Old panel truck

Old panel truck DEFAULT

Panel van

Cargo vehicle based on passenger car chassis

2001 Citroën Berlingo

Austin 35 panel van

A panel van, also known as a blind van, car-derived van (United Kingdom) or sedan delivery (United States), is a small cargo vehicle utilizing a passenger car chassis, typically with a single front bench seat and no side windows behind the B-pillar.[1] Panel vans are smaller than panel trucks or cargo vans, both of which utilize body-on-frame truck chassis.

As they are derived from passenger cars, the development of panel vans is typically closely linked with the passenger car models upon which they depend. North American panel vans were initially based upon the two-door station wagon models, while Europe's narrower roads dictated that panel vans utilize the smaller donor chassis of subcompact cars in that market. In Australia, panel vans were a development of the ute, a small pickup truck based on a passenger car chassis, e.g. Chevrolet El Camino, often using the longer wheelbase of a station wagon chassis.[2][3]


Panel vans were a well-established body type by the end of the 1920s.[4]

Panel vans have experienced divergent evolution in America, Europe, and Australia, as a result of the different passenger car platforms upon which panel vans are based in each region.

North America[edit]

1940 Ford De Luxe Sedan Delivery

2015 Ram ProMaster City Tradesman Cargo Van

A panel van is often known as a "delivery" or "sedan delivery" in North America. It's an older term that usually only applies to station wagon-based vehicles (sedan deliveries/delivery wagons) such as the Chevrolet Delray and Ford Courier,[5] or pickup-based vans (panel deliveries).[6] Large, boxy unibody vans based on truck platforms (such as the Ford Transit,[7]Ram ProMaster,[8] and Chevrolet Express[9]) as well as smaller unibody vans (like the Ford Transit Connect[10] and Ram Promaster City[11]) are usually referred to as cargo vans or just panel vans. Larger vehicles built on a chassis cab with a custom cargo box are usually called box trucks or moving vans.

In the late 1920s, Ford produced "Town Car Delivery" and "Wood Panel Delivery" as part of the Ford Model A model range.[12] Later Plymouth produced a sedan delivery from 1935 until 1941.[13]Pontiac produced deliveries until 1953 in the U.S. and until 1958 in Canada based on the Pontiac Pathfinder.[14] Sedan delivery models were usually produced in small quantities of 200 or less, for example 449 Canadian Pontiac sedan deliveries were built in 1958.[citation needed]

1971 Chevrolet Vega Panel Express

From 1959 on, the sedan delivery was no longer practical; it was phased out in 1960 as a Chevrolet model, so the requisite Chevrolet body was no longer available.[15] With the growing sales of the Volkswagen Type 2 and the introduction of compact vans, sedan deliveries faded from the scene. Chevrolet dropped the body type after 1960, while Ford moved it to the Falcon line-up until 1965.[16]

In the 1970s, Chevrolet and Ford offered subcompact sedan deliveries with the Chevrolet Vega Panel Express and the Ford Pinto Panel Wagon. The Vega Panel Express was introduced in September 1970 and it was Chevy's first sedan delivery in ten years since the final full-size model was offered in 1960.[17] The Vega Panel Express body style accounted for less than 2% of the total Chevrolet Vegas produced during the 1971 through 1975 model years.[16] First-year sales of the Vega Panel Express peaked at 7,800 units and after leveling off to 4,000 units per year, only 1,525 were sold in 1975.[18] The Pontiac Astre Panel, Pontiac's version of the Vega Panel Express, was available in Canada in the 1973–75 model years and in the US for 1975.[14] The Pinto Panel Wagon was introduced in 1976 and was offered in both a commercial and a "factory customized" Pinto Cruising Wagon version that featured a round porthole style window on each side.[16] The Ford Courier name, previously used for Ford sedan delivery vans, began to be used with Ford's import pickup truck line.[19]

In 2002, Chrysler showed a concept car edition of a panel van based on the PT Cruiser at the North American International Auto Show, but it was not manufactured. In 2007 Chevrolet released a panel van version of the HHR, marketed as the HHR Panel.[20]

The small cargo vans currently sold by American manufacturers are from their overseas divisions, for example, the Ford Transit Connect and Dodge Ram ProMaster City.


