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Posts Tagged ‘trim’

1955-1957 GMC Fender Emblem

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1955 1957 gmc fender emblem

During the mid-1950’s most car and truck manufacturers begin to install optional V-8 engines in their vehicles. To set the vehicles apart from their six cylinders, V-8 emblems were designed.

This GMC front fender V-8 emblem was used during 1955 through 1957. The GMC letters were on both six and V-8 trucks.

The pictured Hydramatic emblem is removable and would not be in place on a truck with a 3 or 4 speed manual transmission.

1965 GMC Deluxe Fleetside

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 1

GMC Single Trim Strip (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 2

Chrome Standard Grille (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 3

Window Aluminum and Windshiled Stainless (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 4

Econimical Side Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 5

1962-1966 Chevrolet Lower Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 6

Deluxe Trim (above)

1965 deluxe gmc fleetside 7

Economical Side Trim (above)

1964-1966 GMC Custom

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With increased prosperity in the USA during the 1960’s the demand for more extras on cars and trucks was high. Manufacturers followed this trend with additional features, at least on their top of the line models.

GMC followed this movement even though their product was mostly for work related duties. While sharing much sheet metal with Chevrolet, they certainly did not want to look like their competitor so GMC designers made a point of adding no deluxe features to the new ‘Custom’ truck that would relate to Chevrolet.

What must have been a limited budget is reflected by the inexpensive trim on their new custom cab. The post behind the doors uses three pieces of straight anodized aluminum butted together to fill the space.

What looks like an amateur creation was truly a factory design. It almost appears they needed paint divided strips for their two-tone paint option! A more expensive piece is the curved side window trim with the unusual groove to fit into the door lines.

For their custom cab GMC chromed their pre existing white grill, V-6 hood side emblems, bumpers, and hub caps. Thus, their design and manufacturing costs were lessened. Even the stainless windshield trim was already available from the Chevrolet division. A new small chrome Custom emblem on the door post is an exclusive GMC only part. (This die cast emblem was also used on the rare deluxe model GMC Suburban.)

The remaining GMC ‘Custom’ feature appears to be the paint scheme when two-tone colors were ordered. Here designers seemed to have gone to excess. No copying Chevrolet here! There must have been a 20 minute meeting on the telephone in 1964 to decide which color went on which metal body panel.

The accompanying photos are from a 1964-66 GMC Custom ½ ton pickup that was seen parked along the street. The owner was not available for comment.

The wear on the original paint and trim give no doubt that it was an untouched factory GMC. Its pure condition deserved ‘a second take’ and the following pictures were a result.

Note: Even on the Custom GMC pickup, the large back cab window was optional. Many did not want the extra sun on their neck or in the cab during hot summer days. Therefore, this deluxe cab was ordered with the small rear glass.

1964 1966 gmc custom 1

1964 1966 gmc custom 2

1964 1966 gmc custom 3

1964 1966 gmc custom 4

1964 1966 gmc custom 5

1964 1966 gmc custom 6

1964 1966 gmc custom 7

1964 1966 gmc custom 8

1964 1966 gmc custom 9

1964 1966 gmc custom 10

1964 1966 gmc custom 11

1964 1966 gmc custom 12

1964 1966 gmc custom 13

1960-1966 Chevrolet Cab Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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

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

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

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

1960 1966 cab trim 1

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 2

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 3

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

1960 1966 cab trim 4

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 5

1960 Stainless Trim (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 6

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 7

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 8

1964-1966 Cab Trim (above)

1960-1961 Chevy GMC Side Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the early 1960’s GM’s majority of truck buyers chose the base truck with few dealer installed options. It was ending an era of very limited disposable income among the average US citizen.

General Motors saw the trend toward more extras on trucks and began to offer visual extras such as two tone paint, side trim, and upgraded interiors.

Though there were limited takers, both Chevrolet and GMC offered full length stainless steel side trim during 1960-61. Note: Cab and front fender trim are the same on both makes. It is the fleetside bed trim that is a different length. On the Chevrolet, the rear “C” side piece requires this trim to be shorter than the GMC. See images below.

1960 1961 chevy gmc side trim 1

Chevrolet (above)

1960 1961 chevy gmc side trim 2

GMC (above)

1959 Deluxe Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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

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

 

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

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

1959 deluxe trim 3
Front die cast small spear.

