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Paint

1938 Chevrolet Truck Color Sheet

Friday, January 6th, 2017

For the perfectionist that wants his 1938 (and 1937) just right, here is an original page from an 80 year old sales booklet. It shows the eleven colors that could be requested when a new Chevrolet truck was ordered. Because of the page’s age, it might be 10% off in color even if it was in the dark among stored papers.

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Wax Your Rusty Truck!

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Many truck owners have chosen to leave their vehicle’s old paint or rusty surface just as they found it setting in a back lot or farm field. Then the mechanicals are restored to new condition for safety and dependability. They now are called a “RAT-ROD”.

Enter now a great way to protect the aged metal surface and keep that old look. At a recent swap meet we met Dave Allder in Nebraska. He introduced us to a process that keeps the old appearance with an added dull shine. The appearance of his 1929 Ford Model AA big truck really draws attention and trophies at local special interest car shows. Of course, this is done at a fraction of the cost of patching, preparation, and painting the metal surface. Here are some steps that will make the rusty exterior metal surface a real eye catcher.

  1. Supplies: A can of Johnson Paste Wax (found in a flat yellow can in most medium size hardware stores. It has been popular in this type can in households since the 1940’s).  A hot hair dryer and grease free wiping rags.
  2. Clean metal surface of all dust and dirt. Let dry.
  3. For best results, go over the dry panel first by buffing the rust with a “fine” grade brush on an electric drill.
  4. Heat one panel at a time with a heavy duty hair dryer or commercial heat gun. If a panel is heated with the sun on a summer 100 degree day, you can forget the electric heat gun!
  5. Important: While panel is hot, apply Johnson Wax evenly with a dry cloth.
  6. Allow to dry before removing the haze with a dry rag!
  7. Now you have a great protected panel with a satin sheen. It will make people wonder, “How did this happen”? It looks so nice!
  8. For better results, experiment with some rusty metal to learn the technique before you really get serious with the real project.

 

These photos show why Dave’s truck gets so much attention at local shows. Also attached is a headlight bucket from a 1941-46 Chevy truck.  The close-up shows 50% hot waxed and the remainder as it was found in a lot behind a barn.  Not a great picture due to a poor camera but it does show the small panel before and after.

You can contact Dave Allder @ dave.allder@gmail.com

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Before – As Dave found it.

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After – The total waxing is completed

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Left side: As most find older untreated bare metal
Right side: After the hot wax process

$100.00 Paint Job — Really Nice!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

On an early Monday morning a customer, Mike Riley of Kansas City stopped by our shop to obtain some older Chevy truck parts needed during the past weekend. As I followed him to his mid-1980’s Chevrolet pickup he brought my attention to his new white paint job. He read about a home garage procedure on the internet and decided to try it.

He certainly was proud of how nice the paint looked. The project began with the usual fine sanding, taping trim, and covering windows. Next came the surprise that has generated this article. Mike bought 2 ½ quarts of industrial grade Rustoleum paint from a local hardware store. He also purchase 2 ½ quarts of Acetone to be used as the thinner.

Spraying the 1 to 1 mixture with his small home compressor was adequate. If the small compressor needed to occasionally build up pressure, no problem. It takes 20 minutes for the paint to dry to the touch, so it easily blends together. One coat does it all!

I was amazed at how nice it looked in our driveway that morning. Mike said the rules were to not polish the drying paint for 60 days. He had just polished the two month old paint on the nose of the hood that morning and I must admit it had a great smooth shine.

This procedure is probably not for the show truck but for the fun daily driver it may be just the way to go for the “do- it yourself” restorer. Mike says the industrial Rustoleum colors are limited so you must pick a more common choice when deciding.

Another important tip while using this painting method; Mike didn’t want to get paint overspray throughout his garage so he did the procedure outside in his driveway. A garden hose used by a friend kept the concrete wet during the spraying. This helped eliminate dust in the painted surface but equally important stopped overspray from settling on his driveway.

Hammered Interior Paint, 1940-46

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During 1940-46 the Chevrolet GMC trucks came standard with an unusual interior paint. It added a little extra appearance with minimum extra expense. This has been referred to as “Hammered Paint”. While drying this paint develops a fish eye appearance. This helped make up just a small amount for no cloth door panels or related extras found on GM cars. After all, trucks were for work.

