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American Ingenuity

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Needed are some logs without bark and a table saw. Cut in half and add tongue and groove. You have a truck flat bed!

1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Owners: John and Michele Dunkirk


1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express

We have always assumed that less than 100 Advance Design Canopy Express trucks remain. If you ever see one restored or not restored, you should stop and take note. They are a part of our nation’s history. They carried groceries in neighborhoods with one car families during the years they were built. The husbands drove the family car to work and the ladies were housewives. Grocers knew if they were to stay in business they must drive their Canopy Express to housing areas displaying and delivering food. Our feature truck is probably the most complete and perfect restored example in existence!

It is owned and has been restored by John and Michele Dunkirk of Southampton, New York. His desire to have a Canopy Express was because his first vehicle was this body style. In the 1960’s few people had an interest in this unique older body design as a used vehicle! Thus, it was the least expensive vehicle John could buy during his later high school years. After 2 years of use he sold it to an auto junk yard for $15.00.

After completing restoration on a beautiful 1954 Chevrolet ½ ton about 15 years ago, (they still have it) John continued to think about his first vehicle in high school. The restoration bug had now bitten John and he wanted to do another Advance Design truck. Yes, he decided it had to be a 1947-53 Canopy Express. The problem, there were none! They were built for work and a first owner wanted them to look their very best doing neighborhood grocery marketing. Sad but true, there was almost no interest in a second hand Canopy Express. Within 5 years the wood and canvas side curtains began deteriorating. The wooden rear floor now stayed wet from rain and snow and mechanical maintenance requirements were beginning. The Canopy Express had reached the end of a short life.

John’s several year hunt ended in Florida from a small magazine advertisement. The way the owner described it, made the truck sound like a real one! He drove almost 800 miles one way to see it. A great surprise, it was the real thing and a 1953. As he looked at the total package, it seemed so deteriorated! It would need it all and a little more. At the time, John thought this must be about the only one left in the world so the damage from age and abuse was overlooked.

The restoration went “full steam ahead”. No nut or bolt would be left untouched. It was like building a large model kit after the parts were restored. They soon realized what a big project they were into, however there was no turning back. Otherwise only a pile of parts would remain for salvage.

After almost 5 years including 500 hours in bodywork and painting plus another 1,000 hours in all the other parts of the restoration, the 1953 Canopy is now a “Work of Art”. It is one of the top attractions at all shows! The finished vehicle is now basically as it was when new. A great inline six cylinder motor is just broke in. Of course, the 4 speed transmission was a necessity on a Canopy Express. The low speed first gear was for slow moving through the neighborhood while displaying grocery products. The paint is a correct 1953-55 Chevrolet truck color, Transport Blue. John added one change to the restoration, it originally had a single bucket seat. He used a full pickup seat, so he and Michele could attend distant shows together. The white wall tires were a non-GM accessory but local tire shops could have installed them after the canopy was bought. This would make the truck more of an attention getter when selling merchandise in the neighborhoods.

There are several large expenses “not” mentioned that aren’t included in the 1,500 hours restoration time. The most costly expense was the acquisition of a Canopy Express tailgate. John’s Canopy Express came with the tailgate missing! How could he spend so much time and money on this project and then be stopped without a tailgate? He had no idea this part would be so difficult to locate. He continued with the restoration assuming the gate would be found by the end of the project. It wasn’t. The Dunkirk’s hauled it to New England shows for 2 years after completion with no tailgate! No matter how hard he researched, there was no gate to be found. They even took it to Stowe, Vermont twice for the most attended antique car and truck show of the summer. It received second place in the commercial class for both years. Still no tailgate!

On one summer weekend it was taken to the large monthly Hemming’s Car Show in Bennington, Vermont were it was placed in the top ten vehicles.

Numerous local shows on Long Island, NY also saw this little canopy for the evening. Actually, part of the reason for many of the shows was to try to get a lead on a tailgate.

Finally, a few years later another small magazine advertisement led to a tailgate. An un-restored complete Canopy Express with a tailgate was for sale in Southern California. The problem: John and his wife, Michele were in Southampton, New York. There was no choice. They flew across the country to see it! It was found to be well worn as John’s had been but it had a tailgate. As they arranged commercial transportation to New York, we assume John remembered he sold his first canopy to a salvage yard for $15.00. When it reached New York a few weeks later, John and his body man finally agreed and accepted the bad news. The inner tailgate panel had been beat so bad that the dings, tears, and holes made it un-restorable. Without this inner panel, there could be no tailgate. What a disappointment! What happens next?

One day a lucky thing happened! With research John discovered the tailgate from a 1947-55 Suburban is the same in the lower 2/3 as a Canopy Express. With almost as much effort as finding the Canopy gate, John finally traded for a damaged Suburban tailgate. A restorable inner panel was now in his possession. He could cut it shorter and make a new inside gate panel for his Canopy. The truck could be completed!

Next project; Finding the artificial fruit and vegetables to display were the easy part. Locating mint condition grocery boxes of the 1950’s was another story. John and Michele attended many flea markets and garage sales. The boxes had to be of wood of the 1950’s and their colorful paper labels perfect. They soon found the best sources were estate sales. Most wood boxes and labels had survived because they had been put in attics and basements 50 years and used for storing merchandise. At these sales, John and Michele bought the boxes when they could and not the miscellaneous items they contained.

Now that the total restoration is completed a big appreciation for help go to Trevor and Stephanie Mercer that worked side by side with the Dunkirk’s during the 500 hours spent. Gene “The Tool Guy”, handmade the many panels (body, tailgate repairs, and floor) to replace those so badly rusted. Reproductions were not available.

During the 3 years it has been totally restored the Dunkirk’s are occasionally asked “What does it take to build a truck like this”. They quickly say “Just the money invested is over $50,000. This does not include the tailgate trip to California with return truck line freight, the drive to Florida to find the Suburban,  plus finding the many distant flea markets while on a “grocery box hunt”. Then we come to the value of their time in the 5 year ground up restoration. Just make a guess of the investment! It all started with John’s first truck in high school.

You can contact John and Michele at : micheleant@hotmail.com

1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express
1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express 1953 Advanced Design Canopy Express

1961 Chevrolet Truck Assembled in Brazil

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

During 2012 National Convention of the American Truck Historical Society, we met some real truck enthusiasts that had traveled to the show from Brazil. One was, Antonio Sergio Hurtago, an owner of an older American truck museum in San Paulo.

I was given a very interesting current 12 month calendar from this museum. The most surprising page featured a 1961 Chevrolet truck assembled in Brazil. Study the attached images carefully of the cab on this larger work truck. It can be immediately recognized as a United States 1947-55. So that’s where GM sent some tooling for their famous Advance Design body! The GM factory in Brazil continued with this popular cab for additional years!

Look closely again. GM in the US did not continue to produce Advance Design gauges, so look at the photo of the 1961 dash. Yes, the 1955-1959 Chevrolet dash gauges were the ones of choice in the Brazilian factory during at least 1961.

This new Brazilian Chevrolet truck is so different from the US models, yet there is just enough prior parts, it makes it an excellent candidate for study.

1939 GMC Panel Truck

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Owner: Paul Flammang

It’s another era in our country. We were just coming out of the Great Depression. Employment was on the upswing and car sales were better than since the 1920’s. Families with a little more income began to move away from the downtown centers and new neighborhoods were developing at the edge of cities.

Public transportation began serving some of these new housing areas; however it was often not convenient for the new residents to walk to the bus line. They would need to ride to the original mid-town, return home with a supply of groceries, clothing, hardware items, etc. There was only so much a person could carry on a bus or street car.

Thus, the large numbers of small family-owned and operated neighborhood stores began to emerge. These quickly became important to the woman of the house. The husband would drive the family car or take the bus to work. The housewife remained at home, usually with the children, and was the purchaser of groceries and related needs. Neighborhood stores soon realized to be successful, they needed to take groceries, and laundry items to the customer.

With the above being said, the following describes one of the best examples of an all original grocery delivery truck of the last century. This little 1939 GMC panel truck was discovered over 16 years ago by the present owner, Paul Flammang.

He found it in a small garage behind what was once the Laura’s Family Grocery Store in Jewell City, Connecticut. The store was typical for the times, a two-story building on the corner. The shopping area was on the first floor and the owner and his family lived upstairs. Over 50 years ago this building was converted to an upper and lower duplex as the growth of large supermarkets put an end to the family-owned grocery stores.

The delivery truck, used by this grocer was locked in a back garage and had remained there over the years. The family still owned the property.

Paul, a local resident and old car enthusiast, had only heard rumors of the stored delivery panel truck. One day he found a family member with access to the garage and he asked if he could see the panel truck. He could not believe his eyes! It was just like when parked there in the 1950’s. The store logos were still readable on the sides and a few unopened grocery items remained inside undelivered. The log book in the glove box showed the last delivery in 1951 as well as addresses of many regular customers in the neighborhood.

A small ice box was still in the back by the double doors. It held meat on customer deliveries. The water from the melting ice ran through a drain hose in the factory hole for the spare tire clamp and then onto the street. Adjacent to this ice box was a small chopping block and scale.

To Paul, it was love at first sight! He owned a handmade furniture business and wanted the panel truck to add to the character of his company. Negotiations were successful and other than removing the ice box equipment, the panel truck was left as is. Our photos taken in 2012 show how it was found 16 years ago and after it was placed in storage in the 1950’s.

Paul immediately used it to deliver his furniture to New York and Boston twice each month, about 100 miles away for many, many years. Yes, a few motor changes occurred but the exterior has never changed.

We recently met Paul Flammang at our Midwest store with his 1939 GMC panel on a drive from Connecticut to Arizona. He is now retired and will spend his winters near Phoenix. It will be his daily driver there.

The current engine is a Chevrolet 216 six cylinder. Who says low oil pressure babbitt bearing engines can’t stand up to long hours of use?

If you wish to contact Paul Flammang by email: flammangwoodwork@gmail.com

 

1971 Chevy Blazer

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Owner: Russell Penniston

1971 Chevy Blazer
A one family owned 4×4 Blazer bought new in 1971! George Penniston purchased it to drive to the various job site locations of his construction company. This go anywhere vehicle was necessary to reach off road job sites through mud and snow.

George bought it at Parrish Chevrolet in Liberty, MO. It lacked only one option he required which was air conditioning. George had this installed a few weeks later. The Blazer served him well for many years and nothing was changed in the appearance or mechanicals. After years in construction, George retired and so did the Blazer. It sat for years in the corner of the large construction business shop, later to be owned by his son Russell.

Russell’s hobby was always large antique trucks which he had collected and often restored to new appearance. Therefore, it was many years before he put the little Blazer in line for restoration. In fact it was when he retired that the Blazer project began. It was so untouched over the years that to complete it, Russell only had to add new trim paint, upholstery, tires, body mounts, and the usual restoration done on 35 year old vehicles. Even a pair of 1971 Missouri license plates are attached. The mechanicals were excellent, so cleaning and painting made them just like it was in 1971. Working on it for several years, it was finished about 2005. It’s now like a magnet with people at auto shows. The awards are many.

It still has the original double stripe white wall spare tire in its correct position. The rubber rear floor mat came with the Blazer when new. The under hood mechanical parts are so original that local restorers have used it as a guide to build their same year trucks.

A few items of interest to the new enthusiast of early Blazers:

The dash has no speaker slots at the top like the conventional trucks. GM knew with a removable top, there would be a chance of it being caught in the rain. This would ruin a speaker. Therefore, GM placed the speaker and a protective grille at the bottom of the dash. With Russell’s Blazer this was moved to the hump in the floor because of the aftermarket air conditioning system.

The in-cab spare tire is secured to a special floor bracket.

The bucket seats are not like those on the more Deluxe pickups of the same years. In fact, the optional right seat totally tips forward to provide access to the optional rear seat.

Without the optional console, the factory seat belt buckle is placed in a non-metal pocket attached to the inner side of the seat.

Yes, the tailgate is also used on the Fleetside pickups; however a narrow horizontal metal strip is screwed to the top to allow for a weather seal on the lift gate of the removable top.

As a non-smoking family, there was never an accessory factory cigarette lighter. Note the black original blank out beside the heater control panel. Very rare!

The first year for disc brakes. GM added a decal only this one year to advertise this feature.

Russell’s 1971 Blazer continues to be one of the most popular vehicles at local car shows. He still remembers a friendly teasing comment “If your Blazer wasn’t here so often, someone else could have a chance at an award”.

1971 Chevy Blazer
Front w/ 1971 License
1971 Chevy Blazer
350 V-8
1971 Chevy Blazer
Blazer’s are rated K/5
1971 Chevy Blazer
350 V-8 w/ after market air
1971 Chevy Blazer
Original Spare Tire & floor Mat
1971 Chevy Blazer
Tailgate w/Blazer Air Seal Strip
1971 Chevy Blazer
Lift Gate
1971 Chevy Blazer
First Year For Disc Brakes
1971 Chevy Blazer
Cigarette Lighter Plug
1971 Chevy Blazer
Unrestored Door Panel
1971 Chevy Blazer
Rear Seat w/ Some Awards

1948 Chevy Truck – Heartbeat of America

Thursday, December 29th, 2011


1948 Chevy Truck –“ Heartbeat of America”
Owner: Luke Stefanovsky
1948 Chevy Truck
This was my 1st project of this sort after dreaming about it for years. I did not start the restoration, but have finished the interior, exterior, the engine bay, and performed some undercarriage work. Once starting the restoration, I was “all in”! It became a great stress-reliever from the daily responsibilities of being a middle school principal in a state hard-hit by the Recession. I spent more time in my waking hours thinking about the truck that I should; it occupied my dreams as well! The truck was back on the road August 2009, and it now has approximately 1600 miles on the completely rebuilt 235 c.i. 6 cylinder engine pulled from a 1955 Chevy. It has a 4-speed stick (floor) with a 4:11 rear. The truck is now my summer daily driver in West Branch, Michigan (approximately 90 miles from my home in Alma, Michigan).

The truck was in the service fleet for the Road Department in Mineral County, Nevada (county seat is in Hawthorne) sometime until the mid/late 1960s. I have corresponded with the man who purchased it from them; it has had multiple owners since then. The truck was originally purchased by the Road Department from the Chevy dealership in Hawthorne, which is no longer in existence. The Mineral County seals on the door sides were compliments of the current Road Department supervisor. I purchased the amber Federal service light and mounted it on a pole in the front-left of the truck bed; the switch is now under the dash. The patched holes from a roof-mounted service light were clearly visible before the headliner was replaced. I’d love to find a rare 1948 Nevada “highway exempt truck” license plate to mount on the front of the truck, which would replace the standard 1948 Nevada truck plate.

Evidence of the truck’s past includes “cleats” of some sort, which can be seen below the tailgate area and the various holes on the side-rails. Holes in various other locations around the truck where unknown items were mounted can be seen. One such set of holes on the upper left of the dashboard were for a small rubber-bladed electric fan. I found a rare N.O.S. Casco rubber-bladed fan and installed it in that very same location! Another hole on the dashboard was where the wiring for the vintage N.O.S. illuminated Hull compass is now located. I completely restored the original Harrison heater that came with the truck, which must have come in handy on cold Nevada mornings/evenings out on the Mineral County roads. IF THESE OLD TRUCKS COULD ONLY TALK!

Amongst a very long list of things done to this truck, I’ve added vintage Guide turn signals, a horn, amber Guide 5-3/4” fog lights, a rear passenger tail light, Guide back-up lights, the side-mounted spare tire, decorative hood ornament, a restored radio/antennae, under hood lamp (a rare accessory), refinished the bed, and added seatbelts (the only way my wife and son were going to ride with me!). A N.O.S. Casco cigar lighter was installed. New wheels were painted/striped and mated to a new set of tires, along with new hubcaps. The cab was striped. The driver’s side inner door panel, the driver’s side upper hinge detents, hinge pins, and the passenger side door latch were replaced. I had to also replace the driver’s side stainless steel window trim. Original “high dome” bumper bolts, along with Marsden nuts, were restored and used on the bumpers. An original jack/handle and complete tool set were also placed under the bench seat. A finishing touch was finding and mounting a GM accessory chrome grille guard. The truck was completely rewired, maintaining the original 6 volt electrical service. Instrument gauges were also restored.

New friends have been made through the project the past few years—some over the phone, others via the Internet, and many in person. The information, help received, and locating miscellaneous parts from the Stovebolt, H.A.M.B., V.C.C.A., and Chevy Bomb forums has been much appreciated. I also found eBay a good place to find parts.

Younger brothers Joe and John were a big help on the project. Joe was a huge help on the electrical side of the project, as well as the body finish. John completed the restoration by building a set of bed racks/rails out of red oak left behind by our deceased Grandpa K.—“the Judge”—who ironically retired from the Bay County, Michigan Road Department.

Driving the “Heartbeat of America” on a regular basis and attending classic car shows has validated for me that completing this restoration was a very worthwhile project to others as well. Attending the 50th V.C.C.A. Anniversary meet in Flint, Michigan July 2011 sure was quite an event! The truck has appeared in two calendars and has been featured in the V.C.C.A.’s Generator and Distributor monthly magazine. A newspaper article was also written on it in the Mineral County Independent-News. The “Heartbeat of America” has come back to life and lives again, 63 years after its creation in Oakland, California. At age 50, I see this restored ’48 Chevy truck as a tribute to the rich auto heritage of our great state of Michigan—which has fallen on hard times recently. Like this truck, we will survive to thrive once more some day again.

