Art Deco Chevrolet : When 90 hp was King!

Chevrolet is the last in our recent old truck series. Found in the back of an old junkyard, this 1941 Chevrolet stake bed pick up truck gathers the rust and dirt of untold years of neglect. This farm truck is very similar to 1941 GMC model in the work GMC. The reasoning is the use of the same parts to manufacture the two vehicles.

Sometimes known as the Art Deco model, this vehicle had the signature side opening hood panels, a new style of fender, and heavy chrome grille. They were only available until mid 1942 due to the outbreak of war in Dec. 1941. The 1943-1945 models used paint and not chrome on the grille due to the lack of materials and were only made available to authorized customers. Otherwise the Chevrolet halted production to help with the war effort. In 1947, another model replaced it.

Speaking of the grille, notice the large metal bumper Chevroletassembly. It reminds me of those “cow catchers” you find on locomotives. Obviously, the farmer definitely wanted to keep that deco grille work intact.

Behind that grille work sat a 216.5 cubic inch engine. It was an inline six cylinder and rated at 90 hp at 3100 rpm. It was capable of producing 174 lb-ft. at 1200 to 200 rpm. It was one of the strongest contenders in its class during the 40’s.

This truck also featured a longer wheelbase than earlier models to give more room for the driver. It also used a 16-inch wheel and Chevrolet recommended using 6 ply tires. Strangely, the windshield of the truck could be lifted up to improve airflow into the cabin. Unlike the cars and deluxe passenger models, these trucks did not have the touted deluxe clock on their instrument panel. The panel only had the usual gas, oil, temperature and battery displays along with odometer and of course speed.

Overall, after pouring through the technical manual looking at all the stats and dimensions, I have to say that I’m most impressed with this truck as a work of art. The shattered windshields, growing plants in the bumper and the patterns induced by years of rust and weathering bring a wonderful dynamic to this print. When I made the picture, I wanted to include the tree in the background. It adds a dimension to the overall effect and provides a nice contrast to the hulking truck and darker sky.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of old trucks as that I’ve had a great deal of fun bringing these classics of yesteryear to the gallery. So, I’ve placed finding a 1940’s ford truck on a list of things I want to capture with my camera.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

Sources: Chevrolet-Truck 1941 Tech Manual. S.l.: Editions Du Transat, 2013. 1941-Chevrolet-Truck.pdf. GM. Web. 3 Oct. 2014. <>.

Bunn, Don. “PickupTruck.Com – Segment Four: 1941-1946 Art Deco Pickups.” PickupTruck.Com – Segment Four: 1941-1946 Art Deco Pickups. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2014. <>.


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