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Re: 54 vs 55 1st series 3100
#58182 Sun Mar 26 2006 03:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 394
B
Shop Shark
TClederman--

My 55.1 chrome grill has no painted background--all chrome. Appears to be original.


Buzz'n Half Dozen
Re: 54 vs 55 1st series 3100
#58183 Sun Mar 26 2006 04:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 29,546
ace skiver
Buzz'n,

Thanks for the information. I just now looked at a 1955-1st sales brochure. It does not have any chrome grills but all the white grills had black "CHEVROLET" letters on the top bar and black inner bars. I had never noticed this.

One of my '54 pick-ups had an all-white grill. A case of a repaint of a slightly damaged grill. I found this out when I starting stripping off the paint.

On your '55-1st chrome grill, are the parking lamp panels and the lower grill pan chromed? They were not chromed in '54. And, in '54, the inner grill bars were bright white. This is in all the '54 sales brochures and I once saw a pristine, original '54 Deluxe Cab (green exterior with green/green interior) with all the deluxe chrome options (and 18,000 miles on it).

THe grills seem to be the major obvious difference between '54 and '55 first.

What is the code on the ID plate on your 3100 truck? I am interested in knowing if they actually changed to the '55 code (H55...) or if they continued to use the '54 code (H54...).

Thanks,

Tim


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE [1954advance-design.com] - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: 54 vs 55 1st series 3100
#58184 Sun Mar 26 2006 03:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 394
B
Shop Shark
Tim --

My truck's ID code is H55 and the lower grill panel is chromed as are the parking lamp panels. Importantly, this truck is not a deluxe cab which leads me to believe that the chrome option was available on some non 3104 trucks or could be ordered. As a result of my inspections of the truck and my discussions with the PO I am convinced (as I can be with a 50 year old truck) that the chrome grill is original.

In my search for a first series 55 AD truck, I only found two other trucks both in too poor condition to purchase. One was advertised as a 54 but it was a 55.1 and the door plate showed H55. The second truck was marked the same (H55). Both of those trucks had painted grills but unfortunately the original paint was gone or overpainted in both cases. I believe that the white with black background was the factory paint on non-chrome grills as you state.

I suspect that the Chevrolet on the upper bar of my grill was originally painted black but the paint is gone. I say this as the chrome side badging (55 badges) had a black background and some of the original paint remains.

I agree that the grill was an obvious pointer to the difference between the two model years, The other being the side badging which is plainly different in 55.

I saw your website over at Kookbolt--your truck, the carryall and their restorations are impressive smile .


Buzz'n Half Dozen
Re: 54 vs 55 1st series 3100
#58185 Sun Mar 26 2006 08:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 29,546
ace skiver
Buzz'n,

"this truck is not a deluxe cab which leads me to believe that the chrome option was available on some non 3104 trucks or could be ordered"

In 1954 and I bet in 1955-1st, there was RPO 393 Chrome Equipment, which included chrome grill, chrome front bumper, and chrome hubcaps.

That option was separate from the 5-window RPOs, such as:

RPO 390 De Luxe Equipment (for bigger trucks) did not include the 393 chrome pieces

RP0 430 & 431 De Luxe Cab Equipment (included two-tone interior(four combinations by late '54) and other goodies, but not the 393 chrome pieces

So, your chrome grill could easily have been delivered as you describe.

Tim


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE [1954advance-design.com] - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: 54 vs 55 1st series 3100
#58186 Mon Mar 27 2006 04:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 503
5
Shop Shark
Since my 55.1 3100 is was not original I have sniffed around a lot trying to find the truth. I don't know for certain if I've found the truth but I am satisfied with my conclusions based on deductive reasoning and viewing of black and white factory pictures.

I don't think any of the 3600 and larger 55.1 trucks were different from 54 mechanically except for the 261 engine and related parts.

There are conflicting "facts" out there about the grille colors for 3100 between the years. Another thing which I think may produce errors is the true fact that a lot of folks with a 54 model think they have a 55.1 and vice versa. I do know I've viewed a lot of black and white factory pictures and can tell the bottom pan was not chromed on any of them and the background color is very light or white on the 54s and very dark or black on the 55.1s.

The closest thing to fact about the chrome grilles I have found is in a parts book printed in late 1955. The grille on the 1954-55 trucks was not sold as a complete replacement assembly but in pieces. It shows 4 replacement parts available as chrome: The top bar, vertical center nose, and the left and right hand center bars. There is no reference to the parking lamp panels and the lower grille bar being available in chrome.

I know one fellow who said this about the painted 3100 grille:
"I sold an unmolested 55 1st series truck a few years ago. The truck was painted the original green. The outer portion of the grill was green & the inner portion [ behind the double lip] was waldorf white AKA eggshell. Only the 2 wings & the lower baffle got the white inner highlight. The top bar was all green [ with white lettering ] 2 middle wings were green from the double lip forward. Lower baffle was green from the double lip forward. Nose cone was all green [ no white at all on this piece at all ] Park light surrounds were all green."
Did he really have a 55.1 is my question. Was it actually original is the other.

Now I know another guy with an "original" 55.1 chrome grille. It has the black background on the nose and center bars. The bottom pan and parklights are body color.

Eventually I decided there is no such thing as absolute facts. My 55.1 grille now has white header, nose and center bars, with flat black background. Bottom pan, parklight ends and bumper filler panel are body color. I honestly believe this would have been correct from the 55.1 factory. If not so be it. I like it.


Mike

1950 GMC 1-ton pickup, 55.1 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
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