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
J 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed pickup
K 3700 137 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
L 3800 135 1 ton longbed pickup, panel, flatbed, stake
N 4100 130 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
P 4400 154 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
R 4500 154 1-½ ton school bus chassis
S 5100 112-5/8 2 ton low cab forward
T 5400 136-5/8 2 ton low cab forward
U 5700 160-5/8 2 ton low cab forward
V 6100 130 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
W 6400 154 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
X 6500 172 2 ton truck
Y 6700 194 2 ton school bus chassis
Z 6800 220 2 ton school bus chassis

1956

1955 truck tech 2

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
3A 3124 114 ½ ton Cameo pickup
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed pickup
3C 3400 104 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3D 3500 125 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed pickup
3F 3700 137 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3G 3800 135 1 ton pickup, panel, flatbed, stake
4A 4100 130 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
4B 4400 154 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
4C 4500 154 1-½ ton school bus chassis
6A 6100 130 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6B 6400 154 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6C 6500 172 2 ton
6D 6700 194 2 ton school bus chassis
6E 6800 220 2 ton school bus chassis

1957

1955 truck tech 3

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
3A 3124 114 ½ ton Cameo pickup
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed pickup
3C 3400 104 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3D 3500 125 ¾ ton longbed (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed pickup
3F 3700 137 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3G 3800 135 1 ton pickup, flatbed, stake rack
4A 4100 132-1/2 1-½ ton truck
4B 4400 156-1/2 1-½ ton truck
4C 4500 156-1/2 1-½ ton school bus chassis
6A 6100 132-1/2 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6J 6200 129-5/8 2 ton truck (forward control chassis)
6B 6400 156-1/2 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6C 6500 174-1/2 2 ton truck
6K 6600 153-5/8 2 ton truck (forward control chassis)
6D 6700 196-1/2 2 ton school bus chassis
6E 6800 222-1/2 2 ton school bus chassis

1958

1955 truck tech 4

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
3A 3124 114 ½ ton cameo pickup
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, stake
3G 3800 135 1 ton stepside pickup, panel, stake rack

1959

1955 truck tech 5

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
11/1280 119 El Camino L-6/V-8
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, stake rack
3G 3800 135 1 ton stepside pickup, panel, stake rack

1960

1955 truck tech 6

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
11/1280 119 El Camino L-6/V-8
C/K14 115 ½ ton 4×2/4×4 shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban (Apache 10)
C15 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup (Apache 10)
C/K25 127 ¾ ton 4×2/4×4 longbed step/fleetside pickup, 8′ stake bed (Apache 20)
C36 133 1 ton longbed stepside pickup, panel, 9′ stake bed (Apache 30)

1961-1963

1955 truck tech 7

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
C10 1404-34 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
C15 1504-34 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C25 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban, 8′ stake bed
K14* 1404-34 115 ½ ton 4×2/4×4 shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K25* 2504-39 127 ¾ ton 4×4 longbed step/fleetside pickup
C36 1404-34 133 1 ton longbed stepside pickup, panel, 9′ stake bed

1964-1966

1955 truck tech 8

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
A5380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
A5480 115 ½ ton El Camino (8 cylinder)
A5580 115 ½ ton El Camino Custom (6 cylinder)
A5680 115 ½ ton El Camino Custom (8 cylinder)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban, 8′ stake bed
K10 115 ½ ton 4×4 shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton 4×4 longbed step/fleetside pickup
C30 133 1 ton longbed stepside pickup, panel, 9′ stake

Note” The vehicle serial number on 1963 Four Wheel Drive models may be used to determine if the model is a First or Second Series Design. The following chart indicates each assembly plant and the sequence of vehicle serial numbers which apply to First Series or Second series.

*1st Series up to and including # *2nd Series including and begining wit # Assembly Plants
106084 106085 A= Atlanta
106732 106733 B= Baltimore
106559 106560 F= Flint
110340 110341 J= Janesville
112645 112646 N= Norwood
125965 125966 O= Oakland
118544 118545 S= St. Louis
109948 109949 T= Tarrytown

Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

Split Rim Wheels

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Article courtesy of Rob English (rob@oldgmctrucks.com)



The issue of multiple piece rims and safety comes up frequently. There seems to be a quick rush to judgment about any rim that has more than one piece, and while certain types of multiple piece rims have indeed been outlawed and are no longer made, many others are not only still in service, they are still made new.

1947-1954 light duty trucks offered split rims in 1/2 ton (optional only) up to 1 ton trucks. Many people are unaware that there was a 1/2 ton two piece 15″ six lug rim option available in GMCs and I presume Chevy too. More often than not, we run into eight lug two and three piece rims on 3/4 ton and one ton trucks and these are the subject of most of the misinformation.

There were two types of split rims offered originally a 3/4 ton GMC; 15″ TWO piece split rims (Kelsey-Hayes type WK-3), and optional 17″ THREE piece split rims (Kelsey-Hayes type WK-4)

The two piece split rim uses a lock ring that is fixed and is one solid piece. There’s a notch in the rim where you can remove and reinstall the bead retainer ring while mounting and breaking down tires. To remove, you tip the ring at an angle and then slip it by the notch. To mount, do the opposite. This type DOES NOT require prying apart the ring and if you try to pry it off, you’ll ruin ix

The 17″ split rims originally would have been the Kelsey-Hayes type WK-4 and are three pieces; the rim, the bead ring, and the lock ring. They are put together pretty much the same way they do now-a-days on big truck rims. The tire goes on the rim, then the ring slips on and then the third ring is “zipped” on/off using a sledge hammer and pry bar.

The safety of these rims is directly dependent upon their overall condition. I have split rims on all three of my vintage GMCs. You will find knowledgeable truck tire places will work on them without hesitation and car tire places will go screaming in circles with their hair on fire spewing misinformation about “suicide” rims which may or may not be applicable, but does more to spook people than inform them with facts.

I have many many miles on my original split rims and find them to be great for my purposes. Others may have different views of what works for them. See the illustration below to understand the three basic types of original stock rims you’ll find on the old GMC trucks.