1958 Morris Minor 1000 panel van

2016 Renault Kangoo

2017 Ford Fiesta Delivery

European panel vans of the 20th century include the Citroën 2CV Fourgonnette, Citroën H Van, Citroën C15, Ford Escort, Morris Minor, Renault Estafette, SEAT Inca[21] and more recently the Renault Kangoo and the Opel Combo.[22]

From the 1950s onwards, a larger alternative to the panel van was the van (based on a commercial vehicle chassis instead of a passenger car chassis), such as the Volkswagen Type 2, the DKW van and the first-generation Ford Transit in 1965.[23][24][25]

In the United Kingdom, panel vans benefit from having lower taxes than station wagons[26] and do not have the speed restrictions which apply to larger vans.[27] This has given rise to some anomalies. Authorities and dealers are not always certain on what qualifies as a car-derived van.[28] SUVs and crossovers are also popularly turned into light commercial vehicles without rear seats.[29]

Examples of panel vans from the last 30 years are the Renault Kangoo (1997), the Fiat Doblò (2001), Opel Combo (2001), Ford Transit Connect (2002) or the Volkswagen Caddy (2004). They are also purpose-designed to be utilitarian base model MPVs / people carriers, for a range of such vehicles. Since the 1980s, most manufacturers have offered light van versions of their small hatchbacks, sharing bodywork with the regular passenger version. These versions have the rear seats removed and may have blanked rear windows, depending on local regulations.

As of 2019, the market consists of the following models and many more:


1940 Chevrolet Pullman panel van

1980 Holden HZ Sandman panel van

1998 Ford XH Falcon panel van

The first Holden panel van produced in Australia was the FJ Holden, which was released in December 1953,[30] although many manufacturers offered panel vans in their range prior to this.[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38] Like many Australian panel vans, it was based on a corresponding ute model, with additional body work at the rear. In May 1961, Ford Australia released a panel van version of the XK Falcon, marketed as the "sedan delivery" body style.[39] The first panel van by Chrysler Valiant was part of the CL Valiant model range and was introduced in April 1977.[40]

Panel vans' combination of cargo space and customisable interior in a relatively compact vehicle made them attractive to painters, electricians, general labourers and film crews.[41] Australian police forces also used panel vans (nicknamed "divvy vans" or "paddywagons").[42]

Early Australian panel vans used swing-down and -up tailgates and a standard roof height, due to their ute origins. Some later models offered horizontally opening rear doors (nicknamed "barn doors") and a higher roofline.

By the early 1970s, when panel vans were in decline in America, they had become cultural icons in Australia.[43] The most popular model was the Holden Sandman, which was marketed to surfing lifestyle.[44][45] The first Sandman was built in small quantities in 1974 in the HQ model range, but the model's popularity greatly increased in the subsequent HJ generation, which was released in October 1974.[46][47] In the 1979 movie Mad Max, a modified 1975 HJ Sandman model was one of the vehicles driven by the lead character (played by Mel Gibson).[48]

Ford's competitor to the Sandman was the SurfeRoo, which was introduced into the XB Falcon model range in 1973.[49][50] In 1977, the SurfaRoo was replaced by the more popular Sundowner, in the XC Falcon range.[46][44]

In 1976, Chrysler released a similar model called the Drifter, which was part of the Chrysler CL Valiant product range. The Drifter ceased production in 1978.

Younger drivers were especially attracted to panel vans, not least because of the ease with which a mattress could be installed within the cargo bay. Consequently, panel vans also attracted nicknames such as "sin bins," and "shaggin' wagons".[51][52] During the 1970s many Australian panel van owners took to applying airbrush mural art to the sides of their vans, paralleling a similar trend in America.[53] Along with VolkswagenKombi micro-busses, panel vans were popular with surfers, who could sleep in the cargo bay while carrying surfboards on the roof.

