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Posts Tagged ‘deluxe’

1954 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ ton Pickup

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

What a great example of the mid 1950’s when the United States’ population began (for the first time) to have a little extra disposable income. Our Featured Truck of the Month, a 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe ½ ton pickup is an example of this developing change. The first owner obviously wanted a little more than just a pickup truck to park behind the barn while he used the family sedan to go shopping in town or parking in the church lot on Sunday. This was the time when pickups began to emerge as a little more than a vehicle that only saw water to wash off dirt naturally when it rained. In that era few pickups were given valuable space inside a farm building or a company warehouse.

The real General Motors experiment would be the next year with the introduction of the Chevrolet Cameo Carrier and the GMC Suburban Pickup. Their popularity would show if the 1950’s buying public was ready for a pickup with extras. In 1954, the buyer added most options and accessories to his base work truck. This was the beginning of the American Truck love affair that has continued more than 65 years!

This month’s Featured Truck is a 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe pickup (loaded with extras by 1954 standards), owned by Byron and Eleze Fuller of Symsomia, Kentucky. Finding a ½ ton pickup with so many options is very unusual and they realized it rarity. They found it in California 14 years ago and had to trailer it to Kentucky. It had received a basic restoration so this was a great pickup to work with and add even more extras.

The Fullers are real truck enthusiasts and are seen with their pickup in so many shows within a few hundred miles from their home. This pickup is considered Eleze’s and Byron drives a red 1955 Chevrolet first series pickup as his special ½ ton truck. Yes, it’s a family hobby!

They are members of the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) that is considered the largest truck club in the world. Byron and Eleze are seen each year at the conventions wherever they are being held in the U.S.

 

Here are some facts about this unusual pickup but first here are two definitions:

  • OPTIONS: Factory installed (with an extra cost) items special ordered when the vehicle is being ordered.
  • ACCESSORIES: Installed after delivery by the dealer or owner

OPTIONS

This 1954 has many for a pickup of the mid-1950’s

  • Five window deluxe cab
  • Hydromantic Transmission
  • Power Steering
  • Transport Blue                  (No Extra Cost)
  • Shell White Top              (Chevy’s first two tone cab)
  • Rear Bumper
  • Right side Taillight
  • Right side sun visor and arm rest
  • Electric Wiper motor
  • Cigarette lighter

 

ACCESSORIES

Accessories have been gradually added over the years

  • AM Radio and Antenna
  • Factory clock
  • Front Bumper guards
  • Right side mirror arm
  • Outside Sun Visor
  • Running Board Safety Treads
  • Deep 8’’ wide X 15’’ wheels for slightly wider radial tires.
  • By-Pass Oil Filter

 

The Fuller’s 1954 stands out at all shows with the great restoration and extras. Byron mentioned a big concern on the factory 4-speed hydrometric transmission. It operates great but where would he find a rebuilder if something broke in this rare vintage unit?

 

The above is a Chevrolet drawing showing the power steering option on an early straight axle ½ ton.
With a 235 Six Cylinder engine

Note: The Pump is secured to the generator which has a one inch longer armature with gear for turning this add-on.
Very Unique!

 

 

You can contact Byron and Eleze through email at  chevy54@bellsouth.net

 

1959 Chevrolet Pickup Deluxe Interior

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It is sometimes asked by restorers, ‘What is the correct fabric for a 1959 Chevrolet with a deluxe cab?’ Answer: The same cloth material was used on the top of the line seats and door panels throughout.

The following pictures show this interior material on a 1959 door panel in a 1959 Chevrolet deluxe cab with 12,000 original miles [see photo below], and seen on a page from the 1959 Chevrolet Salesman’s Data Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It appears this material was used one year. Upholstery shops having left-over partial rolls may have this rare upholstery material in storage and not be aware of what it was used for!

1958 1959 deluxe interior 1

1958 1959 deluxe interior 2

1958 1959 deluxe interior 3

1958 1959 Deluxe Interior Informational Chart PDF version. Click Here

1965 GMC Deluxe Fleetside

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1960’s, most still considered pickups work vehicles. The manufacturer designed them as haulers and few people owned them as their only family vehicle. However, a slight change was beginning with truck buyers as Americans began to have more disposable income. GM and other truck producers were aware that extras on work vehicles were finding more buyers. Each year additional pickups with deluxe equipment were ordered.

This 1965 GMC 1/2 ton is an example of this trend. Though it obviously had been a work truck, it’s optional deluxe features still remain intact. Looking at the trim shows how GMC designers were careful in adding expensive trim.

