Many of the tech articles on this web site emphasis’s the subtle ways that truck parts were made economically by GM. Truck often received Chevrolet car items that were used the year before. Sometimes even other GM brands sent their older items to be placed on assembly line trucks.
Of all the ways GM saved money on truck parts, none is more unique than the savings on 1/2 ton hub caps. Chevrolet pickups used the same baby moon style hub cap from 1940 through 1955. The skins and basis are the same. A relative inexpensive addition was simply changing the lettering or emblems on the outer brass skin. They required a change in tooling, not expensive for a company the size of the Chevrolet Motor Division. The stamping department just kept making the same base and skins. The skin surface stamping changed as was required by the design department each year.
Check the following pictures. The base hub caps are all the same. Some of the car hub caps are the same as the trucks. Even GMC trucks decided to use these caps between 1947-55. After all, just placing the three GMC letters on the skin added much savings to the company’s bottom line.
1940 Chevrolet 1/2, 3/4 ton and car (above)
1941-1946 1/2 ton, 1941- 1945 3/4 ton, and 1942 -1948 car (above)
1947-1951 GMC, Chrome (above)
1947-1951 Chevrolet, Chrome (above)
1954-1955 1st Chevrolet (above)
1952-1953 Chevrolet Painted (above)