Keith Hardy's
Old On-line Chevy Manuals Project

Keith has a website with more than 349 various Chevrolet-related manuals, booklets, bulletins and information (pre-1960), totaling over 25,500 pages, online for everyone's use. The information is provided FREE. It is to help with your old truck research and to promote the preservation of the Pre- and Post-War Chevrolets. The site is updated every few months with new material. (Last update was January 14, 2014) So, check back often. And a big thanks to Keith for all this work, and to those who support this project!

Some other Historical Tech Tips:



When you start gathering information to make up your "Baby Book" for your old truck, this hobby, or even events of days gone by when your truck just came off the line, this is yet another good place to check. Data, details, pictures, videos ... LOTS of it. Pour yourself some coffee, and maybe get a snack. Me thinks you'll be in here a while. A real treasure trove! (And they're just getting started!) ~ Editor

The General Motors Heritage Center
Plenty to see and hear from days gone by but not forgotten
  March 17, 2014

Back about 2000, we had a Tech Tip entitled "GM Restoration Kit." At that time, General Motors offered a small pile of information for many Chevy trucks of various years and sizes. It was all free! All you needed was to send in your Vehicle Identification Number, and they would copy all the information they had on file for your particular year and series truck.

Well, it was pretty popular and they ended up doing a lot of photocopying. So, GM decided to charge $50 for each request. Needless to say, that didn't go over too well.

Since that time, GM has built a Heritage Center, both physically and on-line. The physical facility looks pretty cool with lots of vintage GM vehicles, and still collecting. The same holds true for their virtual facility (the website). Once you start sniffing around in there, it's hard to stop! You may not find all you are looking for but you'll find enough to keep you cruising around.


The Physical Plant

If you happen to be "in town" (Sterling Heights, Michigan) or planning an event, this may interest you. The General Motors Heritage Center is a facility displaying nearly 200 priceless vehicles and artifacts. The Center is also designed to create the ideal setting for a variety of events. It is not open to the public (like dropping by for a visit), but it is available to external organizations seeking a unique, exclusive venue. They also schedule tours for groups or clubs and require only a 30-person minimum ... at a reasonable price even ($10/person).


The Website!

Once you enter the GMHC website, get comfy 'cause you'll be here a while. It's the other extreme of a junkyard you might say. You will find treasures tucked here and there. (Go on! Click that link or image.) For example, under Feature Stories on the front page of the site, it says the feature is about the Corvette Stingray and the link appear to be to a 1963 Stingray. Well, once you click on the 1963 Stingray link, it actually takes you to a page with several stories of other vehicles. So when there is a link, check it out!

Besides some important information about your particular truck, you'll find just some fascinating things about old vehicles and the era in which they were built.

The Heritage Center says they are adding to this site monthly (we are trying to pinpoint this so we can post it). Also, some of the downloadable files are quite large. They may take a long time to load on a slow connection. We think it'll be worth the wait. Or go to your library and have it downloaded at high-speed an save to a thumb drive.


The Collection

In the menu bar and on the index page, you'll find the Collection link. "The Collection" is made up of approximately 600 cars and trucks. Many reflect GM's industry firsts -- like the first electric self-starter, used on the 1912 Cadillac; the first production V8 that powered the 1915 Cadillac; the first air bag, etc. Other entries are technological experiments like the first American gas turbine-powered car (Firebird 1); the world's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle. Another batch is concept cars and special-interest styling / performance one-offs. You'll find links for significant race cars and milestone production vehicles featuring General Motors' front-wheel drive.

After you've clicked on the Collection link, choices roll out like toilet paper! There are a number of vehicles showcased there. The trucks featured (so far) are

  • a 1945 GMC Tanker - which includes some specific details about this truck. Digging deeper on that same page is "Related materials" which opens to a 49-page pdf file, "The First Century of GMC Truck History" compiled by Donald E. Meyer. If you really like this truck (or you happen to have one that may look like it someday), you can download the truck picture for wallpaper!
  • a 1956 GMC Suburban Pickup - a few details about the truck. GMC produced the Suburban from 1955 through 1957 and total production was close to 1,000 units.

See the USA in Your Chevrolet! We know these words and have sung thing jingle. Well, that original commercial in black and white is on the site. But that's another one to hunt for (this is your un-junkyard tour remember)! I will give you a hint: it's in The Collection section!

The Collection is ever-changing. New vehicles are constantly being obtained to fully represent GM's product story of the past 100+ years.

We have asked about a mailing list so we can know when new stuff is added (they don't have one). But we will persist!

Okay ... let's move on ...


The Archive Section

You thought the Collection section had little treasures hidden ... well ... this is the motherload!

There are three main sections:

  • Features
  • GM Historical Brochures
  • Vehicle Information Kits

We've tried to pick out a few yummy crumbs to get you moving on to this trail of discovery.