To keep cost down they placed chrome on the hub caps and grill of their base model pickup. The stainless windshield trim is identical to that placed on the Chevrolet deluxe cabs. The long anodized aluminum side trim is also Chevrolet. One exception: GMC did not use the narrow shorter side trim as found on Chevrolet fleetsides that ran parallel to this longer piece. See photo comparisons.

Most aluminum cab trim is very basic in design. Straight pieces butted together kept GMC’s cost low. Only the chrome plated die cast emblem with the word “Custom” shows extra design effort.

The curved door window trim did require extra tooling but was made of anodized aluminum. Note this aluminum window trim as it runs parallel a few inches from the windshield stainless. The use of two different materials on trim so close is very unusual.

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 1

GMC Single Trim Strip (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 2

Chrome Standard Grille (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 3

Window Aluminum and Windshiled Stainless (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 4

Econimical Side Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 5

1962-1966 Chevrolet Lower Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 6

Deluxe Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 7

Economical Side Trim (above)

1960-1966 Chevrolet Cab Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Though at first, a new person in the GM truck hobby might think all 1960-66 Chevrolet cab trim (only on the deluxe models) is the same. In reality no less than three changes occurred during this seven year body style.

During 1960 (maybe into early 1961) the optional stainless cab side trim on the Chevrolet truck was designed to attach to a long connecting horizontal trim strip. After production began, GM discovered that new owners could easily dent this more delicate trim. When carelessly throwing items in the bed or during fast stops, cargo could hit the stainless. This problem was solved by discontinuing this horizontal strip. The connecting ends of the side trim were then modified to show no evidence of a past attachment (see photo)

Therefore, side trim part# 8768843 and 8768844 as well as the horizontal strip #8768842 are very difficult to locate 45 years later. Most 1960 truck restorers must compromise and use the more readily available 1961-63 side trim.

In 1964, a major change occurred in the construction of this cab trim. Chevrolet followed the trend of other new vehicles and also began using aluminum trim. It was anodized to keep its shine and the production cost was less. It required lower pressure to be stamped as compared to the previous stainless steel. Thus, the tooling lasted much longer.

1960 1966 cab trim 1

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 2

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 3

Top piece in photo-1960 with notch. | Lower piece in photo-1961-1963 notch removed (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 4

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 5

1960 Stainless Trim (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 6

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 7

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 8

1964-1966 Cab Trim (above)

1959 Deluxe Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The bed side trim moldings were used on the second year Fleetside Chevrolet deluxe pickups for just one year, 1959. General Motors waited one year after the Fleetside introduction to give their dealers time to sell all their 1958 Cameos (The end of this model) so there was not two deluxe designs available at one time.

The bed moldings added much to the 1959 deluxe pickup. In addition GM used many trim features that were once on the 1955 and 1958 Cameo cabs. These side moldings came on both 6 and 8 foot bed lengths. Thus, this bed trim was the main new expense General Motors had in creating a 1959 deluxe Fleetside. (And these new Fleetside beds could carry more merchandise than a Cameo!)

 

1959 deluxe trim 1
Oops, this truck lacks the necessary red marker reflective decal behind the three vertical openings.

1959 deluxe trim 2
The right side bed trim package, (not including the tail light bezel)

1959 deluxe trim 3
Front die cast small spear.

test
1959 Fleetside NAPCO 4×4 “Better than New”!

1965 Chevy Deluxe Suburban

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the mid 1960’s many Americans began to request deluxe features on trucks. More disposable income put extra items in reach for many households. GM recognized this area for more income and began adding more extra cost options.

The popular standard Suburban could be transformed into a more family vehicle by offering exterior trim and upgrading the interior. It would be even better for a family vehicle as well as pulling a boat or travel trailer. Highways were being improved and Americans wanted to see the country.

A more deluxe Suburban emerged in the 1960’s. To same GM costs, most components were simply from the top of the line Chevrolet pickup. Even the side trim was from the fleetside pickup. It only had length differences and the word “Custom” was engraved on each side.

Following are pictures of a rare 1965 deluxe Suburban. The outside is all original except for new paint. The interior had recently been changed so the attached photo is from an original salesman’s data book showing a deluxe pickup. The nicer appearing and more comfortable cushions also apply to the deluxe Suburban. Note the deluxe steering wheel (actually GM used this from a 1960 Impala), trim band on the glove box door, and the two tone color pattern on door panels.

