Chevy aficionados all recognize this style of Chevrolet as one that set a new industry standard back in the early 1950’s, with feature such as integrated headlights and a larger, more comfortable cab. This Chevy design was known simply as the “Advanced Style” or “Advanced Design”.
Being GM’s first post-war vehicle creation, as well as America’s first new post-war truck, the history of what is today known as the 1950’s Chevy truck begins in:
There were different models in which this new Advanced Design Chevy truck was manufactured. These various designs were indicated via four-digit numbers located on both sides of the hood:
- ½ ton trucks – indicated with the numbers 3100
- ¾ ton trucks – indicated with the numbers 3600
The previous motor designs were by and large preserved in these new models, although various improvements were made. For instance, a new form of precision-type main bearings were used in place of the now outdated ream-fit kinds. The hand-choke now activated a carb-mounted fast-idle cam in order to enhance cold-engine drivability. Leather pistons were also kept wet via the carburetor accelerator pump being relocated into the float bowl.
With all of these new features in place, Advanced Design Chevy trucks had no problem being sold, and it wasn’t long before they made it to the top of the market. As time went on, these trucks underwent further changes in design, although these were mainly cosmetic or luxurious in nature. For instance, the gear-shift was relocated for more leg room. Gas tanks were relocated from their prior frame-mounted locations into upright positions inside of the cab. The grille bars inner surfaces were painted white, and pinstripes were removed from the outer bars.
The 1950’s Chevy trucks began to undergo further transformations, such as:
- 16 inch tubed tires (available in three body lengths)
- Load bearing capacities increased
- Tube type shocks replaced the outdated lever-action ones
- Rear quarter windows (for improved visibility)
Further improvements to the 1950’s Chevy truck included:
- Horizontal top rails
- A redesigned dashboard that included twin instrument dials
- A single-piece curved windshield
- Bed sides that were taller than the previous ones
- A new cargo box with lower loading height
- Full-pressure lubrication
- Aluminum pistons
- 235-cid engines to replace the 216-cid motors
- Stronger crankshaft
- Stronger connecting rods
The 3600 models also underwent a bed length stretch of about three inches, a cargo box style that would stay with Chevrolet all the way into the 1980’s.
1954 also saw the 1950’s Chevy truck available with automatic transmission. In fact, this was the first instance of automatic transmission in Chevy’s history.
In 1955, the 1950’s Chevy truck also saw a change from the outdated torque tube to an open drive-shaft.
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