1946 Chevy Half Ton / Photos, Specs, Styling

Featured is a fine looking restored 1946 Chevy Half Ton Pickup. It was the year 1946 when civilian car and truck production began after the war’s end. Styling for civilian vehicles during the war years was essentially non existent. All resources went into the war effort. When the 1946 models did come out they appeared pretty much like the 1942 models but with some cosmetic differences.

chevy truck specs
1946 Chevy Half Ton

Transportation Restrictions During the War Years

When civilian production ended in February 1942 dealerships did have cars and trucks in stock. Those vehicles were designated to be sold to “essential users“. These would include civilian doctors, emergency personnel, etc.

The cars typically were then registered at the time of sale therefore technically you would have 1943, 44 and 45 models registered but officially to the automaker these were 1942 vehicles.

Civilians who did own automobiles and trucks when the war began were given guidelines as to how many miles should be driven during a typical week or month. Oil of course was needed for the war effort as well as rubber. There could be no guarantee that enough rubber would be available for tire replacement. When you consider at the transportation restrictions during the war years you can understand just how much pent up demand there was for new vehicles when the war ended. The demand was such that Chevrolet built over 300,000 trucks for the 1946 model year. In 1946, Chevy produced a full line of trucks, everything from from light duty to heavy duty.

chevy ak trucks

1946 Chevy Light Truck Styling

Civilian car and truck styling was fairly non existent during the war years. Factories and personnel were concentrating on the war effort. Factories were producing military trucks, jeeps, aircraft, etc. The result was that when the war ended styling for both cars and light trucks reverted to the last models which were the 1942’s.

With that being said there still were some changes from 1942 to 1946. The wheelbase increased and the half ton was offered in eight different models. Same was true with the front and rear fenders and cargo box. The grille on 46 Half Ton Pickups was identical to the 42 models with upper horizontal bars and vertical bars below.  The 1946 Chevy light duty trucks were part of Chevy’s AK Series which ran from 1941 to 1947. The AK Series was significant in the fact that it was Chevrolet’s disconnect from having their trucks styled similarly to it’s passenger cars. The AK Series would be replaced later withe Advance Design Chevy trucks.

chevy ak series trucks1946 Chevrolet Half Ton Specifications

Standard engine for the 1946 Chevy Half Ton was a 216 cubic inch straight six delivering 90 HP.

Gear box was a three speed manual.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

Dimensions include a 115.0 inch wheelbase, 195.25 inch outside overall length, 72.0 inch at it’s widest outside width.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1947 Chevy Half Ton

1946 Ford Half Ton

Reference material for this article includes..Chevrolet Trucks: 100 Years of Building the Future by author Larry Edsall. General Motors Chevrolet Archives.

46 chevy trucksPost War Chevy Light Truck Collector Popularity

All of the post World War Two Chevy light trucks are popular with collectors. As mentioned, Chevrolet produced some finely styled trucks and excellently restored examples get a lot of attention.

The 1946 Chevy Half Ton is a rare truck today. Current asking prices for restored 1946 Chevrolet Half Tons range from about $22,000 to $40,000. Prices will be determined by exact model, originality, degree, mileage and age of restoration.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)