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)

1946 Ford Half Ton Pickup / Photos and Specs

The 1946 Ford Half Ton Pickup, produced immediately after World War Two, had total production of 78,088.

1946 ford half ton

1946 Ford Half Ton

The New 1946 Ford Pickup

A significant design note regarding Ford Pickup Trucks was that by 1942 the company's cars and trucks had different styling. Prior to that time the passenger cars and trucks shared the same overall design.

Like most auto manufacturers busy re-tooling for post-war consumer production, Ford retained the basic design of the 1942 model year with some minor alterations.

The 1946 designed truck came out with a new heavy grille with horizontal bars. Although there was a new design, parts from the 1942 model Ford trucks were employed in this model which explains many of the similarities between the 42 and 46 models. The truck's hood was widened and had red accents added. Aside from the above, the trucks resembled in many ways the previous pre war model. The 1941 and 1942 models also had many similarities.

1946 ford pickup

Ford's distinctive grille

The bed of the 46 Ford Pickup had wood planks framed by welded steel. The wood bed had steel strips between each board.

Many options were available on the 1946 Ford Half Ton. These included a windshield wiper on the passenger side...an interior heater and a sliding rear window. There was also a wide selection of paint colors.

Ford Motor Company Pre and Post War

The Ford Motor Company was on somewhat shaky ground prior to World War Two and wasn't in much better shape immediately after the war. Civilian car production was halted in February 1942 due to the U.S. entry into the war. Civilian production officially resumed in July of 1945 after the war's end however some civilian production was resumed earlier in the year.

During the war, Ford Motor Company was very involved in building aircraft bombers, tanks and other war vehicles and armament. Many other things happened with Ford during the war years. Edsel Ford, Henry's son, unexpectedly died in May 1943. Edsel Ford was recognized as Ford's mover and shaker for many years and is credited with many advancements and innovations to Ford automobiles including the introduction of the Mercury brand in the late 30's.

Henry Ford Sr. assumed direct operation of the company after Edsel's death until he retired in 1945 leaving Ford's management to Henry Ford II. The elder Ford would pass away just two years later in 1947. One year later, Ford unveiled the first of the F Series pickups. These were the first entirely new designed trucks since prior to the war. This was all the result of Henry Ford II putting the company on a new path.

Henry Ford II had his work cut out for him. The company had been battling against General Motors for a long time and particularly against the Chevrolet Division. As an example of this tight truck competition between the two large automakers, for the 1941 model year, Chevrolet produced 65,500 total pickups. Ford Motor Company produced some 70,000 units.

1946 ford half ton dashboard

46 Ford Half Ton dashboard

1946 Ford Half Ton Pickup Specifications

There were two engines available for buyers of the 1946 Ford Half Ton Pickup.

These were a 226-cubic-inch in-line six cylinder or a 239-cubic-inch V8. The six delivered a rated 90 HP and the V-8 put out 100 HP.

Transmission was a three speed manual on the floor. Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Suspension included hydraulic double acting shock absorbers.

New truck price for this vehicle in 1946 was about $1.050.

See these additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

1941 Chevrolet Half Ton Pickup

The 1950 First Generation Ford F-1 Pickup

Nicely Restored 1941 Cadillac Convertible

post war ford trucksPost War Ford Half Ton Pickup Collector Vehicles

The Ford Pickup featured in this article represents a milestone vehicle. Here was a truck that came out immediately after the end of World War Two that had a basic design similar to the 1941 and 1942 models yet was given some modifications.

Since civilian vehicle design was essentially non existent during the war years, changes for the 1946 Ford truck were quite modest. As mentioned above, the first totally new Ford truck design came out in 1948 with the introduction of the F-1's.

As of this writing, prices asked for 1946 Ford Half Ton Pickups are in a very wide range. Depending on condition, originality and degree of restoration if any, you'll likely find asking prices from $5,000 to $40,000. You'll also likely run across 1946 Ford Half Tons converted into Street Rods.

