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Posts Tagged ‘1960’

1957-1960 Hubcaps

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the early years of GM truck production, many examples exist which relate to their vehicles being designed more for work. Changing a trim part for appearance reasons was usually secondary if it resulted in unnecessary expense. Often parts were used that had already been on GM automobiles. This eliminated expensive new tooling costs and kept GM truck prices in line with the competition.

An excellent example of this type thinking is shown with the 1957-1960 hubcaps. Even though the 1960 pickup was a totally redesigned vehicle, GM carried their older hub cap on this new pickup. The reasoning goes back to keeping truck prices low. The 1960 1/2 ton wheel was to be the last carrying the inside spring clips to secure the hub caps. As truck hub caps were used several years, it was not likely a new 1960 design would be created for only one year. GM held off from using a redesigned hub cap until 1961 so that it would fit on the new non-clip wheel. To stay with tradition, this new 1/2 ton cap was then used three years.

To keep the 1960 3/4 and 1 ton hub cap appearances similar to the 1/2 ton, GM again retained the earlier style. This occurred even though the larger truck inside clip split rim wheel design was basically unchanged between 1946 and the late 1960’s.

Chevrolet and GMC each had their own different hub cab design during this time, however, they both changed styles at the same time. A full Chevrolet or GMC wheel cover was unavailable for the deluxe 1957-59 truck models. GM simply chromed their standard caps that were otherwise painted white. An optional chromed GM wheel ring could be added on the 1/2 ton series in 1957-1959 Chevrolet but not during 1960. These trim rings were stock on the 1957-1958 Cameo but dealer installed on other 1/2 tons.

In 1960, a full wheel cover was introduced on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Package. Actually, it was from a 1956 Chevrolet Belair car and 1956 Chevrolet Cameo. Once again, GM used this stamping from five year old tooling and saved production costs.

1957 1960 hubcaps 1

1960 Wheel Covers (above)

Stainless Steel on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Pickup. 15″ Wheels only.

1957 1960 hubcaps 2

1957-1959 Wheel Rings (above)

Chromed steel wheel rings that blend with optional chrome hub caps to give appearance of full-chrome wheels. 15″ wheels only.

1957 1960 hubcaps 3

Step Side Tail Lights

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

step side tail lights

The differences between these two series of tail lights is an excellent example of lowering costs during production. To keep competitive, manufacturers will always consider making products of equivalent quality, but at lower prices.

In 1960-1966, GM, as well as several aftermarket companies, used a redesigned tail light lens and eliminated the need for the earlier metal bezel. The new plastic lens wrapped around the front edge of the same metal housing making it one piece. This new lens was created so it could also replace the previous 1955-1959 lens and bezel combination. Therefore, as supplies of 1955-1959 lenses were used up, dealership parts departments would offer the later style lens as a stepside replacement. This made the original 1955-1959 taillight the 1960-1966 type.

The black housing and wiring are the same from 1955 through 1966.

1960-1966 Back Up Lights

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

To keep vehicles base price low, GM made many items dealer accessories. If the buyer required extras, the dealer was the installer. This created less complications on the assembly line and added more income for dealerships.

One of these extras was back-up lights on the 1960-1966 Fleetside pickup. After 35 years they have become very rare due to their location below the taillight assembly. They were always subjected to water and salt. Corrosion of the chrome outer die cast bezel is a normal result of trucks used regularly.

The adjacent photos show the light assembly before installation plus their correct location on the pickup box.

1960 1969 back up lights 1

1960 1969 back up lights 2

1960 1969 back up lights 3

1960 1969 back up lights 4

1960 1969 back up lights 5

1960-1966 Chevrolet Differences

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

To keep production costs down during the 1960-66 Chevrolet truck series, GM made very few changes on their ½, ¾, and 1 ton. Only the more skilled truck enthusiast can correctly identify each year in this series. Keep this following data close at hand when you evaluate these years.


1960 1966 chevrolet differences 1

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 2

Dual headlights. The sheet metal part of this hood will be used only two years. The Apache name on the side plate carried from the earlier series. The Chevrolet letters are stamped in the bottom of the grill housing.


1960 1966 chevrolet differences 3

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 4

A grill modification places the Chevrolet letters in the center of an insert. Half ton wheels change from having three clips to three nubs in their center to secure a different design hub cap.


1960 1966 chevrolet differences 5

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 6


1960 1966 chevrolet differences 7

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 8

Only year in the series with round headlight rings. The side fender emblem is more vertical in shape. The final year in the series for the classic wraparound windshield. This also will change shape of the doors and result in a completely redesigned dash. This is the big year for major mechanical changes. A new design short stroke 230 six cylinder is standard. The famous 235 six (1954-1962) is history. Torsion bar front suspension (1960-1962) is replaced with the more conventional coil spring front end.


1960 1066 chevrolet differences common 9

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 10

Basically the same truck mechanically and body. GM has a good thing going! The noticeable exterior differences are the chrome side emblems. The flatter windshield is a trade mark of these four years.


1960 1066 chevrolet differences common 9

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 11


1960 1066 chevrolet differences common 9

1960 1966 chevrolet differences 12

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)

1960-1961 Chevrolet V8 Emblem

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

By the 1960-61 years, the V-8 emblems on Chevrolet were not placed on the truck’s doors or fender but were only on the nose of the hood. They were shaped different when the truck came with a 283 V-8 instead of the standard 235 six cylinder. The V-8 front emblems have become very difficult to locate. Most remaining trucks show much pitting on the chrome V-8.

1960 1961 chevrolet v8 emblem

1960-1966 GMC Deluxe Suburban Seats

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The seats on this 1962 GMC Suburban are pure factory original. Their shape is designed for only the Suburban body. They allow for access to the rear seat.

Horizontal white vinyl in the back rest is characteristic of many GM vehicles during this era. It was an extra touch that added a little extra flair to the deluxe models.

1960 gmc deluxe seats 1

1960 gmc deluxe seats 2

1960 gmc deluxe seats 3

1960 gmc deluxe seats 4

1960 gmc deluxe seats 5

1960-1966 Chevrolet Hood Changes

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1960 1966 hood changes 1

The two distinct styles of hoods during this seven year series (1960-1961 and 1962-1966) were each the same for Chevrolet and GMC except for one slight difference. The spot welded insert across the front (5″ x 82″) is a different stamping for Chevrolet than for GMC. This created a changed appearance with less expense!

Because of this different insert the two trucks have park light lenses that will not interchange. For economic reasons the 1960-1961 style hood was soon discontinued by GM. After the mid 1970’s, if the dealer ordered a 1960-1961 hood, he was sent the 1962-1966 style. It fit the older design truck perfectly.

For the non-perfectionist, all 1960-1966 GMC and Chevrolet hoods will interchange.

1960-1966 hood changes 2 1960-1966 hood changes 3 1960-1966 hood changes 4

1960-1966 hood changes 5 1960-1966 hood changes 6