On these years of GM trucks all removable interior sheet metal is given this hammered paint. It includes the dash, windshield posts, door panels, rear cab sheet metal, Etc. The specialty paint is available from Jim Carters Classic Truck Parts and a few other full stocking dealers as follows using our part numbers:  Chevrolet PT106  –  GMC PT133.

Here is the story on our 1940-46 interior paint. Thought I should share some of the facts of how it happened. About 25 years ago I purchased a NOS glove box door. If I was ever going to match the color, this is what I would need. (Possibly just setting in a dark store room for 50 years might cause a chemical change to the paint pigment. Don’t know) No other parts supplier, then or now, wanted any part of making hammered paint. No takers when we ask anyone to do it. Finally, the Randolph Paint Co. in New Jersey almost 25 years ago, offered to try to produce it in quarts with very high quantities.

The product they created seemed to be very close. Maybe within 10% of the NOS glove box lid. Our relationship lasted well until 2014 when they either went out of business or just no longer had an interest. The paint hunt was on again!

By then we discovered a national brand starting to produce hammered paint in quarts in several colors. One they called bronze and we used it! It later was found to have a little too much silver but it was all there was. We marketed many quarts for several years, however some perfectionists made negative comments about the extra silver in the hammered texture.

One last attempt would be made to be correct: Then a new idea emerged. A quart was taken to a local auto body paint store with a slight color change in mind. The employees had not heard of hammered paint and wanted no part of the project. Fortunately, the owner was in and we had bought from him for 30 years. So at our cost, he would give it a try with an additive.

Wow, with added tints, we met with what we felt was a success. The NOS glove box door was sold almost 20 years ago however, the color seemed very close. No perfect examples we can trust remain that we have found.

So this is what we market today. Much better than the Randolph Paint Co. days. Is it perfect? Probably not. Fifty year old NOS parts could have faded slightly even in a box. It is all we have but we think it is near show quality. We have made quantities in quarts and now spray cans. It only receives compliments from our customers! It is just “slightly” darker than the two photos of the old Randolph Paint shown in this article.

NOTE: It appears GMC wanted to be just a little different on their interior color. We finally created this tint in a separate part#. See Above.

hammered 1

hammered 2

hammered 3

Conservative Paint Early Trucks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In evaluating the available paint colors on 1946 and older GM commercial vehicles, one should keep in mind the general attitude toward pickups and large trucks during that era. Unlike today, customers bought and owned trucks for work! After five o’clock and on weekends most trucks were parked and the family sedan became the driver.

This relates not only to the lack of available GM truck options but also the very basic paint schemes. In fact, the standard color for General Motors trucks was a dark Brewster Green. They were sold this way unless you ordered one of the few non-extra cost optional colors. These were of special interest to commercial customers wanting a more visible truck or one that would fit in with their company’s color scheme. A few examples were: Swifts Red, Omaha Orange, Black, and Armour Yellow.

On the assembly line GM cabs and doors were painted bare (before any parts were added). This allowed all later attached interior sheet metal to be a separate color. This sheet metal such as the dash board, header panel , door panels, windshield post covers, and rear cab liner were even painted in a separate building and added to the cab on the line.

As a little extra touch, the interior metal was given a hammered appearance. This fish eye type paint is still seen today on new metal merchandise such as some brands of office equipment, etc.

Therefore, when you open the door of a correct 1946 and older truck, the seat riser plus floor edge and door frame are body color (painted with the cab). The removable sheet metal is the interior color.

The 1940-46 pickups and most all larger trucks were given a silver brown hammered appearance on inside to harmonize with all the factory exterior colors.

1936 Grille Housing

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1936 grill housing

After seventy years, authentic car and truck restorations are very difficult. With the limited survival of the 1936 GMC (the year of the company’s first ½ ton) this truck is especially difficult to restore just right.