1965 chevy suburban 1

Chrome bumper and anodized grill (above)

1965 chevy suburban 2

The rear appears to have no changes from the standard model other that the chrome bumper (above)

1965 chevy suburban 3

The upper side anodized aluminum trim is the same as the deluxe pickup except for the length differences. Even the short from spear starting the trim strip is the same as the pick up (above)

1965 chevy suburban 4

Note the word CUSTOM etched on the side trim (above)

1965 chevy suburban 5

Suprising, the windshield rubber does not hold stainless trim (above)

1965 chevy suburban 6

Custom comfort interior (above)

1965 chevy suburban 7

Deluxe Steering Wheel (above)

1962 GMC Deluxe Suburban

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Suburbans ‘ people haulers on a 1/2 ton truck chassis. Not designed for truck freight, the successful Suburban was created to move people. They quickly gained popularity among the military, as crew haulers for companies, and for small rural school buses.

By the 1960’s, GM began to expand their Suburban market to attract families. To many this would be a great heavy-duty family car. A more deluxe Suburban model was introduced. The exterior trim and well appointed interior defiantly showed this model was not for commercial use.

These pictures of a 1962 top of the line GMC Suburban show the unique trim that was placed on this model. It is for GMC only ‘ not Chevrolet. Though Chevrolet shared the same body and some chassis parts; trim, interior, and colors were different so each brand could be individual.

Look closely and see how the GMC brand kept their cost of side trim to a minimum. Other than the curves around the front door windows, straight pieces of aluminum trim make up the package. The more obvious economy steps are on the rear quarter panel. Note vertical and horizontal trim strips simply butt together. They also act as paint divider strips for the two-tone paint combination of the GMC. The die cast chrome ‘custom’ emblem in the same as on the GMC pickup.

This is an excellent example of a very original GMC Suburban interior. The woven green seat material is as it was 40 years ago. The right jump seat swings up and forward to gain access to the rear. Note how the middle seat is shorter so that the passengers can walk to the rear.

Today, even finding a 1960-1966 GMC Suburban is rare but locating one with this deluxe custom package is almost impossible.

1962 gmc 1

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1960-1966 GMC Deluxe Suburban Seats

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The seats on this 1962 GMC Suburban are pure factory original. Their shape is designed for only the Suburban body. They allow for access to the rear seat.

Horizontal white vinyl in the back rest is characteristic of many GM vehicles during this era. It was an extra touch that added a little extra flair to the deluxe models.

1960 gmc deluxe seats 1

1960 gmc deluxe seats 2

1960 gmc deluxe seats 3

1960 gmc deluxe seats 4

1960 gmc deluxe seats 5

1947-1955 Deluxe Panel Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

For the Perfectionist

During the first half of the Advance Design years (1947-1955), GM offered a special panel truck as an option. This deluxe model was designed for a company wanting to give a more upscale appearance to their retail customers.

During the era of one car families, the lady of the house looked more toward home deliveries for essentials. GM knew there was a demand for this type panel truck in nicer residential neighborhoods. They targeted stores and shops that provided home deliveries. With a relatively small investment GM added a stainless steel trim package that gave their pre-existing panel truck a very special look. The chrome grill and bumpers plus stainless trim around the windshield and side door windows was already being used on the deluxe pickup.

GM then created some extras for their panel. Three horizontal strips at the lower edge of each fender, a long narrow horizontal spear toward the top of the front fenders, and a stainless edging surrounding the two rear door windows added to the panels appearance. Wheels were body colored with three stripes, not black as on the standard model.

The slower selling one ton panel was also available with this deluxe option. This nicely appointed larger panel was right at home in new exclusive suburbs delivering carpet rolls, furniture, carrying pipe for the plumber, etc.

Production of these Advance Design deluxe panel trucks was ceased in mid to late 1951. Korean War shortages and the resulting high cost of stainless steel eliminated this optional package. After the war years this deluxe model with the many horizontal trim strips was introduced again as the 1954 through mid-1955. With limited production, the short lived optional deluxe panel truck is a very rare sight in today’s world. Locating most of the necessary parts to transform a standard panel to a deluxe model is now possible from Jim Carters Truck Parts.

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks

1947-50 1/2 ton Deluxe Panel (above)

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks
Factory Drawing

For Panel models, this option includes bright metal reveals for side door windows, rear door windows and windshield; garnish moldings for side door windows; arm rest for driver’s side door, bright metal moldings for front and rear fenders, right-hand sun shade and chromium-plated radiator grille. (Not originally available on Canopy Express models or Carryall Suburban’s, however will fit both perfectly.)

1961 Chevrolet Deluxe

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Owner: Greg Scott

1961 chevrolet deluxe truck

Have you ever seen one of these? Few were produced, almost none have survived.