1948 Chevy Truck 1948 Chevy Truck
1948 Chevy Truck

If you wish to contact Luke, please send him an email at: lstefanovsky@mtpleasant.edzone.net

1936 Chevy Half Ton

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Owner: Pat O’Brien

 

 

 


This rare little ½ ton survived its 75 years mostly because it stayed with one family; it probably never ventured beyond the city limits, and was used mostly by a mechanic that lived in an area of dry air that discouraged metal rust. For the trucks first two years, it was driven by Virginia Swaim to high school each day in Prescott, Arizona.  After graduation her father used it as a shop truck in his auto repair business until he retired. Then, Virginia kept it mostly stored in a backyard garage until she passed away in 2002.

The new owner and restorer is Pat O’Brien also of Prescott, Arizona. He discovered it in the same closed garage where it had spent all of its later years. Virginia sold it to Pat several years after he discovered it by accident as he drove by the garage door that was open for a few minutes. Maybe this second ownership was meant to be! Pat was even given the pickups entire history in receipts from the day it was purchased. A box of so many receipts; from tires, gasoline, batteries, radiator hoses, and any other little repairs that needed during so many years.

Of course after all those years as a shop truck and many more sitting in the daughters garage, it was in need of so much more than a surface cleanup. Pat was ready for this challenge. His goal was to have his 1936 look bone stock on the outside with a change to most of the running gears that only the more knowledgeable truck person would recognize. Keeping an inline six cylinder was a must! He added a 292, the larger of the 1963 through 1972 design. The 4 speed was replaced with a Chevy car full synchronized floor shift 4 speed from the 1960’s. This floor shift system was almost a natural for the 1936 pickup.

The differential rear end was a great find. Removed from a 4 x 4 S-10 pickup, it matches the original 6 bolt wheel pattern and the distance between the rear wheels is just right for this 1936 ½ ton. Pat only moved the axle saddles slightly to the side and the original 1 ¾  wide rear leaf springs connected perfectly!

Keeping the 1936 front axle was important. He wanted it to keep the non-lowered original appearance. The front end difference is the hidden 6 bolt disc brake system fitted to his 1936 axle. Yes, the original 1936 lever action shock absorbers were rebuilt. They really are an excellent shock – just expensive!

The real creation was keeping the new dual chambered master cylinder under the floor between the original clutch and brake pedals.  Most people give up here on 1936-46 brake modifications and attach swing pedals to the firewall. Not Pat! He did it like the 1936 design. A bracket to support the pedals was attached to the transmission case much like GM did it. The opposite bracket on the original frame rail could then be utilized with the pedal shaft as from the factory.  Even the hand brake lever is attached to the newer 4 speed transmission like it was in 1936.  It comes through the floor in the correct position.

The 6 hole wire wheels are another eye catcher. To keep it like GM made it, Pat found these new US handmade wires to look original. Not cheap! They really help it keep its 1936 look and hold the radial tires well at any speed.

Pat O’Brien has created a total package that is one of a kind. We call it his little original speed machine!  No, we didn’t say inexpensive.  People are drawn to it at car shows or just moving in traffic. Virginia Swaim and her father would be proud!!

To contact Pat, email at: professorpat@hotmail.com

1941-1946 Park light and Headlight Assemblies

Monday, June 20th, 2011


At the beginning of the 1941 Chevrolet and GMC truck body style, the parking light assembly was placed on top of the headlight bucket.  This was the first time both were placed on the fender as a pair.  All worked well together.  To save tooling costs, GM chose to add a pre-existing assembly from the year before on the 1940 Pontiac car.  No changes were made from this Pontiac park light assembly except its long sheet metal top was now painted and not chromed.

Overseas during World War II, when civilian front fenders were used on GM military trucks (instead of the more famous flat fender ‘army truck’ style) General Motors created a parking light that emitted a small strip of light to be seen at a shorter distance.

Beginning in 1942 and continuing through mid 1947 (when this body design was discontinued), GM used a much less expensive park light housing on civilian trucks.  A one piece stamped metal cover was attached to the headlight bucket for a fraction of the cost as in 1941.  This also used a smaller less expensive glass lens.

Therefore during this 6 ½ year truck production (1941-Mid 1947) the same headlight buckets were on Chevrolet and GMC trucks.  The difference was their hole punching which adapted to changes in parking light assemblies.

1942-45 Military

1942-45 Military

NOTE:   THE 1941 PHOTO WILL FOLLOW SOON

Nuts Molded from Epoxy Cement

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011


The next time you can’t find a nut to fit a special bolt, try making your own by filling an oversized nut with epoxy cement and molding the threads. Seat the nut in modeling clay before pouring in the epoxy. Grease the bolt, then screw it down through the epoxy into the clay. Wait a day, unscrew the bolt from the hardened epoxy, and you will have a perfect fitting nut for moderate duty.

1945 Chevrolet House of Magic

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Owner: Dirk Spence
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

A magic show unlike anything you’ve ever seen! Equally important to GM truck people is that all of this has been totally transformed on a 1945 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton truck.

The truck owner and professional magician is Dirk Spence of Tinley, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). It all began in 1980 when Dirk was given a dilapidated 1945 Chevy truck with a ruined engine, broken glass, and four flat tires. Since his youth, Dan had a strong interest in magic and with this truck, he quickly envisioned a traveling magic show that would set him apart from all others.

Once completed, this unique, self-contained 1945 Chevrolet ˜Magic House™ contains sound, lights, and a one-of-a-kind museum. Dirk has even rigged his truck to spit flames when he fires up the engine- just for added effect. His one hour magic show has been in the Chicago area for many years.

This has been quite a project considering the truck only has a 134″ wheel-base. Audiences love Dirk’s magic wagon because it is a touch of old Vaudeville with a splash of 1990’s humor. Dirk has definitely found a niche that draws “oohs and ahhs” when he arrives in his in his gypsy green truck with wood shingle sides at festivals, corporate picnics, and schools.

If you would like to contact Dirk or experience “Mr. D’s Magic and Illusion Show”, please call 708.532.0827 or visit his website at www.mrdsmagicshow.com.

1946 Chevy Short Bed Pickup

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Owner: John Thompson
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

This 1946 Chevy short bed from Pittsburg, Kansas, may look stock, however, it’s anything but! It is a blend of the character of the pre-war vehicles mixed with today’s technology. When I bought the truck it was almost all stock but it was in pieces strewn between 3 garage stalls. The truck is all steel and had virtually no rust on any of the body panels, but it was missing almost every trim, handle, lamp, chrome, interior, etc. Thank goodness for Jim Carter catalogs! The build began in January of 2008 and was completed in June of 2010. Modifications include the front suspension and frame rails from a 1970 Chevelle giving the truck independent front suspension, power steering, power disc brakes, sway bar, etc. The engine, transmission, rear differential, fuel tank, gauge cluster, seats, and more are all from a 1995 Camaro Z28. Several thousand hours went into the build with a lot of custom work including shaved drip rails, smoothed and reshaped lower grille panel, shaved front turn signals, rear roll pan, fuel tank relocated behind the rear axle and fuel door added to the left rear fender, custom door panels, console (with cupholders), customized yet original looking dash panel, and many other subtle mods. The paint finish is Dupont base coat/clearcoat and the interior is finished with genuine leather.

Other features include: power steering with tilt column, Hotrod Air Conditioning system, power windows, keyless power locks, 8-way power driver seat, 4 wheel disc brakes, rear air shocks, in-dash JVC with DVD player, power antenna, billet & leather steering wheel, composite headlights with integral turn signals, 3rd brake light, Haywire engine management and body wiring harnesses (all wiring was soldered and heat shrink wrapped), 17 inch aluminum wheels, one-piece V-glass windshield, billet drivers wiper, dual electric fans that turn on at 185o or when the a/c is on, and more. The interior was lined with Dynamat before finished and features full instrumentation including tachometer, and seatbelts. The bed is white oak with 10 coats of varnish.

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

1947-54 Radio Antenna Installation Warning

Friday, April 15th, 2011

It is very important where to drill the hole for the new radio antenna. The results of making a slight mistake will stay in your mind for many years to come!

Radios during these 1947-54 Advance Design years were never installed at the factory. This was done by the authorized GM Dealer. In the box that contained the new radio was a paper template that prevented mistakes when drilling the antenna hole. This hole in the cowl was so close to the belt line that the body to the antenna seal gasket even lacked an edge where it touched this body belt. Even with GM moving the antenna so close to the belt line there is still only about 1/2″ clearance to the hood when it is open. See photo.

The sad realization occurs later when a new radio antenna is installed by an amateur. He drills the hole in the cowl (correctly on the driver’s side) about another 3/4′ forward. He smiles as the radio works great. He doesn’t smile a week later when he tries to raise the hood to check the oil. It won’t raise! The rear hood edge hits the antenna. A rubber plug later put in the new hole is always a reminder of what a 1/2′ can do.

Hood Closed Hood Open Hood Open

1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Year/Make 1953 Chevrolet
Owner: Dave and Pat Moore
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton

1953 Chevrolet

This month’s feature truck is a 1953 Chevy ½ ton by Dave and Pat Moore of
Kansas City, KS. Dave is our company technical advisor and talks to hundreds of
people each week helping with the many questions that come his way.

Dave is a ‘hands-on’ person and has personally done repairs and upgrades on
many mid-50’s GM trucks.  His own pickup is a prime example.  He and
his wife, Pat, have owned this little ½ ton 43 years (is that a record?) and
have continued to add upgrades over the years.  It is now better than ever
and ready for another 43 years

It all began in 1968, when Dave traded a 1961 Chevy “409” Impala for this
1953 pickup.  It had an Oldsmobile drivetrain and it became a driver for
his wife, Pat for several months.  While talking to Dave about this ½ ton,
he recalled the many mechanical changes in the 43 years.  This has included
5 engines, 7 transmissions, and 5 rear ends.  It is now in the last stages
of its current frame off upgrade.

Dave actually bought a complete, not wrecked, 1986, C-4 Corvette several
years ago to get straight suspension parts for this upgrade including the total
front end and rear end.  A 700R4 transmission from an Astro Van and has
been rebuilt.  The engine is a ’93 350c.i. Chevy crate motor using Jim’s
motor and trans. mounts.  The body work and custom paint was done in
’97 and still looks great!  Two other major changes have been the addition
of a powder coated 1954 frame and the deeper 1954 bed that matches these lower
frame rails.  The truck is so dependable that Dave and Pat have been part
of the “Long Haul Gang” on the Hot Rod Power Tour 7 times where it has averaged
22.12mpg.

In the first photo, note the new Peterbilt tractor beside Dave and Pat’s
1953.  The owner said surprise me on the paint; Clint (Dave’s son) who
works selling new Peterbilt’s had the factory paint the truck the same special
green!   If you would like to contact Dave about his 1953, his email
address is dmoore5356@aol.com

1953 Chevrolet
1953 Chevrolet

1953 Chevrolet

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Year/Make 1953 Chevrolet
Owner: Richard & Lorie Baranek



1953 Chevrolet

On my side of the story! from “Broadway Bob” at Auto Rehab. It was a project that took almost 1 1/2 years to complete. I started working on it from in a small 20×20 garage attached to my house . I was in the process of building a new 40×50 garage ! Most of the first few months were doing the work on it in my driveway, including disassembly, paint stripping, metal finishing, some bodywork and painting parts, etc. Due to no room in garage for the whole truck, it was quite a juggling show. The truck was in good restorable condition and thanks to Jim Carter parts! the job was possible to complete with new replacement parts. It was a complete frame off restoration. I reconditioned most of the parts that were in good shape and replaced everything that wasn’t. I made parts that weren’t available yet !! Every nut, bolt, screw, was reconditioned or replaced if bad ! I think it was my most enjoyable restoration in the past 5 years. Everything was taken apart, refinished and reassembled back to new. I was amazed at the quality of the vehicle construction when new . GM did an excellent job on design of this model truck. I think “that made it a thrill to work on”!! it was simple and effective, not cluttered like cars today!!

This truck was bought back in 1955 by the Baranek family in Crivitz Wis. This is the third generation of Baranek’s to own it and it has been in the family for 50 years along with the history and war stories told by son, grandson & great grandson, The truck was in good restorable condition considering it spent all its life in Wisconsin. I have had it for 1 1/2 years doing an extensive restoration of the vehicle and it was a pure joy to work on. It is currently owned by Richard & Lorie Baranek of Crivitz, Wisconsin, who are the 3rd generation owners of this restored 1953 Chevrolet 3600.

Submitted by Bob Thompson
Auto Rehab & Restoration
Wabeno, Wisconsin.
Additional comments from the owners:

Sorry we haven’t gotten back to you in so long. We have a daughter getting married tomorrow so things have been a little hectic. Our truck is a 53 Chevy I remember riding in it with my grandfather as a chilled. When my grandfather passed away the truck was handed down to my uncle who took over the farm . I thought he sold the truck until one day I discovered it in his barn and there it was sitting for 45 years. Now my uncle is 80 years old and it took me a whole year to try to convince him to let me buy it from him. I bought the truck for 100.00 dollars we got it running and used it just to bomb around in the back 40. After we were all done having fun the truck sat in the shed for 3 years and we finally found Bob to restore it. He worked on that truck for 2 years, then we went to see it. It was immaculate we’ve never seen something more beautiful. Bob did a great job on the truck!!!!!

Rich and Lorie written by son (Brad)

1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck
1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck
1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck 1953 chevrolet pick up truck

1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Owner: Jim Brallier
1953 Chevrolet 1/2 Ton
1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive

The total restoration of this 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 1/2 ton came to be because of a “match made in heaven”. Jim Brallier of Clearville, PA has this special truck because several things came together just right. He always had a desire to restore an older truck. He was retired after a full career specializing in vehicle mechanical repair and welding. His son is a professional auto body repairman and painter. There was now extra time to peruse his long dream and all came together at the right time.

Jim discovered this factory deluxe pickup (with all the trim) only 60 miles away in the rolling hills of South central Pennsylvania. This was known for coal mining many years ago and for some reason the little truck had been stored in a garage 30 years ago and appeared related to the coal mining business in this area. The garage saved it from years of bad weather however the first 20 years of being in the past coal mining area was not kind to the truck and 65 years of summer humidity, even in storage, added to major body rust. But was a more rare deluxe pickup with the extra rear corner windows!

It took Jim Brallier no time to know this was to be the truck he had planned for during his many past working years. It was too deteriorated not to be disassembled down to the frame rails. The motor was locked after its 30 year storage and most body panels were showing rust holes.Jim knew this would be a challenge but he refused to stop when all the pieces were removed. It would have then only been salvage scrap metal! He was retired so this 1 1/2 year project was his challenge. His years as a mechanic and welder could now be placed again to good use on this otherwise total loss rusted little pickup (he even replaced the outer door skins where he discovered an interesting ink pen stored inside*). The attached photos verify the pure deluxe features of this top of the line 5 window model. The Cape Maroon color is correct for 1950. Stainless window trim, chrome grill and bumpers. Jim added chrome mirror arms and taillights. The deeper 6 bolt wheels are about 1969 Blazer that allow for radial tires. Polished stainless steel strips greatly add to the appearance of the 6 foot bed. The results are now appreciated by all that see it. Two local car shows and two trophies!

AND THEN IT HAPPENED! Jim heard about a distant 1952 1/2 ton at the right price. Maybe his experience with his 1950 would make this a much easier second project to be a daily driver. (don’t these old Chevy trucks get in our blood!) The price was so good. It was in an old storage garage and deeply covered with everything on the cab top and along and in the bed. Without seeing little more than the truck front and no accessibility to the side or cab, Jim still bought it. The next week he was back with his trailer and removing the storage to gain access and then hauled it home. Once in his garage the overall condition check was made. What is that? What’s that box in the drive line behind the three speed transmission? It certainly was not like his 1950. He cleaned the grease and dirt from a sheet metal plate on the case. It was a Truckstell Overdrive! Even the operating cable under the dash was there. What a find! Almost unheard of in today’s world and Jim now owned one. Of course, he had to have it in his 1950.

This changeover project was the most exciting in all his restoration. To have this aftermarket option in his show truck would be the ultimate accessory. He totally disassembled the unit and it required only new grease seals. Its problem had been a frozen under dash control cable. The outer metal wire covering and non-metal insulation tube were replaced. The actual inter cable was still ok. The total drive shaft assembly was exchanged with his 1950. It was always necessary to shorten the closed drive shaft torque tube system in the early years to make room for the over-drive gear box. The differential ring and pinion gears came out together but no trade was needed in axle housing, axles or brake system. Jim totally restored the overdrive including cleaning the Truckstell ID plate and painting the case the original orange color found in a few spots.

This overdrive has changed his 1950’s total driving personality! The little 216 engine now cruises 60 MPH on the highway instead of 45 MPH on the slower country roads. The overdrive can be used in all 3 gears and has a “hill holding” feature. It doesn’t roll backwards when starting on a slope at stop signs. Jim feels this is the best thing one can add to a 1/2 ton. Why did GM never offer this option in the early years? It appears the Truckstell Overdrive #101 was available for the Chevrolet passenger cars and 3 speed 1/2 ton pickups from about 1946 through 1955. By then Chevrolet offered their own optional Borg-Warner overdrive with the introduction of the open-drive shaft system. Click below to see the original sales literature offered by Truckstell in the late 1940’s Truckstell Brochure.

