Grills

1941-46 Chevrolet Pickup Grill Guard

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Of the limited number of dealer accessories available for the 1941-46 Chevrolet pickups, one was made more for appearance rather than practicality. This was defined as a “grill guard”.

This chromed u-shaped guard was said to protect the grill from accidental damage. (The sheet metal grill was of a thin metal gauge that could be easily damaged by most outside contacts) It would be most important to protect it from parking lot bumps. Here chances increased to have another vehicle park too close and make contact with the grill.

Note the attractive simplicity of this grill guard. The u-shape bar is bent to allow a “hand crank” to have access to the engine. As per the photo all 1941-46 Chevy grills also had an opening for the hand crank access.

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1934 Grill Verticals

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

For many years we have heard rumors about the 1934 Chevrolet Master Car Grill. Some have said they came with alternate chrome and black vertical grill bars. Others say they did not. A large piece to this debate was seen at the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America 2016 Convention in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Here, we saw two 1934 Chevy Masters with this grill paint design being judged.

One owner said without a doubt his is correct. His 40 years as an early Chevrolet car enthusiast made him very sure he restored his 1934 grill correctly. He had seen it in various 1934 brochures and it had to be correct.

The attached photos show the two chrome and black 1934 grills on Chevy Masters in the judging row at the Lake Tahoe Convention.

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1934 Master Sedan – Red Body

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1934 Master Roadster – Blue Body

Editor’s note: One of the 1934 owners describes the process to get the alternate vertical bar appearance in his restoration. A very skilled auto painter gave the total grill a coat of semi-flat black. Then very skillfully wiped every other vertical bar to expose the chrome. A solvent such as lacquer thinner is used. No mistakes allowed or the painting must be started again. What a nice appearance that was not expensive for GM and might have helped sales during the height of the Great Depression! Or did these restorers get their proof on this grill painting from drawings in sales brochures? Therefore, in reality did this alternate grill bar painting actually come on Chevy Masters cars on the assembly line?

TRUCK GRILLS

As this article section is actually meant to be about GM trucks, the big question is: If the alternate painting actually existed, was it also on trucks?

In early 1934 only two sizes of Chevrolet trucks were marketed, the ½ and 1 ½ ton size. The larger 1 ½ ton had all black grills. The only debate may be on the ½ ton pickup. We stand by our opinion that GM never took the extra step to create alternative vertical grill bars on trucks. They were made for work and appearance details were secondary. The manufacturers would not add extra expense to a work truck while they were attempting to get the lowest price to encourage sales. The economic future of the US was the major concern to General Motors during the Great Depression. Keeping their dealer network in business was a must. The lowest price to make a sale was the goal.

1937 Chevrolet Grill Attachment

Friday, September 18th, 2015

What a unique find! We have never owned a 1937 Chevy truck grill with all of its clips in place. It was necessary to get photos before this assembly got away.

These clips (4 on each of the four sides) are actually an extension of the large stamped metal housing. Obviously, GM did not plan on the inside grill being removed more than one or two times which then might break these clips during bending. Certainly GM had no concern if the clips would break on a work truck over 75 years later during a restoration.

Thus, a recommendation: When removing the 1937 grill, gradually bend each of the 16 clips just slightly so none are given a more than needed straightening. Bending them back less when replacing a restored grill will lessen their chance of breaking. Good Luck!

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The Complete Grill Housing (without grill)
NOTE: Visible clips on top and bottom

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4 Clips Below Top Edge

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Right Side of Housing

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Clips on Left Side of Housing

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Clips are Part of Sheet Metal Housing

1937-38 GMC Lower Grill Bar Support

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014


Did GM make a mistake in designing the rubber grill bar support? The six vertical grill bars are each held in a slot in a lower rubber V-block. It keeps the bars in proper position and protects them from damage when driving over very rough terrain.
The problem: Almost all (now 76 year old grills) have their vertical bars ends rusted away due to water seeping into these slots securing the bars. Should General Motors have added a water drain hole in each slot to stop standing water? An enclosed photo shows the extra thoughts by a customer a few weeks ago. A small drain hole was cut in the bottom of each slot in the V-block. He was attempting to stop grill bar rust!
We suspect General Motors would say: “We do not build trucks to last 50 to 75 years. That is just the way it is.”

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Grill Bars – Rusted Away

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Close-up. Grill Bar ends gone

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With Bar Slots

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Aftermarket Drain Holes on Bottom

1939-40 GMC Grill Bars

Friday, September 13th, 2013

An interesting fact! Their eleven horizontal grill bars are all the same.  Just a subtle way General Motors saved tooling cost on their smaller trucks.  Now you know a total grill can be created from miscellaneous damaged assembles.

1936-38 GMC Grille Centers

Monday, February 4th, 2013



What a rare occurrence! At the 2011 America Truck Historical Society Convention in South Bend, Indiana, we found both a 1936 and a 1937 restored GMC truck with the correct grill — each at different booths. You can go to every truck show for many years and never see even one. Therefore, we just had to get a few photos and make some comments. After all, this may never happen again.

