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Something I've never seen before- a civilian vehicle from 1945


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I went to a small car show on Sunday and saw something I've only ever read about before. I know that a small number of civilian vehicles were made for "essential" reasons during the war but I had not seen one. Now I have.

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It was a nice little show, even though only 28 cars showed up, mostly due to the prediction of inclement weather. 

 

I believe that the chrome hub caps are not factory stock but I'm sure that someone will have more knowledge than I do. 

 

The rest of the show is here on my website if you want to look: East Fishkill Rotary Car Show 2021 album | El Camino Billy | Fotki.com, photo and video sharing made easy. There's a 1939 Buick in the first 6 pictures that I think would be popular here. 

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The dual exhaust is not original as you might have guessed.  The tail light mounting is also unusual.  Still, a very nice truck and most likely the owners pride and joy.  Looks like it still has the six cylinder power plant.  Friend of mine had a 1946 GMC in similar green but his had black fenders.

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Trucks were considered essential to the war effort. So a lot of trucks were built during the war. More so than cars. You had to proof of essential activities to purchase a new truck.

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I have a 1945 GMC 3 ton. Similar in that it was sold to a Commercial operator here in Vancouver,  Canada at some point in later 1945. About the only difference from a 1946 that I am aware of is all painted trim and a wood rim steering wheel. Not many civilian 1945's were built, but as the war wound down they were available on a limited basis to people or company's involved with war work. It has a pretty low serial number, somewhere around number 450 or so if I remember correctly. Unfortunately since it was retired from the company fleet in the mid 1970's it has been mostly stored outside so something of a project.

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My Dad always told the story of the Parker Boy's. During and right after the war getting a new farm truck was nearly impossible. Well, old man Parker who was a successful potato farmer managed to get a new 1946 International KB5 1-1/2 ton. He was so proud of that truck. One day the boys rolled it over or had some sort of mishap and did a number on the cab.  When the mechanic talked about how he could straighten it out etc. Mr. Parker in his anger pointed to the top of the cowl and said "Cut the son of B%# off right here!" So the mechanic obliged - torching the remains of the windshield and roof off at the top of the cowl.

 

All that winter (and winters are long and severe up here in Aroostook County) it was a daily event to see the Parker boys, wrapped up in horse blankets and huddled together in that open cab, driving that truck to school each day with the old man following behind in his Cadillac to make sure they enjoyed every second of the trip.

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A friend had either a 43 or 45 Chevy stake bed truck. Was always a source of conversation but he had the history back to the first owner. Not sure what happen to the truck after he died.

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ElCamino Billy,

Thanks for all the nice pictures.  The GMC also looks to have a later model rearend (Wider).   I also like the Buick.  It remined me of

of riding down the L.A. Freeway at 70+ MPH with 5 other guys who just completed a Great American Race for 1936 & Older cars.

The owner had competed in his 1935 Buick.   Struck me as great car at 50+years old and still viable in today's traffic.

I also liked the 33 Ford Cabriolet with the later model V8, later wheels including the 38 Ford spare tire cover.   It was trimmed as a Deluxe but was painted as a Standard.  Still a pretty car.

I guess I missed your critique of you first AACA National Show.  Send me a link, I 's like to hear a first timers impressions.

 

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14 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

I have a 1945 GMC 3 ton. Similar in that it was sold to a Commercial operator here in Vancouver,  Canada at some point in later 1945. About the only difference from a 1946 that I am aware of is all painted trim and a wood rim steering wheel. Not many civilian 1945's were built, but as the war wound down they were available on a limited basis to people or company's involved with war work. It has a pretty low serial number, somewhere around number 450 or so if I remember correctly. Unfortunately since it was retired from the company fleet in the mid 1970's it has been mostly stored outside so something of a project.

Was it assembled in Regina?

 

Craig

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Hi Craig. The data tag just says Made in Canada , so I expect that indicates Oshawa. Body number is 491 . That's probably spread out between 2 Ton's and 3 Ton's , possibly even 1 Ton's. In any event not a large production.

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So were limited civilian vehicles sold in 43 and 44 as well? I’ve not seen anything from 43-45 unless it was military. I just bought a 42 Olds 66 series project that god knows when it might get done but they aren’t laying around much anymore.

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15 hours ago, Jim Bollman said:

A friend had either a 43 or 45 Chevy stake bed truck. Was always a source of conversation but he had the history back to the first owner. Not sure what happen to the truck after he died.

My father had a 1945 Chevy stake bed truck, red and black fenders with 20" duels. Farmers were up there on the top of the list for trucks & fuel.

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Back in the early 80s I test drove a used vehicle from a small used car lot in Richmond, VA. Nothing unusual about that except, it was a 1945 Chevrolet stake body!😲 Same story, small production of them for farmers and other essential uses. Had a 1958 235 in it. It didn't last on that lot for long. Somebody quickly saw potential in the diamond in the rough.

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On 7/20/2021 at 8:22 PM, Jim Bollman said:

A friend had either a 43 or 45 Chevy stake bed truck. Was always a source of conversation but he had the history back to the first owner. Not sure what happen to the truck after he died.

I did some digging and found a picture of the Chevy stake bed. I don't know anything about Chevy trucks so you can tell me what you think it is.

 

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