1947-59 Chevrolet/GMC Truck Vehicle History

1947-55 1st Series Advance Design Trucks


First year that six volt battery was located under floorboard in cab. The first of this new body series which was lower, wider and longer. The truck name was stamped into the tailgate. Gas tank was located under the bed. Hood was now opened from the front. All 1/2 ton 3100 Series were shortbeds-78; all 3/4 ton 3600 series were longbeds-87. The bed floors were covered with Yellow Pine. Outside door handles were turn-down style. The standard engine was a Chevrolet 216.5ci inline six and was the only engine available.


First year for column shift three-speed transmission. The parking brake was moved to the floor. Hood emblem was made of die cast metal. Windshield wiper changed to incorporate a fuel and vacuum pump for better wiper action. Treads were added to the running boards for safety.


Two-piece windshield was stationary. Gas tank was located behind seat in cab. Hood emblem was made of chrome plated steel. Speedometer needle was changed to Red. The spark plugs were changed to 14mm. Final year for lever action shocks on Chevrolet. Hood side emblem states Chevrolet 3100 on 1/2 ton trucks and Chevrolet 3600 on 3/4 ton trucks.


Modern tube type shocks were introduced. Hood side emblems state Chevrolet 3100 on 1/2 ton trucks and Chevrolet 3600 on 3/4 ton trucks.


Had both turn handle exterior door handles and wing vents. Horizontal rod for seat adjustment was located under cushion and secured to seat frame. Speedometer's maximum speed was 80 mph. Bed changed from nine board type to eight board type in mid-year.


Glovebox door and horizontal strips below and above radio speaker grille were painted steel instead of stainless steel. Outer door handles were now push-button type. Speedometer's maximum speed was 90 mph.


The first year factory installed turn signals were optional, yet, in some states turn signals were mandatory. Hood emblem was stainless steel. A new instrument panel included a 60 lb. oil pressure gauge.


New 235 cubic inch engine was in pickups. Bed was increased in depth (giving a 2 inch lower loading height) and had all new bed sides. Rear bumper option now had a dropped center to serve as a license plate location. Tail light was rounded. Hubcaps now had the Bowtie emblem. Hood emblem showed 3100. Windshield was now one piece. Drive rear end was closed. For the first time on the option list was a Hydra-matic automatic.

1955 1st Series

First year for the open drive shaft on 1/2 ton pickup and panel. Final series to have the six volt electrical system. Battery was now located under the right hand side of the floor board. Hood emblem had been redesigned to include Chevrolet.

1955-59 2nd Series Task Force Trucks

1955 2nd Series

First year for the new body style. New windshields curved to wraparound. A larger panoramic window came equipped on the Deluxe cabs. The running board changed to be a small section between the rear of the cab and the rear fender. The new V-shaped dash included a speedometer with an odometer, fuel and temperature gauges as well as ammeter and oil gauges which were standard. Battery was now located on the right hand side of the firewall under the hood. The 235ci came standard with this truck; a 265ci V8 was optional. Power steering and brakes were new options. The electrical system changed to a 12 volt.


Hood emblem changed slightly.


Designed with a flatter hood and side fender spears which were oval in shape. Parklight lenses were round.


This year was the introduction of Fleetside pickups. Chevy's first steel, double wall, wide-box pickup. New designations: 3100 Series became 31 and was shown that way on the emblems. All the 1/2 ton trucks were called Apache. New front end with quad headlights and new grille. This model also got a new hood and new fenders. First year air conditioning was available from the factory.


Changes were minimal, hood emblem changed to a Bowtie with a V, and the side emblems were moved to the fender crease above the front fender and now show CHEVROLET APACHE 31.

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