Since the introduction of GMC’s first 1/2 ton pickup in 1936, there has always been a sharing of most sheet metal parts with Chevrolet trucks. This was done mostly for economic reasons. However, when possible, each of the two brands tried to make inexpensive changes to be different than the other.
Some specific examples of this occurred during the Advance Design years (1947-1955). These two marques tried to stand apart from each other on most exterior features when it was financially possible.
Several very visible changes required no extra investment. Only a change in paint colors helped to separate the two trucks.
A. The running board splash aprons are one of the best examples. From 1947 through at least 1951 GMC painted these black. Chevrolet’s were the color of the cab and bed.
B. The front splash aprons on Chevrolets were body color. The GMC’s were black.
C. When the GMC carried a standard non-chrome bumper, it was black. Chevrolet did not offer black bumpers during any of the advance design years.
D. The names and shades of the exterior body colors are different. This was not difficult as Chevrolet and GMC were assembled in different assembly plants.
Note: We now find most restored Advance Design GMC’s have their splash aprons and bumpers painted the same color as the Chevrolets. As there are many more Chevrolets than GMC’s, people must assume that their GMC should be painted like a Chevrolet. The following factory GMC photos show a different story.
These factory photos provided, with permission, from the website www.oldgmctrucks.com
A. 1947-1951 GMC (above)
B. Front Splash (above)
C. Black Bumpers (above)
D. Paint Chart (above)