During the early years, most roads were not paved and the quality of tires was far from that of today. Thus, tire repair was very big business. It was necessary for vehicle manufacturers to provide the easiest access to the often needed spare tire. Part of driving a car or truck was knowing how to change a tire.
On the 1936 and older light trucks, the tire storage space was limited. GM chose to place a well in the front fender and a long vertical rod from the frame rail to the cowl for the tire and wheel support clamp. A long nut is threaded to the top of the rod and tightens a curved metal.
This nut could be quickly removed by the wheel lug nut wrench. The tire and wheel was then quickly removed from the fender well.
Replacement hard parts for this side mount system are not being reproduced. Originals must be restored. The rubber grommet that protects the cowl and fender metal from the side mount hardware is available from Jim Carter Truck Parts along with a few other full stocking dealers.
NOTE: The Chevrolet 1/2 ton (1934-1936) placed the well in the right front fender. The 1936 GMC (first year for the 1/2 ton) was in the left front fender. The support hardware is the same. Just another way of the two marquis showing their individuality with limited expense.