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Conservative Paint Early Trucks

In evaluating the available paint colors on 1946 and older GM commercial vehicles, one should keep in mind the general attitude toward pickups and large trucks during that era. Unlike today, customers bought and owned trucks for work! After five o’clock and on weekends most trucks were parked and the family sedan became the driver.

This relates not only to the lack of available GM truck options but also the very basic paint schemes. In fact, the standard color for General Motors trucks was a dark Brewster Green. They were sold this way unless you ordered one of the few non-extra cost optional colors. These were of special interest to commercial customers wanting a more visible truck or one that would fit in with their company’s color scheme. A few examples were: Swifts Red, Omaha Orange, Black, and Armour Yellow.

On the assembly line GM cabs and doors were painted bare (before any parts were added). This allowed all later attached interior sheet metal to be a separate color. This sheet metal such as the dash board, header panel , door panels, windshield post covers, and rear cab liner were even painted in a separate building and added to the cab on the line.

As a little extra touch, the interior metal was given a hammered appearance. This fish eye type paint is still seen today on new metal merchandise such as some brands of office equipment, etc.

Therefore, when you open the door of a correct 1946 and older truck, the seat riser plus floor edge and door frame are body color (painted with the cab). The removable sheet metal is the interior color.

The 1940-46 pickups and most all larger trucks were given a silver brown hammered appearance on inside to harmonize with all the factory exterior colors.

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