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Posts Tagged ‘1949’

1949 GMC ½ Ton Long Bed

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

How many truck owners do you know that have owned their vintage GM pickup almost 40 years! Steve and Patty Briand of Woburn, Massachusetts have been the owners of a vintage GMC since 1978 and it has become part of their family.

HISTORY

This 1949 GMC ½ ton long bed was bought new by the owner of a large chicken farm in Manchester, New Hampshire. Therefore, a ½ ton was adequate but the longer 8 foot bed (not the normal 6 foot on a ½ ton) could haul more of their lighter weight products.

After about 25 years, it was sold to an individual in Massachusetts as his daily driver. He did the usual repairs and upgrades that normally occurs to a well-used truck of this age.

Just 4 years later it was for sale again. The owner had accepted a job transfer on the west coast. As the GMC still required some mechanical repairs, the owner would not drive it the 4,000 miles to his new home. The cost of hiring a transportation company was not an option. When the Briand’s saw this GMC, born in 1949, advertised at $450.00 and they found this was a running truck it was “love at first sight.” For this price it could even be used for their miscellaneous hauling needs.

Their landlord at that time had an available garage to protect it from the heavy seasonal snow. Otherwise, Steve began using it occasionally to drive to his local job. People in his company always knew Steve was on the job as the GMC was taller than the other vehicles in the parking lot!

The first big project was making it all one color instead of several colors and primers that showed its many years. Steve and Patty chose an original GMC cream. It made such a visual improvement. This color remained for almost 35 years.

PREPARING FOR THE RESTORATION

          Over the many years, the Briand’s long term goal was someday to make their GMC just like it came from the dealership in 1949. They knew this would be a major time consuming project and a big money spending project. So for about 35 years it was a driver, the restoration would wait until retirement years!

When they bought their “dream home” in 1989 the GMC was part of the equation. Their pickup must have its own private house, when restored so they built it behind their home in 2014.

The “GMC’s house” has more than parking space. An area at the side gives storage for most of the disassembling that was to occur. Even the roof supports were given extra strength for a winch, for someday lifting the cab and engine with transmission.

 

KEEPING IT GOING

No major changes (other than color) were done over the years. It was a matter of keeping it running much like in 1949, with parts hunting and discovering other owners, Steve managed to usually keep it going.

One great help was discovering and joining the North-East Chevy/GMC Truck Club. Their membership base is in Massachusetts and the surrounding states. It is now considered the oldest running vintage truck club in existence. Club contact is: gordonmil@msn.com Steve could always call on a member for emergency parts and repair advice.

 

THE RESTORATION

          After Steve’s retirement the time was right. The disassembly began in early 2016. One year was set aside for this to be Steve’s only activity. SURPRISE! The restoration has just been completed after 2 ½ years! So many unexpected extras occurs during a restoration of this size. Steve, at times, became overwhelmed. It is one big project to disassemble a 65 year old truck with rusty bolts from New England winters, a totally different set of rules exist for a quality restoration and assembly.

Steve began the long difficult job of the total restoration (he had never been involved in a project like this.) Though he enjoyed it, in a few months he realized there were so many different things to learn that were totally new to him. What now? A different approach would be necessary if it was to be completed in his lifetime.

Sometimes it is who we know that helps solve problems that may seem overwhelming. This speaks for Steve Briand and his GMC. One of his good friends had knowledge of a local shop owner that specializes in major special interest car restorations. In his many years restoring, the owner had never rebuilt a truck and was really interested in this GMC.

Good luck for the Briand’s. Steve had the pickup totally disassembled and parts completely covered their garage floor! To learn about a GMC, and not haul the many parts to his local shop. (Steve knew how it went together) the restoration shop owner offered to bring his tools to their garage and work on the weekends.

Wow! Someone must have been watching over the Briand’s. This match was certainly made in heaven!

The part time weekend project continued almost 2 ½ years. Both added to the restoration. To prevent a possible unhappy neighbor in their residential neighborhood the Briand’s invited them over to share the progress of the restoration. As the Briand’s were already very close with those nearby residents all liked watching the progress in his garage. Most had no idea what takes place in a ground up building.

Yes, sometimes a complicated item was taken to the restoration shop but most work was done in the GMC’s personal house!

