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Posts Tagged ‘first series’

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!

1955 Chevrolet

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Owner: Tim Etes

1955 chevrolet pick up truck

Here are some of the before and after pictures of my 1955 First Series Chevrolet Truck, complete August, 2006.

My nine year old son and I did a lot of the work;including a significant portion of the body, mechanical and reassembly-finish work!

Purchased last March (2005) on eBay (from a person just seven miles away, ironically), he never had the opportunity to begin the restoration and reconstruction process. We counted up the number of parts we moved from his house to ours and it was in an amazing 117 pieces! He purchased the vehicle from a Colorado farmer and transported it to Wisconsin nine years ago, where he and his son disassembled it for a ground up restoration.

I went with digital gauges, but kept the original 235 Chevy 6, with the granny-low 4 for Parades and to better make the Fenton-Cherry Bomb combination sound better when I take off!

Nick-named the Killer Bee

Enjoy! We are!

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

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

1955 Chevrolet First Series

Saturday, February 1st, 2003

Owner: Mike Harness – Blacksburg, VA

1955 chevrolet first series pick up truck

My truck is a 1955 Chevrolet 3100 First Series Deluxe Cab. My wife used to ride in this truck as a girl in the late 1950’s. It belonged to her neighbor, the original owner. That neighbor drove it for years, and then sold it to another neighbor who used in on his farm for years. Then it was parked by the creek for about five years before I spotted it while on a Sunday drive in 1992.

It was quite rusty and had a set of cattle racks on it. But, I couldn’t resist. With a new battery, a little gas down the carburetor, a slightly burned cousin (who now knows not to pour too much gas because it just might backfire), we started it and I drove it home. I soon had the original 235 engine rebuilt, then embarked on the long journey with Jim Carter’s Antique Truck Parts to restore what I considered to be a real diamond in the rough. I bought my parts from Jim Carter’s, and turned the project over to pro restorer Monty King at King’s Restorations in Cloverdale, Virginia so the body would be done right. The truck has been slowly and meticulously restored over the last ten years and is in near-perfect, near-show-quality condition. The list of items purchased from Jim Carter’s is extensive. This is a ground-up restoration. All body parts were removed and sand-blasted down to good steel. All rust was replaced with new steel, or the entire part was replaced if necessary. Minor cosmetics to the engine would make it a show truck. Body is perfect, mechanics excellent. Truck is very original and can be driven anywhere. It has 127,000 actual miles. It does not currently have a radio installed. All colors are authentic, Juniper Green and White two-tone exterior, with two-tone interior of dark and light green. (Many thanks to the staff at Jim Carter’s for helping me get the exact colors!!!) I kept it as a 6 volt system and I have several original parts as spares. I have enjoyed the truck and the project. It is great to drive. My father-in-law was partly the reason I undertook the project, but he passed away shortly before it was completed. I would consider selling the truck to someone who would like to take it the last bit to perfection.

Mike Harness
Blacksburg, Virginia
(540) 951-2197
harness@vt.edu

1955 chevrolet first series pick up truck 1955 chevrolet first series pick up truck 1955 chevrolet first series pick up truck

1955 chevrolet first series pick up truck 1955 chevrolet first series pick up truck 1955 chevrolet first series pick up truck