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Canapés Anyone? 1946 Chevy Canopy Express

left front

If you haven’t ever heard of or seen a canopy express truck, they are essentially a panel truck with open display areas on the sides and back. They were commonly used to display vegetables, fruits and other goods that were for sale. This one is listed here on craigslist in Sacramento is said to be rare. They don’t give an asking price, so we can only assume that means they have big hopes for it.

left rear

It might not even be worth restoring, but it’s such a unique looking truck, much more stylish than the 1949 Chevrolet Canopy Josh wrote up last February. It even has skirts, which are probably not original. Do you think it could be worth restoring? It’s a matter of how much rust there is, as always. I considered having a look and snapping a few pictures underneath, but it’s raining. Comments made in the previous Canopy writeup indicated restored ones have fetched good money at auctions and one restored example fetched crazy money.


  1. RoughDiamond

    This is a really neat ride. Is the Sacramento area weather that bad? It may have been shed stored since 1982, but prior to that it must have spent a lot of time outdoors exposed to the elements.

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    • gary k

      No mention by anyone on the Texas vanity plate on rear, appears to read “1 of few”. When I first looked and saw all the rust on the base of the tailgate I knew it was not a central California vehicle. Rusty also at the upper top corners, looks like swiss cheese in places. The weather in Sacramento is very nice with hot dry summers, and rain (well it’s taken awhile but were having a good soaking now). This cool old ride had to be stored for a long time in a not so desirable location. It may have been stored in the SF bay area prior to finding it’s way here to Sacramento? I do like this rare truck, and I hope someone will step up and purchase and restore it!

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    • Ray

      just purchased 46 canopy truck as shown in pics. seller mentioned truck came from Texas it is a running truck, replaced all glass, brakes,tires. can’t wait to drive it as is !!!

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      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Nice job Ray! Please keep us posted on your progress, Mike.

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  2. Charlie

    Had a 49 GMC canopy express wish I still had it! Might still be around Massachusetts would like to find it.

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  3. JT

    I think this is a flower wagon for funerals. Look at the details on the rear bumper

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    • George

      The ad states that they are not the original bumpers. So they were probably added when the other accessory items were added.

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  4. HoA Howard A Member

    It is indeed worth saving. These were the equivalent to the modern “roach coach” food vendor trucks of today. Mostly produce, but some were for package or newspaper delivery. I believe Ford was the 1st with their “screenside” delivery trucks of the 30’s. As supermarkets became more wide spread, these fell out of favor, but would be right at home at a modern flea market. I can’t find any images with fender skirts, and quite frankly, doesn’t really fit well with these. With a 6:13 rear axle ratio, ( and 90 hp, although, a 93 hp. engine was optional) it’s not going anywhere fast, and an update is clearly in order. Great find. http://momentcar.com/images/chevrolet-canopy-express-1946-3.jpg

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  5. Chris in WNC

    likely not a funeral flower car- those were mostly Cadillacs and

    heck yes, this is a worthy restoration project but it will require a top-notch sheet metal person and wheelbarrows full of cash to get it done…..

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  6. fred

    More pictures would help, but to me it looks like the bulk of the rust through is in the tailgate area. The bed will be redone in wood anyway.

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  7. Joe Nose

    Of course the skirts aren’t original. But they performed two functions:

    A. They kept customers from getting tire crap on their clothes as they browsed the shelves, and
    2. They kept the fender pontoons from re-curving as the truck settled into the field of screams.

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  8. Speedo

    Here is an image of the next series one ton screen side I took at a girls camp in Vermont. The camp bought it new and only used it during the summer. The truck was all original with super low miles. I wonder if they still are driving it.

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  9. Doug Towsley

    Sweet truck, for the right person with deep pockets, this is the ultimate accy for their farm or organic veggie business. I can think of some resturants as well that would love to have this. This will find a buyer, but stating the obvious, its gonna need work. Back a few years ago I would have taken this on for a customer.

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  10. geomechs

    This one is bad but it’s worth the effort to make it new again. Not many of them left.

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  11. Bill Wilkman

    Definitely lose the skirts. In no way are they in character with this workhorse.

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  12. Mike

    I like the fender skirts on this thing, is that Art Deco or what!!!

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  13. RAY

    1946 canopy truck i purchased last year i replaced 216 motor, installed rebuilt 235, tires, upholstery, wiring, brakes, new chrome bumpers, grille, little body work keeping patina look ! i was informed that this model is one of (10) prototype built for the military ww2 it was never delivered due to end of war.

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    • bryan

      Ray, any thoughts about selling it?

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      • RAY

        no !! trying to locate history was told it was built for war ii do you know how i can find out ?

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  14. RAY

    Another Picture

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  15. RAY

    1946 Canopy

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  16. RAY

    Ray’s 1946 Canopy

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  17. RAY

    1946 Canopy!

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  18. Doug Towsley

    Sweet! Parked in the Bus zone, Id ride that bus! Nice!

    Like 0

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