References included Ford Trucks 1946-1959 Standard Statistics...Classic Ford Trucks...Ford Motor Company Archives.

(Articles and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

Beautifully Restored 1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe

The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1941 Cadillac Convertible Series 62 Coupe. The car is a real head turner and sports classic lines starting with the chrome grille and domed hood. The entire Cadillac model line for 1941 really had terrific styling.

1941 cadillac convertible

1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe

1941 Cadillac Styling

Styling was all new for Cadillac in 1941 and the automaker also offered their Hydra-Matic automatic transmission for the first time that model year. This was also the first year that air conditioning was offered.

Designing for the 1941 Cadillacs was led by Bill Mitchell who became Cadillac's chief designer at the age of 24. Mitchell's designs helped Cadillac make it's way through the Great Depression with it's distinctive look. If you had the money to purchase a Cadillac during the Depression, the car stood out in any neighborhood.

If you look for the designs that set Bill Mitchell apart from the others it would most likely be the 1938 and 1941 Cadillacs. The 1938 Cadillac Sixty Special caught everyone's attention with it's crisp new look. He followed that up with his all new 1941 Sixty Special which some might say is the best looking Cadillac design ever.

1941 cadillac convertible coupeLooking back, you might say that master designers like Bill Mitchell would have a tough time plying their trade with all the regulations we have today. These regulations would have put too many handcuffs on a designer that wanted nothing less than being highly creative. This could be one of the main reasons why so many of today's automobiles look alike. Mitchell had the opportunity to design automobiles for General Motors during the heyday of creative innovation.

1941 Cadillac Convertible Specifications

There was one engine available for the 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe and that was a 346 cubic inch L-head V-8 that was rated at 150 horsepower.

Standard transmission was a three speed manual but a Hydra-Matic automatic was available for the first time in 1941. The automatic transmission option cost a bit over $100.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

The 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible weighed 4,250 lbs. The dimensions for this vehicle included an overall length of 216.0 inches. Wheelbase was 126.0 inches.

Like with prior year models, Cadillac was known for it's outstanding and up to date engineering. The 1941 Cadillac was no exception with a Deluxe heating system, day / night rear view mirror, clock, rear seat dome light and more.  Options included a factory radio and vacuum operated power antenna, fog lights and a spotlight just to name a few.

The new car price for the 41 Cadillac Convertible was about $2,000 which was a costly auto price in 1941.

See additional Auto Museum Online cars on the links below...

The 1935 Plymouth PJ Deluxe Photos and All Details

See this 1948 Lincoln Continental V-12

First Generation F-1's / 1950 Ford F-1 Half Ton

An excellent book for Cadillac enthusiasts is...Cadillac: 100 Years of Innovation by Angelo Van Bogart. Long before the BMW, Lexus, Infinity, etc., the Cadillac was considered the standard. After surpassing Packard, it was the preferred luxury car for more than 50 years, reigning supreme among American brands. This book presents a light history capturing important names and dates in Cadillac genealogy.

41 cadillac coupe

Bill Mitchell's sharp styling

The 1941 Cadillac Convertible Collector Cars

All of the 1941 Cadillacs are popular collector cars. The Convertible Coupe is especially coveted for being one of the last convertibles produced prior to World War Two. It's estimated that there were approximately 3,100 1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupes built.

When war broke out and civilian auto production was halted in February 1942, the two leading luxury car brands were Cadillac and Packard. An interesting side note is that the Cadillac 346 cubic inch L-head V-8 was used in some army tanks during the war.

1941 cadillac convertible

41 Cadillac Coupe deluxe interior

1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupes have seen solid prices at auction. As of this writing, restored and mint condition models have sold in the $70,000 plus price range. We have seen one great looking Convertible Coupe with an asking price of $83,000 and another with a $139,000 price tag. The 41 Cadillac Hardtop Coupes we have seen have had asking prices in the mid $40,000 range. With all of these cars, originality will mean a higher valuation.

As mentioned above, the 1941 model year saw a very short production run due to the war and most of these vehicles are quite rare.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)