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Accesories

The Ultimate Oil Filter Connections

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

We recently noticed this very unusual method of supplying motor oil to an era accessory filter. It was so different photos were taken for your enjoyment.

If you have not seen an original, the owner has replaced the original factory black rubber hoses with these copper lines. How unusual!

1954 GMC Radio Speaker Cover

Friday, March 4th, 2016

A redesigned dash was placed in the 1954 GMC. It was totally changed from the 1947-53 dash which had been in place six years.

Due to this new design there was a place to install the radio but not its speaker! The next best location for the speaker was in the headliner between the driver and passenger.

The GM engineering department realized that a protection was needed to protect this speaker from accidental contact with someone’s hand, a gun barrel of a hunter, or most any long item carried in the cab. The result was a metal perforated cover.

No doubt this was excellent speaker protection however, the heat from the metal cab roof in the summer probably did the most deterioration of the speaker.

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In Place in Headliner

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The Cover

1954-55 Chevrolet Deluxe Cab Arm Rest

Friday, February 19th, 2016

When the 1954 Chevrolet deluxe pickup was introduced (about two months into the production year) they came with a different design arm rest not used before. It wasn’t even found on the assembly line produced standard 1954-55 pickups!

Because the door panels and painted interiors of this new deluxe cab had four color choices, GM realized they could not use the one color fits all arm rest that had been available since 1947.

Thus, the introduction of the plastic arm rest molded in the four colors with top pad. These matched the four color coordinated door panels.

Such a rare option or accessory! Unfortunately after several years in summer or winter temperature extremes the old formula plastic base cracked or otherwise began to deform. This leaves almost none in existence except those possibly found on back storage shelves at a GM dealership. Even a new in the box unit would now be about 60 years old!

The following is the top of a page from the 1955 Chevrolet Master Parts Catalog. These manuals were once sent to all Chevrolet Dealers each year. They show what is available that the dealer could buy from GM and their suggested retail price.

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These may be reproduced by Jim Carter Truck Parts. Yes, we just bought the one in the photo, still in a GM box, to use as a pattern. Stay tuned.

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Re-circular Heaters and Rubber Defrost Fan Blades

Friday, February 20th, 2015


When you purchase the base Re-circular heater in the 1940’s and 1950’s most did not come with the defroster outlet. This standard heater usually forced air to the floor (not on the windshield) to keep your feet warm and gradually warm the cab interior. It worked fairly well and to the driver it was so much better that a generation before when heaters were almost nonexistent.

The problem with these heaters: They warm the humid interior air from passenger breathing and did not use the dry outside air. On a very cold day with one to three people in the cab, the windows soon fogged from the breath of the passengers. The fog might even freeze on the glass.

Standard equipment for many was a rag on the seat to keep portions of the windshield clear for driving. Opening the window to get in dry air was not a consideration. It was cold outside!

General Motors and a few auto part suppliers soon realized there would be a demand for an accessory steering column mounted electric fan that blew more warm air on the driver’s part of the windshield. A good idea when all was operating correctly, however probably never worked well in very cold climates.

The attached photos shows a General Motors fan with rubber blades. This material was to either protect the blades or keep driver from cutting fingers on metal blades.

NOTE: There was even an aftermarket fan that did not use power from the 6 volt battery. It operated from the air vacuum created from a hose to the intake manifold. What a unique idea especially for the car or truck owner having little power left in his older battery!

Yes, we have come a long way in heater design!

Re-circulator Heater (No defroster outlet)

Steering Column Mounted Fan

Advanced Design Safety Treads, Dimensions 9″ x 21″

Thursday, August 28th, 2014


About 15 years ago, Jim Carter Truck Parts decided to reproduce the “real” GM step plates used in the years of 1947-55. Though there were hundreds of step plate designs available during the early years, only one is pure Chevrolet/GMC and was made available by the GM dealers.
No lettering exists so they will fit both Chevrolet and GMC. They are stamped steel with black exterior paint. In the center between the outer raised edges are a non-slip adhesive sheet. This attractive accessory prevents visual scratches when people step on restored boards.
MOST IMPORTANT: GM referred to these accessories as “Safety Treads”. It was discovered from dealer feedback that on occasions a wet metal running board used to enter or exit a truck with smooth shoe soles caused a major fall from slipping. Broken bones sometimes were the results. Thus, the creation of “Safety Treads”.

