Posts Tagged ‘color’

Suburban Paint Colors

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the beginning of the Advance Design years (1947-1949) new Chevrolet Suburbans were sold in one color combination; Channel Green (light) on the lower body and Fathom green (dark) on the upper.

Unless the customer paid extra for a specific paint such as for school bus use or a commercial paint color for a company, the two tone green was the color your received.

Beginning in 1950 this changed. Chevrolet began also offering 12 colors as on pickups and large trucks.

suburban paint colors 1

The following is from a 1950 Chevrolet announcement pamphlet showing changes in trucks that year

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Early GMC Paint Schemes

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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

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A. 1947-1951 GMC (above)

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B. Front Splash (above)

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C. Black Bumpers (above)

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D. Paint Chart (above)

Advance Design Paint Colors

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When observing un-restored GM trucks of the 1947-1955 era, one will notice the majority of these vehicles were originally dark green. An explanation is simple. Green was their standard color! If you did not specify one of the other approximately eleven non-extra cost colors, your truck would be delivered green.

The standard color of trucks had been though of as green since the late 1920’s on many brands. Though yellow, red, and orange was part of the non-extra cost GM paint options, they were mostly ordered by businesses that wished to gain attention or follow their company logos.

In the Advance Design years, conservative colors were the norm. The standard dark green was followed mostly by dark blue and black. Even maroon was seen on a limited number of GM trucks.

Hammered Interior Paint, 1940-46

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During 1940-46 the Chevrolet GMC trucks came standard with an unusual interior paint. It added a little extra appearance with minimum extra expense. This has been referred to as “Hammered Paint”. While drying this paint develops a fish eye appearance. This helped make up just a small amount for no cloth door panels or related extras found on GM cars. After all, trucks were for work.

On these years of GM trucks all removable interior sheet metal is given this hammered paint. It includes the dash, windshield posts, door panels, rear cab sheet metal, Etc. The specialty paint is available from Jim Carters Classic Truck Parts and a few other full stocking dealers as follows using our part numbers:  Chevrolet PT106  –  GMC PT133.

Here is the story on our 1940-46 interior paint. Thought I should share some of the facts of how it happened. About 25 years ago I purchased a NOS glove box door. If I was ever going to match the color, this is what I would need. (Possibly just setting in a dark store room for 50 years might cause a chemical change to the paint pigment. Don’t know) No other parts supplier, then or now, wanted any part of making hammered paint. No takers when we ask anyone to do it. Finally, the Randolph Paint Co. in New Jersey almost 25 years ago, offered to try to produce it in quarts with very high quantities.

The product they created seemed to be very close. Maybe within 10% of the NOS glove box lid. Our relationship lasted well until 2014 when they either went out of business or just no longer had an interest. The paint hunt was on again!

By then we discovered a national brand starting to produce hammered paint in quarts in several colors. One they called bronze and we used it! It later was found to have a little too much silver but it was all there was. We marketed many quarts for several years, however some perfectionists made negative comments about the extra silver in the hammered texture.

One last attempt would be made to be correct: Then a new idea emerged. A quart was taken to a local auto body paint store with a slight color change in mind. The employees had not heard of hammered paint and wanted no part of the project. Fortunately, the owner was in and we had bought from him for 30 years. So at our cost, he would give it a try with an additive.

Wow, with added tints, we met with what we felt was a success. The NOS glove box door was sold almost 20 years ago however, the color seemed very close. No perfect examples we can trust remain that we have found.

So this is what we market today. Much better than the Randolph Paint Co. days. Is it perfect? Probably not. Fifty year old NOS parts could have faded slightly even in a box. It is all we have but we think it is near show quality. We have made quantities in quarts and now spray cans. It only receives compliments from our customers! It is just “slightly” darker than the two photos of the old Randolph Paint shown in this article.

NOTE: It appears GMC wanted to be just a little different on their interior color. We finally created this tint in a separate part#. See Above.

hammered 1

hammered 2

hammered 3

Interior Colors, Chevrolet 1940-46

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Serious early truck restorers often ask ‘What is the interior color of the original cab sheet metal parts, versus the exterior color?’ The answer for the 1934-46 trucks is simple.

The removable panels from the cab interior were always the inside color. If a component was welded in as part of the cab structure, it was sprayed the exterior color during the total cab painting.

This allowed successful coating of interior panels. As they could be placed flat during painting, there was a better guarantee of success for their specialty coatings. Wrinkle surface was placed on 1936-38 and a hammered appearance was used on most 1940-46 models.

Examples of these removable panels are the dash, rear interior corners, wiper covers, interior door panels, the above windshield cover, and upper door frames.

The outer cab color will also cover the seat riser and firewall as these were part of the total assembly. One exception is the rocker panels below the door. They are attached to the cab with screws but are the exterior color.

The two removable floor sections (covered with the floor mat) appear to be their own color, a black primer.

It is interesting that the interior colors in the finished new cab could have been painted even in different states and then the parts shipped to the assembly plant.

The following photos are of an all original 1941 Chevrolet truck interior.

exterior color 1
Removable dash, Interior color

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Removable rear panels. Interior color.

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Welded in panels at factory. Exterior color.

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All of door exterior color, except inter removable panel which is interior color.

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