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

1958-1959 Chevrolet vs GMC Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With the new Fleetside bed design in 1958 the Chevrolets placed a chrome emblem on the bed side with the word “Fleetside”. However, GMC referred to this new bed as a “Wideside” to not copy Chevrolet. A Wideside emblem was never created, thus the GMC bedsides are without letters. (The horizontal bedside trim is a 1959 option).

(images by Ralph Wescot)
1958 1959 trim
1959 Chevrolet
1958 1959 trim 2
1959 GMC

1956 Hydromatic Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One of the rarest emblems of the mid-1950’s is the 1956 Chevrolet Hydramatic front fender trim. A small percentage of ’56 Chevrolet pickups were equipped with the Hydramatic, so many enthusiasts have never seen this item.

At a glance it looks like the one used with the non-automatic and thus it is often over-looked. This is a very in demand part as even restorers adding newer modern automatic transmissions are joining in the hunt.

1956 hydromatic trim

Early GMC Hood Side Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Early GMC trucks changed their hood side emblems about as much as Chevrolet, however there is no similarity in appearance. The following shows the GMC changes over 14 years.

1935-36   Anodized silver aluminum with a semi-flat black background. (In 1936, GMC entered the light truck market and carried the emblem from larger trucks of earlier year) Right and left are the same.

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1937   One year only! Made just like the 1935-36 except for the short wing extensions on each end.

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early gmc hood side trim 1

1937 GMC Hood Side Trim

 

1938-46   A more streamline design was carried through 1946. Its streamlined rounded point on only the front creates a different part for the right and left.

early gmc hood 2

1938 – 1946 GMC Hood Side Trim

1939-1940 Chevrolet GMC Grilles

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1939-1940 Chevrolet and GMC grilles may look the same when they are seen separately, however they are not! By sharing fenders, hood top, headlight stands, etc. , the grilles overall dimensions had to be the same. To keep each marquee individual, GM made the grilles different. When the two are compared side by side, what a difference!

1939-1940 GMC Grill
1940 Chevrolet Grill
1939-1940 GMC Grille
1940 Chevrolet Grille

 

Tailgate Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It was during these years that General Motors began offering more style to their pickup truck line. Though most still considered a truck as a work vehicle, a growing segment of pickup buyers were being strongly influenced by trim and accessories that even rivaled many automobiles.

For the first time on GM fleetside pickups, decorative trim became available on the tailgate of their middle and upper level models. Even on the basic gate that had no trim, the stamped letters were given a contrasting color. During all of 1967-1972, the middle and more deluxe series gates carried three upper strips making one line running the width of the gate. These three strips were the only tailgate trim offered for 1967-1968. During 1969-1972, an additional horizontal strip (66 3/4′ long) was attached to the lower gate edge but only on the middle series fleetsides.

It was on the top of the line 1969-1972 pickup that Chevrolet went all out in tailgate appearance. On the 1969-70 CST and 1971-1972 Cheyenne, the lower trim strip was replaced with a very attractive wood grained horizontal band at the center. Though it covered the basic Chevrolet and GMC stamped gate letters, the band carried its own chrome die cast letters over the wood (vinyl) decal.

The following photos show both the three styles of trim on the 1967-1972 fleetsides. Note the lower narrow strip is not placed on the gate with the wood band. Tail light rings or bezels are designed to harmonize with the tailgate trim. The 1967-1968 CST light trim is different than the later design.

tailgate trim 1

1969-1972 Middle Series (above)

tailgate trim 2

1969-1972 Cheyenne (above)

tailgate trim 3

1967-1972 Chevrolet (above)

tailgate trim 4

1967-1968 Chevrolet CST (above)

1969-1970 Chevrolet Grills

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In recent years, the 1969-1970 Chevrolet non-metal grille insert has been sold as one item. This is not the way they came!

Each of the two years used a grille insert of a different design. The 1970 style is now the one you receive when you order either year. Thus, a pure 1969 insert is becoming very difficult to locate.

1969 1970 chevrolet grills 1

1969 (above)

1969 1970 chevrolet grills 2

1970 (above)

1967 GMC Super Custom

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967 GMC Super Custom

1967 gmc super custom

During the first year of this new body design GMC’s top of the line was referred to as the “Super Custom”. An unusual piece of chrome die cast trim was added to this model in the center of the front fender this year. (not on Chevrolet) It is identifiable in the GMC Master Parts Book as: Group# 10.095, Part# 3903748/

It is now very difficult to find and probably will never be reproduced.

NOTE: This factory drawing shows the now rare full wheel covers, on the Super Custom.