This 1961 Chevrolet V-8 1/2 ton is one of a small percentage that came equipped with the deluxe trim package. Though most pickups at that time were standard work trucks, GM realized there was a small growing number of buyers that had a desire for a little extra on their truck.

This deluxe package not only included the unique stainless steel side trim (only available in 1960-1961) but also a stainless windshield molding, chrome bumpers and hub caps, plus rear cab trim panels behind the door window. Chrome dash knobs, right and left inside sunvisors, and a deluxe steering wheel added to the package.

Our feature 1/2 ton is owned and was mostly restored by Greg Scott of Independence, Missouri. The reason it was ordered new with such deluxe features was the needs of its original owner. A combination funeral home and cemetery operation in California used it for 30 years. They wanted the best appearance in the truck they used. The original paint was light blue and white. Greg kept the two tone paint division lines just like the original, but changed the truck color to red and white.

He purchased the truck two years ago from the second owner in central Missouri. This person had thrown away all the trim, but at least the attaching body holes remained. The long search for this trim leaves only one piece now missing. The horizontal right door strip has still not been located. Can anyone help? Yes, he knows the correct 1961 hub caps are needed. They are still on his want list. Greg says he has personally spent over 80 hours repairing the used stainless trim he found from various sources. While watching television in the evening he slowly removed dents, did surface sanding and polishing. The results are great! The photos show he placed this trim in just the right position.

The bed was removed and only the bare cab remained on the frame. All was sand blasted and then the slow assembly began. Fortunately, its 30 years in California had prevented body rust. It was like putting together a large model kit that lacked some of it’s parts.

Owner: Greg Scott 1-816-836-0960

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet 1938 chevrolet

1959 Chevrolet Deluxe

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Owner: Don Lowrey

1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 Ton

This cab and early fleetside bed combination was available only during 1958 and 1959 but to get the bedside trim you had to wait with the last year. This was a time when trucks were usually bought for work and styling was far down the priority list. Therefore, one can appreciate the rarity of this month’s feature truck.

This 1959 Chevrolet deluxe ½ ton is owned by Don Lowrey of Lindsay, Ontario. He purchased it over 25 years ago during a visit to the U.S. Though at the time he did not realize its rarity, he knew the various deluxe features and color combination (Tartan Turquoise and Bombay Ivory) made for a very attractive package.

Shortly after the purchase of this, then 20 year old truck, Don decided to bring back the original shine by giving it new paint and re-chroming the bright metal. He was careful not to alter the original color or add extras that were not Chevrolet approved accessories.

The upholstery was kept without any replacing. Thus, we have a perfect example of the fabric Chevrolet used in their most deluxe pickup. Unlike the standard model, matching seat cloth was also placed over the door panels.

Note the untouched wood bed bottom. It still has much of its original black paint on yellow pine. NO, the manufacturers did not sand and varnish the bed floors!

Along with the many features that are standard with the deluxe package, this little ½ ton also has a few dealer installed accessories. The bumper guards, radio, heater, sunvisor, and wheel rings could have been added by the Chevrolet dealer.

Don has a certificate from the State of Pennsylvania that the 12,000 miles on the odometer (at his purchase) is correct. The truck runs like new and is used to drive to occasional Ontario car shows. It has not yet logged 1,000 miles since its purchase 25 years ago. If a show is two days long, Don uses his ½ ton to pull his travel trailer! The stock 235 six cylinder and 3 speed column shift transmission does the job.

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck 1959 chevrolet pick up truck1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1959 chevrolet pick up truck

1955 Chevrolet Deluxe

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Owner: Travis Goggans

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

A few months after the introduction of their 1954 trucks, GM announced a new model with more deluxe features. Korean was shortages were over and the average American had more disposable income. Buyers were already ordering the many options on automobiles, so General Motors knew at least a small market existed for a well appointed pickup truck. With the limited investment of color changes, different seat fabric, added chrome, and a few options becoming standard, Chevrolet had their deluxe model.

After fifty years few true deluxe 1954-55s survived but our feature truck of the month is one of these. The owner is Travis Goggans of Norman, Oklahoma. It recently received a ground-up restoration and Travis has replaced or repaired most all of those special features.

The following pictures show Travis’s 1955 deluxe in Mariner Blue with Bombay Ivory top. The matching upgraded two tone interior is just like it came from the factory.

This truck is a work of art. Probably even higher in quality than when new!

A few other 1954 accessories that are installed by the dealer are the full wheel covers, heater, radio, front bumper guards, clock, eagle hood ornament, and cigarette lighter.

The whitewall tires would have been provided by a non-Chevrolet supplier.

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck 1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

1955 chevrolet deluxe pick up truck

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