Light Commercial Vehicles Association
Two LCVA Articles about
Some General Motors truck factories continued to produce the 1946 model truck through March 1947. The 1941-1946 Chevrolet Trucks were designated by many, but not by GM, as the Art Deco series. The Art Deco Series of trucks was not changed much during World War II (1941-1945).General Motors designated the Advance-Design series name to 1947 through 1955 Chevrolet trucks that had the new, “Advanced Body Style”. While the GM Master Parts Catalog does not refer to a "first-series" in 1947, it is quite common to refer to the Advance-Design years as 1947-2nd Series through 1955-1st series trucks. GMC trucks had a similar body style but different grills, engines, and dashboards (and other differences) during the same years. The 1947-1955 GMC trucks were named the New Design series.
• Size designations of the models of trucks ranged from 3100 to 6600.
• The letters on the tailgate were not painted; they were the same color as the tailgate.
• The bed planks/boards were southern yellow-pine, painted black, and were not varnished (some people say the boards were “stained” with coal tar oil and finished with linseed oil).
• Between 1947-1953, on light trucks (1/2 ton 3100 and 3/4 ton 3600 models), the cabs and fenders were the same color (except for custom, commercial options). Two-tone cabs were not available until 1954. Only then was a white top (Bombay Ivory color) available as an option and only on the more deluxe cabs.
• Most 1/2 ton pickups prior to 1955 used 16" wheels (15” wheels were an option on ½ ton trucks in all years).
• Radios were first available in Chevrolet trucks as an "in dash" option on the 1947 "Advance-Design" body style.
• A single tail/stoplight was standard and a right taillight was a GM accessory (installed by the dealer or the owner).
• There was no factory-option turn signals until 1954, but GM accessory directional lamps (but not switches) were available most years..
• Dark green was the standard exterior paint color prior to 1955 (Forester Green through 1952; Juniper Green in 1953-55). Most other colors, including Black, were a no-cost option. Transport Blue was a very common optional color in warm climates.
• A single, body-pinstripe and two or three pinstripes on the wheels were a no-cost factory option but they were not standard, except on some years' Carryall Suburban.
• On standard trucks, the interior door-panels/cardboard matched the seat material. The headliner cardboard was usually a different color.
• The cabs on both the pickups and the larger trucks (except the COE) are the same. The front fenders are different due to the increase in tire size on the larger trucks, and the hoods and grilles are larger to adapt to these bigger fenders.
• 6-volt, negative-ground, electrical system was used on all Advance-Design trucks (6v positive ground was used on GMC New Design trucks during these same years).
• The GMC and Chevrolet pickups shared cabs/bodies, transmissions, and many suspension parts; however, engines, gauges, grills, tailgates, exterior/interior colors, and hub caps were different between the GMC and Chevrolet trucks.
• Early trucks were titled on either the body ID plate (driver’s door-jam-mounted) or the engine number (pressed into the block in a ledge to the rear of the distributor). There was no factory ID placed on any part of the frame; however, many people report that they have found a frame ID - it was placed after manufacture (probably years later when somone put the ID on the frame in order to register a truck in certain states). If your state's title/registration used the engine number and the engine has been replaced over the years, you may have major problems when registering, licensing, and selling the truck.
• Whitewall tires were not available as a factory option (but dealers might have installed them).