When Jim removed the door skin for replacement, he found an ink pen in the bottom. It was lettered U.A.W. United Auto Workers. No doubt, it was placed in the door by an assembly worker during assembly in 1950. this is his souvenir of the restoration. NOTE: If you have an interest in Truckstells, we found another person with a collection and most related literature. Contact KB at his email address telekenfun@ak.net.

1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive
1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive 1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive
1950 Chevrolet Truckstell Overdrive


1934-1936 Side Mount Spare Tire Mounting

Friday, December 17th, 2010



During the early years, most roads were not paved and the quality of tires was far from that of today. Thus, tire repair was very big business. It was necessary for vehicle manufacturers to provide the easiest access to the often needed spare tire. Part of driving a car or truck was knowing how to change a tire.

On the 1936 and older pickups, the tire storage space was limited. GM chose to place a dip in the front fender and a 29″ vertical rod from the frame rail to the cowl for the tire and wheel support clamp. A long nut is threaded to the top of the rod and tightens a curved metal over the tire.  No the pickup did not use the chrome “T” handle on the car.

In viewing restored ½ ton pickups at shows it is amazing that most use the chrome die-cast “T” handle that came new on passenger cars. Not correct!  The pickup uses a hexagon securing nut.  It is designed to be turned by the lug nut tire tool usually stored under the seat cushion.

Why the difference is unknown. We assume the “T” handle nut is more convenience to turn.  The car driver would get less dirt or grease on clothes or hands during a tire change, plus the car was usually on smoother roads, not on the rough surfaces of a farm field or back roads that might loosen the securing nut.

Replacement hard parts for most of this side mount system are not being reproduced. Originals usually must be restored. The rubber grommet that protects the cowl and fender metal from the side mount hardware the securing nut and 29″ support rod are available from Jim Carter Truck Parts along with a few other older GM truck full stocking dealers.

INTERESTING: The Chevrolet 1/2 ton (1934-1936) placed the support well in the right front fender. The 1936 GMC (first year for their 1/2 ton) it was in the left front fender. The support hardware is the same. Just another way of the two marquis showing their individuality with limited expense.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
Pickup inside view. Not quite like a Chevy car.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
The 29″ vertical rod is at an angle, too far through the cab mounted support.  Shown is the top dark threads where this retaining nut fits.

1934-1936 Vacuum Wiper Motor

Friday, December 17th, 2010



This little vacuum wiper motor has such a unique appearance! They have become quite rare in recent years.

Manufactured by Trico for just this truck, it fits above the windshield frame on the left side of cab. A dealer accessory for the right side.

They have sometimes been called a “sweetheart” wiper motor due to their strange appearance.

1934-1936 vacuum wiper motor

1934-1936 vacuum wiper motor

1956 Opel

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Owner: Jan van Bohemen

1956 Opel

1956 GMC Opel

We just couldn’t resist placing this approximately 1956 Opel as this month’s feature truck. Did you actually think General Motors discarded the famous Advance Design 1947-55 truck cab tooling? To get a little more use of the tooling, it was modified in the late 1950’s as a German Opel truck.  Remember the small Opel car imported in the 1960’s and sold in Buick dealerships? They displayed the same lightning bolt emblem as the trucks.

Look closely at this pickup.  It has Advance Design all over it!

Its owner is Jan van Bohemen in Germany.  It started as a larger work truck, however he wanted a pickup so he made the bed and rear fenders to get the look he wanted.  Very impressive!

For your information…more data on the later-use of the Advanced Design Tooling.  Not only did they use this tooling in Europe but it was an assembly line produced truck in Brazil. Click here to see Brazil’s version.

1956 Opel 1956 Opel 1956 Opel
1956 Opel 1956 Opel

1946 Chevrolet

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Owner: Dennis Odell

1946 Chevrolet

1946 Chevrolet

This month we feature a pick up that is used just the way GM intended.  It is still a work truck and at 65 years old it is used daily in the greater Kansas City, Missouri, area.  The owner is
Dennis Odell of Independence, MO.  The truck is a 1946 Chevrolet half ton.

Dennis now stays busier than on prior career job with the telephone company.  He can repair most anything ( including his 46) and thus is a natural with home repairs.  His little half ton is his daily work truck and hauls materials and himself for his many remodeling projects.

Dennis found it for sale 25 years ago beside a country road at the edge of town and had to have it!  He then personally did the restoration including the painting.  Dennis said he made it above average but not for shows.  After all, he planned on driving it to work daily.  About 12 years ago he retired and now  he and his 46 keep busier than past full time job.

The drive train is a 1977  250 cylinder engine  with a modern floor shift 3 speed and a 1955-56 Nomad rear end. All wheels are 5 bolt.  An under dash radio is his entertainment and the heater is from a 1950 car.  The body is all GM as are the seats, grill, bumpers, and bedstrips.  Yes, he did replace the bedwood.

With it being used so often in all its years Dennis says it has to have over 250 thousand miles and is still going strong!!

 

1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet
1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet

A New Truck – 55 Years Old!

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Year/Make 1955 Chevrolet NAPCO Suburban

Owner: George VanOrden

1955 Chevrolet Suburban

1955 Chevrolet NAPCO Suburban

During the recent Mid-West All Truck National’s in Riverside, Missouri, a very special truck was on display. It had been brought to the show in an enclosed trailer from Virginia.The owner is George VanOrden of Fulks Run, Virginia and the vehicle is a 1955 Chevrolet Suburban with a NAPCO 4×4 system. His personal history, leading to this restored Suburban, is a story by itself. He spent his youth in this mountain section of Virginia only 10 miles from his current home. The interest in 4×4 trucks was early in life as these type trucks were regularly seen on the rough mountain roads in his county. It is not surprising George decided to restore a 4×4 after his retirement after 20 years in the U.S. Marines.

The first candidate he bought to restore was a late 50’s GM 4×4 pickup. His high hopes slowly dropped as his wife explained “Where will you put the whole family in a truck cab as the children grow?”

A new hunt began for a 4×4 Suburban which would just “fill the bill” for a medium size family hauler. This want proved a very difficult task. Few 4×4 Suburbans were sold in the 1950’s and most were later junked or used beyond restoration by off road owners.

A year of patience and a continued search finally met success. George’s wife found an ad from a Colorado owner that described a very used but not abused 1955 Suburban 4×4. It was first owned by the Colorado Forest Service and George was to become its third private owner. Rust was limited and all mechanicals could be rebuilt or replaced.

Once back in Virginia, the surface restoration began but soon went further than new paint and a clean-up. Each part to be restored opened even deeper needs. Suddenly, George was down to the frame rails. After all, with whole family to ride in the Suburban, he needed no future problems.

A nearby professional restoration shop was hired to lift the body from the frame and restore the sheet metal. George took the chassis home. That would be his project, however the 4×4 system proved to be a real challenge. As he slowly found new NAPCO parts to make the system perfect, the remainder of the chassis needed equal treatment. Then it became a must to make it all new! He just could not go this far and not make it all perfect.

The restoration shop was contacted, “Don’t just fix the dents and paint the body. I want it new!”. Compromises were not acceptable. George’s passion became research on what the 1955 was like the day it left the Chevrolet factory. Hours of collecting literature, talking to collectors, and using his computer brought out the answers and this was followed “to the letter”. There was no turning back. The Suburban was in hundreds of pieces. Even the grain, color, and seams of the new seat material came from the samples that was on the original seat upholstery.

A set of 5 bias ply 17.5 tires was the real challenge (does any factory still make them?). George located a truck for sale that had been in storage many, many years. It had new tires with even the dimples on the tread. He bought the truck just to get the tires.

George rebuilt the Suburban’s original 235 cubic inch six cylinder engine. All parts had to be new GM. Another hunt. The differential and 4 speed transmission received the same treatment.

The above is the “tip of the iceberg” of what George did to create a new 1955 Chevrolet Suburban. The restoration time was three years, completed September 2008. It is now how it came from the factory: 235 engine, 4 speed, fresh air heater, no radio, dealer added turn signals and the NAPCO installed 4×4. Ocean green paint was found under the mirror arms so George knew the correct color.

A new enclosed car trailer was a necessity. (Even more money in the project!) As a member of the Antique Auto Club of America -AACA, George thought he would see how the Suburban would do in serious judging competition. It started in the world famous Hershey PA. Fall Show. Surprise, it received a “Junior” award, the highest for a first timer. The next spring, it won the “Senior” award at the Charlotte, NC AACA show. The same year it was given a second at the AACA “Grand Nationals” in Newburn, NC.

George’s finished product has certainly attracted the attention of even the most qualified judges. He and his Suburban can’t receive honors much higher than this!

And what happened to the thought of having a clean Suburban for the family? Well, that will be the next project.

Note: Only if you are a real “die hard” NAPCO fan should you read this part of our month’s feature truck.

The 4×4 system was made by the Northwestern Auto Parts Co. of Minneapolis, MN. -NAPCO-. Of the many 4×4 add-on companies at that time, this was by far the most popular. Most medium size hill and mountain country cities had a NAPCO dealer. (GM’s factory assembled 4×4 trucks were not available until 1957).

George’s NAPCO was the last year for the Rockwell transfer case (pumpkin on the left of center). By 1956 NAPCO transfer case was made by Spicer (pumpkin on the right of center).

The Chevrolet GMC 1/2 tons were never given a 4×4 prior to 1955. Their closed drive shaft prevented a position for a transfer case. Thus, NAPCO in the early models began with a 3/4 ton which had enough of the drive shaft open to make room for this case.

When GM introduced the open drive shaft 1/2 ton in 1955, NAPCO jumped at the opportunity to offer a 4×4 for the light trucks. A redesigned 1/2 ton NAPCO system was not ready until 1956 and would include the Spicer transfer case. Therefore, the 1955 1/2 ton like George’s Suburban, plus 1/2 ton pickups were provided with the currently used 3/4 ton front end with 8 bolt wheels but internally used the 1/2 ton ring and pinion. This gave the higher speed 1/2 ton, 3.90 ratio. On the rear, 6 bolt axle spacers adapters allowed 8 bolt wheels to match the front. Very unusual but it got NAPCO quickly into the 1/2 ton 4×4 market. The 1955 1/2 ton NAPCO’s are one year only design. They really stand all with their 17.5 tires that were actually used on most 3/4 tons.

1955 Chevrolet Suburban 1955 Chevrolet Suburban 1955 Chevrolet Suburban
Interior Engine
1955 Suburban Taillights

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Year/Make 1948 Chevrolet Suburban

Owner: Jerry Rivers

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

It’s a great day for a car show! This is one of those rare Saturday cruise shows when the temperature, a light breeze, and no rain make it a picture perfect day. A few hundred vehicles, antique and street rods, fill the parking spots gather around the old city square.

The display overflow extends onto connecting side streets. Vehicle owners have gathered to enjoy a common interest, a love of special interest and restored cars and trucks.

As the day continues spectators are outnumbering the vehicle owners 3 to 1 as they stroll among the special cars of all early ages and marquis. However, it is obvious that one vehicle is attracting more than the usual passing interest. A constant flow of onlookers are staring at a large blue car or is it a truck. We wait for a place to get a better view of this “large people hauler”. It’s a beautifully rebuilt 1948 Chevrolet Suburban! The color, workmanship and engine bring most people to a stop as they are walking by this display.
The owner is Jerry Rivers of Independence, Missouri. The interest from the crowds prevent our questions but Jerry agrees to allow us a later interview for pictures and questions.

In a week we are at his small antique Chevrolet parts store with all his attention. The more we looked and discovered the truck’s special features, the more it was important to place this vehicle as our monthly truck of the month section.

Jerry bought this Suburban 13 years ago from the original owner in North Missouri. A friend was hunting and noticed the tired body in a back field along a fence row. Rusted out floors, broken glass, and a totaled engine was the package. Jerry saw the great potential plus he had always wanted an old Suburban. He is a retired body man, so to him the challenge was not so threatening. He began the rebuilding after a total disassembly. His parts business requires much time but he allowed himself one night each week for Suburban duties. Thus, thirteen years for restoration! It’s unveiling was June 2010.

He wanted an original appearing 60 year old vehicle but added many special accessories plus additions to make it freeway friendly. Jerry has no concerns about driving a long distance. It’s built as a driver but, of course, it gets extra care as one would with a collector vehicle purchased from a new car dealer.

Jerry provided us two pages of extras he carefully added during the 13 year rebuilding. These are items you may not notice as you view the final product. We list them here as he did for us.

Accessories

  • Guide back-up Lamp and Shift Box Switch
  • 15″ Wheels
  • Wheel Trim Rings
  • Bumper Guards
  • AM-FM Radio
  • Oil Bath Air Cleaner
  • Right Hand Rear View Mirror
  • Right Arm Rest
  • Glare Proof Inside Rear View Mirror
  • AC Oil Filter
  • Rear Turn Signals
  • Guide Traffic Viewer (prism)
  • Fulton Outside Sun Visor
  • Right Hand Inside Sun visor
  • Guide Turn Signal Switch on Steering Column

New Old Stock Parts

  • Left Front Fender
  • Both Inner Fenders
  • Front Lower Grill Baffle
  • Core Support
  • Hood Emblem
  • Complete Hood with Center Strip
  • Upper and Lower Hood latch
  • Rear Splash Apron
  • Front Splash Apron
  • Upper Gate Hinges
  • Right and Left Latches
  • Inside and Outside Door Handles
  • Steering Wheel
  • Radiator
  • Shift Box
  • Misc. Mechanical and Suspension parts

Up Grades

  • 1954 “261” Engine
  • HEI Electronic Ignition
  • Alternator
  • All 12 Volt Electronics
  • 3.55 Differential (replaces original 4.11)
  • Radial Tires
  • Tinted Windows
  • Custom Rear Lower Tailgate
  • Bucket Seats
  • YF Carter Lean Burn Carb
  • Heavy Duty 10 3/4″ Clutch and Pressure Plate
  • Electric Wiper Motor
  • Rear Dome Light
  • Seat Belts
  • Air Conditioning and Heater Combo
  • Special Paint Color Combo in Centari Acrylic Enamel

Parts Suppliers

  • Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts
  • Bowtie Bits Truck Parts
  • Tom Myers Truck Parts

We should note three very special extras that make the Suburban even more of a real show stopper.

The Tailgate opens to the side and operates as if GM did it. (This is a Jerry Rivers Creation). No leaning over in the rear just to reach the body.

Its Power Plant is a pure 261 six cylinder from 1954. They were originally in school buses and 2 tons only. It was a drop-in and moves the Suburban easily to 70 mph. (Of course the high speed 3.55 ring and pinion helps too) Many don’t know this 261 engine even existed. It really steps out in today’s traffic!

Cold Air Conditioning? Certainly. The custom made system is for the 1947-53 Chevy truck with a 261 engine. No cutting on the body. Note the concealed two control levers in what was once slots for the original factory radio speaker. Yes, it keeps the large body Suburban comfortable during Missouri days of high humidity and temperatures.
Jerry has had the Suburban completed and at car shows for only three months. Two trophies and so much public interest! It attracts so many he calls it his “Magnet”. His last show required a 400 mile drive. Did he have any mechanical problems? Of course not! He made it to be a new 60 year old Suburban.


1948 Chevrolet Suburban

1948 Chevrolet Suburban

1948 Chevrolet Suburban
1948 Chevrolet Suburban
Here He Comes! Custom Tailgate Accessory Back-Up Light Jerry’s Grand Daughters
1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban
1948 Chevrolet Suburban
1948 Chevrolet Suburban
Factory Dash Smooth Headliner Accessory Taillamp Prism
1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban
261 Engine Power Plant A/C Items Bucket Seats with New Covering
1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban 1948 Chevrolet Suburban
Pickup Dome Light New Carpeting Interior There He Goes!

1950 Chevrolet 2 Ton Delivery Truck

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Year/Make 1950 Chevrolet 2 Ton
Owner: Coca Cola


1950 coca cola delivery truck


Coca Cola’s big yellow delivery truck can been seen for a long way.

1946 Chevrolet

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Owner: Jim Adams

1946 chevrolet

The owner is Jim Adams of Pleasanton, California! He has carefully rebuilt this 1946 Chevy 1/2 ton as one that would have been seen in the 1950’s. The big difference is that he created it as a high-performance vehicle of 50 years ago during his high school years. For the few that had money in those more difficult times, this is what many wanted to build.

This little 1/2 ton spent its early life in Hayward, CA as a fruit and vegetable delivery truck. Jim, about the fourth owner, bought it six years ago in a storage lot mostly as a cab and chassis. The tired bed nearby had numerous removed parts of questionable value.

At the beginning of the restoration, stock and reproduction parts were not too difficult to find. It was the high performance equipment that was the real challenge. They were gradually found with much time researching.

A few era additions used during the complete rebuilding  are: A 3″ dropped front axle, Edmonds water warmed intake manifold, Fenton headers, 1957 Chevy 235 engine with 1/4 race camshaft, chrome valve cover, two Carter YF carbs, and a high speed ring and pinion. Jim went modern on the brakes using disc on the front as well as a vacuum power brake booster under the floor. Even the seats are in a black vinyl roll and pleat design with a correct rubber floor mat.