Some literature has survived but what we see is usually in black and white. The question is the grill housing color of this rare truck. Chevrolet trucks and cars in those years have the housing painted body and hood color. We have found more than one GMC with this housing painted fender color. Very unusual! This was not even done on other non Chevrolet cars that are made by General Motors.

At this point we strongly suspect that the 1936 GMC had their shroud painted the color of their fenders. Only if the fenders were body color, would the shroud match the body and hood.

See the beautiful example in the photo above. It belongs to Pat Kroeger in Florida. During the recent restoration he attempted to paint the truck just right.

We hope to hear from you with comments on this difference in paint schemes. Contact us at info@oldchevytrucks.com or Pat Kroeger at du200@aol.com.

Interior Colors, Chevrolet 1940-46

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Serious early truck restorers often ask ‘What is the interior color of the original cab sheet metal parts, versus the exterior color?’ The answer for the 1934-46 trucks is simple.

The removable panels from the cab interior were always the inside color. If a component was welded in as part of the cab structure, it was sprayed the exterior color during the total cab painting.

This allowed successful coating of interior panels. As they could be placed flat during painting, there was a better guarantee of success for their specialty coatings. Wrinkle surface was placed on 1936-38 and a hammered appearance was used on most 1940-46 models.

Examples of these removable panels are the dash, rear interior corners, wiper covers, interior door panels, the above windshield cover, and upper door frames.

The outer cab color will also cover the seat riser and firewall as these were part of the total assembly. One exception is the rocker panels below the door. They are attached to the cab with screws but are the exterior color.

The two removable floor sections (covered with the floor mat) appear to be their own color, a black primer.

It is interesting that the interior colors in the finished new cab could have been painted even in different states and then the parts shipped to the assembly plant.

The following photos are of an all original 1941 Chevrolet truck interior.

exterior color 1
Removable dash, Interior color

exterior color 2
Removable rear panels. Interior color.

rxterior color 3
Welded in panels at factory. Exterior color.

exterior color 4
All of door exterior color, except inter removable panel which is interior color.

Paint Color Attitudes -The Early Years

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When observing un-restored GM trucks of the 1930-55 era, one will notice the majority of these vehicles were originally dark green. An explanation is simple. Green was their standard color! If you did not specify one of the other approximately eleven non-extra cost colors, your truck would be delivered green.

The standard color of truck had been thought of as green since the late 1920’s on many brands. Though yellow, red, and orange was part of the non-extra cost GM paint options, they were mostly offered by businesses that wished to gain attention or follow their company logos. Individuals usually did not order bright colors.

In the Advance Design years, 1947-55, conservative colors were the norm. The standard dark green was followed mostly by dark blue and black. Even maroon was seen on a limited number of GM trucks.

Buy Parts for 1934 to 1946 Trucks

Engine Paint

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The following article used by permission of the writer: Robert Hensel, Technical Advisor Coordinator for the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America. Bob can be contacted by email: cacres@charter.net

I do not know of any book that gives the engine colors for all Chevrolets. I have found it here and there in many Chevrolet letters and books. I have come up with a list that covers most engines and some speculation, that does not mean that Chevrolet always followed what they said either.

The color of the fan is another sometimes sticky problem. As best as I know all replacement fans were black, we have some controversy in the early 30’s. Some pictures show the fan was pained engine color at the time of production. In the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America we do accept black and in my opinion black is what they should be. I think the engine for production was assembled and painted before the fan and other add-ons were added to the engine before it was put into the vehicle. The oil fill/breather tube is another case of engine color or black. I go with black.

Maybe this would be an idea for an article and maybe start some arguments. What we strive for in the VCCA is what the vehicle was like when new and offered to the public using only genuine Chevrolet parts available at the time of production. A good example that can cause hard feelings is white walls. They might have been available but Chevrolet did not offer them until the mid 30’s and I don’t think it was until 1962 or ’63 that you could order them on a truck. The dealer could install them but Chevrolet did not offer them, they would be after market items.

At times it is fun trying to find answers to the question but it can get frustrating when the answers are not to be found. I have a very large Chevrolet literature collection, and trucks are my main interest, but I can not always find the answers.