 

SPECIFCATIONS

          The Briand’s have kept their GMC with its original 228 inline six cylinder engine and 6 volt electrical system. The 4 speed top loader transmission is almost bullet-proof in a GMC ½ ton. It was standard equipment in the in the large 2 ton GMC work truck! What is unusual it is an 8 foot bed and 125” wheel base like a ¾ ton but is still rated as a ½ ton.

The rear leaf springs are ½ ton 1 ¾’’ wide, not 2’ as in a ¾ ton! The smaller ½ ton differential has a ratio of 4.11 and not of the lower gear slower moving 5.14 or 4.57 on ¾ tons.

When removing the hood hinges from the firewall during the complete disassembly, they found the untouched original Brewster Green. This is now its new correct color! It has also the orange engine color that replaced olive green in 1948.

SUMMARY

          Steve and Patty Briand now have their new 1949 GMC. It is kept in its own personal home and will not be on the road during snow days. Now only an occasional light weight hauling job might be allowed.

Very important for the six volt electrical system, this GMC has the correct heavy gauge battery cable to the starter plus two ground cables. Just like General Motors did on all their 6 volt vehicles. Thus, the engine turns over almost as fast as a newer 12 volt vehicle.

The Briand’s give fair warning to a thief with an idea of breaking into the GMC’s garage to steal expensive tools. Check out their sign posted on the door!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can contact Steve & Patty email usscassinyoung@yahoo.com

Another Steve Briand’s sideline. For 35 years he had been helping 30 military veterans in the restoration and upkeep of a WWII destroyer, the U.S.S Cassin Young now kept in a dry dock in Boston. All is volunteer work and they have brought it back to its appearance 75 years ago in the Pacific.

 

A Few Photos of the Restoration

 

 

Rear of truck. Notice the rare GM accessory reflector!

The Red Wheels Sure Make the Truck Stand Out!

 

 

 

 

Steve and his buddy!

FOR THE PERFECTIONEST

If you would like getting into more details regarding this GMC ½ ton long bed read on!

½ TON LONG BED TRIVIA

From 1936 through 1955 a 8’ long bed on a GMC ½ ton was a factory option. (The more normal ½ ton bed is 6’) Our feature truck included the usual 16’’ 6 bolt wheels, longer frame side rails, an extra cross sill, and the same bed used on the GMC and Chevy ¾ ton pickups. This long bed ½ ton was not offered on Chevrolet pickups.

For this GMC option General Motors cost was not that expensive until it came to the need for a longer drive shaft behind the transmission. What do they do now?

No doubt this is where real engineering talents become necessary. This would require about a 2 foot connection for the extra bed length, between the u-joint and the short bed driveshaft used on their 6 foot bed.

GMC engineers suspected there would be some major problems if they just lengthened the ½ ton drive shaft assembly. Too much length to withstand overload abuse by some owners and repairs might be a big expense to them. It would probably be the last GMC the mad owners would ever have if the problem developed.             The decision was to continue with the proven short ½ ton closed drive shaft but create an almost 2 foot insert with and extra u-joint.

If and when this extension failed it would be much easier to repair. Some have called it GMC’s “weak link” but they were built heavy and withstood many, many years of abuse. After all it was a ½ ton, not a big work truck using this extension See photos and the enclosed blue print from a GMC shop manual.

More details of the GM Optional Reflector

To add better night visibility to all trucks, Suburban’s and panel trucks, General Motors offered a 4 inch diameter reflector as a dealer installed accessory. With the single small factory taillight, seeing of these vehicles on the road could be difficult especially if their one bulb burned out. To help correct this problem GM offered a larger reflector that could be attached to the rear license plate bracket. It greatly improved visibility to others at the rear during night driving.

This was a time when town street lights were limited. Of course, on the open road there was no lighting along the highways! This simple GM reflector was offered by the dealers to prevent rear end accidents. The customer could buy this dealer accessory from about 1940 through 1953. One of the attached photos is taken from a 1949 Chevrolet Truck Data Book. The 4 inch lens is a Stimsonite # 24 and the metal Guide ring has a stamping of X-19. Jim Winters of Rochester, Minnesota has both a restored 1946 panel truck and ½ ton pickup with this option.