The completed package is just right., an excellent restoration, early year high performance, and modern stopping ability. If it was in the 1950’s this little pickup would surely not take second place among any 6 cylinder or flathead V-8 cars or trucks.

When in any car and truck show, this truck is the one that gets the crowds! It is so unusual in these days of modern V-8’s and high tech add-ons.

1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet
1946 Chevrolet 1946 Chevrolet

1953 Chevrolet 2 Ton Moving Van

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Year/Make 1953 Chevrolet 2 Ton
Owner: Unkown



1953 Chevrolet 2 Ton Moving Van

1953 chevrolet 2 ton

1953 chevrolet 2 ton

1953 Chevrolet

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Owner: Colin Murphy

1953 Chevrolet

1953 Chevrolet

A recently restored 1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton! This is a perfect example of a “good old truck”, brought back from the dead. The owner is  Colin Murphy of Summerset, South Dakota. he had an interest to restore an older GM pickup for years. It all came together when a friend offered Colin this little 1/2 ton that was setting behind a storage building in Cheyenne WY.Because of the dry air in Wyoming, even an older vehicle never in a garage has limited body rust. The picture of when he found his truck, six years ago, shows it disassembled but its solid cab had great potential. Colin says he still found two other pickups to use as parts donors.  We might say three made one!

His many, many hours in the evenings paid off. It really turns heads in his town. The original 216 engine, 4 speed transmission,  and closed driveshaft rear end, makes it perform just like GM designed. Colin comments are ” I think it is pretty well done, so here it is. After six years and a gazillion dollars, I have a truck that tops out at 50 miles per hour. I have enjoyed working with Jim Carter Truck Parts on this project. Now, all I have to do is find another one…”.

1953 Chevrolet 1953 Chevrolet 1953 Chevrolet

1938 GMC COE

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Owner: Jim Raeder

 

1938 GMC COE

1938 GMC COE

When it was new, my GMC was a water truck on the Altoona PA fairgrounds. It sat under a big oak tree for many years until the second owner bought it. It didn’t have license plate on it until the 1970’s. The second owner did a basic restoration and painted it in the same colors and scheme as it was when new. He also put  two speed GMC rear end in it, shortened it, and made a fifth wheel out of it. I bought it in about 1998 with 12,500 original miles, a gas ration sticker from WWII in the window and the second owner claimed the original tires which at first I didn’t believe but now I think he may be correct. My future plans are to do a more detailed restoration and install a 302 GMC engine and five speed transmission to make it more usable while keeping the original character of the truck. I will keep the tires, engine, trans and rear end so it can be returned to stock. Since I bought the truck I have only come across five of these 38 COE’s.  Jim Raeder
1938 GMC COE

1949 Chevrolet Suburban

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Owner: Roy Asbahr

1949 Chevrolet Suburban

One of Roy Asbahr’s most special and unique vehicles is a just completed 1949 Chevrolet Suburban. After a 1 1/2 year restoration, it looks showroom new. Roy is a perfectionist in vehicle restoration and this is one of his best yet! The body and paint work was performed by Larry Swiggart.

This Suburban brings special childhood memories to Roy as it is like the 1949 his father bought-same year, color and accessories. It was the family car for many years and was even driven a few times on fishing trips to Canada and the Yukon.

Roy watched for many years for a restorable Suburban that could be made like the original family vehicle. He discovered this Suburban several years ago in Sioux City, Iowa. The prior owner had reached the age of 92. Little had been changed from the factory except a bargain paint job years before. Amazingly it was rock solid, rust free, and only 55,000 original miles.

Nothing was spared in the body off restoration. The factory exterior colors for Chevrolet Suburban’s, 1947-1949 was Channel Green-lower body and Fathom Green- upper body. This is just the colors of Roy’s father’s Suburban when new in 1949.

The seat upholstery is the ‘real thing’. It was carefully removed from the cushions, dyed, given new padding, and then put back in its original place. The seats now look as though they are just out of the factory!

Lucky for Roy the windlace surrounding the two doors was in excellent condition. He very carefully removed it, dyed it the color of the back side (never exposed to daylight) and placed it in its correct position. It appears new and with the unique Suburban only color. No tears or cracks!

The five piece headliner was not torn but had sagged and faded. This too was removed, re-dyed, and contacted to a piece of formica on the back side for strength. All were put in place with a new appearance.

There is gloss black paint on the inner fenders and upper radiator sheet metal. The shine in this area is often debated during a complete restoration. Roy remembers cleaning his father’s new 1949 regularly and has no doubt that it was gloss black, not flat or semi-gloss. However, all other items painted black are semi-flat black.

A final decision was made to add two hidden changes during restoration. To increase the speed on modern highways, Roy replaced the 4.11 ratio ring and pinion with a 3.55 gear ratio. All outside appearance is unchanged, except radial tires.

To also give extra highway speed, Roy installed a 1958 Canadian Pontiac inline 261 six cylinder which has hydraulic lifters and the 848 higher compression head. It is an excellent fit and even uses the same motor mounts. The original 216 valve cover is added on top to give an authentic look and an adapter was used to enable an early style 1954 water pump to be installed. The engine is the correct grey color and even the spark plug wires have the unprotected metal ends.

Little was ignored in this ground up restoration. Dealer installed accessories include fresh air heater, grill guard, radio, and rear turn signals lights, running board step plates and a GM locking gas cap.

This Suburban is an excellent addition to Roy’s fine collection of restored vehicles.

1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck

1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck

1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck

1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Listed on Ebay during April 2010.
It sold for $3,495.00…
What a bargain for this piece of American History!

1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl


1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl

This is a very unique one of a kind 1951 Chevrolet Tilt A Whirl style Carnival Amusement ride. This vehicle was used back in the day to go around the streets of New York to give rides for 5 cents to the kids who could not afford to go to a regular carnival or amusement park. Unbelievable history for what this truck represents. Basically it rode around and stopped for kids just like the ice cream trucks of today do.

This is a very rare vehicle that less than a handful were produced with only two that I know of, exist today. This is the true collectors vehicle. A one of a kind!!! Based on a 1951 Chevy Chassis with a 15,000lb GVWR this truck was built to be safe. Powered by a 6cyl straight engine and a manual shift transmission. The truck is in non running condition. This truck was stored for years and never started. The drivetrain will need to be completely gone through. The Ride portion is an actual amusement type Tilt A Whirl style ride with 6 cars a canopy, fence with an entrance and exit. This unit is 100% intact and fully operationable once the truck is running again to engage the PTO. The ride portion is in great shape and will need painting to put it back into shape. The truck itself will need to be restored to its former condition. The truck itself is very solid but will need some patches, repairs and mechanical work. The time, effort and money spent on this investment will pay off.

This truck is a true part of American history and is a sure bet high dollar collectable when completed. A true one of a kind….Everything is complete with the truck it will just need totally redone. The tires are all new, balanced and sealed holding air with no issues. If you are in the market for a rare one of a kind collectable look no further…A real head turner…

I believe the right person or Company could restore this vehicle relatively inexpensive. It will be more labor than anything. A very solid truck that is all there. Seems this could be a heck of a vehicle going across the Barrett Jackson Block…I truly had full intentions of redoing this vehicle. It could only bring fond meemories, smiles and happiness when completed and that is all few and far between today. The sky is truly the limit with this truck….In the right hands, redone this really could be the buy of the century!!! It would be impossible to measure the exact value of this collectors vehicle when completed. I have seen nothing like this to date. I believe restoration should be relatively easy, just bulky. Once the ride portion is removed you are looking at a cab and chassis to redo. the ride is 100% and will needs some repairs to the outside construction but the ride itself is all there and ready to function. It truly would be wonderful to see this vehicle up and operating once again….This world does need some joy and hapiness and nothing is like old times!!! This vehicle is 9’2″ tall 8′ wide and 24’10” wide.

1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl 1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl 1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl 1951 Chevrolet Tilt a Whirl

1946 Chevrolet COE

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Year/Make 1946 Chevrolet COE
Owner: Billy Marlow


1946 chevrolet coe

1946 Chevrolet COE

1946 Ownerd by Billy Marlow Dayton, MD

By Billy Marlow

Although my family was in the coal business in Washington,D.C. for many years, and for a brief time I drove a tow truck for a living, my truck passion didn’t bloom until after I restored my 1946 Chevrolet Cab-Over (COE) and joined ATHS (American Truck Historical Society).

Always a bit of a gear-head and into anything with a motor, I saw the 1946 Cab Over in a truck trader publication in September 2000 and fell in love with its Art Deco grill. The truck reportedly spent much of it’s life on a farm in Oklahoma, most likely with a grain body on it. I bought the truck sight unseen and had it shipped to Maryland with the intention of fixing it up a little and having fun with it.

As many of these stories go, the next thing you know the truck was in a million pieces and a complete restoration had begun. I felt that it would be kind of nice to see this truck restored to near original condition. In doing so, however, I knew this would limit travel speed and distance. The chevy has the famous 235 inline stove bolt 6 cylinder engine. It is a 2 ton truck with a two speed vacuum rear, with 6.03 and 7.99 ratios, which means it tops out comfortably around 43 miles an hour.

I’m not exactly sure how I came up with the color combination, but I knew that is what it was going to be before I even took delivery of the truck. The paint scheme is definitely not stock, but folks seem to approve of my choice.

I am a building engineer at a country club near my home in Dayton, MD. and have worked there for 28 years. A lot of what I do from day to day helped in my first attempt at truck restoration. I did a lot of restoration myself, but had a hand with the engine, paint and body work. I spent many hours in front of the sand blast cabinet. Some of my best memories of the restoration were the days like the first time we started the engine, the day we set the cab back on the frame and the best of all, the first time I eased the clutch out and drove the truck out of the barn.

1946 Chevy coe

Right after the truck came home I realized I was going to need every resource I could to learn about my new project and to locate parts. One of my first tools I bought was a computer, and without the internet I don’t think I could have finished the truck. There are some great websites out there and folks who are more than willing to help.

I quickly learned that there are many parts on a cab-over that are shared with a conventional truck. After a little time on the keyboard, I was finding parts and pieces all over the country. Finding the grill bars proved a challenge. It took about two years to find enough to make a fairly straight set.

The truck was almost done around the summer of 2003-and six years later it is still “almost done” – when John Milliman twisted my arm to get me to come to an ATHS Baltimore-Washington Chapter truck show in Waldorf, Maryland. It was my very first time out with the truck and I had a great time. I filled out my ATHS membership application that day and also joined the chapter. I felt a little out of place at first among all the bigger trucks, but all that changed after our chapter hosted the ATHS National Convention in Baltimore in 2006. That was the first really big truck show I ever attended and it left a lasting mark on me.

I have had a wonderful time taking my truck to many shows, and have even brought two more trucks that I am working on now: a 1972 GMC 9500 and a 1964 B-61 Mack. My wife, Jennifer, is a huge supporter of my truck hobby, and I couldn’t enjoy all these fun events without her.

Jennifer brought her mother to the convention in 2006, and she was overwhelmed by the passion that the truck owners had for their beautiful vehicles. My mother-in-law is also a big supporter of my little hobby, and is responsible for having the beautiful signs made for the truck. The signs were made from the original Marlow Coal Company logo and letterhead, and its history is very dear to my heart.

People always ask me if my truck is for sale. After all the fun I had restoring it, all the fun I have had taking it to different events, and all the great people I have met becuase of it, I don’t think I could ever sell it. I guess there are some things you just can’t put a price tag on.

1946 chevrolet coe

Billy Marlow’s 1946 Chevrolet Cab Over is almost unrecognizable from the rusty hulk that he bought in 2001. A member of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter, Marlow brought his truck to the ATHS national show in Huntsville this past May.

1947 chevrolet coe

What started as something to fix up a little and have some fun with soon turned into a complete restoration. Billy Marlow saw the 1946 Chevrolet Cab-Over truck for sale in a trucker trader magazine and fell in love with its Art Deco grill. He used his skills as a building engineer to do much of the restoration work himself. (photo above by John Milliman, photo below by Kurt Lengfield)

Wheels of Time July/August 2009
www.aths.org
American Truck Historical Society

 

1949 Chevrolet Panel

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Owner: Udi Cain

1949 chevrolet udi cain

1949 Chevrolet Panel truck

I am Udi Cain, a war veteran from Israel. I love the USA and feel that Israel and USA are like one.

I was born in 1949 and loved drawing cars since age almost zero.

I bought a 1949 Ford F1, renewed it and drove it daily until the head of the Tel Aviv museum bagged me to donate it to the “Post Museum” in Tel Aviv museum, as it was used as the first post car in Israel. http://www.eretzmuseum.org.il/main/site/index.php3?page=24

After giving the vehicle to the museum I searched for another nice car to use daily.

I found the 1949 Chevy Panel that someone in the past had opened windows in it to make it function like a suburban and it was red which I didn’t like.

It took few months to renew it, and I’ve ordered many parts from the US through eBay; until I bought few parts from Jim, and here I am.

1949 Chevrolet Panel 1949 chevrolet udi cain 1949 Chevrolet Panel

1949 Chevrolet Panel truck 1949 Chevrolet Panel 949 Chevrolet Panel truck

1964 Chevrolet

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Owner: Mike Light

1964 chevy truck

1964 Chevrolet

Strange but true! This 1964 Chevy 1/2 ton is a rolling autograph book. Due a patriotic feeling, owner Mike Light of Independence, MO decided to use his primered truck to collect the signatures of war veterans and active military.

He currently has the names personally signed of 151 veterans from WWII through the Iraq conflict. A few businesses help fill in some open spaces. Mike has gathered this data in only three months.

What an eye catcher when you see this truck beside your vehicle at a stop light!

1964 chevy truck 1964 chevy truck 1964 chevy truck

1964 chevy truck

Spring Noise

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The 1967-1972 – What’s That Noise? Gaining speed after you turn onto the highway, your GM truck (1967-1972), moves toward a cruising speed equal to the surrounding traffic. As your engine reaches about 2,000 rpm you suddenly hear a low hum up front. It does not stop as the truck speed increases. If you lower the windows, play the radio, or turn up the fan blower, this hum is not so noticeable but it is still there. How will you locate this noise source when the truck is stopped?

No problem. Others have researched this mystery noise, discovered the source, and stopped it. Who would have thought the culprit is the hood springs? It appears that on many GM trucks of this body style, the two coil hood springs develop this hum (like a tuning fork) as surrounding air speed increases. The sound becomes magnified as it transfers to the large sheet metal hood.

This noise is easily stopped by filling the coils of the hood springs with a towel or carved piece of foam. To produce what a difference this makes, tap your hood spring with a hand tool and listen to the echo. It does not occur when the coil is filled with material.

Who said automotive engineers walk on water?

spring noise

Forgotten 1972 Highlander

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


1972 Highlander

During 1972, a unique Chevrolet promotional pickup was introduced for a limited time in 1/2 , 3/4, and 1 ton models. This truck was designated the ‘Highlander’. Unfortunately, it did not have side emblems or related name plates that would cause people to remember this special model. On the actual truck the word Highlander was only listed on the glove box door inside ID sheet.

This vehicle was actually a modified middle series ‘Custom Deluxe’. The horizontal lower side trim has black inserts, not wood grain. The usual ‘Custom Deluxe’ chrome emblems are displayed on the front fenders. As with most of the 1972 GM trucks the dash housing, glove box lid, and door panels do not have the wood grain inserts as on the top of the line Cheyenne Super.

It is the cloth seat inserts that stand out on the Highlander interior. This feature was the special Scottish plaid nylon cloth seat insert material. Four plaid colors were available, depending on the exterior color.

GM used the top of the line 1972 Cheyenne Super seat covering but instead of the hounds tooth inserts substituted this unique Tartan plaid material. The vinyl seat edging, door panels, and seat belts were all parchment no matter the seat or exterior color.

1972 Highlander

The exterior feature of the Highlander is the attractive stainless wheel covers on the ½ ton. They have no emblem or letters and are specific for this particular model truck. (These actually had been used several years before as the stock 15 inch cover on the 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.) The 3/4 and 1 ton Highlander used hub caps, not wheel covers, that were stampings from the standard base truck.

Actually, the more advertised feature of the Highlander was three pre installed option packages. Chevrolet put together several popular factory options in a base package and reduced the total regular price as much as $260.00. Original equipment (standard on the Highlander package A) were chrome front bumper, upper body moldings, door edge guards, and Below-Eye-Line door mounted mirrors.

Package B included the above items plus turbo hydramatic transmission, power steering and tilt steering column. Package C added the above plus air conditioning and Soft-Ray tinted windows.

In today’s world, Highlanders have been mostly forgotten. Unless you bought one new or located an original piece of sales literature, it is likely that even GM truck lovers were not aware they existed.

1972 Highlander

Comment

Another example of General Motors saving production costs: On the 1972 GMC only, the Chevrolet Highlander seat material was an option on their Wide-Side (fleetside) and Suburban. To give this seat insert a different appearance, than the Highlander, it appears the material was turned 90o so the stripes ran the opposite direction.

