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Joined: Apr 2004
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For "weekend chatter with a purpose" ... I think this has been enlightening. Even *I* have been reading it. And I did my best not to interrupt. grin Until now. Didn't want Gdads51 to move the thread!! wink

Peggy M
“After all, tomorrow is another day!”—Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Share knowledge and communicate it effectively. ~ Elihu
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,698
Gearhead, Moderator for The Swap Meet and General Truck Talk
Not moving this - no way - no how!

It is right were it belongs. thumbs_up

Keep going folks, inquiring minds want to know!!!


PS - May not be secret for much longer. grin


1951 Chevy 3 window 3100 (My Grandpa's hunting truck)
1966 Chevelle (Wife's Hot Rod)
2013 Chevy Silverado (Current daily driver)
US Army MSG Retired (1977-1998)
Com Fac Maint Lead Tech Retired (1998-2021)

Finally time to get to work on my Grandpa's (now mine) truck!
Joined: Apr 2020
Posts: 246
Professional procrastinator
From all the info I can find the word gasoline was changed to fuel in the 1950 model year on the smaller GMC trucks. I do not know about the larger series. That would make the gauge cluster for 1950 a 1 year only. The housings for the gauges in 47 2nd series are 1 year only also.

1947.2 GMC 1/2T panel
1947.2 GMC 1/2T long bed
1948 GMC 1/2T pick-up

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,250
I believe yiu are correct, TwinJimmys. That affirms my vague recollection. Thanks for your diligence. I may have to come up with a Free Part as your reward. I don’t think you qualify as a SHOIL inductee though. I believe this puts you in the Famous Lore category (minus the Infamous title).

Thanks again. Nice work.


Pulled this from the internet on a 1948 GMC (L). 1950 (R)

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Last edited by tom moore; Tue Apr 25 2023 09:33 AM.
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,250
While at it - I like the mustard beige color of the 47-50 GMC gauges.

I made ann attempt to reproduce that color but it’s difficult to do when the NAPA guy has full control of the colors and he’s watching the clock and customers going in and out of the door. I know I could do it if given the opportunity.

I don’t believe a vendor sells the gauge color for those wanting to restore these gauges.

Decals are available - but the color match is not very close. I was fortunate to find complete NOS gauge clusters and speedos for the collection… but they came at a price. Paint would have been much cheaper.

Last edited by tom moore; Tue Apr 25 2023 04:27 PM.
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 6,211
Unrepentant VW Lover
Well ... having worked in Government acquisition for a few years ... Allow me to chime in with an idea ... The word "Fuel" has half as many letters than the word "Gasoline" to print on the gauge face. printing fewer letters would use half as much paint -- which may seem insignificant for an individual gauge, but over the entire production run may add up to something perhaps a little less insignificant. Couple that with other ways to economize production costs and you could realize some good cost reductions. It probably got somebody an "attaboy" for saying something in a paint cost meeting .. "Hey ... what if we put "Fuel" instead of "Gasoline" on the gauge face??" I could see silence descend around the table as a lot of raised eyebrows, index fingers to chins and looking at each other with intent looks went on until the head of the paint cost reduction committee said "Brilliant!" and they moved on.

Silly? May be, but I've seen major aircraft manufacturers and government acquisition reps wrestle over sillier things than that.


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
Will Rogers

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Moderator for Tons o' Fun , Co-Moderator Driveline Forum
I wonder if in the mind of the designer was the thought that a gauge face with the word fuel could also be utilized in the manufacture of the gauge package for trucks that utilized Diesel as the fuel. Kind of falls in line with John's view on cost saving ideas. Being a 1950 Truck, would it be possible that the Korean War, and potential shortages of materials could have impacted a design decision? Obviously we may never know but its been a very interesting post.

Ron - - Dusty53
"you can't dance with the Devil and then wonder why you're still in Hell"
" They will forget what you've said, and they will forget what you have done but they will never forget the way you made them feel"

1954 Chevy 3604
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Posts: 2,045
Outside of North America, gasoline is called petrol. One gauge for both domestic and export markets?

1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,250
Kudos to the brilliant guy that got moved up another floor in the Gauge Department. That is a moment in corporate history. So many unsung hero’s in this business.

As an aside, the Uncle of a woman I married back in the day - worked for GM in the late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. So the story goes… he came up with the concept and designed the first intermittent and delay wiper switch.

Judging by his retirement, house on the lake, and well … his hubris… i never questioned it. I would have to think that idea may have germinated in other places as a result of Defense research, and air and space technology that was outpacing, more than likely the automobile industry then.

I have yet to see a gauge with the words “recycled cooking oil”on it though.

Last edited by tom moore; Tue May 09 2023 06:22 PM.
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,121
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
I'm with John. Seems that the bean counters tend to win, even when it doesn't make good engineering sense.

The Korean war trucks got painted bumpers, hubcaps, etc, to save chrome for the war effort, and they needed that paint from those 4 extra letters for the previously chromed but now painted parts. wink

Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
If you're smart enough to take it apart, you darn well better be smart enough to put it back together.
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