Though at quick glance, the GMC grilles of these two years may seem the same, however, look close. The die cast assembly at the top of the 1936 and 1937 grille center gives the impression that the vertical grille bars extend through the emblem. They don’t! It’s an illusion; the tops are die cast and give the appearance that the verticals extend to the top.  A hood ornament above repeats the GMC letters.

The 1936 grille center assembly consists of seven vertical 3” wide hollow chrome bars all the same size. The length is 25 1/4″. The notches in the receiving die cast housing (hold these verticals in place) at the top and bottom are the same for each bar.

By 1937-38 the center vertical bar became wider. It increased from .3” in 1936 to .625”. It tapered back to align with the positioning of the other six side bars. The overall length was shortened to 24”.

These notches in the die cast top and bottom receiving housings are therefore different due to the width change in the center bar. The 1936 and 1937 may look the same on the outside but are not where they attach to the vertical bars. See photo. Chrome was not used to add to the appearance.  These bars were painted silver.

By 1938, the upper grille bar housing was modified.  It doesn’t have the upper die cast vertical bars. They even eliminated the GMC letters on the hood ornament above the grille.

Note:  All these upper GMC emblems are also extremely rare. If off the truck, they usually find a hobbyist’s collection. If they don’t have the GMC letters, such as on 1938 hood emblem, most people don’t know what they came from.  Once separated from the truck in a salvage yard they go to the iron pile.


1936 GMC Grille

1936 GMC Grille Center Bars

1937 Grille Center Bars

1938 Upper Grille Bar Housing

1936 GMC Grille Center

1937 GMC Grille Center

1937 upper grill bar extension front view

1937-38 Upper on bottom side

1939 – 1946 Grilles

Friday, August 10th, 2012

To keep General Motors truck costs down, Chevrolet and GMC ½ through 2 ton shared many components during the late 1930’s through the 1950’s. However, when it came to the grille, the focal point of the truck, changes had to be very noticeable.

The truck designers were limited in creating a new grille as both makes would still have the same front fenders and hood. For these limitations, the designers actually did quite well. They almost made them able to be exchanged from one make to another. On the 1941-46, only the small filler panel between the grille and fender top had to be slightly modified.

The attached photos show how two grilles can be different and yet fit in almost identical sheet metal areas of the trucks.


1939-40 GMC

1939 Chevrolet

1940 Chevrolet

1941-46 GMC

1941-46 Chevrolet

1936-37 GMC Grills

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011


What a rare occurrence! At the 2011 America Truck Historical Society Convention in South Bend, Indiana, we found both a 1936 and a 1937 restored GMC truck with the correct grill — each at different booths. You can go to every truck show for many years and never see even one. Therefore, we just had to get a few photos and make some comments. After all, this may never happen again.

The 1936 grill consists of seven vertical .3′ wide hollow chrome bars all the same size. The length is 25 1/4′. The notches in the receiving die cast pieces (hold the verticals in place) in the top and bottom are the same for each bar.

By 1937-38 there was a change in the center vertical bar. It became wider. It changed from .3′ in 1936 to .625′. It was also tapered back to align with the positioning of the other side bars. The overall length was shortened to 24′.

The notches in the die cast top and bottom receiving pieces are therefore different due to the width change in the center bar. They may look the same on the outside but are not where they attach to the vertical bars. See photo. Chrome was not used to add to the appearance. These bars were painted silver.


1936 GMC Grill

1937 GMC Grill

1937 upper grill bar extension front view

1937-38 bottom view

1939-1940 Chevrolet GMC Grilles

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1939-1940 Chevrolet and GMC grilles may look the same when they are seen separately, however they are not! By sharing fenders, hood top, headlight stands, etc. , the grilles overall dimensions had to be the same. To keep each marquee individual, GM made the grilles different. When the two are compared side by side, what a difference!

1939-1940 GMC Grill
1940 Chevrolet Grill
1939-1940 GMC Grille
1940 Chevrolet Grille

 

1936 vs 1937-1938 GMC Grilles

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Though at quick glance, the GMC grilles of these two years may seem the same, however, look close. Changes at the top show slight differences. The die cast assembly at the top of the 1937 grille gives the impression that the vertical grille bars extend through the emblem. They don’t! It’s an illusion and is die cast. The hood ornament above repeats the GMC letters.

The 1938 doesn’t have the upper die cast vertical bars. They even eliminated the GMC letters on the hood ornament.

All these emblems are extremely rare. If they have the GMC letters they usually go in a hobbyist collection. If they don’t have the GMC letters, most people don’t know what they are once separated from the truck in a salvage yard and they go to the iron pile.

1936 grill 1

1936 Grille (above)

1937 grill2

1937-38 Grille Bars (above)

1938 grill 3

1938 Upper Grille Bar Housing (above)

 

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