1972 Highlander

1972 GMC (optional) (above)

To get the most sales from the special Scottish plaid used in the 1972 Highlander, GM used it in one other application. The special Highlander seat covering could be obtained with the 1972 Suburban. It, like the Highlander truck, was a custom Deluxe series with lower side trim having satin black inserts. The special wheel covers were not used on this Suburban body.

Two of the enclosed pictures are from Frederic Lynes, who has these pictures of his 1972 avocado green and white Suburban the day it was bought new. Note the Highlander seat coverings.

Mr. Lynes also furnished the two photos of the 72 Hawaiian blue vehicle showing a great color view of the Scottish plaid. Frederic Lynes can be contacted at stingrayl82@comcast.net.

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

Birth of the Blazer

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The debut of the famous 4×4 Chevrolet Blazer was in 1969. It had little competition and stood alone as a combination off-road and daily driver utility vehicle. Chevrolet truck dealers were taken by surprise! Waiting lines soon occurred requesting this new and unique car/truck vehicle.

By 1970, production was in full swing. GMC also entered the project this second year by replacing the Chevrolet and Blazer insignias with GMC letters and a “Jimmy” emblem. A major addition in 1970 was the introduction of the two wheel drive Blazer and Jimmy. This was partially due to commitments by the U.S. Postal Service. Fewer than 1,000 of these were produced or less than 10% of overall production. Most government orders were in six cylinders though some V-8 two wheel drive models found buyers in the private sector.

Sales of this unique vehicle spiraled. By 1972, production had increased the volume of the introduction year. It was named, Motor Trend’s “Utility Vehicle of the Year.” In the April 1970 issue of Car and Driver magazine, they said “The drivetrain pieces are well designed, rugged, and long proved by use in Chevy’s light trucks.” GM referred to it as their do anything, go anywhere vehicle.

The demand for these car/truck vehicles today is stronger than ever. Its short 107″ wheel base, ease of handling, and many parts interchanging with pickups, make it an excellent investment vehicle to drive daily or keep in storage.

birth of the blazer 1

birth of the blazer 2

 

1972 Suburban Highlander

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


1972 Suburban Highlander

During the late 1970’s, trucks accelerated their change from a more commercial work vehicle to one desired by the family as their everyday transportation. During 1967-1972, Chevrolet and GMC introduced names such as CST, Cheyenne and Sierra Grande to show buyers that their trucks were no longer just for work. Options that rivaled cars could now be ordered for their vehicles.

Surprisingly, the Suburban was held back as the trend toward very deluxe trucks continued. This vehicle was not given the top of the line appointments as the trucks. The middle series in the pickup line was the ‘best’ in the Suburban. Though this was changed in the new 1973 body style, the 1972 Suburban lacked wood grain trim, bucket seats, and the more deluxe door panels. The rubber floor mats were colored to match the interior but carpet was not an option.

The following pictures are of a totally original 1971 deluxe Suburban. Note the door panels. They are almost identical to the Cheyenne pickup but lack the horizontal wood grain strip at the top. Outside lower moldings have satin black inserts, not wood grain. The seat covering is the Custom Deluxe style found on middle series pickups. The blue floor mats are rubber, not carpet. There is, however, a unique upper trim molding used only on Suburbans when you ordered the more deluxe unit.

To get the most sales from the special Scottish Tweed used in the 1972 Highlander, GM used it in one other application. The special Highlander seat covering could be obtained with the 1972 Suburban. It, like the Highlander truck, had lower side trim with satin black inserts. The special wheel covers were not used on this Suburban body.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

Mr. Lynes also furnished the two photos of the Hawaiian blue Suburban showing a great color view of the Scottish Tweed. (Frederick Lynes can be contacted at stingrayl82@comcast.net)

The enclosed pictures are from Frederick Lynes who has these pictures of his 1972 avocado green and white Suburban the day it was bought new. Note the Highlander seat coverings.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

1971 Argentina Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



During a recent trip to Buenos Aires, this Argentina built 1971 Chevrolet ½ ton was seen beside a downtown street. Its unique features causes us to take a strong second look. The more we observed this clean little shortbed, the more we saw features that were special to this South American Chevy.

The driver was not available so we just took pictures and studied the differences. It appears the GM plant in Argentina used parts from the earlier series of Chevrolet trucks to save much money. This helped make the vehicle more affordable for the local buyer.

Some of the more obvious differences are as follows:

  • Note the clear park light lenses. (Amber color lenses have been a federal requirement in the U.S. since 1963.)
  • The wing vent handles were on U.S. trucks in 1960-67 and the total assembly in the U.S. is 1967 only. Why change tooling if the prior design serves the purpose?
  • The unique Posi-Traction differential emblem was placed on the right fender, not the left.
  • Check out the economy heater panel. It consists of a rectangular plate and three pull or turn levers that operate the re-circulator heater. The knobs control temperature, fan speed, and defroster. This system is similar to the basic heaters offered in the mid 1950’s in the U.S.
  • The bed is the most noticeable difference in the Argentina ½ ton. It’s tailgate was used in the U.S. in 1958-66, however, it has been modified for the South American trucks. Special latches secure the gate in the closed position. By modifying the bed sides and the older heavier tailgate, limited new tooling was required. Yes, to save costs it even uses tailgate chains!
  • The wheelwell tubs are also produced with no tooling. Forming, bending, and welding create this finished product.
  • The metal corrugated bed bottom does not have the same spacing as the US produced pickups. Thus, the floor was produced locally to save production and shipping costs.

A real money saving technique is the use of 6 bolt wheels. See side mounted spare tire in attached photo. In the US, 1971 was the first year for disc brakes and 5 bolt wheels. In Argentina, a big savings was to keep the 1967-1971 non-disc brake system. Therefore, we see the 6 bolt early wheel on this 1971.

In this 1971 Argentina example, the fenders and bedsides are without marker lights. (These were required in the U.S. by 1968.)

Check the tail lights! These are 1960-1966 on U.S. produced Fleetside pickups. This truck even had the red bow-tie molded in the red lens.

Note the resulting sheet metal differences in the rear of the bedsides. There is not any metal contours for the U.S. style, 1967-1972, tail light to fit. There are no back-up lights and using earlier light assemblies lowers production costs.

Yes, this feature truck had been repainted in past years but it is doubtful if the tail lights were added to give a custom touch. In Argentina, pickup trucks are used for the purpose they were designed ‘ as a worker. There, trucks are not Sunday drivers and aren’t given appearance changes that would require the owner’s disposable income. They are valued in their ability to haul merchandise!

1971 Chevrolet truck

Wheel well tubs made without tooling (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

The full back view (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Clear park light lenses (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Note: basic heater lever panel (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Posi-Traction fender emblem (above)

1971 Chevrolet truck

Tailgate latch holds older gate to bed side (above)

1968-1972 Longhorn

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



In recent years seeing the unusual Chevrolet Longhorn or similar GMC Custom Camper (1968-1972) has become a very rare occurrence. These oversize pickups, with 8 1/2 ft. bed floors, were built for work and thus there is a very limited survival rate. Most seen today started life as they were advertised carrying a vacation camper. They were usually more taken care of during their beginning years and the camper protected their wood bed from weather. Later in life, their heavier rear suspension caused them to be used more as a work truck.

The creation of this large pickup relates to GM’s trend of keeping down costs on what they suspect will be a low volume vehicle. With limited parts investment and by using pre-existing components, this new model was born in mid 1968.

The chassis had already been in existence since the beginning of the body style in 1967. It’s 133″ wheelbase was used under the 1967-1968 1 ton stepside pickup with leaf springs. Most of the components of this new Longhorn fleetside box had also been used on the earlier pickups. To create this new longer fleetside bed, GM simply produced a pair of six inch vertical bed extensions to place between the pre-existing sides and front bed panel. This filled the gap created in front of the bedsides when the 127′ wheelbase chassis was extended to 133 inches.

An expensive metal floor was not a part of this new longer fleetside pickup. A traditional wood plank floor with metal bed strips kept GM’s cost at a minimum.

To draw attention to this larger pickup, the Chevrolet division included ‘Longhorn’ die cast chrome letters secured at the rear of the sides. GMC’s designation was ‘Custom Camper’ and these letters are on each door above the chrome handle, not on the bedsides. To make it a little confusing, GMC also used these Custom Camper emblems in the same location on their heavier 3/4 ton, 127″ wheelbase pickup, with leaf springs. This shorter long bed could be obtained with either a wood or metal bottom bed.

When the optional deluxe upper trim was ordered on this long bed, it’s new six inch extension was placed to the rear of the bed. The resulting trim joining point was therefore not in line with the vertical bed extension joint at the front.

By altering suspension components both the Chevrolet and GMC 133 inch wheel base pickup could be ordered with either a ¾ or 1 ton rating. These special trucks were available from mid year 1968 through 1972. They were not continued with the introduction of the new 1973 body style.

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 1

Upper trim joint at rear of bedside. (above)

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 2

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 3

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 4

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 5

1968 Chevrolet longhorn 6

1968 longhorn 7

The Following is reprinted from the May 1969 issue of Motor Trend

Article byV. Lee Oertle

Why would anyone lay down $4,549.45 for a slick-looking pickup truck, even if they do call it the Longhorn? That kind of money will buy a Chevrolet station wagon, or an Impala or an SS Chevelle. That question nagged me the day a Chevrolet official handed me the keys and turned me loose in a new Longhorn pickup. When I asked a Chevrolet truck salesman the same question a few days later, he replied:

‘You’re talking about a window-sticker price, buddy. The actual base of a Longhorn pickup is $2,738 plus destination charges. The rest of it is locked up in accessories and quite a bit of optional equipment. Look at the list ‘ air conditioner alone is $392.75. Then the Turbo Hydra-Matic adds another $242.10, and the Custom Sport Truck package jacks it up another $247.50. And then; At that point, I waved him away, ‘Yeah, yeah ‘ I got eyes. I just didn’t read the fine print.’ I said, testily.

The salesman’s lips tightened a little. ‘The time to read fine print is before you buy ‘ not after.’

Good advise. Further down the sticker price list I noted that power steering on the Longhorn was $113.50. Another stopper was the $80.40 for a spare tire and wheel. On a deluxe pickup, I sort of, well, expected that a spare tire and wheel would be standard equipment. But then, I hadn’t really done my arithmetic. A quick refresher course proved that of the original sticker price of $4,549.45, a staggering $1,811.45 of it covered extras, accessories and options. Freight, license, sales taxes, carrying charges on the loan and insurance might easily push the final tally over the brink of $5,000. That’s an expensive neighborhood no matter where you live, and if anyone is tired of reading about the prices before he hears about the performance, he’ll know how I felt when I finally got behind the steering wheel.

As I rolled off the Chevrolet lot, the salesman parted with the words, ‘who buys the sticker price, anyway?’ I suppose that’s true.

IT’S DIFFERENT

From the moment a shopper takes his first walk around a Longhorn, he’ll know it’s not just another pickup. As a matter of fact, he’ll notice that it’s a longer walk. The wheelbase is up to 133 inches on this model and the cargo box is a full 8 ½ feet in length. For those not familiar with pickups, the standard pickup (any brand) has an eight-foot cargo box. The extra half-foot was added by shoving the regular cargo box along the frame ‘ and then by inserting a short panel at the forward end of the box where it intersects with the cab.

Why all the noise over a slightly larger pickup? In order to understand the significance of this, remember that any change to basic dimensions on a truck involves tremendous expense and/or ingenuity on the part of cost-cutting engineers. It’s bigger, yes, but the clever way the job was done probably hasn’t increased its construction cost very much. The next logical question would be, why? Why a longer wheelbase, for example? Anyone knows that the longer the wheelbase trucks require more turn-around space.

But, looking at it from the Chevrolet viewpoint, a longer wheelbase also improves the ride, offers a more stable platform, and makes a much better carrier for all kinds of loads. This obviously affected Chevrolet’s judgment. For instance, a suburban home owner will like the big cargo box for hauling a variety of material. The tailgate drops down to provide about 10 ½ feet of load length platform.

In case anyone wonders about how the suspension system can handle the extra length, here is the message printed in Chevrolet literature on the subject: ‘Because it’ll be carrying larger loads than other pickups, it’s been especially engineered for extra support and better balance all along its 133 inch wheelbase. Its rear suspension, for instance, is built around tough two stage leaf springs for steadier going and surer handling.’ (Coil spring front suspension teams with the rear leaf springs.)

POWER TEAMS

The Longhorn is available with five different engines and several different transmissions. Our test truck was equipped with a 396 cubic inch V-8 rated at 325 horsepower. (the other engines include the standard 250 cubic inch 6, a 292 cubic inch 6, a 307 cubic inch V-8 and a 350 cubic inch V-8.)

PERFORMANCE

The Longhorn bench seat is a firm, comfortable, non-slip type that gives the driver a feeling of command. It is neither too high for comfort nor so low that shorty-drivers have to stretch their necks. The instrument panel includes a tachometer, speedometer and functional oil and temperature gauges.

Start the engine and a muffled growl, low and strong, comes lightly through heavy cab insulation. Step on the accelerator and the Longhorn instantly takes hold. While 325 horsepower doesn’t sound too exciting in a passenger car, in a pickup it can be hairy under a lead foot driver. Lightly loaded, the Longhorn still hangs on tight right up through the gears. Surprisingly, there was little wheelspin except on wet streets after a rain.

I had no stop-watch with me but I know that the Longhorn will probably be the first pickup up a steep hill. Meant more for power than speed, the 4700-pound Longhorn nevertheless comes on strong in situations where it really counts. A pickup with a smaller engine, for example, often has a difficult time entering freeways. But the Longhorn gets right out there despite a ton of hay riding the cargo deck. In the hands of an amateur an empty pickup would be a handful. Crank it on too fast, too often, and the rear wheels will chirp or slip-grab as they try to deliver traction faster than the lightly-loaded rear tires can bite the pavement.

Our particular test truck had the optional three speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. As far as I’m concerned, no other transmission makes sense with this combination of truck, engine and load ability. Shoving a stick-shift unit into the Longhorn makes about as much sense as hitching up an elephant to a pony cart.

Underneath, our test unit was wearing a Maximum Traction differential and an axle ratio of 3.07:1. Chevy rates this combo good up to about 7000 pounds. For loads over 7000 pounds, they suggest the optional ratio of 3.54:1. Though we didn’t tote anything exceptionally heavy, we found the 3.07:1 ratio an excellent choice for normal driving.

HANDLING

In this department, the Longhorn gets unusually high marks. It has a square-cornering ability few sedans can match and a sure-footed stance that keeps it straight when braking or lane-changing. By adding just 200 or 300 pounds of weight near the rear of the box, the pickup handles even better. )Extra weight cuts down on wheelspin.) Overall, the Longhorn is a solid-feeling pickup that any driver will appreciate.

There’s more than enough power for any load situation. The 396 is currently the largest engine available in a factory pickup (in any brand). The Longhorn should make a great carrier for a half-dozen trail bikes, for towing a boat, or for hauling a rented coach now and then. The luxury interior and comfortable cab will probably lure many new buyers away from station wagons and sedans. If you haven’t tried the new breed of pickups, you’re missing a most versatile family vehicle. The Longhorn is a smooth newcomer that undoubtedly will spark a host of imitations. It offers the longest wheelbase and largest cargo box of any two-door pickup, plus larger engines than competitors. As for the price? Well, like the man said: ‘Who pays sticker price, these days?’

PROBLEMS

Lest anyone suspect that I’ve been on the Chevy payroll, I have a few reservations about the Longhorn. For one thing, window glass on the driver’s side liked to slip sideways and climb up outside the channels every now and then. My guess is that the glass is a little too small for the track, or the channels were misaligned. On cold mornings, I’d climb into the cab and then, with one breath, all the windows frosted over. The longhorn is one of the few truck-cabs I’ve tested that would not clear up with the vent-windows cracked open. Steamy vapor clung stubbornly to the inside of the windshield. The only way to clear it away was to turn on the defroster full force, roll down one window, or both. On a cold morning, neither method pleased us very much.

From a purely personal viewpoint, I found it strange that Chevrolet would spend so much on interior design, but so little on panel coverings. The cab ceiling and much of the door panel areas were bare metal. Now, in a work-duty pickup that might be practical. Metal is more durable than plastic coverings, obviously. But in a class-type pickup, which the Longhorn most definitely tried to be, I found it objectionable. (There, it’s off my chest.)

1967-1972 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967-72 Chevy Truck Model I.D.



We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1967-1968

1967 1972 truck tech 1

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13580 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (6 cylinder)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban

1969-1970

1967 1972 truck tech 2

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13580 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (6 cylinder)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×2 (1970 only)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×4
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban

1971-1972

1967 1972 truck tech 3

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
13380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
13480 115 ½ ton El Camino (V-8)
13680 115 ½ ton Custom El Camino (V-8)
C5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×2
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban, 8′ stake
C30 133 1 ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, 9′ stake rack
K5 104 ½ ton Blazer 4×4
K10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup
K10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban

Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

1967-1972 Panel Trucks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



These years are the ‘last of the breed’! Due to the increasing popularity of the new G-series van, panel truck sales had continued to suffer since the mid 1960’s. By 1970, General Motors panel truck production came to a halt. GM did not even wait until the end of the body series in 1972! This ‘enclosed body on a pickup truck chassis’ (used over 50 years) was now history.

