Owner: Bob Tucker
This month we feature a very special truck. It is no doubt one of the few pristine examples of a pure 1952-1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton in the U.S. today.
Owner Bob Tucker of Prairie Village, Kansas resisted all temptations during restoration and demanded that the body and trim be just like the showroom models in 1953.
What makes this truck stand out in a crowd is Bob’s attention to detail in keeping the trim painted as original and not chromed. During the 1952-53 Korean War years, copper (an important component for quality chrome plating) skyrocketed in price. Even shortages occurred. To keep costs down, GM eliminated most chrome plating on their trucks and the copper that went with it. Thus, this featured truck’s bumpers, hub caps, and grille back splash bars are Thistle gray. Even the front hood emblem is stainless steel and not chrome plated steel as in earlier years.
This truck’s unique appearance is also reflected in the interior. As is proper for 1952-1953, the chrome die cast knobs were replaced with maroon plastic. This includes those on the window cranks, wiper switch, and ash tray. The two radio speaker horizontal dash trim stripes and glove box door are changed from stainless to painted steel.
Today, very few 1952-1953 GM trucks are restored like the almost one million produced during those years. They are given non-original chrome grilles, deluxe wheels, stainless bumpers, varnished bed wood, carpeting, cloth seat covers, etc.
Our featured commercial red truck is a correct example of how we would have bought a new Chevy truck during 1952-1953. GM dealer installed accessories are the radio, fresh air heater, and right taillight. Congratulations to Bob Tucker for recreating a 1953 Chevrolet 1/2 ton “just right”.
I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to Jim Carter and his staff for their patience and help in walking me through the Chevy parts minefield. Without them and Jerry Rivers, Owner of Body Shop 352, the completion of this project would have been unlikely. Do to the fun I’ve had and overwhelming response to the truck, I’ve decided to offer it for sale and undertake restoration of an earlier model. If interested, feel free to call me at 816-471-1050.
As a side note, the pictures displayed here do not show the visor, which I have and will be installing shortly.
Sincerest Regards and