Wednesday, July 9, 2014

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1946 Chevrolet 1-1/2 Ton Flatbed Truck

Let me just start this post by saying I'm not an expert on medium-duty commercial trucks. My identification of this truck is a best guess since the Chevy trucks didn't change a whole lot between 1941 and 1946 (1947 for the bigger ones). Near as I can tell, this is a '46 Model 4408, Series OS, 1-1/2 ton cab and platform truck with the 160-inch wheelbase. Or maybe not. Any help is appreciated.

Chevrolet's big truck lineup in the 1940s pretty much offered all things to all commercial operators. Buyers could spec anything from a half-ton pickup to a school bus chassis, with one of two six-cylinder engines. This one most likely has the 216 cubic inch Thrift-Master engine, unless it's a model 5000 or higher (2 ton) truck which would have the 235 Load-Master engine.

The interior still wears its original Armour Yellow paint, though the outside was covered some time ago by a dark green that's badly faded and rusting now. The owner must have a sense of humor, having stenciled "Executive Hideaway" on the door. The flatbed wood could be original, though the California license plates and Harley-Davidson mudflaps are new. Note the stem of a right-side windshield wiper; this was a factory option. Many things we take for granted today were extra-cost options on trucks for decades, because trucks are sold as much on price as work ability. One wonders how many of the rear lamps work with all that spaghetti jumble of wires under the rear end. The patina this truck has earned can never be replicated.

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