Our feature vehicle is a good looking 1947 Chevrolet Thrift Master Half Ton. This model was the beginning of the Chevy’s Advance Design Series.

chevy thriftmaster photos
1947 Chevrolet Thriftmaster Half Ton

New 1947 Chevrolet Light Truck Design

At the end of World War Two most of the Detroit automakers didn’t have new car designs ready to hit the assembly lines.

Most didn’t start showing new post war designs until the 1948 and 1949 model years. In the case of Chevrolet, they had accomplished a lot of new development work in 1941 just prior to the civilian car shutdown in February 1942. Because of this Chevy was able to launch a new 1947 pickup that reached dealer showrooms in May 1947. In mid-1947 Chevrolet began production of the next generation body style (Advance Design) so a 1947 Chevy truck might look like ’46 or a ’48, depending on when it was built.This new Chevy light truck design had a bigger cab and box and a wider seat large enough for three passengers which made the truck much more comfortable.

1947 chevy thriftmaster 3100The Chevy Trucks During the War

As mentioned, all civilian car and truck production was halted in February 1942 but with one exception. Chevrolet and others were given permission by the government to produce trucks for “high priority” civilian use ( individuals and businesses considered to be vital to the U.S.war effort).

Production of trucks throughout the war was robust. From late 1939 through 1945, U.S. truck builders produced 3.2 million military transport vehicles, many of them quarter-ton jeeps, and pickups in half- and three-quarter-ton sizes. Chevy itself built more than 56,000 pickups between March 1942 and August 1945. Material in general was in short supply so these war time trucks came with painted grilles, bumpers, hubcaps, and trim. The “blackout” theme actually continued with the resumption of civilian production in late 1945 and early 1946.

The Chevy AK Series Truck and the Advanced Design Models

The Chevrolet AK Series were light trucks sold under the Chevrolet name. These Chevy trucks were built from 1941 until 1947. These models used the GM A platform or referred to as A Body, shared with the Chevrolet Deluxe.

These Advance Design light trucks stayed in production from 1947 to 1955 and really played a big role in the success Chevrolet had during the decade after the war. It helped make them number one during the period. The Advance Design Chevy trucks looked good and they were sturdy vehicles which stayed on the road for decades.  Chevrolet Advance Design trucks shared the same basic design across it’s truck spectrum.These included cab over engine, panel trucks, canopy express and the Suburban. These trucks were available in half-ton, three-quarter ton, and one-ton pickups with the Thriftmaster emblem shown on the hood.

1947 Chevy Thriftmaster Half Ton Specifications

Engine for the 47 Thriftmaster is a 216 cubic inch inline six-cylinder with twin carburetors. Today, this power plant is referred to as a Stovebolt Chevy engine. This is any inline six engine with 216/235/261 cubic inch displacement.The 216 came out in 1937 and was produced up until 1953. The 235 was produced up until 1962.

Transmission is a floor mounted three speed manual with an optional four speed.

Brakes are four wheel drum.

Both front and rear suspension are leaf springs and shock absorbers.

Wheelbase is 116.0 inches, overall length 196.6 inches, the cargo bed 78.0 inches, cargo bed width 50.0 inches. Shipping weight was 3,350 lbs.

Cargo bed was built with wood floors with steel slats in between.

An in dash radio was offered for the first time as an option.

Factory new price was about $1,100.

See these additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below…

1941 Chevrolet Half Ton

1957 Chevy 3100 Half Ton

chevy thriftmaster pickupReference material for this article included..Encyclopedia of Chevrolet Trucks by Don Bunn...Chevrolet Trucks: 100 Years of Building the Future by Larry Edsall…Chevrolet Pickups by Mike Mueller…GM Truck Archives.

The 1947 Chevy Half Ton Collector Truck

The 1947 Chevy Half Ton is a milestone vehicle with plenty of collector interest. It is often referred to as one of the most recognized and most sought after pickup trucks ever built.The model kicked off the Advance Design Series which lasted into the mid 1950’s. As mentioned earlier, Chevrolet was able to introduce a new post war model truck quicker than others because of styling work done just prior to the war.

1947 chevy pickup specsYou may expect prices for restored 47 Chevy Half Tons to be in the range of $30,000 to $70,000. The lower price may be for good condition vehicles with possibly older restorations. Higher values would be for those in excellent condition with perhaps a newer restoration.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)