1977 Chrysler CL Valiant Drifter panel van

By the end of 1979, the Sandman had largely lost its place in the contemporary Australian youth culture – order figures were down and many of the vehicles were now being sold with the stripes and tailgate logos deleted. The final Sandman was in the Holden HZ series and featured V8 engines only, along with a four-headlight grille and under bumper front spoiler. In 1979, a basic HZ Holden panel van was priced at A$6,076, with the Sandman option package an additional A$1,700. If a buyer selected every Sandman extra, which would cost in excess of 50% more than a basic HZ panel van, Holden would include a velvet mattress with the Holden logo embroidered. The Sandman ute and panel van were phased out in October 1979, with the end of the HZ series.[54]

Panel vans generally declined in popularity through the 1980s. Holden's last panel van, the WB, ceased production in 1984.[55] Ford was the last manufacturer of Australian panel vans, until production of the XH Falcon, ceased in 1999.

In 2000, Holden unveiled a retro-styled Sandman show car based on the Holden VU Ute. While this Sandman was never released, an canopy or "camper shell" featuring the same styling was made available as an A$6,150 accessory for Holden utes from 2003 through 2006. Installation was complicated, however, and the rear window and cab wall of the ute were retained, preventing movement between the cargo bay and the passenger cab as was possible in purpose-built panel vans.[56]

See also[edit]


