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Mirrors

Right Mirror Arm

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The 1947-1955 Chevrolet and GMC came from the factory with left mirror arms on left hand drive trucks. This was particularly important if the truck was to have a large bed that covered the rear window.

To keep sale price low, the right mirror arm was an accessory (dealer installed). It was very important that the dealer place the mirror just right so the actual mirror was viewed by the driver through the lower right corner of the windshield.

To prevent dealer mistakes, GM placed an inner panel in all trucks covering the area were the two holes would be placed. This panel had factory holes, showing the mechanic where to drill. Thus, two exterior holes could always be in the proper place. Yes, the glove box liner would be removed to make room for the drilling.

right mirror arm 1

Inner panel guide for drilling (above)

right mirror arm 2

Outer panel before drilling (above)

Advance Design Mirror Head

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

advance design mirror head

It’s surprising that an item placed on almost every 1947-55 Chevrolet and GMC truck has become so impossible to locate. Most collectors have never seen one!

The product is the five inch GM round mirror head. It was originally bolted to the cowl mounted mirror arm on the driver’s side. They were always black and had the pivot on the outside (most round similar non-GM mirrors have the pivot inside the housing).

The pictured mirror head is New Old Stock. Even the zinc plating, which reduces rust, is perfect. The acorn nut can be tightened just right so the head is still hand adjustable yet will stay in place on rough roads.

If almost 500,000 Advance Design trucks were produced each year between 1947-55, where are the original mirrors? The answer relates to the use of the vehicle. These trucks were made for work! Few were garaged. After several years of weathering the mirrors were in need of replacement. This was an easy do-it-yourself exchange and most owners could pay less for aftermarkets at an auto parts store or service station. Few genuine GM replacement mirrors were bought and thus the dealer kept very few if any in stock.

Advance Design Mirror Arm

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

No less than three different mirror arms were used on Advance Design Trucks (1947-1955). Though most vendor catalogs do not reflect these differences, the following should be of interest to those that want their truck restored correctly.

All left mirror arms attach to the same position on the cowl, however two designs were used. In the beginning years (1947-50) the arm pointed at an upward angle. This was much like earlier GM truck body styles between 1936 and 1946.

A change in design began in 1951 with the introduction of door wing vents. With the vent and door open together the mirror head could be hit and broken. Thus, a more horizontal arm was designed and it lowered the mirror. The rounded corner of the wing vent frame could no longer touch the mirror glass.

The right side cowl mounted mirror arm was a dealer installed accessory. Because of the limited space on the cowl (between the door and hood) it was necessary to place a curve in the arm. This brought the mirror head forward so that it could be seen through the lower right corner of the windshield.

advance design mirror 3

1947-1950 Left (MI108) (above)

advance design mirror 1

1951-1955 Left (MI109) (above)

advance design mirror 2

1947-1955 Right (MI125) (above)