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Side Mount Spares

Side Mount Spare Tire Bracket – Passenger Car Verses Truck

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The early Chevrolet side mount bracket on the 1936 & older ½ ton and passenger car are almost identical. However, there is a part that is so different that this article needed to be posted.

The securing fastener that holds the tire clamp in place on top is totally different on the two vehicles. The passenger car uses a chrome plated die-cast T-handle that blends nicely with the chrome plated steel tire clamp. It’s an attractive pair that adds to the cars appearance. This T-handle is made to be turned by hand to begin the removal of the tire and wheel from the wheel well in the front fender.

On the other hand, the ½ ton (designed as a work vehicle) does it different. The tire clamp is painted black, not chromed, but most unique is the securing fastener. A long hexagon nut with internal threads holds all together on the ½ ton. It is designed to be turned with the vehicle’s lug nut wrench in the tool kit. It is so rare to see the correct hexagon nut on an early truck!

During the 2016 Vintage Chevrolet Club of America in Lake Tahoe, Nevada no early pickups had the correct fastener.  They either had a car t-handle or hardware store nut.

Good news: Bids are currently being sent out by Jim Carter Truck Parts to have these special nuts made in quantities.

It seems the Chevrolet Motor Division, to save money, would have used the same side mount hardware in both the ½ ton and passenger car during the 1934-36 years. They did not! The attached photos show quite a difference in the cowl gasket and the horizontal support rod that is between the cowl and the long vertical support rod. Even during the Great Depression, they chose to make several changes in this area between the passenger cars and ½ tons.

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Passenger Car T-handle and cowl attaching grommet

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1/2 Ton Pickup Hexagon Nut and cowl attaching grommet

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Hardware store nut if original is lost. (Yes, you can still use the lug wrench)

1934-36 Side Mount Tire Clips

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

What a surprise! We have been in the old GM truck collector and parts business for 35 years and just discovered this hidden feature. In the single wheel well of the 1934-36 ½ tons there are 4 clips to help secure the wheel well spare tire. These clips each have sharp points to secure the rubber tire from moving in the indented wheel well. What a good idea considering the rough roads that then existed, especially in rural areas.

Did the dealers stock replacement clips? We doubt it. Did the truck owners pay much attention to their existence? Probably never. Can you see them with the tire in place? No. When you do a complete restoration do you look for new ones? No.

For most, this article is about as close to seeing one as you will get! We just thought you would like knowing.

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Two pointed clips at top and bottom

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Bottom Clips with Points

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Top Clips with Points

1934-1936 Side Mount Spare Tire Mounting

Friday, December 17th, 2010



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 pickups, the tire storage space was limited. GM chose to place a dip in the front fender and a 29″ 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 over the tire.  No the pickup did not use the chrome “T” handle on the car.

In viewing restored ½ ton pickups at shows it is amazing that most use the chrome die-cast “T” handle that came new on passenger cars. Not correct!  The pickup uses a hexagon securing nut.  It is designed to be turned by the lug nut tire tool usually stored under the seat cushion.

Why the difference is unknown. We assume the “T” handle nut is more convenience to turn.  The car driver would get less dirt or grease on clothes or hands during a tire change, plus the car was usually on smoother roads, not on the rough surfaces of a farm field or back roads that might loosen the securing nut.

Replacement hard parts for most of this side mount system are not being reproduced. Originals usually must be restored. The rubber grommet that protects the cowl and fender metal from the side mount hardware the securing nut and 29″ support rod are available from Jim Carter Truck Parts along with a few other older GM truck full stocking dealers.

INTERESTING: The Chevrolet 1/2 ton (1934-1936) placed the support well in the right front fender. The 1936 GMC (first year for their 1/2 ton) it 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.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
Pickup inside view. Not quite like a Chevy car.

1934 1936 side mount spare tire

1934 1936 side mount spare tire
The 29″ vertical rod is at an angle, too far through the cab mounted support.  Shown is the top dark threads where this retaining nut fits.

1936 Side Mount Spare Differences

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1934-36 half ton Chevrolet truck body style always placed their 17′ spare in the right fender. Even the Chevrolet car normally used the right side when only one side mount was added.

In mid 1936, GMC entered the ½ ton market for the first time. This light truck shared most all sheet metal and chassis components with Chevrolet except for the engine, hub caps, grille and tailgate lettering.

One of the more visual differences between the 1936 Chevrolet and the new GMC 1/2 ton is the location of the side mount spare. The GMC is on the left, not the right as with Chevrolet. This was done with little expense as the mounting brackets will fit the right or left side.

Why did GMC place their spare on the opposite side? The answer 70 years later is not known. We only assume it kept the two marques more individual with no extra expense.

1936 side 1

1936 Chevrolet (above)

1936 side 2

1936 GMC

1936 side 3

1936 GMC

1936 side 4

Mounting Hardware