We started at the top in Features:

  • 1936 Parade of Progress - The General Motors "Parade of Progress" was a large, multi-faceted road show that began touring across America in 1936. You can download the four-page original brochure and watch an entertaining animated diorama video, "Our American Crossroads" -- it's incredible! You spend 11 minutes and 20 years in Pleasant Corners and see how the automobile changed a little town with dirt roads, to a four-lane highway.

The next section in Archive is GM Historical Brochures - Click thru and you'll see a layout of pamphlets (covers are shown) that come from the files of the GM Heritage Center archive. "They represent a small but varied sample of the types of documents, pamphlets and automobilia preserved by General Motors. We are pleased to provide the items on this page to download free of charge." General breakdown of topics are:

  • Anniversaries, such as "50 Years Ago" -- an overview of the difference in automobile manufacturing and American life between 1908 and 1958 has a 16 page pdf file.
  • Story of General Motors From the Progress of the Past ... The Promise of the future -- Covers the major milestones from the first 50 years of General Motors' history in a detailed time line from 1892 to 1958. It is a 44-page brochure in pdf format.
  • Chevrolet Engineering Features -- LOTS and LOTS of stuff
  • Chevrolet History -- LOTS and LOTS of stuff
  • Consumer Information -- you guessed it ... LOTS
  • Corporate GM History
  • Events -- all OLD stuff, and ... LOTS of it
  • GM Proving Grounds -- Oh, definitely get lost in here!
  • GM Technical Center
  • GMC
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Jobs and Recruiting -- remember, it's OLD stuff!
  • Manufacturing Facilities -- Castings, Foundries, Delco-Ramey, Detroit Transmission Division ... LOTS
  • Milestones
  • Oldsmobile
  • Pontiac
  • Service and Training - Some fun stuff: ABC's of Hand Tools, How to Win an Argument ... and more!

Okay, that's the major breakdown. If you haven't figured out yet that we want YOU to go LOOK, here is some of the information from this section in Archives that may throw you over the edge:

  • "Chevrolet Advance-Design Trucks Built for the Load" -- Product guide for all available models in the Chevrolet Truck Division for the 1951 model year -- 24 pages of the original document.
  • "Chevrolet 1911 - 1996" -- A 97-page book that was written to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Chevrolet. It provides a history of Chevrolet, covering the major milestones of the brand. The book also provides an index of the different logos and badges used by Chevrolet.
  • "Chevrolet's 5,000,000th Engine Press Release" -- A 14-page press release that details information about the 5,000,000th engine built at the Chevrolet Motor Division's Engine Plant on Van Slyke Road in Flint, MI. Included are images of the 1st and 5 millionth engines on display at the plant.
  • "The Chevrolet Story" -- A 14-page detailed history of the growth of the Chevrolet Motor Division including a timeline of Chevrolet milestones from 1911 to 1950.
  • "The Chevrolet Story - 1911 - 1958" -- A 30-page history of the Chevrolet Motor Division covering the major milestones in a detailed timeline from 1911 to 1958.
  • "The Chevrolet Story - 1911 - 1961" -- A 36-page history of the Chevrolet Motor Division covering the major milestones in chronological format from 1911 to 1961. Also included are details about the production of the upcoming 1961 models.
  • "The Cold Facts About Chevrolet and Ford Truck Engines" -- A four page pdf document that compares the Chevrolet V6 engine performance and Ford V8 and V6 engine performance.
  • "Tomorrow's Driving ... Today!" -- A 12-page booklet about the Chevrolet Powerglide automatic transmission that details the workings and benefits of the new transmission.


Vehicle Information Kits

This next section in Archives takes you to the Vehicle Information kits (that we talked about in the first paragraph). These information kits contain basic specifications, equipment availability and in some cases, owner's and service information. If you are looking specifically for Chevy Trucks, you just need to drop down to the category Chevrolet, then Chevrolet Trucks (All Models Not Listed Below). Click on Show, and you will find Chevy trucks from 1930 to 2000. Take your pick. As far as we have researched, each year has the truck specifications. I picked the 1949 and it is a 53-page pdf file.

One other neat thing about this section, if you are looking to do a tranny swap or you have some other major wonderment in mind, you can get specifications for whatever it is you are trying to swap out. No more guessing and measuring (well maybe not NO more) but it will sure give you some real data to work with.

The Heritage will continue to add additional kits to this section.


What can we tell you
about Canadian-built Stovebolts?

We have to do more hunting!

But we have come across a good link (we think). We'll have to pull it apart for details. But if you are needing to find information about an old GM truck that was built or assembled in Canada, a good place to start is the Vintage Vehicles Services of Canada.

As we get more information, we'll add it in.


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