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Panel Trucks

Suburban and Panel Truck Inner Gas Grommet Spout

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

This large grommet is so hidden, most owners have no idea it exists. It is exclusive to the 1947-55 (Advance Design) Suburban, panel truck and Canopy Express.

Because the body is so much wider than a step side pickup the full add pipe must be longer. The body also has an inner as well as outer panel. The inner panel protects the outer sheet metal from accidental damage when merchandise with sharp corners is hauled.

To prevent metal to metal contact from the gas spout touching the inner panel, GM provided a different grommet for inner and outer metal panel. It is the unseen inner panel that has the seldom seen grommet.

Check these photos. They show the inner grommet in position as well as on a table for photos.

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Above data made possible by allowing US a close view of this 1948 Suburban. The owner Jerry’s Chevy Restoration Shop in Independence, Mo.

Panel Truck Optional Passenger Seat

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

We found this nice view of a 1947-53 Chevrolet/GMC panel truck interior. It shows a rear view of the very rare optional passenger seat in its raised position. It was necessary to give this right seat an ability to tip up and forward so access to stored freight would be more accessible from the passenger door opening. Very ingenious by GM!

Very few new panel trucks came with this extra seat. The metal platform in the photo is all that was there.

This platform always has a rectangular lid covering a storage compartment. This gave a convenient location for the driver’s important papers. This lid looks like the battery cover except it is longer.

Most business panel truck owners did not spend the extra money for the right seat and then find their driver’s friend riding with him during the work shift.

NOTE: The right and left seats are the same except for the attaching to floor brackets. Also of interest is the metal panels on the seat backs. This was to protect seated driver from freight moving forward in an emergency stop. Oops! The driver’s seat back can still swing forward pushing the operator against the steering wheel. Those were the days!!

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Mirror Polish Trim

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The set of 12 mirror polished stainless trims used on the 1947-54 deluxe Chevrolet panel truck. Includes the needed attaching clips. Show quality Part Number TRT400 – set $1,550.00.

1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar

 

The long mirror polished stainless trim that secures to the upper front fender of the 1947-54 Chevrolet deluxe panel truck. Securing clips are built into strip. Show quality Part Number TRT402 – Pair $195.00.

1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar

 

NOW IN STOCK!
Rear door light switch. For rear left double door and door post on 1937-54 panel truck. Factory indentions are in the body and door. Many new parts make this switch fit just right.
Part Number EL409 – Pair $69.50.

1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar 1937 Chevrolet Lower Bar

 

1947-1955 GM panel truck seats

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Attached are some pictures of the correct 1947-1955 GM panel truck seats. The right side was a factory option. This would be special ordered if the owner was planning on two passengers. Though they have been recovered with cloth instead of factory “leatherette”, they are correct in all other ways. What is interesting is how GM made the optional right side seat to fold up against the dash. This was necessary to allow easier access to merchandise up front. No need to unload freight to get to the front storage area. It appears the seat frame and floor is painted the original grey color. A thin sheet of insulation is placed between each of the body supports. This was to lessen road noise and slow some heat from entering the cab on hot days. Another interesting feature on panel trucks; the single horizontal oak board on each side of the interior helps prevent damage to the exterior sheet metal walls. If a stack of transported items tipped while the panel truck was making a corner, there was less chance of dents being placed on the sides. Note the long metal lid over the floor box which is under the factory optional right seat. This is only provided in the panel truck and canopy express bodies.  It kept the driver’s papers in a neat compartment so they did not slide or blow across the floor.

1947-1955 GM panel truck seats 1947-1955 GM panel truck seats

Panel Truck Wood Floor Changes

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The very practical panel truck produced from the early 1920’s through 1970 was an excellent cargo vehicle. Merchandise was protected from the weather and equally important from easy theft. Being a freight hauler, its cargo floor is like the pickup truck. Hard yellow pine and cross sills support the weight and merchandise slides on the metal strips.

Though not obvious, a major floor design occurred in the 1/2 ton panel truck in 1950 of the Advance Design years. Prior to this, the floor consisted of about six wood panels, each separated by 1/4″. Covering this gap was the necessary 1 1/2″ wide metal bed strips. To prevent dust from coming through the wood plank separations, GM changed the bed to a single piece of 3/4″ marine plywood in 1950. It appears this was the same size that was used with the flat floor board Suburban. However, with the panel truck the plywood was grooved for the bed strips. Once installed in the truck it looked like strips between the earlier individual planks.

The reason for the new plywood design was to lessen dust entering the storage area (at least in cool weather).  Most back roads were dirt and gravel.  Thus, owners complained that small amounts of dust would come in between the bed strips and settle on merchandise.

With the change in the bed floor, the length of the strips were reduced from 82′ to 79 1/2″ at least three of the punched holes in the early and late strips are in a different position.

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1947-1950 1/2 Ton Deluxe Panel (above)

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1947-1950 1 Ton Deluxe Panel (above)

One Piece Panel Truck Floor

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Beginning in 1950, GM introduced an improvement in the cargo area of the panel truck and Canopy Express. It now followed the example of the Suburban by using a one piece, 5 ply floor. This replaced the planks that were always used in the pickup.

GM implied this would better seal dirt and dust from an otherwise closed area used to haul merchandise and food products.

The following data and picture is as removed from a 1950 pamphlet announcing new features for that year.

one piece floor

one piece floor

1947-1955 Deluxe Panel Truck

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

For the Perfectionist

During the first half of the Advance Design years (1947-1955), GM offered a special panel truck as an option. This deluxe model was designed for a company wanting to give a more upscale appearance to their retail customers.

During the era of one car families, the lady of the house looked more toward home deliveries for essentials. GM knew there was a demand for this type panel truck in nicer residential neighborhoods. They targeted stores and shops that provided home deliveries. With a relatively small investment GM added a stainless steel trim package that gave their pre-existing panel truck a very special look. The chrome grill and bumpers plus stainless trim around the windshield and side door windows was already being used on the deluxe pickup.

GM then created some extras for their panel. Three horizontal strips at the lower edge of each fender, a long narrow horizontal spear toward the top of the front fenders, and a stainless edging surrounding the two rear door windows added to the panels appearance. Wheels were body colored with three stripes, not black as on the standard model.

The slower selling one ton panel was also available with this deluxe option. This nicely appointed larger panel was right at home in new exclusive suburbs delivering carpet rolls, furniture, carrying pipe for the plumber, etc.

Production of these Advance Design deluxe panel trucks was ceased in mid to late 1951. Korean War shortages and the resulting high cost of stainless steel eliminated this optional package. After the war years this deluxe model with the many horizontal trim strips was introduced again as the 1954 through mid-1955. With limited production, the short lived optional deluxe panel truck is a very rare sight in today’s world. Locating most of the necessary parts to transform a standard panel to a deluxe model is now possible from Jim Carters Truck Parts.

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks

1947-50 1/2 ton Deluxe Panel (above)

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks

1947-1955 deluxe panel trucks
Factory Drawing

For Panel models, this option includes bright metal reveals for side door windows, rear door windows and windshield; garnish moldings for side door windows; arm rest for driver’s side door, bright metal moldings for front and rear fenders, right-hand sun shade and chromium-plated radiator grille. (Not originally available on Canopy Express models or Carryall Suburban’s, however will fit both perfectly.)