1941 Chevy Coupe Deluxe Truck!

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In the ’30s several manufactures, including Chevy, offered a little truck bed as well as a trunk lid for their coupes. Chevy offered them from 1936 to 1942. One could use the truck as a commercial vehicle during the week and have a coupe to take the missus out in on the weekends. It is also claimed that as a truck, they would be classified as Class T and received more gallons of gas per week. (The sellers claim doesn’t make much sense, there was no rationing before the war) We had plenty of gas, but not much rubber, so rationing was about saving rubber. This Chevy includes the truck bed as well as the trunk lid. It looks pretty rusty, but hopefully most of it is surface rust. The sills and the tailgate show a lot of rust damage. Being a California car, perhaps the underside is not so bad. I would hope someone would restore it to original and save this bit of history. Do you think it’s worth saving? The owner is asking $4500. It’s in Banning, California, in the desert east of LA and listed here on craigslist.

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Comments

  1. Mark E

    I believe the seller is mistaken, there was no gas rationing (or even tire rationing, I think) in pre-war America. Both started well after the US entered the war.

    As mentioned, if the rust in the sills & truck bed are representative of the rest of the car I don’t know if I’d want to take this one on. There’d be LOTS of replacement or reconstruction to be done. Sure wish the seller would have had a better photo of the truck bed in place though. I’m left wondering what’s up with the trunk hinges. Did you remove the pins to take the lid off or what? Argh, now you’ve got me googling automotive trivia again…

    • Mark E

      Okay, from what I found the hinges were completely removed when the bed was in place. Also there’s mention that when the bed was installed, only a canvas separated the bed from the rest of the car. That alone would cause LOTS of rust and lower the survival rate, even in California where it rains sometimes!

      Also, with regards to rationing, the US started gas rationing May of 1942, well after all car manufacturers stopped production of cars. Rubber rationing started after that. Since the truck bed was offered from 1936-1942, the rationing relevance is invalid. http://www.oldchevytrucks.com/blog/index.php/2010/02/1936-1942-coupe-pick-up/

  2. Ed P

    During 1941, auto makers were trying to encourage people to rush to dealers and buy in anticipation of the coming war and restrictions. There was not much heed taken by the public.

  3. Mark E

    As a side note, talking about the war and all. My grandfather promised my mother a brand new Buick for a graduation present. She graduated in May of 1942 so you know how THAT turned out… -_-;

  4. memikeyounot

    This story happened in Lovelock NV, (east of Reno). I don’t remember it happening, but have heard the story dozens of times. I was about 3 years old, riding in my mothers 1941 Chevy sedan, same color as this one, in the front passenger seat, holding a flat of strawberries. My mother turned the corner, the passenger door flew open and I fell out on the street, holding the strawberries.

    The Chevy apparently had bad brakes and it took mom quite a distance to stop and I stood in the street, crying, and my siblings tell me that I was more upset about the spilled strawberries than I was about falling out of the car. Somewhere in family pictures, there’s a picture of this Chevy. I remember it being this same brown, but the picture is black and white, so who knows.

    • Lance

      The same problem persisted with GM on their trucks. I had a 47 panel van that I learned not to trust the door latches going around a corner. They would open up if you leaned on the door! I think GM finally had a fix for this but that problem was nasty.

  5. Howard A Member

    While the sellers time frame for rationing may be a little off, during the war, there were exceptions for trucks (T) and an X for high mile jobs, like travelling salespeople and such, and this contraption could theoretically, get you more gas. These pickup beds were generally installed on business coupes ( no back seat) as the real pickups were mostly for farm or contractor work, and few traveled outside the local area. Apparently, the removable boxes that had the Chevrolet script on the tailgate, were especially rare, and were discontinued after 1941.

  6. Doug Towsley

    I just sold a 37 Plymouth coupe project a few months ago, I have 2 plymouths (37 and 39) as well as a 39 Dodge Coupe. But i only had one trunk lid for the Plymouths. (I bought the Dodge mostly for the trunklid as it had issues, but it turns out the Dodge is different)
    So the buyer for my 37 is still without a deck lid. (I showed him how I was going to fab one) so he has been mulling this pickup bed box idea for his car. I have mixed feelings about them. They look a little hillbilly but with more and more pix and storys about them its easy enough to document they were common back in the day. I am sure they are more practical as well than the humongus trunks these had but they still look odd.
    This Chevy is a cool car so i hope it goes to a good home.

  7. DENIS

    And I thought I know damn near everything(jk), but I never heard of the truck bed/decklid thing….learn something everyday. The truck bed is a little to hillbilly for me but an interesting bit of more useless info that I’m storing….I love this site.

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