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  #1  
Old 27-06-18, 12:06
Lang Lang is offline
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Default Chevrolet photos wanted

I have bought a Chevrolet Panel Delivery to take to Normandy next year. I can find no photos of them even in the background. I would appreciate anything to try to find out their uses.

I have found out a bit about production 1941-47 almost unchanged. They came with painted or chrome grille in civilian service but strangely all the military ones were delivered in olive drab or navy grey with chrome grille. They may or may not have been painted over in service.

Mine is a;

Truck, Panel Delivery, 3/4 ton, 4x2 SNL G-616

The 1/2 ton is almost identical in appearance but SNL G-612

These have nothing in common with the larger 1 1/2 ton Chevrolet 4x4 dual wheel panel truck except the rear body.

On the right is a factory photo of the carryall version of my van - note the chrome grille.

Lang

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Last edited by Lang; 30-06-18 at 06:28.
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  #2  
Old 28-06-18, 22:04
Owen Evans Owen Evans is offline
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Default Same, but different

Slightly different makes/models, which I guess would have served the same purposes as your truck; might give you a few ideas. The 1939 Chev "sally bash" version (2nd photo) looks interesting.

There's a few panel vans of varying types on this site, mixed in with some nice CMP pictures:

http://silverhawkauthor.com/mobile-s...-rcaf_481.html

In the 'standard military motor vehicles' data book, the later 1/2 ton dodge panel truck is identified as "to transport light cargo"..

Nice project!

Owen.
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1937 GMC half ton.jpg   1939 chev australia.jpg   RCAF mechanical transport_01.jpg  
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  #3  
Old 28-06-18, 22:42
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Lang,

Great vehicle and great to hear you plan on coming over to Normandy, again!

Did you check the extensive LIFE picture collection posted here?: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Radio.WW...os/?tab=albums

There are some early war albums with pictures taken in the US, that often show very interesting, and rare, vehicles.

Alex
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  #4  
Old 29-06-18, 00:32
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Thanks Owen and Alex

This gives me a few clues. Best I have found is a 9th Air Force "Flight Line Photographic Laboratory" - they got the film from the gun cameras on the tarmac and started developing them on the way back to the debriefing.

There is a photo of an International Metro van with that writing and the back of what looks like my vehicle parked beside it. Could be from the photographic unit or just the catering vehicle delivering sandwiches!

I will find something suitable.

Mike O'Sullivan (who drove his C15A to Normandy from Istanbul with us) is restoring the same type of Panel Delivery except his is a Dodge SNL G-613.
We are doing the work on both vehicles in his workshop in Texas then will ship together to Europe in May next year.

Any other brilliant suggestions always welcome.

Lang
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  #5  
Old 29-06-18, 02:52
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Regarding the chrome, the US and Canada quit using chrome on vehicles from 1942 to 1945 since it was needed for more important stuff at the time.
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  #6  
Old 29-06-18, 05:14
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Cletrac

That was the general policy but there were many civilian model based vehicles still produced with limited chrome trimming, including the Chev Panel and Carryall. Many of the Dodges also had the vertical centre strips still chrome while the rest of the bars reverted to paint.

Here are some photos of a group of new Chevrolet staff cars in New Guinea in 1944 all with chrome grilles. The posed factory photos of the chrome grille Carryall and Pickup are dated October 42. I suppose they would have had thousands of chrome grilles in the system when the stop order came. Maybe they decided to use them on the light truck orders? Most of these would have been for US home issue or at least rear areas.

Lang
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Last edited by Lang; 30-06-18 at 12:16.
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Old 29-06-18, 10:36
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Best photo so far of a Chevrolet in use but a Carryall not very useful! It has chrome hubcaps.

