The Chevrolet Advance-Design Trucks Of 1947-1954 Part I

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taken from the Light Commercial Vehicle Association (LCVA) - Jan/Feb 1984


First the bumpers, of which there were now two styles.  One for the Thriftmaster group and one for the Loadmaster group.  Both styles were considerably wider, to protect the broader fenders, and to accentuate the horizontal motif of the larger radiator grille to make the trucks appear more massive and stable.

Two sizes of chrome-plated bumpers were used on the Thriftmaster series which differed only in metal thickness.  The thicker on (.238”) was used on the one-ton series and the thinner on (.140”) was used on the ½ ton and ¾ ton series.  The 1947 bumpers were 2 ½” wider (70”) and deeper, from 4-1/4” to 5-1/4”.  Only one-size bumper was used on the Loadmaster trucks.  It was a massive channel-section type finished in enamel.  It was wider by 6-5/8” (73-3/4”) but had the same depth as the 1946 style.  The new bumper was finished only in one color called Anvil Gray instead of the two color combination of black and gray used in 1946.

A gravel guard was added to all the new trucks which fit between the bumper and the grille.  The gravel guard was used for two reasons.  First, to improve the appearance by covering up the bumper braces and second, to prevent gravel, mud, dirt, water and snow from being splashed or thrown on the truck.  It was painted the same color as the rest of the truck.

Although appearing to be the same, there were two different grilles used on the two lines.  They consisted of five parallel bars mounted horizontally to emphasize the broad-base designs.  The grille for the Loadmaster Group was slightly taller than that of the light-duty trucks.  This was accomplished by spacing the bars a little further apart and by making the Loadmaster’s bars slightly deeper. The standard offering was to paint the grille bars the same color as the rest of the truck, but the Thriftmaster series, as an extra-cost option, chrome-plated bars were available.  The painted bars were striped to enhance their appearance. The parking lights were installed between the upper two grille bars at their ends.  The candle power of the new lamps was increased from 2 to 3. The Chevrolet name and emblem were combined onto a large plate located just above the top grille bar to look like an additional grille bar and thus added to the wide massive appearance of the truck’s front.

There were two sizes provided for the new fenders, each proportioned to the size of the truck.  The general design was the same but the fenders on the Loadmaster series were bigger to accommodate the larger wheels and tires and to blend in with the taller grille.  The head lights on the light-truck series were 1-1/2” lower and 8-1/2” wider apart than in 1946, in the heavy series the head lamps were 10-1/2” further apart and on the same level as before.  For 1947, the fenders were painted body color not black as they were in 1946.

Chrome-plated hub caps were provided for the Thriftmaster series.  The name was pressed into them and painted red.  Wheels for all trucks were painted black, except for the Carryall Suburban where they were painted body color. Four chrome-plated decorative moldings were provided for the front fenders and three for the rear fenders only on the Deluxe Panel trucks.

For 1947, the hood was changed from a side-opening butterfly type to a front opening Alligator-Jaw type for better access to the engine for service.  Two different hoods were provided for the two series.  The Loadmaster hood was higher, flatter in the crown, and longer.  The only decoration on the hood was the large chrome bar across the front bearing the Chevrolet name and logo and the plate on the rear of the hood bearing the Chevrolet name and the name of the series—Loadmaster or Thriftmaster.

The new windshield improved vision and added to the better appearance of the total truck.  It was broader, taller, and slanted at a greater angle.  The new windshield was stationary so allowed the windshield wipers to be mounted below the glass where they looked better and worked more efficiently. The new doors were larger in every dimension for easier entry and exit.  They also extended lower to eliminate exposed sills.  The hinges for 1947 were concealed for better appearance.  Only one lock was provided and that was on the curb side. Another new feature of the 1947 models was the rear corner windows.  They were available as an extra cost option on any cab or as part of the Deluxe Cab equipment.

New paint colors for 1947 were Cape Maroon, Mariner Blue, Windsor Blue, Forester Green, Seacrest Green, Savoy Cream, and Sun Beige.  Old colors carried over to 1947 were Omaha Orange, Amour Yellow, Swift Red, Jet Black and White.  The enamel used was of course Dulux.  The standard color was Forester Green, if you wanted anything else it was an extra cost option.  Striping was used to decorate the belt moldings and grille bars.

The brand new 1947 cab was designed to give the driver the best working conditions ever offered to drivers of commercial vehicles.  This was accomplished by providing a much larger cab with more room in every direction and combining room with artistic design and new cheerful interior color schemes. The interior color scheme included silver gray metal with chrome accents, rich burgundy upholstery and door panels, and black rubber floor mats.  Leather upholstery was available as an option. The larger cab began with 4” wider doors to make entry and exit easier to the new three man wide seat which was a full 8” wider at the hips and 3-1/2” wider at the shoulders.  In addition, there was an additional 12” of foot room across the floor and toe-pan. Vision was increased because the total glass area was increased by 22%, or a 40% increase, if the new rear corner windows are taken into account. The new cab was a double-walled construction to give the whole cab-structure much more strength and durability.  Chevrolet called this construction “Unisteel Battleship” construction with “Observation Car Vision.”

The new seat, in addition to bring 8” wider, was also better constructed.  It had a full 35 more coil springs shaped and sized for correct support.  The seat was constructed to maintain its comfort despite the severe use it would be subjected to in commercial use.  Also new for 1947 was an automobile type adjustable seat which raised and tilted as it moved forward to provide the proper seating posture and vision for the driver whatever his height.

For cab heating and ventilating Chevrolet provided what they called the “New Four-fold Ventilation” system for 1947.  The four elements began with the side windows which could be lowered or raised as the driver wished, no wing vents were provided, however.  The second element was a large cowl top ventilator which was bigger and sturdier than the 1946 type and in addition had a bug screen provided.  The third element was a foot-operated side ventilator only on the driver’s side cowl to direct cool fresh air over the area which received the most engine heat.  The last element was the fresh air inlet on the curb side of the cowl consisting of eleven louvers which provide fresh air to the heater-defroster unit inside the cab.  The heater was an extra cost option and two types were available.


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1946 2- ton Cab-Over-Engine (COE) Flatbed





Chevrolet referred to the new cab conveniences as “tremendous trifles” of which there were a total of 25, some of which are listed below.

1. The doors closed more easily and solidly without slamming, remained closed until intentionally opened, opened with a gentle push or pull, and stayed wide open until they were closed.

2. Both doors locked easily from the inside by a mechanism operated by the door-control handle.

3. The door window regulators were more durable and operated more easily and positively.

4. Forward adjustment of the seat was assisted by powerful springs at the sides.

5. The instruments, in two large dials directly ahead of the driver, had larger figures and were more easily read through the new T-spoke steering wheel.

6. One key fit all locks, ignition, door and instrument panel compartment.

7. The steering wheel was enlarged to provide easier control with the new steering geometry. All pedals and the gearshift lever knob were repositioned for the most comfortable convenient operation.

8. A powerful radio, developed especially for the new Chevrolet trucks, was available as an extra cost accessory.

9. The instrument panel (storage) compartment was reshaped for the more convenient arrangement of miscellaneous articles.

10. Plenty of room for stowing tools was available in a large new compartment under the seat.

11. A new battery cover in the convenient location (under the passenger floorboard) made servicing the battery easy and clean, instead of a dirty chore.





1947 3104 1/2-ton Pick-up


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