1939 Ford Half Ton / Photos, All Details

The vehicle featured in this article is a fine looking restored 1939 Ford Half Ton Pickup.

The 1939 model year was a big one for the Ford Motor Company since it was the first year for the new Mercury nameplate which was a project pushed by Edsel Ford.

1939 ford half ton pickup

1939 Ford Half Ton

1939 was also an important year for Ford pickup trucks in as much as they sported the new design which was introduced in 1938. That same design was carried over to 1939.

This new design and styling that came out in 1938 really pushed the Ford Pickups into a more modern era. Ford Motor Company during the 30's was not known to make rapid changes and upgrades and the 38 truck line represented a major step in that direction since the last basic redesign was in 1935. 1938 was also the first year that Ford offered their cab-over (COE) trucks.

The 1938-39 Design

When you discuss the 39 Ford Pickup you need to look back one year to see the 1938 model with it's totally new cab. These trucks didn't look like anything that came before them. The front end had an oval barrel shaped grille. Some thought the new front end looked British. The new front end featured the industry's first front opening hood.

The cabs were larger as were the cargo beds that had not been changed since 1931. The dashboard was modernized and had recessed controls for safety.  A major change in 1939 however was the addition of hydraulic brakes. This was something Ford had been dragging it's feet on for a long time. GM passed Ford by in this category and Plymouth actually offered hydraulic brakes back in 1928. What did not change to any great extent was the chassis which had a lot to do with Henry Ford thinking that anything more than a marginal change was unnecessary.

Optional equipment included a sliding rear window...a gas cap that locked...radio...dual windshield wipers and chrome bumpers.

This new truck design however lasted only two years for the 38 and 39 model years. Design changed for the 1940 model year where the half tons had a front end that more resembled the car line. The 1940 Ford Pickups also had improved mechanicals along with wider cabs.

1939 Ford Half Ton Specifications

Engine for this model is a 221 cubic inch V-8 L-Head delivering 85 horsepower.

Transmission is a three speed manual.

Hydraulic drum brakes were offered for the first time replacing Ford's mechanical braking system.

1939 ford pickup photos

New grille first introduced for the 1938 model year

Dimensions for the 39 Ford Half Ton included a 112.0 inch wheelbase...weight averaged about 2,700 lbs.

Cargo bed was 77.7 inches in length and 46.0 inches wide.

You may also enjoy the additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...


The 1935 Ford Half Ton

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1938 Ford Half Ton

late 1930's ford pickups

Design for the 1938 and 39 model years

1939 Ford Half Ton Pickup Collector Trucks

There aren't many trucks out there from this era left to choose from. With that being said there are some fully restored beautiful looking models that don't come cheaply. As of this writing we've seen one show quality restoration offered at $67,000.

If you're fortunate enough to find a 38 or 39 Ford Pickup for a restoration project it appears there are ample sources for parts.

As of this date average sale prices for the 1939 Ford Half Tons range in the $12,000 to $30,000 range depending on condition and degree and date of restoration. This is of course for running vehicles. There may be offerings higher than that as mentioned above.

(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)

1952 Chevrolet Deluxe Sport Coupe / Specs, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is a 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. Chevrolet touted that their 52 model looked like the best model yet although few changes were made to the design from 1951. The 1952 model year however was the last that offered the Fastback Fleetline model.

chevy styline sport coupe

1952 Chevrolet Styline Deluxe Sport Coupe

This 52 Chevy Sport Coupe is a six passenger, two door automobile.

New Postwar Models and Design Changes

Chevrolet's new postwar design appeared for the 1949 model year. The design team was headed by legendary GM designer Harley Earl. Some have said that the 49 Chevys are some of the best looking GM products ever. The top choice was probably the Styleline Deluxe Bel Air from 1950-52.

Design changes were minimal for 1952 since the original style showed up for the 1949 model year. This was the first major postwar design. That year there were changes in the model names. The Stylemaster became the Styleline, while the Fleetmaster was renamed the Fleetline. Both models had DeLuxe or Special trim styles.The new Chevrolets had a lower, smoother profile. The front fenders blended into the doors while the rear fenders continued to protrude out of the sides of the car.

Few Design Changes for 1952 Model Year

The 1952 Chevrolet Deluxe Sport Coupe essentially had cosmetic changes from the previous model year. This included the grille, which had five teeth added to the center bar and different side trim. Lenses were larger on the parking lights. A new two-tone color, Bittersweet was made available. Convertibles came in 10 body colors with 5 different tops.

1952 chevy sport coupeSome of the features on the 1952 Chevy models that were touted in advertising included a more panoramic front windshield that offered better visibility. An Econo-Miser differential with the Powerglide automatic, jumbo drum brakes with Dubl-Life linings and Fisher Unisteel body construction.

Chevrolet Deluxe was a trim line of Chevrolet automobiles. These trim lines were offered from 1941 through the 1952 model year..

1952 Chevrolet Deluxe Sport Coupe Specifications

The 1952 Chevy Deluxe had two straight six engines available. These were the 216.5 cubic inch putting out 92 horsepower and a 235.5 cubic inch delivering 105 horsepower.

This featured vehicle has a two speed Powerglide automatic transmission. The Powerglide automatic first came out in 1950. A three speed manual was also available. The 235.5 engine was hooked up with the Powerglide automatic with the 216.5 engine with the manual gearbox.

Brakes were four wheel eleven inch hydraulic drums.

Suspension included front coil springs with rear semi-elliptical leaf springs. Both front and rear included double acting shock absorbers.

Dimensions for the 52 Chevy Sport Coupe included an outside length...197.6 inches... wheelbase: 115.0 inches..width 74.8 inches and height 65.7 inches.

The base curb weight was 3100 lbs.