1949 GMC 3/4 Ton Pickup

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
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This special Advance Design pickup has come a long way from its early life on a Mid-Missouri farm. Owned and restored by Dale Jacobs of Dallas, Texas, this 1949 GMC ¾ ton has been down to the frame and came out just a little nicer than new.

It’s the old story. It looked very nice and ran just as well but a little extra touch would make it a nicer pickup. Well, the more he got into areas, the more he saw things that just were not quite right. After all it was a farm work truck for so many years. Before long you are tired of seeing so many imperfections, you check your bank account, and say “Let’s just make it a new truck”. It will only take time and money! It was taken down to the bare frame (the easiest part) and the building of the oversize model kit begins.

This four year project involved doing much research, making local new restoration contacts, and learning so much about early GMC’s.

Over the years Dale has owned several “special interest vehicles” including a 1954 Corvette. (Lucky guy!) However, he has always had a hidden desire for a pickup. Thus, this GMC became his project.

Dale’s ¾ ton has the optional 17” split rim wheels instead of the stock 15”. (These were original on the 1 ton pickup of these years). The extra 2” gives the truck a higher top end speed and lowers the engine RPM. Good during daily in-town driving.

Another very unique fixture is the intake manifold, mentioned in Dale’s article below. The original single barrel carburetor intake center hole was blocked off. Then front and rear carburetor receiver openings were installed to hold a pair of two-barrel Stromberg’s. It operates excellent and is probably the only one of its kind in the world! What an eye catcher! He says it easily cruises at almost 70 mph!

The following is a few of the special features Dale wrote about on his GMC. No doubt it is an overview and is the “tip of the iceberg” of all he has done to make it such an attractive well-appointed truck.

Dale’s Personal Story:

A 4 year “frame off” TOTAL restoration of this “numbers matching” GMC 3/4 ton pickup.
The “Ron Kelly Designs” complete rebuild of this original drivetrain and chassis included the GMC 228 engine long block (.08 over rebore), head, flywheel, clutch, 4-speed on the floor transmission with “granny” gear, drive shaft and rear end, all dynamically balanced. Modifications to improve performance include full-flow oil filtering, dual 2-barrel Stromberg carburetors adaptation to original intake manifold with new linkage, and Fenton dual exhaust headers with custom muffler routing.

The chassis rebuild involved frame powder coating, front and rear spring leafs with helpers, Delco lever arm shocks, duel master cylinder brake system, front end and steering linkage with drive box.

The electrical system conversion to 12 volts included the original Delco starter and generator, regulator, new Mallory dual point distributor and coil, new wiring harness, 4 corner lighting with halogen headlights and turn signaling. A new water pump, radiator with expansion cylinder and hoses improve the cooling system.

All body panels were COMPLETELY disassembled and, along with the cab, subjected to a strip and de-rust total immersion process. Reassembly with new fasteners was preceded by extensive applications of epoxy and urethane primers and initial custom lacquer paint then followed by final lacquer paint and clear coatings.

Cab restoration involved new door handles, hinges and panels, headliner with insulation, sun visors, gauge cluster and speedometer, vintage GMC reproduction stereo AM/FM radio and 7 new glass windows allowing a surround view. The air flow heater with control valve and defroster ducts, vacuum wiper motor with linkage, fuel tank with new sender, and all pedal controls were also restored to original specifications. Traversing seat with era appropriate new upholstery allows comfort with a vintage signature. Firewall, roof, floor and doors all received sound deadening applications.

Finishing touches include the re-chromed original grill, badging, radiator fan and added dual trumpet horns. Color coordinated powder coated engine side and valve covers enhance the engine bay. Also evident are new bumpers with valences, vintage Unity spot and fog lights, chromed fuel tank linkage, and powder coated original split rim wheels with new 750-17 tires. An eye-catching top grade oak bed and side rails with stainless linings and fasteners complete this classic restoration.

If you have questions on Dale’s special GMC pickup, his email is drj86wr@aol.com.

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Here it Comes!

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Open for Viewing

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Correct 9 Board Bed

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Standing Tall on 17″ Wheels

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Even a Right Side Spotlight

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Excellent Oak Side Racks

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Yes, Dual Exhaust. Neat!

