1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Coupe / Photos, Specs, More

Featured in this article is a good looking 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Coupe. When the Chevy Fleetmaster was introduced in 1946 it was a top of the line Chevrolet model that replaced the Chevy Special Deluxe.

chevy fleetmaster coupe

1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Coupe

The Chevrolet Fleetmaster

Chevrolet produced it's Fleetmaster model for the 1946, 1947 and 1948 model years. The post war Fleetmaster was styled from the prewar 1942 Chevys and had little changes between 1946 and 1948.

Some exceptions were that the grille was made full width in 1947 and in 1948 added a center vertical bar to the grille. There was a sub series Fleetline offered that included both two and four door fastback designs.Beginning with 1949, the Fleetmaster was replaced by the Chevy Deluxe which had sub series of Fleetlines and Stylelines.

Post War Chevrolets

When the war ended in 1945, automakers had much of the tooling still in place that was used for the 1942 models. The fact that civilian car production ended in February 1942, designing essentially ceased and when the war did end the models turned out for 1946, 1947 and 1948, in the case with Chevrolet, looked very similar to the 42's.

1948 chevy fleetmaster

Vertical center bar added to the 1948 Fleetmaster grille

The first entirely new post war Chevrolet appeared for 1949. Production totaled over 400,000 vehicles. This big bump up in sales no doubt had to do with the new post war design introduced that year.

Interestingly enough, with four years of no civilian U.S. auto production due to the war, demand for new cars immediately after the war was off the charts and the fact that the design had no major changes since 1942 did not effect sales. If the car was new it sold fast and this probably kept the automakers from making significant design changes sooner.

The 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Advancements

The 48 Chevy Fleetmaster was the last of it's line and while the basic design was years old this model did benefit from advancements made since 1941. This included advancements in both materials used and engineering.

As an example, the inline six engine in the 1948 Fleetmaster was built with precision type main bearings. The three speed column shifter was given a vacuum assist.

1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster had a 216 Cubic Inch Inline Six engine rated at 90 horsepower. Remarkably this 216 inline six was Chevrolet's only engine from 1929 to 1954 when at that time they offered a small block V-8. While this was Chevy's sole engine for several decades, improvements to it were made. As an example, in 1941 with the Chevrolet Special Deluxe, cylinder heads were redesigned and new pistons were introduced. The engine's horsepower was raised to 90 from 85. In 1941 Chevy did build a 235 cubic inch version of the 216 inline six that was used in large trucks.

Transmission was a synchromesh three speed manual column mounted.  An automatic was offered as an option beginning with 1950 Chevrolets.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Suspension was front independent with a semi-floating rear axle.

Wheelbase was 116.0 inches...overall length was 197.75 inches... width 73.4 inches...height 66.1 inches. Curb weight estimated at 3,330 lbs.

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

1948 Packard Custom Eight

1952 Chevy Sports Coupe

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chevrolet fleetmaster design and styling

48 Fleetmaster dash

Reference material for the Chevrolet Fleetmaster includes the Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the editors of Consumer Guide and GM/Chevrolet Archives.

Chevrolet Fleetmaster Collector Cars and Values

The Chevy Fleetmaster is a relatively popular collector car.From the three model years that the Chevy Fleetmaster was produced, the 1948 model was considered the best of the three. This is mainly because of the engine improvements and more ornate grille styling for the 48 models. While the same basic styling was beginning to get old for 1948, the cars had a reputation of being quite well built.

Collectors that have interest in early post war classics would find the Chevy Fleetmaster a so,ewhat inexpensive way to start a collection. As of this writing, values for restored 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmasters average from about $16,000 to $20,000. To be sure, there are variances to these values based on mileage, originality and date of restoration.

chevy fleetmaster specificationsVintage Chevrolet Club of America is a great source of information for all early post war Chevys and much more. They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of all years of Chevrolets. One of the best benefits of belonging to the VCCA is taking your vehicles on tours. The Touring Committee is dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of owning and driving Chevrolets, social interaction and fellowship among members, and increasing awareness of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America in the general public. Their website is  www.vcca.org

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

The 1948 Packard Custom Eight / Specs, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1948 Packard Custom Eight. This story really begins when Packard first introduced it's modernized Clipper model in 1941. The U.S. entry into World War Two halted all civilian car production and Packard began again producing it's Clippers after the war coming out with a 1946 model which for obvious reasons was extremely similar to the 41 model. This styling continued with some changes until 1948 when Packard introduced the all new Custom Eight.