View PDF Chart of 1947-1954 Split Rims Click Here

Jim Carter follow- up on this article by Rob English:

I have three 1 to 1 ½ ton Chevy’s that were restored at least 10 years ago.  They all have the correct split rim wheels.  There has been absolutely no problem with any of them.

The tire quality in today’s world is so superior to that of 50 years ago!  In the 1950’s I would see someone on the road changing a flat tire almost every two weeks.  Now, it has changed to about once in 6 months.

Suggestion:  To improve the appearance of your split rims, zinc plate (like GM did when new) or paint the small lock ring silver.  This will nicely contrast with the painted wheel.  You might say they even look a little like white walls!  It really helps the appearance!  See photos.

1 ½ and 2 Ton ¾ and 1 Ton

Rear Bumper Options

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Ever wonder why GM pickup rear bumpers have been an option for so many years?



Beginning in 1951 these bumpers became an extra cost option and have remained this way ever since on most pickup models.

The reason relates to trucks being mostly for work. Though protecting the bed from minor rear damage, a bumper also kept the driver from backing up against a loading dock. GM found that many farmers and construction workers had been removing the rear bumper to get the truck flush against a dock. This eliminated most of the gap between the truck and dock. Broken legs of livestock and employees during loading were also greatly reduced.

The following picture is an example of a 1955 and newer GM step bed pickup. Its owner went against the current trend of adding the optional rear bumper during its restoration and kept his truck basic. It is important to note, that to protect the license plate bracket without a bumper, GM placed it on the left side. Holes are in the middle of the rear cross sill from the factory to make it easier for the dealer to install the rear center license plate bracket while adding the optional bumper.

Note the rear spare tire arm is at an angle to also protect it from damage if backing or being even lightly bumped in traffic.

This picture shows an optional right taillight. From the assembly line this truck would have only the left light with attached license bracket.

rear bumper options 1

Without optional bumper. Owner has added a right tail light. (above)

rear bumper option 2

Factory installed optional bumper including correct tail lights and license bracket (above)

New Cigarette Lighter

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Purchasing a 1947-1953 optional cigarette lighter assembly from some vendors provides reproduction that is far from original in appearance. A manufacturer recently offered the optional lighter assembly but used a knob from the headlight of a 1947-1953. There is no similarity to the real lighter!

Don’t be embarrassed at a show where your vehicle is being judged.

new cigarette lighter 1

Reproduction (above)

new cigarette lighter 2

Image of original (above)

Korean War Shortages

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Prices of more valuable metals such as copper and nickel reached their height during mid 1951 through 1953. Though U.S. shortages were much less than in WWII, there were price increases in the market that affected the financial bottom line of auto and truck manufacturers.

America almost demanded chrome on cars even if it raised prices. Decorative shiny trim was almost necessary to get buyers into the showroom.

Trucks were a different story! They were work vehicles. Eliminating the chrome extras did nothing to lessen the load capacity or operations off road. To keep the price down GM and other truck manufacturers removed much of the chrome and replaced it with paint. The steel stampings were the same, they were just painted. It was very necessary for GM’s base model to be priced low. City, county, federal, and many companies bought fleet trucks that offered the lowest price. Purchases had little to do with appearance. Even a $10.00 savings could make a sale.

The noticeable changes on GM light trucks is the lack of chrome on hub caps, grill bars, bumpers, and even the wiper knob. Stainless steel also felt the Korean War shortages. The deluxe five window pickup cab no longer had the stainless around the windshield and side windows. The glove box as well as the radio speaker horizontal trim was now painted steel. The deluxe panel truck with all its extra stainless side trim was now history.

By 1954 the chrome and stainless was back stronger than ever though some base models were kept in paint to hold their price low.

The following photos show just a few examples of GM’s Korean War era trucks. Considering their uses it doesn’t look too bad.

korean 1

korean 2

korean 3

korean 4

korean 5

First Series Chevrolet

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1955 year put Chevrolet on top! All stops were removed in announcing and continual advertising of the totally redesigned passenger car and their first V-8 engine. Television, radio, news papers and dealers regularly told the public that Chevrolets best year had arrived.

It was not good timing to also begin an equal advertising campaign for the totally new truck that was ready for manufacturing. A good business decision by GM was to wait about six months until the car ads had slowed, then advertising could begin again for their redesigned trucks. This would hit the customers twice in one year on major changes in the Chevrolet market.

It was unheard of for GM to not introduce a new Chevy vehicle each year, therefore at least something had to happen with trucks at the beginning of the 1955 model year. The answer was later called a “First Series 1955”. Chevrolet would introduce the 1955 truck by making several changes to their pre-existing 1954. With the new “Second Series” only months away, little investment was made to the early 1955 trucks.

First Open Drive Shaft

First Open Drive Shaft

The most noticeable change on the popular 1/2 ton was the first open drive shaft in Chevy’s truck history. This was actually created for the later 1955 trucks but with dealer demand it was moved up to be in the early body style. This major drive line change required a different 3 speed transmission, rear leaf springs, shift linkage and shift box.

1955 Hood Side Emblem

1955 Hood Side Emblem

The outside visual changes were minimum. During the about 5 months production, the 1955 early truck was given totally different hood side emblems. However, to reduce costs the number portion of the emblem could be changed depending on the size of trucks. Example: 3100 on 1/2 ton, 3600 on 3/4 ton and 3800 on the 1 ton.

Vertical Stripes

Vertical Stripes

A no cost difference was changing the vertical stripes on the front hood emblem from red on the 1954 to white on the 1955

Non-Chrome Grill

Non-Chrome Grill

The paint arrangement on the non-chrome grill was also a non cost change for Chevrolet. The grill bars were changed from body color to white.

Dash Color

Dash Color

Interior paint (again a no cost change) was slightly modified from a pearl beige color 1954 to a light metallic brown.

Thus, with little extra investment Chevrolet had a new truck for the beginning of 1955. This was the final offering of this body style that began in 1947. GM referred to it as the “Advance Design”. It has become one of Chevrolet’s all time greats. It’s popularity today is as strong with hobbyists as it was with new buyers 50 years ago.