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Extra Stake Pocket on 3/4 Ton

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150 Represents 3/4 Ton

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Good View of Right Side Hardware

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Original ID Plate

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Door Restored Just Right

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Side View of Interior

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Nice Dash

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Gauge Color is GMC Only

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Modern Radio Looks Original

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Heater and Spot Light Switch

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Like New!

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Two Carbs on a Single Barrel Manifold

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Dual Horns Will be an Attention Getter for Pedestrians

Suburban Rear Quarter Panel Holes

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The full rear quarter panels for the 1947-55 Chevy/GMC Suburban were made all the same at the metal stamping manufacturer.  To save money these panels were not made different if the Suburban was to have the double doors or the tailgate style opening in the rear.

Thus, when the Suburban was provided with a lift and tailgate combination the 4 holes for the “double barn door” hinges in the quarter panels were filled with rectangular rubber plugs.  This was not just for appearance but prevent rain water from reaching the body interior.

These photos show the plugs painted in body color; however it is questioned if this is correct.  By 1950, Suburban buyers had the choice of the 12 pickup colors.  It would have been more economical for all to have black rubber plugs instead of 12 boxes with the optional color prepainted plugs on the assembly line.

The other thought:  These plugs were painted when the full body was given its final color.  This would mean GM planned on the enamel body paint being of the quality that would successfully adhere to rubber over the years.  We don’t usually see this combination in other GM vehicles.  Special paint for rubber only is used!

Comments on how it really occurred:  Email us at jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com

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.

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1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck 1949 chevy truck

1949 Chevrolet Panel

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Owner: Udi Cain

1949 chevrolet udi cain

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.

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1949 Chevrolet Panel truck 1949 Chevrolet Panel 949 Chevrolet Panel truck

Timing Gear

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

About 10 years after the introduction of GMC’s new inline six cylinder engine in 1939, General Motors issued a ‘Product Service Bulletin’ in regards to a recommended improvement on the 228, 248, and 270. It appears the manufacturer discovered a weakness that shortened the life of the engine timing gears. This recommendation was made for enlarging the oil supply hole leading to the meeting point of the two gears. The attached dealer bulletin was issued January 31, 1949.

This is especially interesting considering over a million GMC trucks with these engines had been built prior to this. The number includes the five years of military large trucks that were used during WWII under very abusive off road conditions!

tming gear

Proper 3100 Hood Side Emblem

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the Advance Design years no less than four different Chevrolet hood side emblems were used on 1/2 tons. Each of their two mounting pins are in the same place so the punched hood holes were unchanged during these years. All were chromed die cast even during the 1952-1953 Korean war chrome shortage.

The following pictures show the correct emblem for each of the years. Beware, some vendor’s catalogs do not list them correctly.

Note: Between mid-1949 through 1951, a separate small 3100 emblem was placed below the Chevrolet letter plate. Therefore, hoods during these years will have two additional factory punched holes. The longer Chevrolet emblem used between 1949-1952 are the same.

proper 3100 1

1949-1951 3100 Emblem (above)

proper 3100 2

1955 First Series (above)

proper 3100 3

1952 (above)

proper 3100 4

1953-1954 (above)

proper 3100 5

1947-1949 Thriftmaster (above)

1948-1949 COE & Chevrolet 1/2 ton

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Owners: Bill and Ken Wedelaar

1948 chevrolet coe 1949 half ton

What a traffic stopping combination! When this pair hits the road, even the non-truck enthusiasts take note. The proud owners are Bill and Ken Wedelaar in Midland Park, New Jersey. Bill and Ken have a local auto electric shop and the restoration of these trucks has been their hobby when time became available.

The little black 1949 1/2 ton is one of the best examples of how they left the factory as it shows only 11,000 miles. Bill has owned it 15 years with almost no repairs needed except cleaning and detailing. It had been repainted when Bill found it and he added the whitewall tires. If you want to know what a pure 1949 was like when new, ask Bill or Ken.

The 1948 Cab-Over-Engine (COE) is a piece of artwork. Bill and Ken even bought another COE to get the best parts and then restored it to almost all authentic specifications. A 1954 Chevrolet 235 six cylinder is about the only update that was added. This 2 ton has been his for 25 years. Before his purchase, it hauled a large dozer to construction job sites.

