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Those Art Deco trucks (1941 to 1947 1st Series) all look alike, don't they? Well big surprise -- they're not! With just a little bit of knowledge, you too can impress your boy/girlfriend, entertain party guests or deal with a cagey seller by being able to tell those elusive '41's from their more numerous '46 brethren! It's so easy once you've let Kip teach you how to ...

Spot Art Deco trucks like an expert!
Contributed by many on Stovebolt *
And gathered by Kip "Kip's41" Bonds
Bolter # 9129
1941 Chevy Master 3/4-Ton
More discussion about this topic in the General Truck Forum 12 May 2008

Differences in the Chevy Art Deco Trucks
1941, and the 1942 thru 1947 First series

       For trucks that look alike, there sure are a lot of subtle differences among the short production span of the "Art Deco" trucks (1941 to early 1947). These may be obvious to some, but it may be of some help to newer 'Bolters to run down the differences.

       These differences are based on the collective experience of many Art Deco truck owners. It should be noted that evidence exists suggesting some later Art Deco trucks may have been built with left over 1941 parts due to production shortages. (Some of the different 1941 parts may have shown up as original equipment on war time trucks due to shortages caused by the war and also on late 1946 and early 1947 trucks due to shortages due to a major strike.)

       General Motors pushed away from it's conservative designs in 1941 when it introduced a bold new style -- The Art Deco Series. A noticeable difference was the front end, showcasing a two-tiered grille with horizontal and vertical bars. This truck above is Bob Converse's 1947 1st Series GMC. (More about this truck in the Gallery.)

       Here is a list of what weI've found so far. Please feel free to join the discussion as we build this tip! It has promise to be a good one!

1942 to 1947 First series
Parking lights   Lights are from a 1939 Pontiac. The lens is 4" long and the bulb mount is horizontal   Light is designed for the truck. The lens is 2" long and the bulb mount is vertical
Inner fenders

The bottom front runs out horizontally over the frame and the rear support is an independent 1/8" thick steel brace to the frame

[ Image - 1941 left front inner fender brace ]

The bottom edge follows the top of the frame and the rear edge is bolted in two places to the firewall

[ Image - 1946 left front inner fender braces ]

Rear fender   The rear fender has 3 bolts above the bed and two below   The rear fender has 5 bolts above the bed and 2 below
Rear fender brace The brace is directly over the top of the fender The brace is at the10:00 position
3/4-ton Differential
[ Image ]
  1941 and 1942 Light duty trucks used a modified ½ ton differential with an open driveshaft and 6 bolt wheels [ images: 1941 / 1942 Light Duty 3/4-ton Differential / 1941 through 1954 1/2-ton Differential / 1941 - 1942 Light Duty 3/4-ton Rear Axle and Hub ]   1941, 1942 Commercial and all 1943 to 1947 first series used a heavy duty differential, open driveshaft, full floating hubs and 8 bolt wheels [ images: 1941 - 1942 Commercial & all 1943 to 1947 First 3/4-ton Differential / 1941 and 1942 Commercial and all 1943 to 1947 First 3/4-ton Rear Axel and Hub ]
3/4-ton wheels   6-bolt same as the 1/2-ton   8-bolt wheels
Door handle   Passenger's side only has lock in the door handle [ Image ] [ The Pieces ]   Passenger's side only and has lock separate below the door handle [ Image ]
Bed boards 6 boards [ Image ] [ 1941 3/4-ton hold down bolt locations ] 7 boards [ 1946 1/2-ton hold down bolt locations ]
Cab Rear Window Mounting   The rear window is held in place by a zinc alloy (pot metal) die cast frame [ image ] with a rubber seal clamped between it and the cab. Clutch head bolts are screwed through the cab’s metal inner trim, the cab and the seal into threaded holes in the outside frame. [ 1941 rear window - Retaining bolts ]   The rear window is held in place with a large rubber seal much like a windshield. [ 1946 cab rear window exterior, rubber seal ] [ 1946 cab rear window interior, rubber seal ]
Gas tank filler grommet   Rubber   Leather
Headliner   The 1941 used a one piece headliner   These models used a two piece headliner [ image ] [ uncovered image ]


* Thanks to these contributors so far (information and/or photos): George "46forme" Wells, Tim "Sheridan" Sheridan, Kirk "41Chevy" Culver, Kip "kip's 41" Bonds, Dan "Chev4t6," "1946chevypickup," "rustednuts," Harold "Harold41" Wilson, "Dalbuie," Jim "JiMerit" Merit, Dave "Homer52," "apart hillbilly," and Kieth "Workinonit" Bevan



If your knuckles aren't a-bleed'n, you aint a-doin it right - Michael Lancaster 1941 1.5-ton

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