Then came the totally re-designed trucks in mid-year 1955. That will be another story!

Accessories vs Options

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

As per GM, accessories during the 1930’s through mid 1960’s were the extra cost items sold and installed by the approved dealer. The truck was prepared for these during production so the dealership could later add them with less effort.

As much as possible GM would punch holes, attach removable plates, press in dimples, etc. to help the dealership in placing the accessory in just the right position. Several accessories using the pre-placed holes or dimples in these early Chevrolet and GMC trucks are the right side taillight bracket, fresh air heater, radio, front bumper guards, cigarette lighter, arm rest, glovebox light, and windshield washer.

Options were added at the factory. They were more difficult to install by individual dealerships and were therefore placed on the vehicle during production. This included items such as a chrome grille, 4 speed transmission on 1/2 and 3/4 ton chassis, double action shocks, tinted windows on 1953-55, two speed rear axle on larger trucks, double action fuel pump, hydrovac power brake, etc.

1947-1954 Rear Spring Alignment

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Tech Tip from Ron Hansen
Wakefield, Massachusetts

Jim Carter Truck Parts

Alignment Solution for Installing a Late Model Rear End in a 1947-1954 Pick Up

On the original rear end, the spring centerbolt is offset to the front of the spring by 2″to 3″. If you install a modern rear end (with an open driveshaft) and retain the original springs, the wheels will end up offset forward (inside) of the original wheel openings in the fenders. To correct this problem, remove the original springs and reverse them end to end (front to back) as they are the same on both ends. This will bring the spring centerbolt to the rear of the axle and place the new rear end in the center of the fender wheel openings.

Click to enlarge

Jim Carter Truck Parts

Lost Engine Numbers

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

GM trucks titled prior to the mid-1950’s were usually registered using the stamped engine number not the body digits pressed in the door ID plate. This practice has created many problems in later years as states became stricter in titling.

Unfortunately, many older vehicles outlast their engine and owners rarely rebuild the originals. To save time and certainly expense, a rebuilt unit or a used one from another vehicle would often be installed. This worked great until years later when state safety inspections began or the vehicle was sold out of state. With a prior engine transplant, there was no ID numbers that would match the title.

Even today, this problem occurs as older trucks with different engines are pulled out of barns and from the property line of a farmer’s back field.

Lost Bumper Bolt

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

On 1937-55 1/2 and 3/4 ton rear bumpers there exists an unused center square bumper bolt hole that sometimes brings up questions from restorers. “Why does this hole exist and what is it purpose?” The answer relates to the attitude toward trucks during those years. They were for work and keeping their production cost low was a priority.

The bumpers during 1937-47 were the same front and rear. The center hole at the front held a vertical steel bracket which was needed if the truck was hand cranked. Rather than make a 4 hole rear bumper, GM simply used their front on the rear. Even in 1947-55 with a slightly different horizontal shape, the factory 5 hole punch was used on front and rear. Therefore, the rear bumper hole has no purpose. To cover this hole, GM produced a special bumper bolt that has become very rare. To save costs (it is a surprise that anything was used) GM created a one inch long stud held in place with a sheet metal speed nut. It has no threads and its head is covered with a stainless cap so it looks like the other bumper bolts from a distance.

Most of these original rare filler bolts will have dents and scrapes on the stainless cap. A skilled person can place a new stainless cover from a more common replacement bolt and make this rare unit look like new.

lost bumper bolt

GMC 1/2 Ton Long Bed

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Of the many differences between the Chevrolet and GMC 1/2 ton during the early years (1936-54), the GMC offering of a long bed pickup box was one of the more noticeable. Only GMC provided this option. To obtain this extra bed length on a Chevrolet, the buyer ordered a 3/4 ton.

This difference existed with the first GMC pickup in 1936 and continued through the end of the Advance Design series in 1955. Possibly the reasoning for this was the horsepower difference between these two marquis. The base 216 six cylinder Chevrolet engine provided 92 hp. The standard 228 GMC six boasted 100 hp.

To get the approximately nine inch extra GMC chassis length not only were the two frame rails longer but the drive shaft was extended. GMC engineers did this by developing an extension which was the connecting length between the standard short bed closed drive shaft and the rear of the transmission. None of this interchanges with a Chevrolet and both makes use a totally different drive shaft design on their 3/4 ton series.

The adjacent photo shows this unique connector link installed in its GMC. A 7 3/8 inch steel jack-shaft is surrounded by a cast iron housing (it is still a closed drive shaft) and includes an extra u-joint, bearing, and seal. Though, a strongly built drive shaft system, this portion becomes the long bed 1/2 ton’s weak link after 50 years of use and abuse. Without a doubt this link has performed almost flawlessly beyond the miles expected by its designers. However, it does have its long term limitations. The many prior miles, lack of regular maintenance, and occasionally overloading the truck makes the failure of an original in today’s world a definite possibility. Watch for sources for the rare replacement parts in this connector link just in case. Otherwise surprise damage in this area can keep your GMC 1/2 ton long bed out of service for quite some time.

long bed 1

long bed 2

long bed 3

Home Made Garage

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When you would like to restore your truck and no workshop is available, there is a solution. Most all the repairs can occur in a temporary shop and at a very low cost.

Jim Valano of Marion, Indiana is a true example of ‘American Ingenuity.’ He purchased a ‘canvas storage tent’ and assembled it at a convenient location. He even made the floor using the backside of used carpet on top of sheet plastic. Its roll-up sides are adjusted for the weather.

Jim’s 1957 Chevrolet ½ ton is now almost restored and most of the work occurred in this canvas enclosure. It can later be removed and stored in the original box.

If you need a building for your restoration, this may be your answer. Just check with your city for possible zoning restrictions!

home made garage 1

home ,ade garage 2

home made garage 3

First GMC Light Duty Pick Up Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Prior to the mid-1930’s, the two truck divisions of General Motors, Chevrolet and GMC, were mostly independent companies. If you wanted a 1-1/2 ton and smaller truck, Chevrolet (since 1918) could provide the model just right for your needs. If you needed a 2-ton and larger, GMC was the division to contact. They had been a large truck specialist even before 1920.

