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The Canopy Express

By Lou MacMillan

A Stovebolt History Lesson:

The Plight of the Canopy Express

Why Didja Cut the Sides out of Yer Panel Truck!!

           In 1917, the first body style the Graham Bros. produced for Dodge trux was a Canopy Express Screen Side Delivery. A week later they started making panel trux. When GM bought the Martin-Parry body company of Indianapolis in 1931, they made two size Canopy Express bodies until first series 1955. (See the ad below.) They discontinued the panel trux in the 1970's.

           The Depot Hack was a predecessor of both Canopy and Burb. GM, Dodge and International Harvester produced Canopy's in the 1930's and 40's. Ford never did. But outside manufactures produced bodies for Ford and other Commercial Chassis. IH made a Travelall from 40's - 70's. Dodge made a Town Panel from 40's - 60's. N neither was as popular as the Burb.

           Note that IH followed GM in using the Panel as the basis for the Canopy but Dodge used a pickup box and wood lath canvas roof on their's. (Dodge's panels still have a leaky canvas insert in panel roofs. My '34 humpback has two canvas inserts that leak.)2

           You could order a Canopy top for your 1937 Chev Pickup, but it only had 2/3 the volume of the 1937 Chev Canopy Express. My yellow Canopy (above) is original (paint and engine) and used as a daily workhorse. "It was restored 60 years ago by factory experts!" I got better than 20 MPG when I drove to LA in January.




          Lou MacMillan is a long-time friend of The Stovebolt Page and has a lot more detailed information (colors, weight information, how many produced, etc.) on the Canopy Express with some great old pictures. In addition, Lou has a great site with lots of other detailed info on The 1937 Chevrolet Trux Page. ~~ Editor

v November 2005

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