The vehicle listing from a 1923 Parts Price book does not cover the 1912 and 1913 Chevrolets, it does not list the T Truck for 1918 but they were built starting late 1917. The G series truck was Chevrolet’s first attempt at what we call a 3/4 ton truck. It was only built in 1921 and 1922. One more interesting thing in the list is the M series of vehicles of which there is a light delivery chassis listed. This was the ill fated copper cooled engine and only a very few cars were built before they were called back. There are at least two examples, both coupes that still exist and I know of at least one engine. As best as I know they never built any of the light delivery chassis for sale. What happened to the vehicles that were called back is still a mystery to me. I have heard they were dumped in Lake Michigan, or the were converted to water cooled cars. I heard they used the left over engines in lift trucks used in the plants in the late 20’s and early 30’s but never found any proof of this. The conversion idea sounds most logical. About the only exterior differences was the shell in place of the radiator. It had many horizontal louvers in it. The idea here is the 1 ton truck used the same engine as the light delivery starting in 1923. Before that the Light Delivery and the G truck used the 490 engine and the T used the F series engine that had a longer stroke.

Engine Colors

YEAR
ENGINE
COLOR
     
1912-1914 6 Cylinder Black*
1914-1923 4 Cylinder Gray
1924-1928 4 Cylinder Dark Green (gray green)
1929-1936 209 CID Blue Gray
1937-1953 216 CID Blue Gray
1941-1952 235 CID Blue Gray
1953 Truck 216 Blue Gray
1953 Standard Shift 235 Blue Gray
1953 Power Glide Blue
1953 Truck 235 Blue Gray
1954 Passenger Blue
1954 Truck 235 Gray
1954 Truck 261 Green
1955 Passenger 235 Gray
1955 Passenger V8 Orange
1955 Truck Thriftmaster 235 Gray
1955 Truck Loadmaster 235 Green
1955 Forward Control Loadmaster Gray
1955 Truck Jobmaster 261 Yellow/Green
1955 Truck Taskmaster 265 Yellow
1955 Truck Trademaster Gray
1956 Passenger 235 Blue*
1956 Passenger 265 Red
1956 Passenger V8 Orange*
1956 Thriftmaster 235 Green**
1956 Thriftmaster Special 235 Gray**
1956 Jobmaster 261 Yellow**
1956 Trademaster 265 Gray**
1956 Taskmaster Yellow**
1956 Loadmaster 322 Red
1957 Passenger 322 Blue**
1957 Passenger 265 V8 Chartreuse
1957 Passenger 283 V8 Red
1957 Truck 235 Green**
1957 Truck 261 Yellow**
1957 Truck 265 Gray** Different Options
1957 Truck 283 Gray-Yellow-Green-Black-Orange
1957 Truck 322 Red
1958 Passenger 235 Blue*
1958 Passenger 283 Orange*
1958 Passenger 348 Orange
1958 Truck 235 Gray***
1958 Truck 261 Green
1958 Truck 283 Light Duty Gray***
1958 Truck 283 Light Duty Green***
1958 Truck 322 Orange-Red
1958 Truck 348 Tan-Gray
1959 Passenger 235 Blue*
1959 Passenger 283 Orange*
1959 Passenger 348 Orange
1959 Truck 235 Gray
1959 Truck 261 Green
1959 Truck 283 Light Duty Gray
1959 Truck 283 Heavy Duty Green
1959 Truck 322 Orange-Red
1959 Truck 348 Orange
1960 Corvair Natural*
1960 Passenger 235 Blue*
1960 Passenger 283 orange*
1960 Passenger 384 Orange
1960 Truck 235 Blue Gray
1960 Truck 261 Green
1960 Truck 283 Trademaster Green
1960 Truck 283 Taskmaster Gray
1960 Truck 348 Gray
1961 Corvair Natural*
1961 Passenger 235 Blue*
1961 Passenger 283 Orange*
1961 Passenger 348 Orange
1961 Covair Truck Natural*
1961 Truck 235 Blue Gray***
1961 Truck 261 Green**
1961 Truck 283 Gray**
1961 Truck 348 Gray**