A gradual overlap began in mid-1936 with the introduction of the new “low cab” body. GMC brought out a line of light trucks in direct competition with Chevrolet. They were to give their struggling GMC dealerships additional sales during the Great Depression by fulfilling their customer’s light duty hauling needs. These new trucks shared most sheet metal with Chevrolet as well as transmissions, front suspension, wheels and differentials. A few minor changes were the grille, hood sides, lettered tailgate and hubcaps; however, the major difference was the engine.

We have heard from several sources that this first GMC 1/2 ton pickup was always a long bed of 126”. The short bed 112” was not available until 1937.

At that time GMC did not produce a small engine that could fit their new light duty trucks. Their totally new small six-cylinder overhead valve power plant was still three years away. The solution was to use a pre-existing engine from one of the General Motors other divisions. They adopted the 213 cubic inch six-cylinder flat head (valves in the block) engine from Oldsmobile. Its power, size and reliability in cars made it the best choice and replacement parts were already available from the Oldsmobile division.

This proven engine in combination with the new low cab body proved successful and allowed GMC to begin gaining ground in the small truck market.

This 213 full oil pressure insert bearing engine (updated by Oldsmobile in 1937 to 230) was main source of power during the early years of smaller GMC trucks, 1936-38. One exception was in the half-ton pickup in 1938. For this model and year only, GMC now used a different smaller flat head six-cylinder. It came from the Pontiac car division and it even has the Pontiac Indian head symbol cast in the right side of the engine block. It had 223 cubic inches. The 230 was retained on GMCs larger than 1/2-tons.

Few of these light duty GMC survive today. They not only experienced the usual heavy work jobs as trucks, but with World War II new truck shortages meant few GMCs were set idle in storage.  After the war, most were worn down to where it cost more to repair them than using them to make a down payment on a new truck.  Thus, the majority were lost to the crusher.

first gmc light duty 1

1937 GMC, Drawing by Bryant Stewart, Farley, MA.

first gmc light duty 2

1936 GMC T-14
(Photo compliments of Patrick Kroeger at pkroeger@tampabay.rr.com)
Not to be used without written permission.

Demise of the GM Panel Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Even before the 1920’s, light commercial hauling using panel trucks had found a loyal growing customer base. With increasing numbers of small businesses and the population gradually moving to the cities, the panel truck found a place in our society. By the 1930’s, most all truck manufacturers had designed a panel body to fit on their existing pickup truck chassis.

Advantages of the panel over other trucks for small business are numerous. Their weather-tight body protects cargo from rain, snow, driving wind and summer sun. Very important is the security feature. Merchandise is out of sight and can be locked. They are economical over big trucks and much more maneuverable than the larger commercial vehicles. Panel trucks are just right for moving in crowded streets and narrow alleys.

demise panel truck 1

Retired panel trucks used for storage (above)

Even at the end of the panel truck’s life, auto wrecking yards often kept a few for storage. The bodies were excellent for protecting used parts (starters, generators, bearings, clutches, etc.) from the weather.

During the mid 1960’s, a major drop in panel truck popularity began. The vehicle that was once wanted by most every business in America was now being overlooked because of a ‘new kid on the block.’ The General Motors G-series van had arrived! This new van with short nose, had better turning radius, more cargo space on a like wheelbase, and a side freight door. It was the truck to buy. On most models the price was even lower.

The panel truck could not compete! It’s sales began dropping almost every year. Their popularity became so low that GM discontinued the vehicle even before the end of the 1967-1972 body style. This tells how the sales had dropped. Production was stopped even though the assembly line was operating and the tooling was able to continue stamping the body panels. In 1970, General Motors called it quits. The panel truck was history!

demise panel truck 2

1970 G Series Van (above)

With the major sales decline during the final years, you will see less of the 1967-70 units than of the earlier designs.

Even finding a rough final series panel is a rare occurrence. The newest is now over 30 years old. They were built for work responsibilities. Few were kept out of the weather. Most were owned by companies and driven by their employees.

demise panel truck 3

Believe It or Not

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It’s the height of World War II. The Japanese have control of the rubber plantations in Indonesia. The few tires available are reserved for military use.  And, the rationing of gasoline stops most U.S. vehicle operation.  But, there were still trucks needed on farms, keeping telephone lines operational, and supplying store commodities for their city.  For these selected truck uses, new tires could sometimes be available.

What did individuals do with no replacement tires for their trucks and cars?

We have talked with several elderly people over the years.  They recall using real ‘American Ingenuity’ to keep tires on their limited-use vehicles.  It was called ‘booting’.  Essentially, they searched for non repairable tires in salvage yards.  Then, they removed the bead that touched the rim with a small hand saw.  The tread part was then wrapped around the mounted tire that was still holding air.  Wear stopped on the inner tire and the once worthless outer tire could now be placed back in service.

It was said to work well at slower speeds. This was a creative idea that helped keep our country mobile during a time of great sacrifices and shortages. Sorry, we wish we had a picture!

1941-1946 1 1/2 Ton Front Bumper

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

A major change in large truck Chevrolet front bumpers occurred during there years. Prior to 1946 the 1 1/2 ton bumpers and braces were little more that a heavier guage design of the smaller 1/2 ton.

The big bumper change was in 1946. (Possibly this was because Chevrolet introduced its first 2 ton model that year.) Now it was nothing like those on the 1/2 and 3/4 ton.

This new heavier, stronger bumper design continues on GM’s larger trucks to this day.

1941 front bumper

1941 Front Bumper (above)

1946 front bumper

1946 Front Bumper (above)

1939 New Zealand Right Hand Drive

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

General Motors right hand drive trucks, though unusual in the United States, have always been very popular in specific countries such as Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. These vehicles were not produced in the U.S. but came from GM’s large assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Due to reversed dash boards, the change in steering components, differences in starter linkages, and tail light locations, etc., the lower numbers of right hand drive production was kept at this one Canadian assembly plant.