  1. ^"Car-derived vans and dual purpose vehicles – GOV.UK". GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  2. ^"Another look at sedan deliveries". Mac's Motor City Garage. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  3. ^Adams, Keith (25 September 2011). "Commercials : Car derived vans/pick-ups – AROnline". AROnline. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  4. ^"What is a Panel Van?". Wisegeek. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  5. ^"1950 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery Advertisement | A rare ad from… | Flickr". 26 July 2009.
  6. ^"1964 Chevrolet Panel Delivery | Alden Jewell | Flickr". 19 January 2015.
  7. ^"2020 Ford® Transit Full-Size Cargo Van | All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) Work Van".
  8. ^"2020 Ram ProMaster - Commercial Cargo Van For Any Job". RAM Trucks. US.
  9. ^"2020 Chevy Express Cargo Van | Custom Fit for Your Business".
  10. ^"2020 Ford® Transit Connect Cargo Van | Work Van | Ford.com".
  11. ^"2020 Ram ProMaster City - Cargo, Work & Passenger Van". RAM Trucks.
  12. ^"Putting on the Ritz – The Model A Ford Town Car Sedan Delivery | The Old Motor". theoldmotor.com. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  13. ^Benjaminson., Jim. "Plymouth vans and delivery trucks". allpar.com. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  14. ^ abJewell, Alden (25 November 2014). "The Sedan Delivery". aldenjewell.com. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  15. ^1960–61 Chevrolet Full-Line Truck brochures
  16. ^ abcHalter, Tom (9 July 2017). "Automotive History: The Sedan Delivery". curbsideclassic.com. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  17. ^"1971–1975 Chevrolet Vega Panel Express and the 1973–1975 Pontiac Astre Panel". Old Cars Canada. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  18. ^h-body.org
  19. ^Martin, Murilee (3 November 2011). "Junkyard Find: 1972 Ford Courier". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  20. ^Nunez, Alex (6 October 2006). "Chevy introduces HHR Panel". Autoblog. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  21. ^Dutch, Johannes (24 July 2015). "CC Global: Compact European Panel Vans – Their Evolution in the Past 25 Years". curbsideclassic.com. Curbside Classic. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  22. ^Axon, Gary (2 March 2018). "Axon's Automotive Anorak: Attack of the vans". goodwood.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  23. ^Turla, Antanas (13 June 2017). "VW Type 2 – The Most Important Van in the History?". DriveTribe. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  24. ^Niedermeyer, Paul (29 March 2010). "The Mother Of All Modern Minivans: 1949 DKW Schnellaster – The Truth About Cars". The Truth About Cars. The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  25. ^Moss, Darren (30 July 2013). "History of the Ford Transit: picture special". autocar.co.uk. Autocar. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  26. ^"What is a car, commercial vehicle or motor home for VAT". HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
  27. ^"Speed limits and speeding". direct.gov.uk.
  28. ^"Confusion over van speed limits". Fleet News. UK. 28 July 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  29. ^Chin, Joshua (27 July 2020). "The Wonderful World Of The Commercial SUV Market". Automacha. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020.
  30. ^"Aussie Classic: 1951–1957 FX & FJ Holden Utes & Vans". Truck Jungle. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  31. ^"MORRIS 8 PANEL VAN". 26 October 1936. p. 19 – via Trove.
  32. ^"NEW PANEL VAN". 17 September 1936. p. 12 – via Trove.
  33. ^"A CHEVROLET PANEL VAN FOR 1936". 13 February 1936. p. 10 – via Trove.
  34. ^"Panel Utility Van On Willys Chassis - The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954) - 16 Mar 1936". Trove.
  35. ^"BEDFORD PANEL VAN - SMART TOWN JOB Big Production Plans Announced GREAT VALUE - Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954) - 15 Apr 1934". Trove.
  36. ^"STANDARD LIGHT VAN". 7 June 1936. p. 11 – via Trove.
  37. ^"FORD PANEL VAN - The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954) - 28 Mar 1938". Trove.
  38. ^"INTERNATIONAL PANEL VAN". 8 August 1938. p. 17 – via Trove.
  39. ^Bushby, A. C. (1989). The Australian Ford Falcon. ISBN .
  40. ^"Valiant CL Technical Specifications". Unique Cars and Parts. Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  41. ^"Model FJ Holden panel van commemorates newsreel era at National Film and Sound Archive". ABC. Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  42. ^"Aussie Panel Van: Ford Falcon XD Police Divvy Van". Doogies Diecast. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  43. ^Huynh, Mike (20 January 2015). "10 Most Iconic Australian Cars in Aussie Culture". D'MARGE. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  44. ^ ab"Holden Sandman turns 40". Cars Guide. Australia. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  45. ^"Australian Vanning History- Part 1"(PDF). Vanning. Australia. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  46. ^ ab"Holden Sandman review". Trade Unique Cars. Australia. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  47. ^"Welcome the new HJ; a fresh face". All About Holdens. Australia. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  48. ^"1979 "Mad Max"/ 1975 Holden Sandman HJ – Best Movie Cars". Best Movie Cars. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  49. ^"History of the Ford Falcon XB". Which Car. Australia. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  50. ^"Ford vs. Holden". E-Motor. Australia. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  51. ^Byrne, Bob (18 October 2014). "The Shaggin' Wagon – Cars From Our Youth". Adelaide Remember When. Australia. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  52. ^"Living in the 70's – Panel Vans". ABC. Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  53. ^King, Poppy (12 April 2002). "Sex and art on wheels". The Age. Australia. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  54. ^"1977 to 1979 The HZ Series". All About Holdens. Australia. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  55. ^"1980 to 1984 The WB Series". All About Holdens. Australia. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  56. ^"History of the Sandman". Rare Spares. Australia. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panel_van

1950 Chevrolet Panel Truck

Magazine Featured Panel Truck! ALL Steel Body Fully Loaded with Modern Features!

1950 Chevrolet Panel Truck

VIN NCS94692

This beautiful panel truck was featured in the March 2013 issue of Hot Rod Magazine! A copy of the issue is included in the sale.