1948 packard custom eight specs

1948 Packard Custom Eight

The Packard Brothers

Similar to some other automobile manufacturers, the Packard brothers, James and William, initially worked on motorizing the horse carriage. Packard Motors was founded in 1899 and successfully motorized a horse carriage one year later in 1900 with a one cylinder engine. Their automobiles were originally produced in Ohio (then known as the Ohio Automobile Company) but later moved the company to Detroit. Much later in the 1950's when Packard merged with Studebaker, production was moved to South Bend, Indiana.

Packard's New Streamlined Clipper...Prelude to the Eight Series and Custom Eights

The Packard Clipper's were lower and wider than previous Packards, and had the distinction of being the first streamlined Packard.This was no little change for Packard Motors. The modernization was a necessity. This was a company that stuck solidly with tradition. Up until 1941 styling was not Packards forte. In fact styling was considered an extension of engineering and the new 1941 design was a milestone for the company. Packard really had no choice but to update their styling considering that competitors like General Motors were doing precisely that.

The 1941 Clipper design had to suffice until a re-design could be done for the 1948 model production run. New styling had to start from scratch after the war and this took a lot of time. The 1947 Packard Super Clipper Eight Club Sedan (top of the line at the time) was built on a model 2103 127" wheelbase, 7" more than the lower-priced Packards. It featured wraparound grille extension bars, upgraded wheel trim treatments, a different looking rear deck and a single level door signature script reading.

packard series eight

New rounded look for 1948

In regards to interiors, Packard had it's finest interiors in it's Custom Super Clipper models.

Wood grain was used on the upper and lower portions of the dashboard and on window moldings. The Super Clipper's headliner was woolen and the seams ran front to back. This way of running the seams had the effect of making the interior seem longer.

Replacing the Clipper

The 1948 Packard Custom Eight replaced the Clipper as Packard's top of the line model.  No longer was the Packard Clipper name seen. Total restyling was done for 1948 since the Clipper had been around since 41 and required an updating. The updated model became the Custom Eight. Packard's Eight Series came as a Standard, Deluxe, Super and Custom.

Howard 'Dutch' Darrin

Bodies for the Packard Clipper were designed in a large way by Howard Darrin. As mentioned above, these Clipper automobiles were stylish for their time and were really the first modern looking Packards to hit the showrooms.

Darrin spent about forty years in the automobile business that spanned both sides of the Atlantic. Darrin had his hand in models from Renault in France to Packard and Kaiser in the U.S. One of Darrin's first efforts in the U.S.was a 1937 Packard 120 four-seat Victoria with a rear-mounted spare, designed for the film star Dick Powell.

Howard Darrin joined Packard Motors in 1935 and turned out some fine cars. His first effort with Packard, aside from the 37 Victoria mentioned above, were the popular 1940 Packard Darrins. As mentioned above, Darrin also is credited with major styling input of what became the first Packard Clipper in 1941 and of the war shortened model year of 1942 as well. When the war ended Darrin went to work for Kaiser-Frazer as a freelance consultant

1948 Packard Custom Eight Specifications

The 1948 Packard Custom eight received an in-line, 356 cubic-inch straight-eight engine. The engine was rated at 160 HP. This was Packard's largest engine and was reserved for the Custom Eight.

Transmission for the 1948 Custom Eight was a three speed column shift.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Suspension consisted of independent front suspension with coil springs, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs.

Wheelbase on this automobile is 127.0 inches. Curb weight is 3780 lbs.

Thed Packard Eight Series prices ranged from $3,700 for the lowest price model to about $4,900 for the Limousine model. The Custom Eight was the top of the line non-limousine and priced at about $4,200.

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

1935 Packard E-12 Coupe

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References for this article include...Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company (Automobile Quarterly Magnificent Marque Books)...packardclub.org...packardinfo.com...

The Packard Clipper and Custom Eight Collector Cars

Immediately after the war Packard was hampered by a shortage of steel and for both the 1946 and 1947 model years the company fell short of production goals.

It's a fact that car collectors sought out these first post war models which were very similar to the 1941 and very limited production 1942 models. These post war models had low production numbers and are in good demand by Packard collectors.

1948 packard custom eight

48 Packard dashboard

When 1948 came around the first absolutely new post war design models were in dealer showrooms and the Eight Series including this Custom Eight were milestone cars for Packard and are excellent collector automobiles.

The Eight Series Packard's were really a modernized extension of the popular Clipper models. Prices will be all over the place depending on condition and degree of restoration if any, Depending on the Series Eight model you'll likely see asking prices today from the low teens for unrestored  to the $30,000-40,000 range for fully professionally restored vehicles.

Regarding the 1946 Packard Clippers, we see a Packard 7 Passenger Limousine Custom Super Clipper 8 Series with an asking price of $36,000...a 1947 Clipper Sedan in good condition for $37,000.

(Article and photos copyright 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)