If you ever see a 1967-1970 Chevrolet or GM panel truck, tip your hat. You are looking at one of the few survivors of the ‘last of the breed’.

1967 1972 panel trucks

1967 GMC Super Custom

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The first year of the 1967-1972 series of trucks had various characteristics that were unique to just that one year. For the perfectionist, 1967 GM trucks are always a challenge. Because the 1967 GMC trucks sold in smaller numbers finding one with most of its original components is unusual. Even rarer is locating a GMC Super Custom. Trucks at that time were still considered more for work than pleasure, so few put the additional money in the extra trim.

The 1967 GMC Super Custom in these photos is one of the better examples of this top of the line model. This pickup is owned by Martin Trefz in Lake Lotawana, MO. It was repainted the original red several years ago and unfortunately had its wheelwell and side trim removed at that time. Most everything else except the non original wheels remain factory installed.

1967 gmc custom 1

The 1967 grille stands out as different than other GMC’s in this six year series. From 1968 and newer the GMC letters were placed on the nose of the hood and not stamped in the grill.

On the deluxe models, the unique one year only “Custom” die cast emblems were displayed on the front fender. These are now very rare and were often removed during a repaint or minor restoration because of surface pitting and lack of new replacements.

Of course, as with other 67 makes, there are no side marker lights. Federal regulations made these necessary in 1968 and up. Thus, fenders on 1967 are one year only.

During this first year, only the deluxe cabs had upholstered door panels instead of bare metal. Instead of vertical pleats as the Chevrolet CST, the GMC Custom runs their pleats horizontally. This was the final year that both of these makes used the same arm rests that had been on GM trucks since 1964.

1967 gmc custom 2

Like the 67 Chevrolet, this year GMC, did not have chrome edges on the dash cluster. The coloring is reversed from the Chevrolet on its plastic dash cluster. The outer edge and inner rings are black. The flat surface is charcoal gray. The metal glove box door is matching colors.

Even on this Custom model, the outside mirror arms are body color, not chrome. The steering wheel is deluxe only because of the clear plastic horn button. Below its clear surface is a chrome disc with GMC letters, just try to find a horn button like this at any swap meet.

Because it is a custom, it comes with a big rear window. The other 1967’s have a much smaller glass here. Stainless trim surrounds both the front and rear window. The wing vent assemblies are trimmed in stainless, not black as on the other models.

1967 gmc custom 3

One very unique feature on both Chevrolet and GMC in 1967 is the chrome wing vent handles. They are a carry over from the 1960-1966 series. The stud assembly attaching these handles wraps around the wing glass edge. There is not a stud hole in the glass as in 1968-1972. Therefore, this glass is a one year only item.

Even on the Custom (and the Chevrolet CST) the horizontal chrome strip on the hood edge and the front fender tips did not come out until 1968.

Rear Bumpers

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

GM step beds during 1955-1966 are almost the same. They even use identical tailgates. Thus GM did not find it necessary to change the rear bumper stamping during these 12 years. However, there is one important difference which distinguishes the 1955-1959 from 1960-1966 rear stepbed bumpers.

 rear bumper plate

During 1960-1966 GM placed two stamped square holes (not in 1955 through 1959) on either side of the center dip below the license plate. This is because the later series had their license plate bracket attached to this bumper, not to the rear bed cross sill as in the earlier 1955-1959

Introduction of the GM Fleetside

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



Though fleetside pickups are the common style today, they certainly had a unique appearance in the late 1950’s. Until then, the stepside body style with outside rear fenders was the norm. With smaller horsepower from available engines, the limited hauling capacity in the stepside box was well matched to the existing power plants.

If the customer required a pickup with more hauling volume, the stepside was simply made longer. To compensate for the extra gross weight, the manufacturer lowered the differential gearing. Thus the small engines continued to serve well but the result was a slower highway speed.

With the introduction of the Chevrolet high oil pressure 235 six and 265 small block V-8 engine, power was now available to allow for a radical new bed change. Pickup bed dimensions would be increased side to side in addition to length. Extra hauling capacity on the same wheelbase could be now handled by the additional horsepower. With the same wheelbase, an approximately 50% increase in bed capacity was created with GM’s new fleetside.

Both Chevrolet and GMC introduced the same fleetside in 1958. It came in both six and eight foot lengths on the 1/2 ton chassis. The eight foot box could also be ordered on the 3/4 ton frame. (If you needed a 1 ton pickup the prior long stepbed model still remained the only choice.) No doubt, these new fleetsides created much notoriety in a world of stepside pickups. To draw even more attention GM placed chrome die cast “Fleetside” lettered emblems toward the rear of each bed side.

This first GM fleetside box style was offered only two years until a redesigned side was introduced in 1960. The early bed 1958-1959 sides can be easily recognized due to their long 5″ wide horizontal spear stamped in the middle. These terminate at a unique round rear taillight which is also special to just this bedside.

A very deluxe optional model of this new fleetside was introduced in 1959. Some feel it was to replace the recently discontinued Cameo Carrier. It featured additional bed trim, stainless window moldings, chrome grill and bumper, plus a nicer interior. Its sides came with long stainless steel strips and die-cast ends beside the horizontal bed spears. This bed trim is very rare today! Unfortunately, the few original beds remaining make reproducing these horizontal trim strips financially impractical.

introduction gm fleetside 1

introduction gm fleetside 2

The featured early fleetside for this article is a 1959 Chevrolet short bed. Its owner is Olen Moore of Odessa, Missouri. He recently completed a three year ground up restoration to exact factory specifications. Olen even used the correct Galway Green, a very popular color during that era. Notice the stamped side spears and upper rear fleetside chrome emblems.

introduction gm fleetside 3

introduction gm fleetside 4

introduction gm fleetside 5

GM’s First 4×4

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



The momentum of four wheel drive popularity definitely began after World War II. The need for this off-road extra during the war forced 4×4 technology to develop at a fast pace. Thus, during the early 1950’s, several independent companies began to appear offering a four wheel drive kit for light duty trucks.

Major pickup manufacturers were not yet offering this as one of their factory options so a great opportunity existed for new companies. Kits from emerging companies such as Marmon Harrington, NAPCO, American Coleman, and Fabco were designed to fit specific makes of trucks. For those that traded their vehicles regularly, these kits could be removed and installed under a newer truck. This was a big selling point as the finished product plus labor usually retailed for almost as much as a new light truck.

It didn’t take long for General Motors and other major light truck producers to realize a 4×4 option should be made available to their new vehicle buyers. Why should their franchised GMC and Chevrolet dealers be taking new unsold pickups to nearby independent installers to add the 4×4 option?

General Motors solved this problem and with less investment capital! Rather than engineer a totally new system (4×4 were not big sellers nationwide), GM installed an assembly line unit that was already being used. The Northwest Auto Parts Co. of Minneapolis, MN (NAPCO) was contracted to provide kits to one of GM’s truck assembly plants. As NAPCO was already the main installer of 4×4 systems under GM vehicles, this marriage was a natural.

NAPCO would continue to have their franchised installers in most major cities, however GM would offer the same system from their assembly plant. Of course, when GM used the system in 1957-59, they left off the chrome NAPCO trim fender plates and did not refer to the word NAPCO in their shop manual. The large letters NAPCO were always cast in the front axle housing in view to a person looking under the front bumper.

The following pictures are from an original 1957 Chevrolet 4×4 brochure. Note the emphasis on rugged use.

GM's First 4x4

GM's First 4x42

1955-1959 GMC Hood Emblems

Thursday, February 11th, 2010



On the task force body style, 1955-1959, the GMC hoods began quite different than Chevrolet. Beginning in 1955 a large opening, 5.25″ x 25″, was used to hold a set of die cast GMC letters attached to a decorative grill.

In 1957 this grill was removed in place of a perimeter ring. Why the less attractive ring was added is a question. Possibly this grill held leaves and restricted some air intake or maybe it was a change just to be change. There was no hood opening in these last two years of this series.

By 1958-1959 GMC and Chevrolet shared the same design hood with only trim differences.

1955 1959 gmc hood

1955-1956 (above)

1955 1959 gmc hood

1957 Starndad (above)

1957 Chrome Hood Emblem

1957 Deluxe (above)

1955 1959 gmc hood

1958-1959 (above)

1955 1966 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1955 Second Series-66 Chevy Truck Model I.D.

1955 1966 Truck

We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1955 2nd Series

1955 truck tech 1

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
H 3100 116 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
H 3124 116 ½ ton Cameo pickup
M 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed pickup
F 3400 104 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
G 3500 125 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
J 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed pickup
K 3700 137 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
L 3800 135 1 ton longbed pickup, panel, flatbed, stake
N 4100 130 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
P 4400 154 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
R 4500 154 1-½ ton school bus chassis
S 5100 112-5/8 2 ton low cab forward
T 5400 136-5/8 2 ton low cab forward
U 5700 160-5/8 2 ton low cab forward
V 6100 130 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
W 6400 154 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
X 6500 172 2 ton truck
Y 6700 194 2 ton school bus chassis
Z 6800 220 2 ton school bus chassis

1956

1955 truck tech 2

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
3A 3124 114 ½ ton Cameo pickup
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed pickup
3C 3400 104 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3D 3500 125 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed pickup
3F 3700 137 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3G 3800 135 1 ton pickup, panel, flatbed, stake
4A 4100 130 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
4B 4400 154 1-½ ton flatbed, stake rack
4C 4500 154 1-½ ton school bus chassis
6A 6100 130 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6B 6400 154 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6C 6500 172 2 ton
6D 6700 194 2 ton school bus chassis
6E 6800 220 2 ton school bus chassis

1957

1955 truck tech 3

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
3A 3124 114 ½ ton Cameo pickup
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed pickup
3C 3400 104 ¾ ton longbed pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3D 3500 125 ¾ ton longbed (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed pickup
3F 3700 137 ¾ ton pickup (double duty) (forward control delivery chassis)
3G 3800 135 1 ton pickup, flatbed, stake rack
4A 4100 132-1/2 1-½ ton truck
4B 4400 156-1/2 1-½ ton truck
4C 4500 156-1/2 1-½ ton school bus chassis
6A 6100 132-1/2 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6J 6200 129-5/8 2 ton truck (forward control chassis)
6B 6400 156-1/2 2 ton flatbed, stake rack
6C 6500 174-1/2 2 ton truck
6K 6600 153-5/8 2 ton truck (forward control chassis)
6D 6700 196-1/2 2 ton school bus chassis
6E 6800 222-1/2 2 ton school bus chassis

1958

1955 truck tech 4

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed pickup, panel, Suburban
3A 3124 114 ½ ton cameo pickup
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, stake
3G 3800 135 1 ton stepside pickup, panel, stake rack

1959

1955 truck tech 5

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
11/1280 119 El Camino L-6/V-8
3A 3100 114 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
3B 3200 123-1/4 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
3E 3600 123-1/4 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, stake rack
3G 3800 135 1 ton stepside pickup, panel, stake rack

1960

1955 truck tech 6

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
11/1280 119 El Camino L-6/V-8
C/K14 115 ½ ton 4×2/4×4 shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban (Apache 10)
C15 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup (Apache 10)
C/K25 127 ¾ ton 4×2/4×4 longbed step/fleetside pickup, 8′ stake bed (Apache 20)
C36 133 1 ton longbed stepside pickup, panel, 9′ stake bed (Apache 30)

1961-1963

1955 truck tech 7

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
C10 1404-34 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
C15 1504-34 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C25 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban, 8′ stake bed
K14* 1404-34 115 ½ ton 4×2/4×4 shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K25* 2504-39 127 ¾ ton 4×4 longbed step/fleetside pickup
C36 1404-34 133 1 ton longbed stepside pickup, panel, 9′ stake bed

1964-1966

1955 truck tech 8

SERIES WHEELBASE VEHICLE TYPE
A5380 115 ½ ton El Camino (6 cylinder)
A5480 115 ½ ton El Camino (8 cylinder)
A5580 115 ½ ton El Camino Custom (6 cylinder)
A5680 115 ½ ton El Camino Custom (8 cylinder)
C10 115 ½ ton shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
C10 127 ½ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup
C20 127 ¾ ton longbed step/fleetside pickup, Suburban, 8′ stake bed
K10 115 ½ ton 4×4 shortbed step/fleetside pickup, panel, Suburban
K20 127 ¾ ton 4×4 longbed step/fleetside pickup
C30 133 1 ton longbed stepside pickup, panel, 9′ stake

Note” The vehicle serial number on 1963 Four Wheel Drive models may be used to determine if the model is a First or Second Series Design. The following chart indicates each assembly plant and the sequence of vehicle serial numbers which apply to First Series or Second series.

*1st Series up to and including # *2nd Series including and begining wit # Assembly Plants
106084 106085 A= Atlanta
106732 106733 B= Baltimore
106559 106560 F= Flint
110340 110341 J= Janesville
112645 112646 N= Norwood
125965 125966 O= Oakland
118544 118545 S= St. Louis
109948 109949 T= Tarrytown

Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

Split Rim Wheels

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Article courtesy of Rob English (rob@oldgmctrucks.com)



The issue of multiple piece rims and safety comes up frequently. There seems to be a quick rush to judgment about any rim that has more than one piece, and while certain types of multiple piece rims have indeed been outlawed and are no longer made, many others are not only still in service, they are still made new.

1947-1954 light duty trucks offered split rims in 1/2 ton (optional only) up to 1 ton trucks. Many people are unaware that there was a 1/2 ton two piece 15″ six lug rim option available in GMCs and I presume Chevy too. More often than not, we run into eight lug two and three piece rims on 3/4 ton and one ton trucks and these are the subject of most of the misinformation.

There were two types of split rims offered originally a 3/4 ton GMC; 15″ TWO piece split rims (Kelsey-Hayes type WK-3), and optional 17″ THREE piece split rims (Kelsey-Hayes type WK-4)

The two piece split rim uses a lock ring that is fixed and is one solid piece. There’s a notch in the rim where you can remove and reinstall the bead retainer ring while mounting and breaking down tires. To remove, you tip the ring at an angle and then slip it by the notch. To mount, do the opposite. This type DOES NOT require prying apart the ring and if you try to pry it off, you’ll ruin ix

The 17″ split rims originally would have been the Kelsey-Hayes type WK-4 and are three pieces; the rim, the bead ring, and the lock ring. They are put together pretty much the same way they do now-a-days on big truck rims. The tire goes on the rim, then the ring slips on and then the third ring is “zipped” on/off using a sledge hammer and pry bar.

The safety of these rims is directly dependent upon their overall condition. I have split rims on all three of my vintage GMCs. You will find knowledgeable truck tire places will work on them without hesitation and car tire places will go screaming in circles with their hair on fire spewing misinformation about “suicide” rims which may or may not be applicable, but does more to spook people than inform them with facts.

I have many many miles on my original split rims and find them to be great for my purposes. Others may have different views of what works for them. See the illustration below to understand the three basic types of original stock rims you’ll find on the old GMC trucks.

View PDF Chart of 1947-1954 Split Rims Click Here

Jim Carter follow- up on this article by Rob English:

I have three 1 to 1 ½ ton Chevy’s that were restored at least 10 years ago.  They all have the correct split rim wheels.  There has been absolutely no problem with any of them.

The tire quality in today’s world is so superior to that of 50 years ago!  In the 1950’s I would see someone on the road changing a flat tire almost every two weeks.  Now, it has changed to about once in 6 months.

Suggestion:  To improve the appearance of your split rims, zinc plate (like GM did when new) or paint the small lock ring silver.  This will nicely contrast with the painted wheel.  You might say they even look a little like white walls!  It really helps the appearance!  See photos.

1 ½ and 2 Ton ¾ and 1 Ton

Rear Bumper Options

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Ever wonder why GM pickup rear bumpers have been an option for so many years?



Beginning in 1951 these bumpers became an extra cost option and have remained this way ever since on most pickup models.

The reason relates to trucks being mostly for work. Though protecting the bed from minor rear damage, a bumper also kept the driver from backing up against a loading dock. GM found that many farmers and construction workers had been removing the rear bumper to get the truck flush against a dock. This eliminated most of the gap between the truck and dock. Broken legs of livestock and employees during loading were also greatly reduced.

The following picture is an example of a 1955 and newer GM step bed pickup. Its owner went against the current trend of adding the optional rear bumper during its restoration and kept his truck basic. It is important to note, that to protect the license plate bracket without a bumper, GM placed it on the left side. Holes are in the middle of the rear cross sill from the factory to make it easier for the dealer to install the rear center license plate bracket while adding the optional bumper.

Note the rear spare tire arm is at an angle to also protect it from damage if backing or being even lightly bumped in traffic.

This picture shows an optional right taillight. From the assembly line this truck would have only the left light with attached license bracket.

rear bumper options 1

Without optional bumper. Owner has added a right tail light. (above)

rear bumper option 2

Factory installed optional bumper including correct tail lights and license bracket (above)

New Cigarette Lighter

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Purchasing a 1947-1953 optional cigarette lighter assembly from some vendors provides reproduction that is far from original in appearance. A manufacturer recently offered the optional lighter assembly but used a knob from the headlight of a 1947-1953. There is no similarity to the real lighter!