1962 Passenger 153 Orange
1962 Passenger 194 Orange
1962 Covair Natural*
1962 Passenger 235 Blue*
1962 Passenger 283 Orange
1962 Passenger 327 Orange
1962 Passenger 309 Orange
1962 Covair Truck Natural*
1962 Truck 235 Blue Gray**
1962 Truck 261 Green**
1962 Truck 283 Gray**
1962 Truck 327 Green
1962 Truck 348 Gray**
1962 Truck 409 Orange
1962 Diesel 212 Green
1962 Diesel 318 Green
1963 Passenger 153 Orange
1963 Passenger 194 Orange
1963 Covair Natural*
1963 Passenger 230 Orange
1963 Passenger 283 Orange*
1963 Passenger 327 Orange
1963 Passenger 409 Orange
1963 Covair Truck Natural*
1963 Truck 153 Gray-Orange*
1963 Truck 230 Gray-Orange*
1963 Truck 235 Blue/Gray**
1963 Truck 261 Green**
1963 Truck 283 Gray**
1963 Truck 292 Green
1963 Truck 327 Orange/Red
1963 Truck 348 Gray**
1963 Truck 409 Orange
1963 Diesel 212 Green
1963 Diesel 318 Green
1964 Passenger 153 Orange
1964 Passenger 194 Orange
1964 Covair Natural*
1964 Passenger 230 Orange
1964 Passenger 283 Orange*
1964 Passenger 327 Orange
1964 Passenger 409 Orange
1964 Covair Truck Natural*
1964 Truck 153 Orange
1964 Truck 230 Orange
1964 Truck 283 Orange*
1964 Truck 292 Green-Black-Gray*
1964 Truck 327 Orange
1964 Truck 348 Tan/Gray, Orange
1964 Truck 409 Gray
1964 Diesel 212 Green
1965 Passenger 153 Orange
1965 Covair Natural*
1965 Passenger 194 Orange
1965 Passenger 230 Orange
1965 Passenger 283 Orange
1965 Passenger 327 Orange
1965 Passenger 396 Orange
1965 Passenger 409 Orange
1965 Covair Truck Natural*
1965 Truck 153 Gray
1965 Truck 230 Blue
1965 Truck 250 Blue/Grat
1965 Truck 292 Green-Dark/Gray
1965 Truck 327 Green
1965 Truck 348 Gray
1965 Truck 409 Gray w/silver rocker cover
1965 Diesel 159 Green
1965 Diesel 212 Green
1965 Diesel 318 Green
1965 Diesel 351 Green
1965 Diesel 477 Green
1966 Passenger 230 Orange
1966 Passenger 250 Blue
1966 Passenger 283 Orange
1966 Passenger 327 Orange
1966 Passenger 396 Orange
1966 Passenger 427 Orange
1966 Truck 153 Gray
1966 Truck 230 Blue
1966 Truck 283 Blue/Gray
1966 Truck 292 Green-Dark/Gray
1966 Truck 327 Green- (Blue Suburban)
1966 Truck 348 Gray
1966 Truck 409 Gray
1966 truck 194 Gray/Blue

* Assumption

** Assumption because it is a carry-over from a previous year.

*** Assumption because it was found in next years book.

Disclaimer: Due to the fact that there is no official book that lists all the Chevrolets engine colors, many of these colors are assumption. Many of the colors in this list are taken from authenticated vehicles. Various assembly plants had different colors and tints. Colors were also subject to availability and these may have changed at the plant. Also different options on a vehicle would determine the color of the engine especially the truck 283 engine. Also remember the primary goal of the assembly plant was to get the vehicle out to the consumer. If a color was used up, the next available color was utilized.

Note: When Orange is stated, it means Chevrolet Orange.

Special Thanks to: Gale Garmon of K-ville, PA for assisting in determining engine colors.

A Tip from Carl Pearson: 292 Green can be obtained through Krylon, paint #2013, known as GM Alpine Green or Detroit Diesel Green.

More on GM engines

T-1918 – ’28 Light Truck has the same engine as the 4-cylinder car engine.

1941 – 235 CI engine was available in 1 1/2 ton and COE models.

Through the 1950’s – GMC also produced a 302CI 6-cylinder engine.

1957 – GMC produced a 347 CI Pontiac engine