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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Luke and passenger
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!