New car price in 1952 for the Chevy Sport Coupe was about $1,650.

52 chevrolet styleline

52 Styline Deluxe rear

1952 Chevrolet automobile production totaled 818,100 units which was down from the prior year. Much of the decline had to do with government quotas established because of the Korean War.

The two materials that were in short supply because of the war were chrome and whitewall tires. Even with the lower production numbers for 1952, Chevrolet continued to lead the competition.

You may enjoy the additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

1949 GMC Series 100 Pickup

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Reference material included GM Archives and Complete Book of Collectible Cars.

1952 Chevrolet Collector Cars

1952 chevy deluxe dashboard

52 Chevy Sport Coupe interior

As mentioned above, production for 1952 was down mostly due to the Korean War. That obviously translates into less models in existence today.

The 1952 model year however is not a milestone year so values are normal and not inflated. With that being said, the 1952 Chevy line-up offers a relatively inexpensive way to begin a classic car collection.

As of this writing, price ranges for 1952 Chevrolet Stylelines are about $10,000 to $25,000. Overall condition and age and degree of restoration determines value. This range is for running models. We have also seen some convertible models considerably higher than this price range.

(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)



1949 GMC “100” 5-window Pickup / Specs, Photos, History

Who built the first pickup truck? Auto historians might say it originated in Germany when Gottlieb Daimler invented what he called vehicle no. 42. This automobile provided the first truck concept as a horseless wagon with a 4 hp, 1.1 L, 2 cylinder engine. Daimler's new creation was advertised to pull 3300 pounds, although some disagreed with that claim.

Our featured vehicle in this article is a 1949 GMC Series 100 Half-Ton  5-Window Pickup..

1949 gmc half ton

1949 GMC Half Ton

GMC Created Within General Motors

In 1909, GM purchased a truck company to develop General Motors Truck Company, which became GMC Truck. GMC is the brand name for trucks, vans and SUVs sold by General Motors.

GMC as a truck brand was created out of both the Reliance Motor Car Company and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company within GM. The GMC brand was officially introduced in 1912 at the New York International Auto Show. .In 1912, GM produced about 20,000 trucks.  Prior to the time of unveiling the GMC brand, trucks from GM were produced from the merger of both the Reliance and the Rapid companies. By 1913 all GMC truck production was done at the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company plant in Pontiac, Michigan. By 1916 General Motors created the GMC Truck Division.

gmc half ton pickup photosChevrolet was also building trucks for General Motors and by the year 1920 the Chevrolet brand and the GMC brand trucks looked almost identical except for their grilles. During those years Chevrolet was marketing their trucks to individuals while GMC targeted commercial buyers.

GMC trucks were assembled at the main GMC truck plant in Pontiac, Michigan from 1939 to 1950

GMC trucks were typically sold by GM dealerships that offered Buick, Pontiac or Oldsmobile automobiles. The Chevrolet truck was sold by Chevrolet dealers. While the GMC and Chevrolet trucks may look identical there are differences in the trucks, some significant over the years.

Pickup Trucks Popularity After the War

The US government halted the production of consumer trucks during World War II. GMC however was a main supplier of military vehicles to U.S. and Allied governments. The most outstanding of those vehicles were the GMC model CCKW350 series, 2 ½-ton truck. These trucks delivered 92 hp with GMC 270 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder engines coupled with 5-speed transmissions. Some of the first GMC 6x6s saw action in North Africa against Rommel’s German desert army.

Automakers dramatically increased their pickup truck production following World War II.  After the war was over, Chevrolet and GMC set a new trend for pickups by releasing the first ever three-man seat pickup that featured a larger cab, bigger windows, and higher seats, and other manufacturers followed suit. GMC benefited from the increased popularity of pickup trucks after the end of the war. In fact, during the 1950's pickup trucks actually became a status symbol and many are considered in that way today.

1949 GMC Pickup Truck

As far as design is concerned, the 1949 GMC Pickups were largely what was seen on the 48 models. The entire GMC line included 75 different models from 4,600 through 75,000 lbs. There were 224 body and chassis types, powered by a variety of 9 GMC built engines.

Two years prior in 1947 GMC trucks restyled Chevrolet featured the new “Advance Design" cabs. This was a total departure from the prewar truck line. Cabs were larger and more comfortable with a larger glass area, standard dual windshield wipers, improved insulation and much better seats.

gmc advanced design pickups1949 GMC Series 100 Specifications

Standard power plant for the 1949 GMC Series 100 Pickup was a 228 cubic inch Inline Six Cylinder engine. Horsepower was rates at 95. Back in 1939 GMC replaced the Pontiac 223 with their own  228 in 1939. This engine was utilized in the GMC Pickup through the 1953 model year.

Standard transmission on this GMC Pickup was a column mounted three speed manual.

The half-ton models featuring either the Deluxe Cab or standard cab configurations had 116-inch wheelbases. The overall body measured 196.5 inches long.

GMC advertised their 1949 pickup trucks as including heavy duty frames, ball bearing steering, Hydrovac power brakes, synchromesh gear box and adjustable seats. The trucks generally were touted for their strength and durability, especially with heavy loads.

Total GMC Truck production for the 1949 model year was 83,800 units.

You may also be interested in the Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

A Finely Restored 1949 GMC Suburban

1937 GMC COE

The 1955 Studebaker Pickup

Probably the best reference book you can find pertaining to the history of GMC Trucks is...GMC: The First 100 Years by author John Gunnell.

gmc dashboard photos

49 GMC dashboard

1949 GMC Pickup Truck Collector Values

GMC Pickups from this era are popular collector vehicles and some fully restored examples look absolutely great.

Current valuations for the 1949 GMC Half Ton based on several independent sources range from about $22,000-$27,000. This range would be for a fully restored model in excellent condition inside and out..

(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)