17 May 1999
1950 CHEVROLET 3100 LIGHT TRUCK
Chassis no. 28PG 14409
Engine no. HRM 346703
Black with green canvas top and black interior.
Engine: six cylinders, in line, 235cu, 92bhp at 3700rpm; Gearbox: manual three speed; Suspension : beam front axle, live rear, half elliptic leaf springs all round; Brakes: four wheel hydraulically operated drum. Left hand drive.
The cult of the North American pickup truck is one of those enduring threads that runs through Detroit's history since early days in the industry. In the late 1940s competition was particularly fierce, all the major manufacturers offering a version that moulded elements - usually at least the engine - from their popular car ranges, with a practically unbreakable chassis frame and ruggedly serviceable transmission, axles and steering gear. General Motors had kept well to the front of this important market for many years with very similar Chevrolet and GMC trucks, in 1947 jolting the opposition with what they called the Advanced Design Light Truck. Chevrolet claimed thirty major improvements for this new half-tonner. The engine was the division's faithful and durable straight-six, which in this application they called the Thriftmaster. It was a petrol engine - in the USA diesels for this class of commercial still lay in the future. Special heavy duty gearboxes with column shift were offered. As befitted a commercial, in basic form it was very utilitarian indeed, with no turn indicators and only a single rear light. Crisply shaped by General Motors' style studios, the truck's cab offered better all round view, greater comfort, and easy access.
This example of a vehicle occupying an important place in light truck history is fitted with optional chrome radiator grille, bumpers and hubcaps. The demountable, rigid "tilt" covering the load-bed was a popular extra and a wide variety were offered by Chevrolet themselves and a multitude of after-market specialists. Pleasantly restored about three years ago the brakes require freeing-off as it has been standing for some time. The truck is Swiss registered.
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