Don’t be embarrassed at a show where your vehicle is being judged.

new cigarette lighter 1

Reproduction (above)

new cigarette lighter 2

Image of original (above)

Korean War Shortages

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Prices of more valuable metals such as copper and nickel reached their height during mid 1951 through 1953. Though U.S. shortages were much less than in WWII, there were price increases in the market that affected the financial bottom line of auto and truck manufacturers.

America almost demanded chrome on cars even if it raised prices. Decorative shiny trim was almost necessary to get buyers into the showroom.

Trucks were a different story! They were work vehicles. Eliminating the chrome extras did nothing to lessen the load capacity or operations off road. To keep the price down GM and other truck manufacturers removed much of the chrome and replaced it with paint. The steel stampings were the same, they were just painted. It was very necessary for GM’s base model to be priced low. City, county, federal, and many companies bought fleet trucks that offered the lowest price. Purchases had little to do with appearance. Even a $10.00 savings could make a sale.

The noticeable changes on GM light trucks is the lack of chrome on hub caps, grill bars, bumpers, and even the wiper knob. Stainless steel also felt the Korean War shortages. The deluxe five window pickup cab no longer had the stainless around the windshield and side windows. The glove box as well as the radio speaker horizontal trim was now painted steel. The deluxe panel truck with all its extra stainless side trim was now history.

By 1954 the chrome and stainless was back stronger than ever though some base models were kept in paint to hold their price low.

The following photos show just a few examples of GM’s Korean War era trucks. Considering their uses it doesn’t look too bad.

korean 1

korean 2

korean 3

korean 4

korean 5

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!

Accessories vs Options

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

As per GM, accessories during the 1930’s through mid 1960’s were the extra cost items sold and installed by the approved dealer. The truck was prepared for these during production so the dealership could later add them with less effort.

As much as possible GM would punch holes, attach removable plates, press in dimples, etc. to help the dealership in placing the accessory in just the right position. Several accessories using the pre-placed holes or dimples in these early Chevrolet and GMC trucks are the right side taillight bracket, fresh air heater, radio, front bumper guards, cigarette lighter, arm rest, glovebox light, and windshield washer.

Options were added at the factory. They were more difficult to install by individual dealerships and were therefore placed on the vehicle during production. This included items such as a chrome grille, 4 speed transmission on 1/2 and 3/4 ton chassis, double action shocks, tinted windows on 1953-55, two speed rear axle on larger trucks, double action fuel pump, hydrovac power brake, etc.

1947-1954 Rear Spring Alignment

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Tech Tip from Ron Hansen
Wakefield, Massachusetts

Jim Carter Truck Parts

Alignment Solution for Installing a Late Model Rear End in a 1947-1954 Pick Up

On the original rear end, the spring centerbolt is offset to the front of the spring by 2″to 3″. If you install a modern rear end (with an open driveshaft) and retain the original springs, the wheels will end up offset forward (inside) of the original wheel openings in the fenders. To correct this problem, remove the original springs and reverse them end to end (front to back) as they are the same on both ends. This will bring the spring centerbolt to the rear of the axle and place the new rear end in the center of the fender wheel openings.

Click to enlarge

Jim Carter Truck Parts

Lost Engine Numbers

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

GM trucks titled prior to the mid-1950’s were usually registered using the stamped engine number not the body digits pressed in the door ID plate. This practice has created many problems in later years as states became stricter in titling.

Unfortunately, many older vehicles outlast their engine and owners rarely rebuild the originals. To save time and certainly expense, a rebuilt unit or a used one from another vehicle would often be installed. This worked great until years later when state safety inspections began or the vehicle was sold out of state. With a prior engine transplant, there was no ID numbers that would match the title.

Even today, this problem occurs as older trucks with different engines are pulled out of barns and from the property line of a farmer’s back field.

Lost Bumper Bolt

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

On 1937-55 1/2 and 3/4 ton rear bumpers there exists an unused center square bumper bolt hole that sometimes brings up questions from restorers. “Why does this hole exist and what is it purpose?” The answer relates to the attitude toward trucks during those years. They were for work and keeping their production cost low was a priority.

The bumpers during 1937-47 were the same front and rear. The center hole at the front held a vertical steel bracket which was needed if the truck was hand cranked. Rather than make a 4 hole rear bumper, GM simply used their front on the rear. Even in 1947-55 with a slightly different horizontal shape, the factory 5 hole punch was used on front and rear. Therefore, the rear bumper hole has no purpose. To cover this hole, GM produced a special bumper bolt that has become very rare. To save costs (it is a surprise that anything was used) GM created a one inch long stud held in place with a sheet metal speed nut. It has no threads and its head is covered with a stainless cap so it looks like the other bumper bolts from a distance.

Most of these original rare filler bolts will have dents and scrapes on the stainless cap. A skilled person can place a new stainless cover from a more common replacement bolt and make this rare unit look like new.

lost bumper bolt

GMC 1/2 Ton Long Bed

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Of the many differences between the Chevrolet and GMC 1/2 ton during the early years (1936-54), the GMC offering of a long bed pickup box was one of the more noticeable. Only GMC provided this option. To obtain this extra bed length on a Chevrolet, the buyer ordered a 3/4 ton.

This difference existed with the first GMC pickup in 1936 and continued through the end of the Advance Design series in 1955. Possibly the reasoning for this was the horsepower difference between these two marquis. The base 216 six cylinder Chevrolet engine provided 92 hp. The standard 228 GMC six boasted 100 hp.

To get the approximately nine inch extra GMC chassis length not only were the two frame rails longer but the drive shaft was extended. GMC engineers did this by developing an extension which was the connecting length between the standard short bed closed drive shaft and the rear of the transmission. None of this interchanges with a Chevrolet and both makes use a totally different drive shaft design on their 3/4 ton series.

The adjacent photo shows this unique connector link installed in its GMC. A 7 3/8 inch steel jack-shaft is surrounded by a cast iron housing (it is still a closed drive shaft) and includes an extra u-joint, bearing, and seal. Though, a strongly built drive shaft system, this portion becomes the long bed 1/2 ton’s weak link after 50 years of use and abuse. Without a doubt this link has performed almost flawlessly beyond the miles expected by its designers. However, it does have its long term limitations. The many prior miles, lack of regular maintenance, and occasionally overloading the truck makes the failure of an original in today’s world a definite possibility. Watch for sources for the rare replacement parts in this connector link just in case. Otherwise surprise damage in this area can keep your GMC 1/2 ton long bed out of service for quite some time.

long bed 1

long bed 2

long bed 3

Home Made Garage

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When you would like to restore your truck and no workshop is available, there is a solution. Most all the repairs can occur in a temporary shop and at a very low cost.

Jim Valano of Marion, Indiana is a true example of ‘American Ingenuity.’ He purchased a ‘canvas storage tent’ and assembled it at a convenient location. He even made the floor using the backside of used carpet on top of sheet plastic. Its roll-up sides are adjusted for the weather.

Jim’s 1957 Chevrolet ½ ton is now almost restored and most of the work occurred in this canvas enclosure. It can later be removed and stored in the original box.

If you need a building for your restoration, this may be your answer. Just check with your city for possible zoning restrictions!

home made garage 1

home ,ade garage 2

home made garage 3

First GMC Light Duty Pick Up Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Prior to the mid-1930’s, the two truck divisions of General Motors, Chevrolet and GMC, were mostly independent companies. If you wanted a 1-1/2 ton and smaller truck, Chevrolet (since 1918) could provide the model just right for your needs. If you needed a 2-ton and larger, GMC was the division to contact. They had been a large truck specialist even before 1920.

A gradual overlap began in mid-1936 with the introduction of the new “low cab” body. GMC brought out a line of light trucks in direct competition with Chevrolet. They were to give their struggling GMC dealerships additional sales during the Great Depression by fulfilling their customer’s light duty hauling needs. These new trucks shared most sheet metal with Chevrolet as well as transmissions, front suspension, wheels and differentials. A few minor changes were the grille, hood sides, lettered tailgate and hubcaps; however, the major difference was the engine.

We have heard from several sources that this first GMC 1/2 ton pickup was always a long bed of 126”. The short bed 112” was not available until 1937.

At that time GMC did not produce a small engine that could fit their new light duty trucks. Their totally new small six-cylinder overhead valve power plant was still three years away. The solution was to use a pre-existing engine from one of the General Motors other divisions. They adopted the 213 cubic inch six-cylinder flat head (valves in the block) engine from Oldsmobile. Its power, size and reliability in cars made it the best choice and replacement parts were already available from the Oldsmobile division.

This proven engine in combination with the new low cab body proved successful and allowed GMC to begin gaining ground in the small truck market.

This 213 full oil pressure insert bearing engine (updated by Oldsmobile in 1937 to 230) was main source of power during the early years of smaller GMC trucks, 1936-38. One exception was in the half-ton pickup in 1938. For this model and year only, GMC now used a different smaller flat head six-cylinder. It came from the Pontiac car division and it even has the Pontiac Indian head symbol cast in the right side of the engine block. It had 223 cubic inches. The 230 was retained on GMCs larger than 1/2-tons.

Few of these light duty GMC survive today. They not only experienced the usual heavy work jobs as trucks, but with World War II new truck shortages meant few GMCs were set idle in storage.  After the war, most were worn down to where it cost more to repair them than using them to make a down payment on a new truck.  Thus, the majority were lost to the crusher.

first gmc light duty 1

1937 GMC, Drawing by Bryant Stewart, Farley, MA.

first gmc light duty 2

1936 GMC T-14
(Photo compliments of Patrick Kroeger at pkroeger@tampabay.rr.com)
Not to be used without written permission.

Demise of the GM Panel Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Even before the 1920’s, light commercial hauling using panel trucks had found a loyal growing customer base. With increasing numbers of small businesses and the population gradually moving to the cities, the panel truck found a place in our society. By the 1930’s, most all truck manufacturers had designed a panel body to fit on their existing pickup truck chassis.

Advantages of the panel over other trucks for small business are numerous. Their weather-tight body protects cargo from rain, snow, driving wind and summer sun. Very important is the security feature. Merchandise is out of sight and can be locked. They are economical over big trucks and much more maneuverable than the larger commercial vehicles. Panel trucks are just right for moving in crowded streets and narrow alleys.

demise panel truck 1

Retired panel trucks used for storage (above)

Even at the end of the panel truck’s life, auto wrecking yards often kept a few for storage. The bodies were excellent for protecting used parts (starters, generators, bearings, clutches, etc.) from the weather.

During the mid 1960’s, a major drop in panel truck popularity began. The vehicle that was once wanted by most every business in America was now being overlooked because of a ‘new kid on the block.’ The General Motors G-series van had arrived! This new van with short nose, had better turning radius, more cargo space on a like wheelbase, and a side freight door. It was the truck to buy. On most models the price was even lower.

The panel truck could not compete! It’s sales began dropping almost every year. Their popularity became so low that GM discontinued the vehicle even before the end of the 1967-1972 body style. This tells how the sales had dropped. Production was stopped even though the assembly line was operating and the tooling was able to continue stamping the body panels. In 1970, General Motors called it quits. The panel truck was history!

demise panel truck 2

1970 G Series Van (above)

With the major sales decline during the final years, you will see less of the 1967-70 units than of the earlier designs.

Even finding a rough final series panel is a rare occurrence. The newest is now over 30 years old. They were built for work responsibilities. Few were kept out of the weather. Most were owned by companies and driven by their employees.

demise panel truck 3

1941-1946 1 1/2 Ton Front Bumper

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

A major change in large truck Chevrolet front bumpers occurred during there years. Prior to 1946 the 1 1/2 ton bumpers and braces were little more that a heavier guage design of the smaller 1/2 ton.

The big bumper change was in 1946. (Possibly this was because Chevrolet introduced its first 2 ton model that year.) Now it was nothing like those on the 1/2 and 3/4 ton.

This new heavier, stronger bumper design continues on GM’s larger trucks to this day.

1941 front bumper

1941 Front Bumper (above)

1946 front bumper

1946 Front Bumper (above)

1939 New Zealand Right Hand Drive

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

General Motors right hand drive trucks, though unusual in the United States, have always been very popular in specific countries such as Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. These vehicles were not produced in the U.S. but came from GM’s large assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Due to reversed dash boards, the change in steering components, differences in starter linkages, and tail light locations, etc., the lower numbers of right hand drive production was kept at this one Canadian assembly plant.

In New Zealand, special marketing laws required at least 25% of each new truck had to be assembled or produced in that country. This was mostly to help provide more local jobs. Thus for many years the GM Canadian facility exported truck parts only to the New Zealand assembly plant in Petone near the capital city of Wellington. Hundreds of freight containers supplying GM truck parts regularly arrived at this New Zealand assembly plant. The specialized parts from Canada were engines, frames, suspension components, disassembled cabs and front sheet metal. The New Zealand plant then assembled the truck and furnished parts they could provide locally. This included (at least in the 1940’s) the wiring harnesses, window glass, a wood cab floor, some rubber parts, an optional flat wood deck, etc.

To keep within the 25% government parts and labor requirement, a truck bed with sides as supplied on U.S. vehicles was not included. A locally made wood deck could be added during assembly. Either with or without this deck, the two rear pickup metal rear fenders from the Canadian plant were wired or otherwise secured at the rear of the cab. The finished vehicle was delivered this way to local New Zealand GM dealers. The lack of a bed would also allow the budget minded buyer to construct his own deck or hauling platform and better afford the new truck.

A New Zealand trailer manufacturer during these early years used pickup rear fenders on their finished product. Their small general purpose trailers were usually equipped with these new metal pickup fenders. A retired 88 year old manager of this company remembers having standing orders with all New Zealand pickup dealers (not just GM) to purchase their extras. This saved additional expense on their completed trailers.

The photos below are of three excellent 1939 Chevrolet 1/2 ton’s, all assembled at the New Zealand plant.

Their right hand drive feature is unique to American readers, however, these Chevrolets have another very unusual characteristic. As with most 1939 New Zealand Chevrolet trucks, their cab was assembled in the New Zealand Petone plant from pre-stamped pieces, and are a mixture of two types of trucks. The rear of the cabs and door outer sheet metal are of the U.S. 1936-1938 design. The cowl, windshield frame, hood and grill are the 1939-40 style. Yes, they do weld together nicely into a single unit but the horizontal door and hood lines do not match. Reasons for the GM ‘cab mixture’ are not known at this writing, however, it is assumed keeping New Zealand’s costs low was the main factor. Quantities of older 1936-38 style rear cabs, roofs, and door stampings were either already available or the prior tooling still had much remaining life. The lower cost could then be passed on to the retail truck buyer. Just another way of producing the New Zealand 1939 GM truck at the lowest possible price!

Another theory for this unusual combination cab is due to the beginning of World War II. Because of New Zealand’s connection with Great Britain, they entered the war September 2, 1939 over two years before the United States became formally involved. No doubt being in the war created an immediate demand for all trucks in New Zealand. Rather than lose sales while the cab tooling changeover occurred at the Canadian supply plant (1938 to the new design 1939 body) GM continued with the prior sheet metal for their in demand export truck. Exact new styling was not necessary to overseas buyers when the war demand was so high!

Truck #1 – Owned and restored by Steve Jones, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Contact Steve at chevytrucks49@e3.net.nz

A local newspaper ad brought Steve to this basically complete 1939 pickup. It had great potential for a complete restoration and was just what Steve had been wanting. It’s major two year rebuilding started in 1999 and most all work was done personally by the owner, Steve Jones. It is now authentically restored from the ground up. The only observable differences from its 1939 beginning are the addition of a non-New Zealand GM bed with sides and its whitewall tires. Steve even picked an original Chevrolet truck color, Armour Yellow.

One of Steve’s pictures, with this article, features the inside of the cab top without the headliner. Note: the factory welds where the early and late style sheet metal have been joined.

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive


Truck #2 – Owned and restored by Steve Bright, Feilding, New Zealand

This 1939 was bought new by Steve’s grandfather. He used it for it’s first five years on a rural mail delivery route (during World War II) as well as helping with the family sheep and cattle farm. After the war it continued with farm duties plus collected cream from surrounding dairies for a local butter factory. This was done until 1950 when this little ’39 had reached a mileage of 200,000. It was then used for the next 25 years by members of the family on the farm or for trips to town.

Retirement occurred in about 1978 when major mechanical problems developed. It was placed in a barn after having logged over 350,000 miles!! It sat in this same storage place until 1990, when Steve decided to give it a major restoration in honor of his grandfather.

He has now rebuilt it to look like it’s off the assembly line. All worn parts were repaired or replaced. The exception is the hand made bed built during the restoration which results in a longer overhang in the back. The tonneau cover protects the bed bottom and merchandise being transported.

Though the truck looks and drives almost new, it is not a “trailer queen”. Steve Bright has driven it 14,000 miles in the past six years.

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

Editors Note:The above trucks were closely observed and personally driven during a recent trip to New Zealand. Each has the same unique features, so it can be assumed, they are correct from the factory.

An additional feature of these New Zealand 1939 Chevrolets: The gas tanks were below the bed and cab from the factory, not under the seat as in the U.S.A. The right side of the cab is even notched out to allow the tank to fit higher above the ground.

Steve Bright’s truck still has the original tank. Steve Jones truck gas tank was missing so he placed a replacement unit under the seat as on U.S. built 1939’s.