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Just like GM made them!

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Taken from an Advance Design Salesman’s Data Book

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Accessory GM Reflector

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

To add better night visibility to all trucks, Suburbans and panel trucks, General Motors offered a 4 inch diameter reflector as a dealer installed accessory.   With the single small factory taillight, seeing of these vehicles on the road could be difficult especially if their one bulb burned out.  To help correct this problem GM offered a larger reflector that could be attached to the rear license plate bracket.  It greatly improved visibility to others at the rear during night driving.

This was a time when town street lights were limited.  Of course, on the open road these were no lighting along the highways!  This simple GM reflector was offered by the dealers to prevent rear end accidents.  The customer could buy this dealer accessory from about 1940 through 1953. One of the attached photos is taken from a 1949 Chevrolet Truck Data Book. The 4 inch lens is a Stimsonite # 24 and the metal Guide ring has a stamping of X-19.

Jim Winters of Rochester, Minnesota has both a restored 1946 panel truck and ½ ton pickup.  He found these reflectors for both his vehicles at local swap meets.  Few people recognize what these reflectors were used for.   Jim found his in a box of miscellaneous unmarked parts.

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1954 Chevrolet Grille Guard

Thursday, April 11th, 2013


A nice dealer installed accessory in 1954 was the grille guard. It was easily installed by using the pre-existing bumper bolts.

A problem when installed was that it lessened the visibility of the front license plate. Therefore, another change was made during the installation. The license was moved to the center of the front splash apron from the factory position on the right side. In the kit were two small rubber plugs. These filled the factory license bracket holes that existed when the factory license bracket was removed.

An Inner-Line Oil Filter

Monday, October 10th, 2011

An Inner-Line oil filter from Long Island, New York!  Rarely seen today but a popular early aftermarket option.  It secures to the engine block after removing the oil distribution cover.  No oil lines.  No moving the horn forward to make room for the intake manifold mounted oil canister.

Inner-Line Oil Filter Inner-Line Oil Filter
Inner-Line Oil Filter

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

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 could not be accidentally mixed.

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.

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1953-1955 Fresh Air Heater

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With the introduction of the Advance Design Cab in 1947, a new dealer installed heater also became available. When used together this new body was referred to as The Cab That Breathes.

All U.S. manufactured Advance Design Cabs had a row of louvers on the right outer cowl which allowed air to enter the cab interior with the help of the new optional fresh air heater. It was a great improvement over prior years!

As air was brought in from the outside it passed through the heater core. This warmed air usually held less humidity than air inside the cab due to the breath of passengers. The fresh, dryer, air helped prevent the inside of the windows from fogging during very cold days, thus GM said the cab breathed.

This excellent heating system was made even better in 1953 with the introduction of the revised airflow heater. By pulling a knob, at the left of the steering column, a door inside the heater would cover the outside air intake. Now the heater was of the recirculator design. It pulled air from inside the cab so that inside air was re-warmed. Yes, humidity did accumulate quicker and windows could fog but heating the air inside was faster on a cold morning.

Note these pictures of the improved 1953-55 fresh air heater. The driver operated cable was pulled and a door inside the heater shut off outside air. At the same time, a one inch wide door on the case opened to allow recirculation of air to occur. A non-related lever on the case directs the heated air to the floor or above through the defroster ducts.

This ingenious idea by GM engineers now allowed the driver to have a cab that breathed or one that did not.

