With the introduction of GM’s new truck body design in mid 1947, a delivered package became available on both Chevrolet and GMC. World War II was in the past, employment was high, and many American truck buyers were willing to pay a little extra for more options on their new vehicle purchase.
GM’s sales department recognized this as an opportunity to fill a need and sell a few more vehicles. A deluxe truck would look good in a dealer’s showroom and the market existed for nicer trucks.
Prior to this new body style, GM truck cabs were the same from the factory. Dealers installed the few extras provided by the manufacturer.
The new deluxe cab for the Advance Design trucks cost GM little additional in comparison to the standard design. Most items were already extra cost options or standard parts that were modified. The deluxe package included the following:
Five Window Cab. This was the largest expense. The Two corner windows required a different roof panel to be attached to the lower half of the body. The center rear window was the same.
Chrome Grill Bars. The option was also available for the base pickup. It was created by polishing and plating the five painted bars. This came only on 1/2, 3/4, and 1 ton.
Stainless Steel Door Window Trim. The factory dies that formed the painted standard trim could also stamp stainless steel. The outer was polished. The inner was left a satin finish to reduce glare from the sun.
Stainless Steel Windshield Trim. This was only on the deluxe cabs. Painted trim was not on the base cab. Therefore, GM had to create dies to produce it, give a high polish, and provide a modified windshield trim was still painted on deluxe models.
Right Inside Sunvisor. This was already a dealer accessory on the standard cab. The attaching holes were even punched on all cabs and covered with the non-punched headliner cardboard.
Left Arm Rest. A dealer accessory on the base cab, therefore holes are stamped in both doors at the factory. They are hidden with the cardboard upholstery panel on standard cabs. No extra tooling here!
By 1951 material shortages due to the Korean War conflict were effecting the automotive industry. Shortages of at least copper and stainless greatly raised raw material prices. To prevent a shut down of assembly lines due to no product, GM discontinued the deluxe option.
From late 1951 through 1953, the Chevrolet and GMC deluxe cab had no bright work. It retained the sunvisor, left arm rest, and corner windows, however most chrome and stainless were gone. It was not until 1954 that the trim was retuned to the deluxe cab.
The enclosed photos are of a 1951 Chevrolet 1/2 ton deluxe cab owned by David Bosley of Felton, PA. His grandfather purchased the truck new so David recently restored it just the way it was bought in 1951. Even the bed boards are painted! The door vent shades are a non-GM option but available in the early years. The other trim items are either part of the deluxe package or are options provided by the Chevrolet dealer.