Truck #3 – Owned and restored by Graham Stewert, Wyndham, New Zealand

Contact Graham at 2 R.D., Wyndham 9892, New Zealand

This little 1939 1/2 ton is on New Zealand’s South Island. Its owner, Graham Stewert, has personally given it a complete restoration with all parts disassembled and then put back in place. Other than engine rebuilding and body repair, the owner did the work!

Graham bought this 1/2 ton un-restored in 2003 with only 76,350 miles. It immediately caught his attention because it was the same as his grandfather bought new in 1939. He well remembers grandfather using it for regular deliveries by the family dairy to homes and a dairy processing plant.

Thus, he decided to build it “bone stock” in memory of his grandfather and how it looked in 1939.

It is now the exact color as grandfather’s 1939 and the engine, transmission, differential, and interior, etc. is like Graham remembers in his younger days. It runs like new and is a pleasure to drive for fun transportation as well as to many vintage auto rallies.

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1939 GMC Right Hand Drive

1937-1946 Deluxe Heaters

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Keeping the passenger area warm in cars and trucks during the winter was always a problem in the early years. Not only were the heater fans and cores small but the vehicles used recirculator heaters. Thus, the air in the cab was recirculated rather than using dry outside cold air being brought inside and warmed. This helped for quicker warming but with more passengers, the additional humidity from breathing caused the windows to fog inside. A wiping cloth would have been needed to clear the windshield.

To address this issue, GM provided an extra feature with the pictured “deluxe” heater. A blower motor attached to the top of the standard heater made it a “deluxe” model. This separate optional motor on top forced warm air into the defroster nozzles and onto the windshield. There were two switches under the dash, one for each motor. In colder climates, it is doubtful the small heater core could supply warm air from the two motors both at the same time! Although this is antiquated by today’s standards, it did allow some relief on colder days.

GM Deluxe Heater 1
Optional Defroster Motor on Top-Estimated 1939
Front GM Deluxe Heater
1940-46
GM deluxe Heater 2
Air intake, back view ‘ Estimated 1939
GM deluxe Heater 2
1940-46
Optional Defroster Assembly- Estimated 1939
Optional Defroster Assembly- Estimated 1939

1940-46

1937-1938 Australian Half Ton

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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 lukerandall@hotmail.com.

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

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 2

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 3

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 4

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 5

Luke and passenger

1937-1938 Chevrolet Half Ton 6

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!

1936-1942 Coupe Pick Up

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1936-1942 Chevy Coupe Pick Up

During the great depression of the 1930’s, almost half of the automakers ceased business forever. Most remaining manufacturers modified their vehicles and advertising techniques to appeal to a very conservative buyer. With limited disposable income the few people willing to purchase a car or truck were very careful.

To help boost or at least hold sales steady, the Chevrolet Division introduced a new model in 1936. It was referred to as the Coupe Pickup. With a small corporate investment a dual purpose vehicle was created to appeal to the buyer with a need for both a car and a pickup.

The new model was a standard coupe with a miniature pickup truck bed placed in the trunk area. This small new bed included wood planks, metal strips, sides, and tailgate much like larger ½ ton pickups. It extended out of the trunk about the distance of the rear bumper. To keep out dust and rain water, a custom made canvas snapped in place between the small bed sides and the coupe trunk edges.

To appeal to the conservative new car buyer during the depression years this vehicle even included a painted coupe deck lid wrapped in several coverings of butcher paper. In this way if the mini-bed was removed, the deck lid could be attached and the owner then had a car.

A popular use was by neighborhood grocery stores.  The coupe express was excellent to deliver grocery items in the neighborhood.  The owner could also use it as his personal car!

This unique model was available each year from 1936 through early 1942 when World War II stopped domestic car production. There is almost no survival of the original coupe pickups. The few that made it even to the 1950’s were almost always given their deck lid to transform them to a pure coupe. Few people wanted an older pickup with such limited hauling capacity when they could have a coupe with a somewhat youthful sporty appearance.

No doubt the major weakness of this model was the canvas between the bed and body. It soon deteriorated when the vehicle set outside leaving the trunk area exposed to rain and snow. This was just the beginning of major rust problems which in time totaled the trunk area and maybe even the complete vehicle!

Today, if one of these beds would appear at an antique auto swap meet, almost no one would remember it’s original application. When the Chevrolet lettering was not on the gate, most would pass by thinking it is probably home made for a forgotten use.

1936-1942 coupe puick up 1

1936-1942 coupe pick up 2

1936-1942 coupe pick up

1936-1942 coupe pick up

Below is an example of an excellent used insert that made the standard coupe a coupe express. Found in Montana in 2013, it is about as pure as one can find of an almost 75 year old Chevrolet accessory. Almost no rust damage and some original paint! It had to be placed in a storage building when the car was made back into a standard coupe.

1934-1946 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1934-1946 Chevy Truck Model I.D.

We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1934

Series DB…Wheelbase 112…1/2 ton pickup and canopy top pickup, panel, canopy express, spc. pickup/panel, chassis

Series PA/B…..Wheelbase 131..1 1/2 ton truck – single/dual wheels

Series PB…Wheelbase 131…1/2 ton pickup dual wheels

Series PC/D…..Wheelbase 157..1 1/2 ton truck – single/dual wheels

Series PD……Wheelbase 157….1 1/2 ton truck, dual wheels


1935

truck tech 1935

Series EB…Wheelbase…112…1/2 ton pick up panel,canopy express,suburban, spc, pickup/panel chassis and cab.

Series QA/B…..Wheelbase…131…1 1/2 ton truck single and dual wheels

Series QC/D…..Wheelbase…157…1 1/2 ton truck single and dual wheels


1936

truck tech 1936

Series FB…Wheelbase 112…1/2 pick up panel, canopy express, suburban, spc. pickup/panel, chassis and cab.

Series RA…..Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck single wheels

Series RB…Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck dual wheels.

Series RC…..Wheelbase 157…1 1/2 ton truck single wheels

Series RD…..Wheelbase 157…1 1/2 ton truck dual wheels


1937

Series GC…Wheelbase 112……1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban carryall, chassis and cab

Series GD…..Wheelbase 122-1/2……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (11″ brakes)

Series GE…..Wheelbase 122-1/2……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (14″ brakes)

Series SA/B…..Wheelbase 131-1/2…..1 1/2 ton chassis and cowl, open express, canopy express

Series SC/D…..Wheelbase 157……1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels


1938

Series HC…Wheelbase 112…………1/2 ton panel, canopy express, suburban

Series HD…..Wheelbase 120-1/4……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack, (11″ brakes)

Series HE…..Wheelbase 122-1/4……3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (14″ brakes)

Series TA…Wheelbase 131-1/2……..1 1/2 ton panel canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single wheels

Series TB…..Wheelbase 131-1/2……1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, dual wheels

Series TC…..Wheelbase 157……….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock dual wheels

Series TD…..Wheelbase 157……….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock dual wheels


1939

Series JC…Wheelbase 113-1/2………1/2 ton pick up, canopy express, panel, suburban

Series JD…..Wheelbase 123-3/4…….3/4 ton pick up, stake rack, panel, flatbed (11″ brakes)

Series JE…..Wheelbase 123-3/4…….3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack, (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series VA/B…..Wheelbase 133………1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series VC/D…Wheelbase 158-1/2……..1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack, single/dual wheels

Series VE/F…..Wheelbase 107-5/8……1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack single/dual wheels

Series VG/H…..Wheelbase 131-1/8……1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack single/dual wheels

Series VM/N…..Wheelbase 156-5/8……1 1/2 ton COE m-single/n-dual wheels


1940

Series KC…..Wheelbase 113-1/2………1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban

Series KD…..Wheelbase 123-3/4………3/4 ton pick up, stake rack, panel, flatbed (11″ brakes)

Series KE…..Wheelbase 123-3/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series KF…..Wheelbase 133………….1 ton panel

Series WA…..Wheelbase 133………….1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series WB…..Wheelbase 158-1/2………1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack, single/dual wheels

Series WC…..Wheelbase 193-5/8………School Bus chassis, dual wheels

Series WD…..Wheelbase 107-5/8………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series WE…..Wheelbase 131-1/8………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series WF…..Wheelbase 156-5/8………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack


1941

truck tech 1941

Series AK…..Wheelbase 115………….1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban

Series AL…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (11″brakes)

Series AM…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatybed, stake rack (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series AN…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 ton panel

Series YR…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 1/2 ton flatbed, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series YS…..Wheelbase 160………….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack, single/dual wheels

Series YT…..Wheelbase 195………….School Bus chassis, dual wheels

Series YU…..Wheelbase 109………….1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series YV…..Wheelbase 132-1/2………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake/stock rack

Series YW…..Wheelbase 158………….1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack


1942

Series BK…..Wheelbase 115………….1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban

Series BL…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack (11″ brakes)

Series BM…..Wheelbase 125-1/4………3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack, (14″ brakes) heavy duty

Series BN…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack

Series MR…..Wheelbase 134-1/2………1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack, single/dual wheels

Series MS…..Wheelbase 160………….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack , single/dual wheels

Series MY…..Wheelbase 160………….1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series MT…..Wheelbase 195………….1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series MU…..Wheelbase 109………….1 1/2 ton COE

Series MV…..Wheelbase 132-1/2………1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series MW…..Wheelbase 158………….1 1/2 ton COE flatbed, stake/stock rack


1946

truck tech 1946

Series 1st CK 2nd DP…..Wheelbase 115………..1/2 ton pick up, panel, canopy express, suburban (1st only)

Series 1st DR…………Wheelbase 125-1/4…….3/4 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st DS…………Wheelbase 134-1/2…….1 ton pick up, panel, flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OR 2nd PJ…..Wheelbase 134-1/2…….1 1/2 ton panel, canopy express, flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OS 2nd PK…..Wheelbase 160………..1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack

Series 1st OW 2nd PL…..Wheelbase 160………..1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series 1st OY…………Wheelbase 195………..1 1/2 ton school bus chassis

Series 1st OE 2nd PV…..Wheelbase 134-1/2…….1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OF 2nd PW…..Wheelbase 160………..1 1/2 ton flatbed, stake/stock rack

Series 1st OG 2nd PX…..Wheelbase 195………..2 ton school bus chassis

Series 1st OH 2nd PP…..Wheelbase 109………..2 ton COE flatbed, stake rack

Series 1st OI 2nd PR…..Wheelbase 132-1/2…….2 ton COE flatbed, stake/stock rack

Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

Buy Parts for 1934 to 1946 Trucks

 

1918-1933 Truck Tech

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1918-33 Chevy Truck Model I.D.

We hope the following information on Axle, Transmission and Model identification will help many of you with your questions. Accuracy was a concern as we compiled this information. Because GM made so many scheduled as well as unscheduled changes, there is much discussion about these changes.

The following is used by permission from Pickups and Panels Magazine and artist Bryant J. Stewart

1918-1933 truck tech

1918

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton light delivery chassis, wagon

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton worm drive chassis, flare board and curtain top express


1919

Series 490…Wheelbase…102…1/2 ton light delivery chassis, wagon.

Series T…..Wheelbase…125…1 ton worm drive chassis, flare board and curtain top express


1920

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton light delivery chassis, delivery wagon 1 and 3 seat

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton chassis and cowl, flare board and covered flare express


1921

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton chassis and cowl, open express, covered express 3 seat

Series G…..Wheelbase 120…3/4 ton chassis and cowl, open express, canopy express

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton chassis, open express, canopy express, canopy express 3 seat


1922

truck tech 1922

Series 490…Wheelbase 102…1/2 ton panel delivery, station wagon

Series G…..Wheelbase 120…3/4 ton cowl cab chassis, express, canopy express

Series T…..Wheelbase 125…1 ton chassis, open express, canopy express, canopy curtain express


1923

Series A/B…Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, canopy express, panel, station wagon

Series D…..Wheelbase 120-5..1 ton chassis, stake, utility express, delivery, cattle body


1924

Series B/F…Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery, panel

Series D/H…Wheelbase 120…1 ton chassis, stake, flare board express, dump, enclosed cab


1925

Series F…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (early 1925)

truck tech 1925

Series H…..Wheelbase 120…1 ton chassis (earlt 1925)

Series K…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (late 1925)

Series M…..Wheelbase 120…1 ton chassis (late 1925)


1926

Series K…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (early 1926)

Series R…..Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis (early 1926)

Series V…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (late 1926)

truck tech 1926

Series X…..Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis, springfield suburban, screenside, stake rack (late 1926)


1927

Series V…..Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (early 1927)

Series X…..Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis, springfield suburban, screenside (early 1927)

Series AA….Wheelbase 103…1/2 ton chassis, light delivery (late 1927)

Series LM….Wheelbase 124…1 ton chassis, panel delivery, stake bed (late 1927)


1928

Series AB….Wheelbase 107…1/2 ton chassis, pick up, canopy, panel, screenside and sedan delivery, roadster pick up

Series LO….Wheelbase 124…1 ton panel delivery, stake bed, chassis


1929

truck tech 1929

Series AC….Wheelbase 107…1/2 ton chassis, pickup, canopy, panel, screenside and sedan delivery

Series LQ….Wheelbase 131…1 and 1 1/2 ton chassis


1930

Series AD….Wheelbase 107…1/2 ton chassis, delivery, canopy, deluxe, panel, roadster, screenside, sedan

Series LR….Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck 1st half

Series LS….Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck 2nd half


1931

truck tech 1931

Series AE….Wheelbase 109…1/2 ton open/closed cab chassis/puickup, panel, canopy express

Series LT….Wheelbase 131-157…1 1/2 ton truck-single and dual wheels 1st half

Series MA/B…Wheelbase 131…1 1/2 ton truck-single and dual wheels 2nd half

Series MC/D…Wheelbase 157…1 1/2 ton truck-single and dual wheels 2nd half


1932

Series BB….Wheelbase 109….1/2 ton closed cab pickup and canopy top pickup, panel,open and closed cab canopy express, spc. sed. delivery/panel/chassis

Series NA/B..Wheelbase 131….1 1/2 ton truck- single/dual wheels

Series NC/D..Wheelbase 157….1 1/2 ton truck – single and dual wheels


1933

truck tech 1933

Series CB….Wheelbase 109….1/2 ton pickup and canopy top pickup, panel, open and closed cab canopy express, special pickup/panel chassis

Series OA/B..Wheelbase 131….1 1/2 ton truck – single and dual wheels

Series OC/D..Wheelbase 157….1 1/2 ton truck- single and dual wheels


Disclaimer: This truck I. D. information is correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and is only to be used as a guide. Pickups ‘n panels and/or the National Chevy/GMC Truck Association, and Jim Carter Truck Parts, make no guarantee of accuracy, and disclaim any liability incurred in the use of this information.

Screw On ID Plates

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

screw on ID plates

The body I.D. plate – every GM truck had one attached at the factory. Basically it states the vehicle’s gross weight limit (weight of truck plus its maximum allowed load) plus stamped digits that give the assembly plant year, size of truck, month built, and sequential numbers as it came off the production line. These plates are necessary for positive vehicle identification.

A unique characteristic of the 1950 and older GM truck is that the I.D. plate was not riveted at the factory but rather held in place by two small clutch head screws with a hexagon perimeter. Thus a wrench or a clutch driver can tighten or remove them.

Over the years if the two screws begin to loosen, the owner would either retighten them from time to time or often remove the plate for safe keeping. Usually this plate stayed in the glove box or at home and just never got reattached. Thus we find some of these pre-1951 GM trucks with no I.D. plates. In the early years this was often of little concern as most trucks were titled on the engine number.

After 1950 these I.D. Plates were riveted to the door post. Probably not so much to prevent vehicle theft (we lived in a different era) but just to keep them from being lost.

In today’s world this can cause big problems in registering particularly if the transfer is to another state and an I.D. number verification is necessary. Even if the I.D. plate remains secure with screws as it left the factory, a problem may still exist. Unfortunately most inspectors today weren’t even born when these trucks were built. Sometimes an officer refuses to OK the truck, saying that I.D. plates do not come with attaching screws and it is not legal. You now have an uphill battle with an inspector that really believes he is correct.

Yes, you can attach this original scratched and painted-over I.D. plate with rivets. However, what is this inspector going to say when he sees this worn and painted on I.D. plate attached with two new shinny pop rivets? Have you ever been accused of car theft? It is then you wish the truck was titled to the engine!

Remember, on a left hand drive truck (1947-55) the I.D. plate attached to the left door post. It is attached to the opposite side on the right hand drive truck. The two holes for the plate screws or rivets are punched at the factory in both door posts.

Trees and Trucks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

 

tree trucks 1

 

tree trucks 1

 

 

There couldn’t be an easier place for a tree to grow. If you don’t move your truck for a few years, trees will find it. As they grow wider, the truck bends to fit!

 

 

 

 

 

trees trucks 2

 

 

Here livestock cannot eat the first growth.  Lawn mowers can’t reach it.

 

 

 

 

 

trees trucks 3

 

 

 

It’s free to grow.

 

 

 

 

trees trucks 3

The Finale

In this example this small young tree sensed the light coming through the square bumper bolt hole and grew in that direction. It went on through the hole and continued it’s growth. All was growing good until a weed sprayer came on the scene.

Compliments of Jerry’s Chevy Restoration Shop. Independence, Missouri.

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