1953-1955 Fresh Air Heater 1

Hand operated defroster lever, cable for intake door, and the water flow adjusting knob (above)

1953-1955 Fresh Air Heater 2

The knob at the left of the steering column for pulling the cable (above)

1953-1955 Fresh Air Heater 3

The main heater attached to the right inner cowl panel (above)

1953-1955 Fresh Air Heater 4

Side view of heater with water control rod in foreground (above)

1953-1955 Fresh Air Heater 5

A close up of the one inch intake cable operated door on the heater case (above)

1954-1955 Accessory Clock

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
1954 accessory clock
Marty Bozek, Lutz FL.eng261@aol.com
1954-1955 Chevy Accessory Clock
Pat Jackson, Johnstown, OHredchevy38@embarqmail.com

1954-1955 Chevy Accessory Clock

By the mid 1950’s extra income in the U.S. was creating an increased demand for accessories on both cars and trucks. To take advantage of this, the Chevrolet Truck Division introduced one item as a first. It would not appear again on Chevrolet trucks until the mid 1970’s.

The new accessory was the 1954-55 dash mounted clock. To offer the most with the least investment, only the die cast housing was new. The clock was already an accessory on the 1953-1954 Chevrolet car. By combining the two, dealers could market a clock accessory to new Chevrolet truck buyers. The housing was even painted pearl beige to match the 1954-1955 Chevrolet truck interior color.

It fit between the two dash bezels. A paper template was in the box so the dealer’s mechanic or the owner would drill the mounting holes in just the right place.

The housings are not being reproduced. They are in high demand among 1954-1955 Chevrolet truck restorers so the retail prices just keep rising. If you do locate this housing, the correct clock is not difficult to locate. They were on most 1953-1954 Chevrolet cars.

1947-1948 Recirculator Heater

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The Chevrolet and GMC dealer installed recirculator heater was much different in 1947-48. In 1946 and older plus in 1949 through 1957, they sold the traditional round core design but for 1947 and 1948 it was all different.

The attached photos show the 1947-48 GM recirculator heater. Its rectangular core and vertical mounting studs are reserved for just these two years.  Except for the logo plate they are the same for GMC and Chevrolet. To be sure the dealers mechanic installed these accessory heaters correctly, holes were placed in the firewall during the trucks construction.

In this photo of a 1948 firewall, arrows point to the factory holes to make sure the heater is installed just right.

An additional point of interest on this 1947-48 heater:

The defroster appears to be an extra cost item. Note the picture of the truck with the side mounted defroster. Also see the separate heater with a round factory plate covering the defroster position. It appears you could order a style of recirculator heater depending on the climate in your area.

1947 heater 1 1947 heater 2

1947 heater 3 1947 heater 4

1947 heater 5

1953 Accessory Ornament

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In the 1953 Chevrolet truck accessory book, there is a charging bull head displayed as an optional hood ornament. During my past 20 plus years in this hobby, I have heard reference toward this accessory but have never seen an example or heard of another person seeing one. Does a reader have one? Has anyone seen this option on an original truck? Did this ornament actually make production after the 1953 booklet was printed in late 1952?

1953 accessory ornament 1

Accessory Hood Ornament

11953 accessory hood ornament 2

Safety Treads

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Without the rubber covering over the metal running boards like GM cars, trucks immediately show scratches from the driver’s shoes. This is frustrating to the restorer who has placed so much effort in repairing and painting these boards to pristine condition.

Fortunately, a solution exists! The original running board safety treads have been reproduced. These treads were a GM accessory and available from the dealers. They were marketed to help prevent a person from sliding off the running board if their shoe or the metal surface was wet. No doubt legs and arms were occasionally broken in this hazardous area.

Today, these safety treads still help prevent falls but also stop the unsightly scratches that occur during normal use. Most all full stocking dealers have them including Jim Carters Truck Parts.

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

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Incorrect Cigarette Lighter

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Purchasing a 1947-1955 optional cigarette lighter assembly from many vendors provides you a reproduction that is far from correct. It appears an overseas manufacturer decided to offer a lighter assembly made with the currently available 12 volt base and joining it to a 1947-1953 headlight knob.

Thus, no tooling investment and all parts were already available. Check the following images. What a difference!

incorrect lighter 1

Original Note: The correct lighter base and knob can now be obtained from Jim Carter Truck Parts (above)

incorrect lighter 2

Incorrect Replacement (above)