General Motors’ first major redesign post-World War II, the Advance Design series was billed as a bigger, stronger, and sleeker design. First available on Saturday June 28, 1947, these trucks were sold with various minor changes over the years until March 25, 1955, when the Task Force Series trucks replaced the aging Advance Design model.
From 1947 until 1955, Chevrolet trucks were number one in sales in the United States.
While GMC used this front end, and to a slightly lesser extent the cab, on all of its trucks except for the Cab Overs, there are three main sizes of this truck: the half-, three-quarter-, and full ton capacities in short and long wheelbase.
1947 – Gasoline tank filler neck on passenger side of bed. No vent windows in doors. Hood side emblems read “Chevrolet” with “Thriftmaster” or “Loadmaster” under it. Serial numbers: EP 1/2 ton, ER 3/4 ton, & ES 1 ton.
1948 – Manual transmission shifter now mounted on column instead of floor. Serial numbers codes: FP 1/2 ton, FR 3/4 ton, & FS 1 ton.
Early 1949 – Gasoline tank now mounted upright behind seat in cab; filler neck aft of passenger door handle. New serial number codes: GP 1/2 ton, GR 3/4 ton, & GS 1 ton.
Late 1949 – Hood side emblems no longer read “Thriftmaster” or “Loadmaster”, but are now numbers that designate cargo capacity: 3100 on 1/2 ton, 3600 on 3/4 ton, 3800 on 1 ton. Serial number codes remain the same as on early 1949.
1950 – Telescopic shock absorbers replace lever-action type. Last year for driver’s side cowl vent, its handle is now flat steel, not maroon knob as in previous years. New serial number codes: HP 1/2 ton, HR 3/4 ton, & HS 1 ton.
1951 – Doors now have vent windows. Mid-year change from 9-board bed to 8 boards per bed. Last year for 80 MPH speedometer, chrome window handle knobs, and chrome wiper knob. New serial number codes: JP 1/2 ton, JR 3/4 ton, & JS 1 ton.
1952 – Outer door handles are now push button type as opposed to the previous turn down style. Speedometer now reads to 90 mph and dashboard trim is painted instead of chrome. Mid-year, Chevrolet stops using the 3100-6400 designation on the hood and changes to maroon window and wiper knobs. New serial number codes: KP 1/2 ton, KR 3/4 ton, & KS 1 ton.
1953 – Last year for the 216 in I6. Hood side emblems now only read 3100, 3600, 3800, 4400, or 6400 in large print. Door post ID plate now blue with silver letters (previous models used black with silver letters). Last year to use wooden blocks as bed supports. New serial number codes: H 1/2 ton, J 3/4 ton, & L 1 ton.
1954 – Only year for significant design changes. Windshield now curved one-piece glass without center vertical dividing strip. Revised steering wheel. Revised dashboard. Cargo bed rails, previously angled, now horizontal. Tail lights round instead of rectangular. Grille changed from five horizontal slats to crossbar design commonly referred to as a “bull nose” grille, similar to modern Dodge truck grille. Engine now 235 in² straight-6. Serial number codes unchanged from 1953. Hydramatic automatic transmission is available for the first time as a paid for option.
1955 First Series – Identical to the 1954 model year, except redesigned hood-side emblems and modern open driveshaft in place of enclosed torque tube. Serial number codes unchanged from 1953 and 1954.
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