Aberdeen Proving Ground 1943
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  #8  
Old 29-06-18, 14:35
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Hello Lang,

Always amazed by your intercontinental automotive projects. This panel van is a rare beast, it is hard to find a reference in my library which includes books like Fred W. Crismon's U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles. But they were a military vehicle, as listed in TM 9-2800 Standard Military Motor Vehicles (1943). See attached pages for details - TM9-2800_G-616.pdf:
Quote:
TRUCK, PANEL DELIVERY, 3/4-ton, 4x2
Technical Manual: TM 10-1287. Parts List: SNL G-616
Manufacturer: Chevrolet Motor Div. (General Motors Corp.)
Classification: Limited standard
Purpose : To transport light cargo.

TRUCK, PICKUP, 3/4-ton, 4x2
Technical Manuals: TM 10-1163, TM 10-1167, TM 10-1305. Parts List: SNL G-616.
Manufacturer: Chevrolet Motor Div. (General Motors Corp.)
Classification: Limited standard
Purpose: To transport general cargo
A quick search yielded a reference to a manual listing G-616:
Quote:
Ord 8 SNL G520, G612, G616 Bus 15 Passenger G520, Car 5 Passenger 4 door (G520), Truck 1/2 Ton 4X2 (G612), Truck 3/4 ton 4X2 (G-616) 1944 102 VG $40
The ad dates back to 2017 but maybe the seller still has it, or you snapped it up already?

This is an interesting class of vehicles: while acquired by the military, these are basically civilian vehicles with slight military modifications like matt paint and possibly military black-out lighting. In the government supply systems they are listed as "Limited Standard" military vehicles, typically to be used at home bases or at least non-combat units. Being basic civilian vehicles, they are better to drive long distances than heavy all-wheel drive military trucks.

I think it would look great in US Navy gloss medium gray No. 123 on all exterior metal surfaces with the exception of chrome plating (source). When repainting vehicles, the US Navy would often paint the chassis and underbody with black bituminous paint.

All for now, looking forward to seeing the restoration progressing - and to meeting you again in Normandy!

Regards,
Hanno
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Old 30-06-18, 01:03
Lang Lang is offline
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Hanno

Thank you for all that info.

The later edition of the US Military standard vehicles book lists the Chevrolet and Dodge 1/2 ton Panel vans as "Standard" . Maybe when they get a certain number in service they become "Standard"?

Here is a photo that might interest you - a gang of Dutchmen sitting on a chrome grille Chevrolet.
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Last edited by Lang; 30-06-18 at 12:03.
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  #10  
Old 30-06-18, 01:36
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Hanno

Reading your info on Navy grey paint instructions I always thought this Chevrolet Pick-up was an over the top restoration.

The instructions say do not paint over chrome so apart from the whitewall tyres this would be correct. But as it is a Recruiting vehicle, they dressed these up so even the whitewalls might be an accurate restoration.

Lang
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Old 30-06-18, 02:12
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Sorry Owen was on your link but I missed it. There is one of my Panel trucks (with chrome grille) in this line-up taken 1944. Also a Dodge like Mike o'Sullivan is restoring in the workshop beside my truck in Texas.

Might be a bit different to have a Royal Canadian Air Force vehicle.

What might be the colors? It may just be the light but the left hand group seem different colors to the right hand group in the front row.

If any of the Canadian team can offer a color guess it would be great.

Lang
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Last edited by Lang; 01-07-18 at 06:17.
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  #12  
Old 30-06-18, 04:04
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I just found the official GM production figures for 1941 and 1942.

Vehicles built for commercial sale had different model codes.

Taking the civilian style Suburbans and Panel Delivery vans produced for the US Government of 1/2 and 3/4 ton 4x2 size:

1941

Model Code and number built.
20A 1/2 ton Suburban 600
20D 3/4 ton Panel 4
No 1/2 ton Panel purchased by government.
Total government purchases for 1941 including pick-ups, telephone etc 1,399

1942

Model Code and number built
21K 1/2 ton Suburban 676
21B 1/2 ton Panel 55
21F 3/4 ton Panel 44
Total government purchases for 1942 including pick-ups, telephone etc 1,641

Some conclusions:
My vehicle from the data plate - 20D - is one of only four government order 3/4 ton panel trucks produced in 1941.

There is now no mystery why there are so many Suburban photos with so many produced.