In New Zealand, special marketing laws required at least 25% of each new truck had to be assembled or produced in that country. This was mostly to help provide more local jobs. Thus for many years the GM Canadian facility exported truck parts only to the New Zealand assembly plant in Petone near the capital city of Wellington. Hundreds of freight containers supplying GM truck parts regularly arrived at this New Zealand assembly plant. The specialized parts from Canada were engines, frames, suspension components, disassembled cabs and front sheet metal. The New Zealand plant then assembled the truck and furnished parts they could provide locally. This included (at least in the 1940’s) the wiring harnesses, window glass, a wood cab floor, some rubber parts, an optional flat wood deck, etc.

To keep within the 25% government parts and labor requirement, a truck bed with sides as supplied on U.S. vehicles was not included. A locally made wood deck could be added during assembly. Either with or without this deck, the two rear pickup metal rear fenders from the Canadian plant were wired or otherwise secured at the rear of the cab. The finished vehicle was delivered this way to local New Zealand GM dealers. The lack of a bed would also allow the budget minded buyer to construct his own deck or hauling platform and better afford the new truck.

A New Zealand trailer manufacturer during these early years used pickup rear fenders on their finished product. Their small general purpose trailers were usually equipped with these new metal pickup fenders. A retired 88 year old manager of this company remembers having standing orders with all New Zealand pickup dealers (not just GM) to purchase their extras. This saved additional expense on their completed trailers.

The photos below are of three excellent 1939 Chevrolet 1/2 ton’s, all assembled at the New Zealand plant.

Their right hand drive feature is unique to American readers, however, these Chevrolets have another very unusual characteristic. As with most 1939 New Zealand Chevrolet trucks, their cab was assembled in the New Zealand Petone plant from pre-stamped pieces, and are a mixture of two types of trucks. The rear of the cabs and door outer sheet metal are of the U.S. 1936-1938 design. The cowl, windshield frame, hood and grill are the 1939-40 style. Yes, they do weld together nicely into a single unit but the horizontal door and hood lines do not match. Reasons for the GM ‘cab mixture’ are not known at this writing, however, it is assumed keeping New Zealand’s costs low was the main factor. Quantities of older 1936-38 style rear cabs, roofs, and door stampings were either already available or the prior tooling still had much remaining life. The lower cost could then be passed on to the retail truck buyer. Just another way of producing the New Zealand 1939 GM truck at the lowest possible price!

Another theory for this unusual combination cab is due to the beginning of World War II. Because of New Zealand’s connection with Great Britain, they entered the war September 2, 1939 over two years before the United States became formally involved. No doubt being in the war created an immediate demand for all trucks in New Zealand. Rather than lose sales while the cab tooling changeover occurred at the Canadian supply plant (1938 to the new design 1939 body) GM continued with the prior sheet metal for their in demand export truck. Exact new styling was not necessary to overseas buyers when the war demand was so high!

Truck #1 – Owned and restored by Steve Jones, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Contact Steve at chevytrucks49@e3.net.nz

A local newspaper ad brought Steve to this basically complete 1939 pickup. It had great potential for a complete restoration and was just what Steve had been wanting. It’s major two year rebuilding started in 1999 and most all work was done personally by the owner, Steve Jones. It is now authentically restored from the ground up. The only observable differences from its 1939 beginning are the addition of a non-New Zealand GM bed with sides and its whitewall tires. Steve even picked an original Chevrolet truck color, Armour Yellow.

One of Steve’s pictures, with this article, features the inside of the cab top without the headliner. Note: the factory welds where the early and late style sheet metal have been joined.

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive


Truck #2 – Owned and restored by Steve Bright, Feilding, New Zealand

This 1939 was bought new by Steve’s grandfather. He used it for it’s first five years on a rural mail delivery route (during World War II) as well as helping with the family sheep and cattle farm. After the war it continued with farm duties plus collected cream from surrounding dairies for a local butter factory. This was done until 1950 when this little ’39 had reached a mileage of 200,000. It was then used for the next 25 years by members of the family on the farm or for trips to town.

Retirement occurred in about 1978 when major mechanical problems developed. It was placed in a barn after having logged over 350,000 miles!! It sat in this same storage place until 1990, when Steve decided to give it a major restoration in honor of his grandfather.

He has now rebuilt it to look like it’s off the assembly line. All worn parts were repaired or replaced. The exception is the hand made bed built during the restoration which results in a longer overhang in the back. The tonneau cover protects the bed bottom and merchandise being transported.

Though the truck looks and drives almost new, it is not a “trailer queen”. Steve Bright has driven it 14,000 miles in the past six years.

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

Editors Note:The above trucks were closely observed and personally driven during a recent trip to New Zealand. Each has the same unique features, so it can be assumed, they are correct from the factory.

An additional feature of these New Zealand 1939 Chevrolets: The gas tanks were below the bed and cab from the factory, not under the seat as in the U.S.A. The right side of the cab is even notched out to allow the tank to fit higher above the ground.

Steve Bright’s truck still has the original tank. Steve Jones truck gas tank was missing so he placed a replacement unit under the seat as on U.S. built 1939’s.


Truck #3 – Owned and restored by Graham Stewert, Wyndham, New Zealand

Contact Graham at 2 R.D., Wyndham 9892, New Zealand

This little 1939 1/2 ton is on New Zealand’s South Island. Its owner, Graham Stewert, has personally given it a complete restoration with all parts disassembled and then put back in place. Other than engine rebuilding and body repair, the owner did the work!

Graham bought this 1/2 ton un-restored in 2003 with only 76,350 miles. It immediately caught his attention because it was the same as his grandfather bought new in 1939. He well remembers grandfather using it for regular deliveries by the family dairy to homes and a dairy processing plant.

Thus, he decided to build it “bone stock” in memory of his grandfather and how it looked in 1939.

It is now the exact color as grandfather’s 1939 and the engine, transmission, differential, and interior, etc. is like Graham remembers in his younger days. It runs like new and is a pleasure to drive for fun transportation as well as to many vintage auto rallies.

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1937-1946 Deluxe Heaters

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Keeping the passenger area warm in cars and trucks during the winter was always a problem in the early years. Not only were the heater fans and cores small but the vehicles used recirculator heaters. Thus, the air in the cab was recirculated rather than using dry outside cold air being brought inside and warmed. This helped for quicker warming but with more passengers, the additional humidity from breathing caused the windows to fog inside. A wiping cloth would have been needed to clear the windshield.

