Modern Era (1934-46)

• From 1939 and up, the GMC six cylinder was a high pressure insert bearing engine – initially 228 and 248 cubic inches. Chevrolet trucks did not adopt the full insert bearing engine until 1954. This results in their similar appearing dash clusters with the of maximum oil pressure gauge reading of 80# for GMC and 30# for Chevrolet.

• Dark green was the standard exterior paint color. Most other colors, including black, were a non-cost option.

• The GMC with six-volt system uses a positive ground electrical system. Chevrolet uses negative ground.

• The GMC and Chevrolet pickups share bodies, most suspension, transmissions, etc. – not engines, grilles, tailgates, exterior colors or hub caps.

• In 1946 the 8 hole split rim was introduced on the 3/4 tons. Prior to this, the 3/4 tons used a heavier 6 bolt wheel than the ones on the 1/2 tons. These are often referred to as the artillery or scalloped type wheel.

• Early trucks were titled on either the body ID plate or engine number. If your title used the engine number and it has been replaced over the years, you may have major problems in selling or licensing.

• The famous Chevrolet high pressure 235 engine was used between 1954 and 1962. Its big brother, with some larger internal parts, was the 261 engine. A low pressure Chevrolet 235 was available on larger trucks only between 1941 and 1953. This earlier 235 has little in common with its later 235 relative.

• Whitewall tires were not available from the factory during these early years.

• The pickup running boards were black painted steel. The rubber covering was reserved for cars.

• Sealed beam headlights were first used on new trucks in 1940.

• The 4-speed transmission (optional on 1/2 ton) during these years is not synchronized. The driver must “double clutch” between shifts. The 3-speed was synchronized, but only in second and third gear.

• Electric wiper motors were not available from GM.

• The first year of the 1939-46 series had a different dash. Therefore, the 1939 glove box and windshield crankout assembly is used this one year only.

• These body style changes are grouped into the following years. 1934-36 high cab, 1936-38 low cab, and 1939-46.

• The right taillight was an option. Very few trucks had these dealer installed options.

• The Chevrolet 216 engine was used in both light trucks and cars between 1937-53. For the roads of the early years, they were great little engines!

• GMC began light truck production in 1936. Before this their primary market had been large trucks. With the “Great depression” GMC need to help sales!

• The pickup bed floors were oak until about 1940. From approximately 1941 until the last wood bottom stepside in 1987, the material was hard yellow pine. It was painted, not varnished. On at least 1946 and older the wood was painted black. Between 1941-1946, GMC pickups used metal bottom beds, not wood.

• During 1939-40, the Chevrolet 1/2 and 3/4 ton tailgate displayed its lettering in script style. The other years between 1934-46 had plain tailgates with no letters. GMC however, always used their logo on the 1936-46 tailgates.

11 thoughts on “Modern Era (1934-46)

  • November 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm
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    how do I join the group? Or can I just post questions?

    Reply
    • November 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm
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      Just post questions. Thanks!

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 7:12 pm
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    hello, I need some help folks. Im looking for restored 1942 chevy pick up for sale. Could anyone out there help me out?

    Reply
  • March 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm
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    I’m looking at what is advertised as a 1946 1 ton. It appears to be an original flatbed truck. However, it has only single drive wheels and has the standard 6 bolt wheels and not the big 5 bolt wheels that I see on the 1 ton and above trucks. Is there any way I can tell if this truck is original? Also, according to a chart I found on 46ChevyTruck.com, there were no 3/4 ton trucks made in ’46. I’m going to go take another look at this thing later this week, is there anything specific I should be looking for?

    thank you,
    Joe

    Reply
    • August 8, 2016 at 9:03 pm
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      I have a 3/4 ton ’46. I have also seen pics of many others. It has it’s original 8 bolt wheels which I understand were new that year.

      Reply
  • April 4, 2015 at 5:53 pm
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    I am currently looking for a 216 that would be date code correct for my 1940 Chevrolet 1/2 ton that is under restoration.
    It was built in Oakland Ca. I have the data tag in hand. Am I looking for a correct prefix and engine serial number on the block or just a number by itself? I know numbers are located on a flat pad by distributer. Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  • May 15, 2015 at 1:17 am
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    Hi there everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this web site, and article is truly fruitful in support of me, keep
    up posting these content.

    Reply
  • June 1, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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    Bought early ’47 (March) chevy one ton pickup, a Master Deluxe fall of ’14. Has appearing original carpet on the bulkhead behind the seat secured with same type screws on interior metals. Also on floor area behind seat is seems original carpet on the floor area behind the seat. Would the floorboard have had carpet also? Also, on floorboard at each side of seat and about 4 inches from seat are metal studs with flat heads sticking up. What is that for? Thanks

    Reply
    • August 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm
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      My 46 pickup has the same studs sicking out of the floor. I was thinking they were used to keep the floor mat in place. I am probably wrong, but it is the only thing I could come up with.

      Reply
  • June 28, 2015 at 1:28 am
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    Does anybody know about a side mirror with a joma thermometer?

    Reply
  • December 24, 2015 at 9:27 am
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    Sirs, I recently purchased what I believe to be a 1934 chevy 1/2 ton pickup. The title says its a 1933. But thats not correct. The serial # is14EB062059. What year truck is this vehicle. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Pete d

    Reply

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