These figures include about 50 RHD Pick-ups and 50 RHD Suburbans - who were the customers?

Lang

Last edited by Lang; 30-06-18 at 13:01.
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  #13  
Old 30-06-18, 07:16
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Lots of interesting vehicles. A Chevrolet Panel van about 6:22 but I suspect it is an Australian built one with a Holdens body as the rear doors are different.

www.awm.gov.au/collection/F01223/

Lang

Last edited by Lang; 30-06-18 at 12:46.
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Old 01-07-18, 21:50
David Herbert David Herbert is offline
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Regarding the question of the use of chrome grills on military production, I visited someone yesterday who has a number of vehicles (several makes) that were new to the US military and have chrome grills. When I commented on this he pointed out that they were not chromed but were actually pressed from stainless steel. On close inspection I was absolutely satisfied that they were stainless and were original to the vehicles, which were unrestored US imports and very much unmolested.

These sort of components would normally have been manufactured in a very large batch at the start of that model year's production, and in a quantity to suit the anticipated production needs. With each manufacturer moving over to mostly purely military models, the production of light vehicles with more or less civilian front ends would have greatly reduced so the parts stock would have lasted much longer than a normal model year. The choice would be then to either use the stainless ones or to scrap them and make painted ones. As these vehicles were not for front line use they evidently opted to use up stock. The vehicles that I inspected did however have painted parts that on civilian ones would have been chromed so they had discontinued chroming to some degree.

David
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Old 01-07-18, 23:45
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Thanks for that David.

I think the Chevrolet ones were chrome as I have seen plenty of rusted ones - see photo below. Not to say they did not have stainless as well. The engine side strips could well have been stainless. The bumpers were certainly chrome.

I believe the most common "shiny" bit on this type of civilian/military vehicle is the vertical centre strip on the Dodges - of all sizes. This is commonly stainless and may have been in use right through although painted over in many cases. The horizontal dress strips (probably chrome) were dropped.

I agree about the huge stocks of parts in the store. This was before the days of "just in time" supply chains and hundreds of millions would have been invested in dead stock awaiting use in stores at the factory. The production and transport systems were inadequate at that time to guarantee no assembly line stoppages awaiting parts as they can now. As little as 24 hours reserve stock is now held on production lines sending out over a thousand cars a week.

Lang
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Last edited by Lang; 02-07-18 at 03:24.
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Old 02-07-18, 00:15
Grant Bowker Grant Bowker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lang View Post
I agree about the huge stocks of parts in the store. This was before the days of "just in time" supply chains and hundreds of millions would have been invested in dead stock awaiting use in stores at the factory. The production and transport systems were inadequate at that time to guarantee no build stoppages awaiting parts as they can now. As little as 24 hours reserve stock is now held on production lines sending out over a thousand cars a week.
I, for one, am glad they made the surplus of parts. The large build of parts is at least partly responsible for the availability of NOS parts for our trucks. Can you imagine trying to restore a current vehicle built with "just in time" parts in 70 years? It's hard enough getting Ford to have parts available for my (2006) F-350 when I need them.
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Old 02-07-18, 12:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lang View Post
Here is a photo that might interest you - a gang of Dutchmen sitting on a chrome grille Chevrolet.
Thanks Lang, interesting indeed! They would not happen to be members of No. 18 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF, would they?

Hanno
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Old 02-07-18, 13:21
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Hanno

It came off an Indonesian site with no caption other than they were Dutch, I suspect it might be 1946.

Lang
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Old 02-07-18, 14:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lang View Post
It came off an Indonesian site with no caption other than they were Dutch, I suspect it might be 1946.
So that would be during the so-called Dutch "policing actions", as they were called back then - now properly named Indonesian war of independence.
During that period the Dutch troops used a mind-boggling mix of ex-Canadian Army vehicles shipped over from dumps in the Netherlands, vehicles taken over in-theatre from British-Indian troops (which first occupied Indonesia after the Japanese capitulation), vehicles captured from the Japanese Army (which were often captured from the pre-war Dutch Army), to civilian vehicles acquired on the open market.
The latter came into play when the Netherlands became isolated in the international community for trying to recapture their former colony, and they were no longer supplied by other governments. So, that Chevrolet in the picture above may well have been a commercial one with gloss paint and chrome trim.