To address this issue, GM provided an extra feature with the pictured “deluxe” heater. A blower motor attached to the top of the standard heater made it a “deluxe” model. This separate optional motor on top forced warm air into the defroster nozzles and onto the windshield. There were two switches under the dash, one for each motor. In colder climates, it is doubtful the small heater core could supply warm air from the two motors both at the same time! Although this is antiquated by today’s standards, it did allow some relief on colder days.

GM Deluxe Heater 1
Optional Defroster Motor on Top-Estimated 1939
Front GM Deluxe Heater
1940-46
GM deluxe Heater 2
Air intake, back view ‘ Estimated 1939
GM deluxe Heater 2
1940-46
Optional Defroster Assembly- Estimated 1939
Optional Defroster Assembly- Estimated 1939

1940-46

1937-1938 Australian Half Ton

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The Australian 1937-38 Chevrolet trucks are much like those in the U.S., however on close observation, one can certainly see unique differences. This United States relative is obviously GM but not quite the same.

These Down-Under truck’s final assembly point was in the Holden plant in New South Wales, Australia. (Holden is a branch for GM in that country.) Much of the sheet metal was stamped at the GM Canadian plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Most all the GM trucks in the 1930’s and 1940’s that reached overseas assembly plants were from this Canadian location but unassembled.

In Australia and even in nearby New Zealand, local governments required a certain percentage of truck parts to be manufactured in those countries. This provided jobs for the local population. Parts supplied in Australia would be wiring harnesses, glass, tires, seats, a different design bed, etc.

The current photos we have of Australian 1937-38 1/2 tons are these furnished by Luke Randall from auto gatherings in Eastern Australia. He owns a 1938 to be restored so he has an interest in others of this design. You can contact Luke at lukerandall@hotmail.com.

Items of special interest on these 1937 and 1938 Australian trucks are:

  • The 3 stamped ribs on the can roof
  • A different bed design
  • The wide horizontal panel below the door
  • The double stamped belt on the cowl and door stop near the handle (In the U.S. the belt continues around the cab behind to the rear under the window)
  • The windshield is two a piece not like the one piece 1937-1938 in the U.S.
  • Doors are more rounded at the top
  • Right hand drive

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 2

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 3

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 4

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 5

Luke and passenger

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 6

Luke’s 1938 to be restored

It’s finally complete! Luke’s many hours has paid off. What a special “one of a kind” 1938.

As the beds from the Australian factory were usually a flat deck to lower retail costs, Luke added an all wood bed in the shape of a US designed bed. Very nice!

1936-1942 Coupe Pick Up

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1936-1942 Chevy Coupe Pick Up

During the great depression of the 1930’s, almost half of the automakers ceased business forever. Most remaining manufacturers modified their vehicles and advertising techniques to appeal to a very conservative buyer. With limited disposable income the few people willing to purchase a car or truck were very careful.

To help boost or at least hold sales steady, the Chevrolet Division introduced a new model in 1936. It was referred to as the Coupe Pickup. With a small corporate investment a dual purpose vehicle was created to appeal to the buyer with a need for both a car and a pickup.

The new model was a standard coupe with a miniature pickup truck bed placed in the trunk area. This small new bed included wood planks, metal strips, sides, and tailgate much like larger ½ ton pickups. It extended out of the trunk about the distance of the rear bumper. To keep out dust and rain water, a custom made canvas snapped in place between the small bed sides and the coupe trunk edges.

To appeal to the conservative new car buyer during the depression years this vehicle even included a painted coupe deck lid wrapped in several coverings of butcher paper. In this way if the mini-bed was removed, the deck lid could be attached and the owner then had a car.

A popular use was by neighborhood grocery stores.  The coupe express was excellent to deliver grocery items in the neighborhood.  The owner could also use it as his personal car!

This unique model was available each year from 1936 through early 1942 when World War II stopped domestic car production. There is almost no survival of the original coupe pickups. The few that made it even to the 1950’s were almost always given their deck lid to transform them to a pure coupe. Few people wanted an older pickup with such limited hauling capacity when they could have a coupe with a somewhat youthful sporty appearance.

No doubt the major weakness of this model was the canvas between the bed and body. It soon deteriorated when the vehicle set outside leaving the trunk area exposed to rain and snow. This was just the beginning of major rust problems which in time totaled the trunk area and maybe even the complete vehicle!

Today, if one of these beds would appear at an antique auto swap meet, almost no one would remember it’s original application. When the Chevrolet lettering was not on the gate, most would pass by thinking it is probably home made for a forgotten use.

1936-1942 coupe puick up 1

1936-1942 coupe pick up 2

1936-1942 coupe pick up

1936-1942 coupe pick up

Below is an example of an excellent used insert that made the standard coupe a coupe express. Found in Montana in 2013, it is about as pure as one can find of an almost 75 year old Chevrolet accessory. Almost no rust damage and some original paint! It had to be placed in a storage building when the car was made back into a standard coupe.

1934-1946 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1934-1946 Chevy Truck Model I.D.

We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1934

Series DB…Wheelbase 112…1/2 ton pickup and canopy top pickup, panel, canopy express, spc. pickup/panel, chassis

Series PA/B…..Wheelbase 131..1 1/2 ton truck – single/dual wheels

Series PB…Wheelbase 131…1/2 ton pickup dual wheels

Series PC/D…..Wheelbase 157..1 1/2 ton truck – single/dual wheels

Series PD……Wheelbase 157….1 1/2 ton truck, dual wheels


1935

truck tech 1935

Series EB…Wheelbase…112…1/2 ton pick up panel,canopy express,suburban, spc, pickup/panel chassis and cab.

Series QA/B…..Wheelbase…131…1 1/2 ton truck single and dual wheels

Series QC/D…..Wheelbase…157…1 1/2 ton truck single and dual wheels


1936

truck tech 1936

Series FB…Wheelbase 112…1/2 pick up panel, canopy express, suburban, spc. pickup/panel, chassis and cab.

