A problem when installed was that it lessened the visibility of the front license plate. Therefore, another change was made during the installation. The license was moved to the center of the front splash apron from the factory position on the right side. In the kit were two small rubber plugs. These filled the factory license bracket holes that existed when the factory license bracket was removed.
An Inner-Line oil filter from Long Island, New York! Rarely seen today but a popular early aftermarket option. It secures to the engine block after removing the oil distribution cover. No oil lines. No moving the horn forward to make room for the intake manifold mounted oil canister.
This new steel center hub extension includes eight long bolts to reach the original wheel studs. This holds the factory wheel in place and then provides a threaded end for the original eight lug nuts which are holding another matching wheel.
The buyer of this aftermarket kit just had to be sure his new outer tire was the same height as the original inner tire.
Pictures and data from Scott Golding, Stratton, NE.
To keep the 1947-1955 GM trucks base price low, their 6 volt cigarette lighter was a dealer accessory. The vehicle always came from the factory with a round blank out plug at the lower center of the dash.
To save tooling costs both the Chevrolet and GMC truck divisions used the same lighter as was found in Chevrolet’s passenger car. It did not match other knobs in the cab. Its double ring chrome head is exclusive to General Motors though it does not carry their logo. They are often seen at swap meets and flea markets mixed with lighter accumulations from all makes. The chrome head is easily unscrewed when a replacement heating element is needed. It will attach to either a 6 or 12 volt element. The in dash receiver also must be changed. GM made a slight difference in element diameters so 6 and 12 volt units could not be accidentally mixed.
1954-1955 Example (above)
In contrast to 1954-1955 Chevrolet trucks, the same year GMC had a position in the dash for an optional gauge. It was here that larger GMC’s had a tachometer or vacuum gauge installed. The 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton GMC’s usually did not require these engine gauges and a blank-out plate is normally found there. An option here in these smaller trucks is a spring wind clock. It was produced by General Motors and installed at their GMC dealerships.
1954 GMC dash with clock installed (above)
To save production costs, GMC used the clock that was already on the 1953-1954
Chevrolet car. In this way, their investment was limited to a chrome adapter ring that fit in the opening that held the blank-out plate.
This chrome ring has recently been reproduced and is available from most full stocking dealers including Jim Carters Truck Parts. Restorable 1953-1954 Chevrolet car clocks are found at most any medium size automotive swap meet.
With the introduction of the Advance Design Cab in 1947, a new dealer installed heater also became available. When used together this new body was referred to as The Cab That Breathes.
All U.S. manufactured Advance Design Cabs had a row of louvers on the right outer cowl which allowed air to enter the cab interior with the help of the new optional fresh air heater. It was a great improvement over prior years!
As air was brought in from the outside it passed through the heater core. This warmed air usually held less humidity than air inside the cab due to the breath of passengers. The fresh, dryer, air helped prevent the inside of the windows from fogging during very cold days, thus GM said the cab breathed.
This excellent heating system was made even better in 1953 with the introduction of the revised airflow heater. By pulling a knob, at the left of the steering column, a door inside the heater would cover the outside air intake. Now the heater was of the recirculator design. It pulled air from inside the cab so that inside air was re-warmed. Yes, humidity did accumulate quicker and windows could fog but heating the air inside was faster on a cold morning.
Note these pictures of the improved 1953-55 fresh air heater. The driver operated cable was pulled and a door inside the heater shut off outside air. At the same time, a one inch wide door on the case opened to allow recirculation of air to occur. A non-related lever on the case directs the heated air to the floor or above through the defroster ducts.
This ingenious idea by GM engineers now allowed the driver to have a cab that breathed or one that did not.
Hand operated defroster lever, cable for intake door, and the water flow adjusting knob (above)
The knob at the left of the steering column for pulling the cable (above)
The main heater attached to the right inner cowl panel (above)
Side view of heater with water control rod in foreground (above)
A close up of the one inch intake cable operated door on the heater case (above)
Marty Bozek, Lutz FL.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Jackson, Johnstown, OHredchevy38@embarqmail.com
By the mid 1950′s extra income in the U.S. was creating an increased demand for accessories on both cars and trucks. To take advantage of this, the Chevrolet Truck Division introduced one item as a first. It would not appear again on Chevrolet trucks until the mid 1970′s.
The new accessory was the 1954-55 dash mounted clock. To offer the most with the least investment, only the die cast housing was new. The clock was already an accessory on the 1953-1954 Chevrolet car. By combining the two, dealers could market a clock accessory to new Chevrolet truck buyers. The housing was even painted pearl beige to match the 1954-1955 Chevrolet truck interior color.
It fit between the two dash bezels. A paper template was in the box so the dealer’s mechanic or the owner would drill the mounting holes in just the right place.
The housings are not being reproduced. They are in high demand among 1954-1955 Chevrolet truck restorers so the retail prices just keep rising. If you do locate this housing, the correct clock is not difficult to locate. They were on most 1953-1954 Chevrolet cars.
The Chevrolet dealer installed recirculator heater was much different in 1947-48. In 1946 and older plus in 1949 through 1957, they sold the traditional round core design but for 1947 and 1948 it was all different.
The attached photos show the 1947-48 GM recirculator heater. Its rectangular core and vertical mounting studs are reserved for just these two years. To be sure the dealers mechanic installed these accessory heaters correctly, holes were placed in the firewall during the trucks construction.
In this photo of a 1948 firewall, arrows point to the factory holes to make sure the heater is installed just right.
An additional point of interest on this 1947-48 heater:
The defroster appears to be an extra cost item. Note the picture of the truck with the side mounted defroster. Also see the separate heater with a round factory plate covering the defroster position. It appears you could order a style of recirculator heater depending on the climate in your area.
In the 1953 Chevrolet truck accessory book, there is a charging bull head displayed as an optional hood ornament. During my past 20 plus years in this hobby, I have heard reference toward this accessory but have never seen an example or heard of another person seeing one. Does a reader have one? Has anyone seen this option on an original truck? Did this ornament actually make production after the 1953 booklet was printed in late 1952?
Accessory Hood Ornament
Purchasing a 1947-1955 optional cigarette lighter assembly from many vendors provides you a reproduction that is far from correct. It appears an overseas manufacturer decided to offer a lighter assembly made with the currently available 12 volt base and joining it to a 1947-1953 headlight knob.
Thus, no tooling investment and all parts were already available. Check the following images. What a difference!
Original Note: The correct lighter base and knob can now be obtained from Jim Carter Truck Parts (above)
Incorrect Replacement (above)