H.
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Old 02-07-18, 21:26
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Again that carry all, plus another example of a military Chevrolet truck with shiny bits!

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Old 02-07-18, 21:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lang View Post
Might be a bit different to have a Royal Canadian Air Force vehicle.

What might be the colors? It may just be the light but the left hand group seem different colors to the right hand group in the front row.

If any of the Canadian team can offer a color guess it would be great.
Lang, as far as I know the RCAF basically followed the RAF colour schemes. Pre-1940/1941 that was overall 633 RAF Blue Grey. In the RAF only after WW2 the wings (fenders), chassis and valances were painted semi gloss black.
So I was going to suggest this could be a post-WW2 picture, until I checked Owen's link above an saw it captioned: "RCAF motor Transport Fleet, Rockcliffe, Ontario, 4 July 1944. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583342)".

So the blue-black scheme is definitely an option, though in combat areas air force vehicles were painted in greens and browns like their army counterparts.

What colour was your panel van originally? Could it be a Navy medium gray? You'd look great in a sailor's blue denim working suit and white cap! ;-)

H.
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Old 02-07-18, 23:21
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Hanno

I have not seen the Chevrolet in real life yet (bought it on Ebay and Mike just collected it and stored in his shed) As Mike is in Australia for a couple of weeks the shop is presently unattended. I will have him check the color.

The Chevrolet with the musicians could be anything as you say. Can you get a unit from the numbers?

You talk about mind-boggling variety, I don't think it is possible to beat that Canadian Air Force collection. I would put money on most of them being civilian vehicles taken by the government. As they are all just a few years old there probably is no reason they could not have completed the war trouble free in the light use required on a large Air Force base.

The blue with black wings might look good. Skin tight sailor's pants (with the backsides cut out of them and a rainbow sash) really would not look good with my current seniority and belt size.

Lang
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  #23  
Old 03-07-18, 09:37
Alastair Thomas Alastair Thomas is offline
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Default Chevrolet OB van

Running up to his demob from the RAF, as well as his responsibilities as chief technical officer for radar cover from Sfax to Basra and Istanbul to Mombassa, my Father picked up some responsibilities for FBS. He not only saw to the installation of the transmitting and studio equipment but also some of the outside broadcasts. For these he was issued a Chevrolet van, suitably converted and here are some pictures.

Alastair
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Old 03-07-18, 12:55
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Good one Alastair

Gives me some ideas.

Same body but on a 1 or 1 1/2 ton chassis. Note the 5 stud front and 10 stud rear wheels. Same spare wheel but a plate went over the front studs to hide the unused holes.

thanks.

Lang

Last edited by Lang; 03-07-18 at 14:39.
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Old 03-07-18, 13:45
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Here is a good photo but unfortunately it is the right vehicle but an Australian built Holdens body. It looks like the well known restored Cinema Unit No 71 is the wrong model (car based van instead of the truck based original vehicle).

Here are a couple more of the truck based ones.
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Last edited by Lang; 03-07-18 at 14:30.
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Old 11-07-18, 12:30
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Lang, again not the type you're after, but maybe of interest anyway.....

It seems the Fleetmasters guys in Belgium had at least one of the 1,5ton examples at one time

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Fleetmas...os/?tab=albums

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Old 12-07-18, 09:13
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Thanks Alex

Lang
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Old 12-07-18, 12:34
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Default AWM movie

This AWM movie has scenes of a Chevy van.

F01073
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Old 12-07-18, 14:22
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Thanks, Mike

If the restored one had been marked with Photographic Unit instead of Mobile Cinema Unit 71 it would have been spot-on.

Nice clear footage of the vehicle.

Lang
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Old 13-07-18, 04:07
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Here are some more Australian Chevrolet car-based Panel vans.
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Last edited by Lang; 13-07-18 at 08:52.
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