Series RA…..Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck single wheels

Series RB…Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck dual wheels.

Series RC…..Wheelbase 157…1 1/2 ton truck single wheels

Series RD…..Wheelbase 157…1 1/2 ton truck dual wheels


1937

Series GC…Wheelbase 112……1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban carryall, chassis and cab

Series GD…..Wheelbase 122-1/2……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (11″ brakes)

Series GE…..Wheelbase 122-1/2……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (14″ brakes)

Series SA/B…..Wheelbase 131-1/2…..1 1/2 ton chassis and cowl, open express, canopy express

Series SC/D…..Wheelbase 157……1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels


1938

Series HC…Wheelbase 112…………1/2 ton panel, canopy express, suburban

Series HD…..Wheelbase 120-1/4……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack, (11″ brakes)

Series HE…..Wheelbase 122-1/4……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (14″ brakes)

Series TA…Wheelbase 131-1/2……..1 1/2 ton panel canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single wheels

Series TB…..Wheelbase 131-1/2……1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, dual wheels

Series TC…..Wheelbase 157……….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock dual wheels

Series TD…..Wheelbase 157……….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock dual wheels


1939

Series JC…Wheelbase 113-1/2………1/2 ton pick up, canopy express, panel, suburban

Series JD…..Wheelbase 123-3/4…….3/4 ton pick up, stake rack, panel, flatbed (11″ brakes)

Series JE…..Wheelbase 123-3/4…….3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack, (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series VA/B…..Wheelbase 133………1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series VC/D…Wheelbase 158-1/2……..1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack, single/dual wheels

Series VE/F…..Wheelbase 107-5/8……1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack single/dual wheels

Series VG/H…..Wheelbase 131-1/8……1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack single/dual wheels

Series VM/N…..Wheelbase 156-5/8……1 1/2 ton COE m-single/n-dual wheels


1940

Series KC…..Wheelbase 113-1/2………1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban

Series KD…..Wheelbase 123-3/4………3/4 ton pick up, stake rack, panel, flatbed (11″ brakes)

Series KE…..Wheelbase 123-3/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series KF…..Wheelbase 133………….1 ton panel

Series WA…..Wheelbase 133………….1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series WB…..Wheelbase 158-1/2………1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack, single/dual wheels

Series WC…..Wheelbase 193-5/8………School Bus chassis, dual wheels

Series WD…..Wheelbase 107-5/8………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series WE…..Wheelbase 131-1/8………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series WF…..Wheelbase 156-5/8………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack


1941

truck tech 1941

Series AK…..Wheelbase 115………….1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban

Series AL…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (11″brakes)

Series AM…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatybed, stake rack (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series AN…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 ton panel

Series YR…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 1/2 ton flatbed, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series YS…..Wheelbase 160………….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack, single/dual wheels

Series YT…..Wheelbase 195………….School Bus chassis, dual wheels

Series YU…..Wheelbase 109………….1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series YV…..Wheelbase 132-1/2………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake/stock rack

Series YW…..Wheelbase 158………….1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack


1942

Series BK…..Wheelbase 115………….1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban

Series BL…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (11″ brakes)

Series BM…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack, (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series BN…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack

Series MR…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series MS…..Wheelbase 160………….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack , single/dual wheels

Series MY…..Wheelbase 160………….1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series MT…..Wheelbase 195………….1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series MU…..Wheelbase 109………….1 1/2 ton COE

Series MV…..Wheelbase 132-1/2………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series MW…..Wheelbase 158………….1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake/stock rack


1946

truck tech 1946

Series 1st CK 2nd DP…..Wheelbase 115………..1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban (1st only)

Series 1st DR…………Wheelbase 125-1/4…….3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st DS…………Wheelbase 134-1/2…….1 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OR 2nd PJ…..Wheelbase 134-1/2…….1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OS 2nd PK…..Wheelbase 160………..1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack

Series 1st OW 2nd PL…..Wheelbase 160………..1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series 1st OY…………Wheelbase 195………..1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series 1st OE 2nd PV…..Wheelbase 134-1/2…….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OF 2nd PW…..Wheelbase 160………..1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack

Series 1st OG 2nd PX…..Wheelbase 195………..2 ton school bus chassis

Series 1st OH 2nd PP…..Wheelbase 109………..2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OI 2nd PR…..Wheelbase 132-1/2…….2 ton COE flatbed, stake/stock rack

Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

Buy Parts for 1934 to 1946 Trucks

 

1918-1933 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1918-33 Chevy Truck Model I.D.

We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1918-1933 truck tech

1918

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton light delivery chassis, wagon

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton worm drive chassis, flare board and curtain top express


1919

Series 490…Wheelbase…102…1/2 ton light delivery chassis, wagon.

Series T…..Wheelbase…125…1 ton worm drive chassis, flare board and curtain top express


1920

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton light delivery chassis, delivery wagon 1 and 3 seat

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton chassis and cowl, flare board and covered flare express


1921

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton chassis and cowl, open express, covered express 3 seat

Series G…..Wheelbase 120…3/4 ton chassis and cowl, open express, canopy express

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton chassis, open express, canopy express, canopy express 3 seat


1922

truck tech 1922

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton panel delivery, station wagon

Series G…..Wheelbase 120…3/4 ton cowl cab chassis, express, canopy express

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton chassis, open express, canopy express, canopy curtain express


1923

Series A/B…Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, canopy express, panel, station wagon

Series D…..Wheelbase 120-5..1 ton chassis, stake, utility express, delivery, cattle body


1924

Series B/F…Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery, panel

Series D/H…Wheelbase 120…1 ton chassis, stake, flare board express, dump, enclosed cab


1925

Series F…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (early 1925)

truck tech 1925

Series H…..Wheelbase 120…1 ton chassis (earlt 1925)

Series K…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (late 1925)

Series M…..Wheelbase 120…1 ton chassis (late 1925)


1926

Series K…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (early 1926)

Series R…..Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis (early 1926)

