Tag Archives: truck

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. <https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/gm-heritage-archive/vehicle-information-kits/Chevrolet-Trucks/1941-Chevrolet-Truck.pdf>.

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. <http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/history/chev_segment4.html>.


Dodge #3: They Don’t Make Them Like This Any More

Dodge #3 continues our old truck series with a macro shot of the Dodge nameplate found on the front hoods of their job rated 1950’s pickup trucks.   A the top of the picture you see the telltale signs of the famous side opening engine compartments that still make these trucks popular today.

The black and white print brings out the various tones and shades of the slowly decomposing paint job. You also see areas of pitting caused by the rust begun by the endless number of storms and cold winter this poor truck has endured while abandoned in this field.

Yet throughout it all, the Dodge name remains quite visible regardless of the ages of rust and weathering these letters have seen. The name also serves an artistic function of dividing the picture between the rusted engine compartment doors and the riverbed like rain stains on the lower part of the picture.

It’s almost as if to say that as time passed by, this truck easily relates to the phrase “Ashes to ashes dust to dust.” The breaking down of the metal by the rust into a fine dark dust is then carried down the truck by the rain in small rivers of water. Washing the hood and sending the dust back to the dust of the earth where eventually this truck will return.

In today’s modern world it is very easy to forget about the past. Sometimes objects and events are forgotten out of convenience or simply abandoned to the ravages of time.   Even though Dodge built this truck  more than 60 years ago, it stuns the mind to consider that in less than another 60 years vehicles like this will be merely the curious property of car historians and museums.   Finding anybody who actually remembers the glory days when these old trucks roamed the land as the workhorse of a modern farmer will be impossible.

This is the complete circle of life for technology of any kind. But, the good news is that there will always be people who like to keep the older technologies around. This video I found is an excellent amateur video of one such truck owner. He manages to capture the glory days of these old trucks and teach us what it was like to drive one.

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

Scott. “1951 Dodge B3B Job Rated Pickup.” YouTube. YouTube, 28 Feb. 2011. Web. 01 Oct. 2014.

Dodge #2: Graveyard or Resurrection?

Dodge #2 is the second in a series of photographs depicting dodge trucks taken in an old junk yard behind a shopping center.  The shot of this 1951 Dodge pick up truck  from the driver’s side looks out on the open field and majestic mountains in the background.

I chose black and white as the medium to showcase the lingering demise of this workhorse of yesteryear.  The black and white tones really punctuate the shadows and shades of deterioration found on the truck.  It also enhances the grass and the misty mountains in the background.

The sun was high on the eastern horizon in the mid-morning hours and provided a dangerous amount of harsh direct lighting to highlight this scene.   I used a polarized lens to diffuse some of the glare and give the deep shadows necessary to offer up the contrasts that make this picture decry the desolation I wanted the viewer to feel.

Desolation was a main theme. I wanted to portray the loneliness of this truck against the flat opened fields of grass. The feeling of abandonment after years of dedicated service to some farmer’s cause is quite real. Who knows how this truck spent it’s last minutes of useful life.  Did the farmer sell the truck to the junkyard for a couple bucks? Or, did the pickup truck gasp its last breath on some forlorn highway in the high desert only to be towed to its final resting spot? Never to be repaired or operated again.

Another answer that may never be known is the load Dodge #2in the bed of the pickup truck. Was it there on that last day? Or perhaps some long forgotten workman, cutting the grass and tending to the weeded overgrowth of the fields put those items in the truck so that the mowers could work smoothly.

So, this image remains a mystery and a last question is easily brought to mind. If we humans consider the life of a machine by its usefulness or job  performance, then is this truck really dead?   Could not the spirit of this isolated and weathered hulk live on by being of service to the very men who put it there? It’s new job being the keeping of the lawnmowers and customers safe from the items still in its disintegrating truck bed.

Has the spirit of duty been resurrected for this truck? Or, has its fall from usefulness claimed this truck to lie in its junkyard graveyard forever?   What do you think?

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