Bill and Ken are obviously enthusiasts and artists in truck restoration.

They can be contacted by email at: kensautoelectric@gmail.com

1949 Chevrolet

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Owner: Steve Jones

1949 chevrolet truck

In the search for unusual trucks to place in our monthly feature, we came to a stop when we found this 1949 Chevrolet ½ ton. Though not restored original, it looks on the outside much like what would have been seen on the road in the early 1950’s.

The owner and restorer is Steve Jones of Manawatu, New Zealand. Steve says this over two year project finished even better than planned. The following is a basic summary of what became a very large project. For further details, contact Steve at: Chevytrucks49@e3.net.nz

Locating this type truck to rebuild was difficult on the islands of New Zealand. The country is ‘down under’ (below the equator) and finding this GM body style became Steve’s challenge. He began to feel lucky if he could just find one for sale.

Finally, Steve found a 1949 Chevy ½ ton with no motor or transmission and an excess of cab rust. With little negotiations, the truck was bought. Steve knew it would be just what he had in his plans once the rebuilding was completed.

The long frame rails were not altered in this rebuilding and all the sheet metal is like it left the assembly plant in Petone, New Zealand in 1949. Yet, the hidden changes are many! The engine is a GM 350 V-8 and the automatic transmission is an overdrive turbo 700R4 from a 1993 Holden (GM in Australia). Also, from that car is a 3.08 ratio differential with disc brakes. The total package gives good vehicle speed at lower engine RPM.

The front rack and pinion assembly comes from a later model XJ6 Jaguar sedan. Steve was quite surprised to find the complete assembly fit the 1949 with very little alteration. It provides disc brakes with four pistons on each front rotor. A vacuum booster for the power brakes is bolted to the left frame rail. The original steering wheel with upper column remains 1949.

Steve used two u-joints and special brackets where he cut his original column just below the floor. In this way the lower Jaguar column can be connected under the hood and out of view. Even the accelerator pedal is pure 1949. He made skillful cuts, bends, and welds to keep the early accelerator pedal assembly which moves the four barrel carburetor linkage of the GM V-8. Remember, this little New Zealand ½ ton has always been right hand drive! The accelerator linkage must run horizontally from beside the right inner fender along the outside of the firewall through brackets to reach the left side of the carburetor throttle rod. Quite a design even for General Motors!

After these difficult mechanical changes, Steve began with the sheet metal. He knew it would be difficult to locate replacement metal in New Zealand. The excess rust would require all fenders, replacing the rusted front cowl panels, and adding a new bed. These items would have to be imported from the United States.

Many items on this New Zealand right hand drive 1949 are unusual to owners of US made Chevrolet early trucks. The most interesting area is the dash. See photo. Not only are the gauge position reversed but look at the top. There is no openings for a radio! Even the speaker grill is without slots for the radio sound. (It is actually a glove box door cut shorter. ) The holes for the ignition switch and cigarette lighter are the same, however the use is reversed.

When you think your GM truck restoration project is requiring more work than you expected, think of Steve Jones in New Zealand. His ’49 is now near show quality and probably one of a kind in this smaller country. Steve’s comment: Never give up!

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1949 chevrolet truck 1949 chevrolet truck 1949 chevrolet truck

Far Right: Similar Truck Owned by Graham Stewert, Wyndham, New Zealand

1949 Chevrolet Thrift Master Panel Delivery

Sunday, January 1st, 2006

Owner: Mark Esposito

1949 chevrolet thrift master panel delivery truck

The attached photos are of my 1949 Chevrolet Thrift Master Panel Delivery Truck. It was restored/ modified about twelve years ago but still looks pretty darn good thanks to the quality parts that Jim Carter supplies. This truck sits on a Chevelle front clip and differential. The engine is a Chevrolet crate 350 with 330hp and the trany is a TH350. She rides on 15″ steel police style chrome wheels. The interior has comfy gray tweed to match the Chrysler dove gray exterior paint. Within the interior there are classic “bow ties” to honor the Chevrolet heritage.

1949 chevrolet thrift master panel delivery truck 1949 chevrolet thrift master panel delivery truck 1949 chevrolet thrift master panel delivery truck