Series V…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (late 1926)

truck tech 1926

Series X…..Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis, springfield suburban, screenside, stake rack (late 1926)


1927

Series V…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (early 1927)

Series X…..Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis, springfield suburban, screenside (early 1927)

Series AA….Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (late 1927)

Series LM….Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis, panel delivery, stake bed (late 1927)


1928

Series AB….Wheelbase 107…1/2 ton chassis, pick up, canopy, panel, screenside and sedan delivery, roadster pick up

Series LO….Wheelbase 124…1 ton panel delivery, stake bed, chassis


1929

truck tech 1929

Series AC….Wheelbase 107…1/2 ton chassis, pickup, canopy, panel, screenside and sedan delivery

Series LQ….Wheelbase 131…1 and 1 1/2 ton chassis


1930

Series AD….Wheelbase 107…1/2 ton chassis, delivery, canopy, deluxe, panel, roadster, screenside, sedan

Series LR….Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck 1st half

Series LS….Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck 2nd half


1931

truck tech 1931

Series AE….Wheelbase 109…1/2 ton open/closed cab chassis/puickup, panel, canopy express

Series LT….Wheelbase 131-157…1 1/2 ton truck-single and dual wheels 1st half

Series MA/B…Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck-single and dual wheels 2nd half

Series MC/D…Wheelbase 157…1 1/2 ton truck-single and dual wheels 2nd half


1932

Series BB….Wheelbase 109….1/2 ton closed cab pickup and canopy top pickup, panel,open and closed cab canopy express, spc. sed. delivery/panel/chassis

Series NA/B..Wheelbase 131….1 1/2 ton truck- single/dual wheels

Series NC/D..Wheelbase 157….1 1/2 ton truck – single and dual wheels


1933

truck tech 1933

Series CB….Wheelbase 109….1/2 ton pickup and canopy top pickup, panel, open and closed cab canopy express, special pickup/panel chassis

Series OA/B..Wheelbase 131….1 1/2 ton truck – single and dual wheels

Series OC/D..Wheelbase 157….1 1/2 ton truck- single and dual wheels


Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

Screw On ID Plates

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

screw on ID plates

The body I.D. plate – every GM truck had one attached at the factory. Basically it states the vehicle’s gross weight limit (weight of truck plus its maximum allowed load) plus stamped digits that give the assembly plant year, size of truck, month built, and sequential numbers as it came off the production line. These plates are necessary for positive vehicle identification.

A unique characteristic of the 1950 and older GM truck is that the I.D. plate was not riveted at the factory but rather held in place by two small clutch head screws with a hexagon perimeter. Thus a wrench or a clutch driver can tighten or remove them.

Over the years if the two screws begin to loosen, the owner would either retighten them from time to time or often remove the plate for safe keeping. Usually this plate stayed in the glove box or at home and just never got reattached. Thus we find some of these pre-1951 GM trucks with no I.D. plates. In the early years this was often of little concern as most trucks were titled on the engine number.

After 1950 these I.D. Plates were riveted to the door post. Probably not so much to prevent vehicle theft (we lived in a different era) but just to keep them from being lost.

In today’s world this can cause big problems in registering particularly if the transfer is to another state and an I.D. number verification is necessary. Even if the I.D. plate remains secure with screws as it left the factory, a problem may still exist. Unfortunately most inspectors today weren’t even born when these trucks were built. Sometimes an officer refuses to OK the truck, saying that I.D. plates do not come with attaching screws and it is not legal. You now have an uphill battle with an inspector that really believes he is correct.

Yes, you can attach this original scratched and painted-over I.D. plate with rivets. However, what is this inspector going to say when he sees this worn and painted on I.D. plate attached with two new shinny pop rivets? Have you ever been accused of car theft? It is then you wish the truck was titled to the engine!

Remember, on a left hand drive truck (1947-55) the I.D. plate attached to the left door post. It is attached to the opposite side on the right hand drive truck. The two holes for the plate screws or rivets are punched at the factory in both door posts.

Advanced Design Lighter

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

To keep the 1947-1955 GM trucks base price low, their 6 volt cigarette lighter was a dealer accessory. The vehicle always came from the factory with a round blank out plug at the lower center of the dash.

To save tooling costs both the Chevrolet and GMC truck divisions used the same lighter as was found in Chevrolet’s passenger car. It did not match other knobs in the cab. Its double ring chrome head is exclusive to General Motors though it does not carry their logo. They are often seen at swap meets and flea markets mixed with lighter accumulations from all makes. The chrome head is easily unscrewed when a replacement heating element is needed. It will attach to either a 6 or 12 volt element. The in dash receiver also must be changed. GM made a slight difference in element diameters so 6 and 12 volt units. An owner in later years could not accidentally mix the two different voltage types.

advance lighter 1

advance lighter 2

1954-1955 Example (above)

1954-1955 GMC Spring Wind Clock

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In contrast to 1954-1955 Chevrolet trucks, the same year GMC had a position in the dash for an optional gauge. It was here that larger GMC’s had a tachometer or vacuum gauge installed. The 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton GMC’s usually did not require these engine gauges and a blank-out plate is normally found there. An option here in these smaller trucks is a spring wind clock. It was produced by General Motors and installed at their GMC dealerships.

1954 spring wind clock 1

1954 GMC dash with clock installed (above)

To save production costs, GMC used the clock that was already on the 1953-1954

Chevrolet car. In this way, their investment was limited to a chrome adapter ring that fit in the opening that held the blank-out plate.

This chrome ring has recently been reproduced and is available from most full stocking dealers including Jim Carters Truck Parts. Restorable 1953-1954 Chevrolet car clocks are found at most any medium size automotive swap meet.

1954 GMC spring wind clock 2

The following is from a 1954 GMC accessories catalog. Their wording tells the 1954 story in a full page ad.

test

Trees and Trucks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

 

tree trucks 1

 

tree trucks 1

 

 

There couldn’t be an easier place for a tree to grow. If you don’t move your truck for a few years, trees will find it. As they grow wider, the truck bends to fit!

 

 

 

 

 

trees trucks 2

 

 

Here livestock cannot eat the first growth.  Lawn mowers can’t reach it.