This was the final years of our country’s Great Depression however most Americans were not aware of this at the time as about 25% unemployment continued. GMC truck dealers as all other vehicle dealers were struggling financially or by then were out of business! General Motors had to do something “fast” for their dealers or even to save themselves.
Thus, came an introduction to the 1936 1937 1938 GMC pickups. Prior to this GMC was General Motor’s big truck supplier. Chevrolet marketed the smaller ½ and 1 ½ ton work trucks. Because time was so important much sheet metal, suspension, wheels, pickup bed, most of the cab components, and interior items were borrowed from the Chevrolet truck division. Different items on the 1936 1937 1938 GMC pickup were the tailgate, hubcaps, dash gauge coloring, grill, exterior paint, bumpers, and taillights.
At that time GMC did not produce engines for smaller trucks. They were the big truck people! As time was important to save dealers, they used inline flat head six cylinder full oil pressure engines from Oldsmobile and Pontiac. (The engine used in the 1938 GMC ½ ton even has the Pontiac Indian head crest molded in the side of the block) NOTE: These are not engines with the valves in the head like Chevrolet. Their valves are in the block and the heads are basically cast iron with holes for the six spark plugs and securing studs.
Jim Carter Truck Parts is the leader in providing replacement parts for the 1936 1937 1938 GMC parts, ½ ton through 1 ½ ton trucks. In our stock are specialty early GMC items such as hub caps, hood side emblems, rubber grill bar cushions, 1937-38 vertical grill bars windshield crank-out handles, door hinges, suspension & brake parts, plus handles for windows and inside door openings.
Be sure and check the Jim Carter Truck Parts website for numerous 1936 1937 1938 GMC pickup parts and tech articles as well as our up to date early Chevy /GMC catalog on available items for these extra special 1936 1937 1938 GMC trucks. Our April 2006 feature truck of the month (still on our website) shows Pat Kroeger’s beautifully restored 1936 GMC ½ ton. For December 2008, Ron Loos’s 1937 GMC Trailabout trailer is just another emergency way GMC tried to save itself from going out of business during the Great Depression!