With the US entry into World War II, trucks were quickly modified to be successful for military use. Pre-existing cabs, frames, and mechanical components were altered to be more usable when in everyday work duties or in battle. NOTE: The Chevrolet cab remains almost the same as those on civilian trucks.
This photo shows a large military truck that was built by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors about 1941. The items of much interest are the changes made for use overseas and when the truck was in the field.
The horn button is of a very heavy duty basic design, not like on most civilian trucks. Only the civilian ‘cab-over-engine’ body carried this style horn button on non-military vehicles.
Note: This is a civilian Chevrolet cab with many modifications. The windshield frame is operated differently. Its hinges are on the outside for easy repair. There is no crank-out assembly that is known for their short life. The frame is opened manually much like the trucks before 1936. The crank handle hole is not even punched in the dash panel.
Identification tags showing the vehicle number and gross weight plus the operation plate of four wheel drive are screwed to the glove box door. This box door lock uses no key! There was always a chance of a driver losing his key.
The crank handle hole is not punched in the dash panel. The windshield frame is secured in the closed position by a simple wedge handle.
The cab rear window is well protected with an exterior steel grill. We suspect many private owners would have liked this extra on their domestic trucks.
The inside door and window handles are not die-cast due to the war time shortage of zinc. They are made of a steel stamping covered with a dull Bakelite molded material. This usually shrinks and cracks within a few years.
The removable hood side panels are of extra thickness to protect the engine from enemy rifle fire. The Chevrolet lettering was removed after 1941 to stop extra advertising.
The different front sheet metal is always associated with a military truck. None of this is a part of civilian models. The hood has no center hinge at the top. Thus, it does not open on the sides as civilian trucks. The hood is hinged on the cowl and lifts upward at the front. The military wanted a heavy hood with much less complications as the side opening design.
The windshield and hood have exterior hinges for easy accessibility if damaged overseas.