350ci Engine – Last four of Casting # 0010

TH350 Automatic Transmission

A/C and Heat

Ford 8” Single Track Rear End with 2.80:1 Gear Ratio

Power Front Disc Brakes, Rear Drum

Power Steering

Edelbrock Intake

Edelbrock Carb

Serpentine Belt Set Up

Newer Style Alternator

Jet Coated Headers

Flowmaster Mufflers

New Exhaust System

Aluminum Radiator

Electric Fan

Nice Wiring

HEI Distributor

Trans Cooler

New Brake Lines and Flexlines

Rear Shocks are in Good Shape

GM A Body Front Suspension

Front Sway Bar


Beautiful Red Paint

Chrome Bumper and Grille is in Great Shape

Tinted Windows

Emblems are Beautiful


Doors Fit and Operate Properly

Door Lips and Jambs are Clean and Solid

Steel Running Boards are Solid

Solid Straight Body

Steel Fenders

Chrome Rear Bumper is in Great Shape

Custom Cadillac Tail Lights

Plywood Floor in the Rear

Frame is Cleaned Up and Painted, Very Solid

Wheel Wells are Clean

Chrome Coy Wheels, 17” Front, 18” Rear

215/40/17 Front, 245/40/18 Rear


Beautiful Tan Leather Interior

Bucket Seats

Tilt Steering Column

A/C and Heat

Stewart Warner Gauges

Power Windows

Power Seats

Beautiful Painted Dash

Modern Chevrolet Steering Wheel

Nice Carpet

Headliner is in Great Shape

Rear of Truck is all Carpeted and Upholstered

Battery Access Under Passenger Side Floorboard

Don't Miss Out! Call Tom 7 Days a Week at 248-974-9513!

[email protected]

History of the 1950 Chevrolet

General Motors' first major redesign post-World War II, the Advance Design series was billed as a bigger, stronger, and sleeker design. First available on Saturday June 28, 1947, these trucks were sold with various minor changes over the years until March 25, 1955, when the Task Force Series trucks replaced the aging Advance Design model.

The same basic design family was used for all of its trucks including the Suburban, panel trucks, and Cab Overs. The cab overs used the same cab and similar grill but used a shorter and taller hood and different fenders. From 1947 until 1955, Chevrolet trucks were number one in sales in the United States.

Sours: https://www.vanguardmotorsales.com/vehicles/27/1950-chevrolet-panel-truck
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What is a Panel Truck?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon
Electricians, plumbers, and other professionals in the building trades may order a custom panel truck to use as a work vehicle.

A panel truck is a truck with a fully enclosed body, providing a large space for carrying goods. Panel trucks have historically been used as delivery vehicles for everything from flowers to groceries, and specialized models have also been designed for use as hearses. Several car companies make panel trucks for use as delivery vehicles, and car enthusiasts sometimes restore vintage panel trucks out of an interest in the history of these vehicles.

A panel truck may be used to delivery groceries to customers.

The body of a panel truck is placed on a truck chassis so that the vehicle will be capable of carrying heavy loads and for increased durability. The cab of the truck and the bed are both fully enclosed, and the typical panel truck has no windows over the bed. When used as a delivery vehicle, a panel truck may have shelving, doors, or racks to keep products organized inside the truck and to prevent damage to products while in transport.

Electricians, plumbers, and other professionals in the building trades may order a custom panel truck to use as a work vehicle. These vehicles are designed to carry tools in an organized fashion so that it is easy to get to work at a job site. Construction workers can also drive panel vans, which are larger and have more room for equipment, but can be more difficult to handle as many vans are harder to drive than basic trucks.

New panel trucks typically come with very few frills, because they are designed as working vehicles. The manufacturer may sell a truck with a stripped interior so that customers can equip the truck as needed, or the manufacturer may offer the option of customization at the factory, with delivery of a ready to use truck. An old panel truck such as a restored vintage vehicle may come with customizations added by the previous owner.

One advantage to using a panel truck for transports and deliveries is that it is relatively easy to handle and park. In crowded environments like cities, it may be easier to navigate with a panel truck than with a large van or a full sized delivery truck. People also do not need special licenses to drive panel trucks, and no special skills are required, beyond an awareness of how to use the side mirrors to monitor traffic around and behind the truck, since there are no windows in the rear of the vehicle to allow for visibility.

Mary McMahon Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahonMary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Sours: https://www.wise-geek.com/what-is-a-panel-truck.htm

Cars We Remember: Panel trucks bring back memories

Greg Zyla More Content Now


Feb 24, 2020 at 7:31 AMFeb 24, 2020 at 7:31 AM

Panel wagons and delivery trucks are now popular, high dollar, attractions

Greg, I love reading your columns in the Westerly Sun newspaper here in Rhode Island. I have a great love for panel trucks and the 1957 to 1960 Fords are my favorites, but I like them all.

As you know, trying to find one today is a major task so I’m hoping you can do a column on these great old workhorses of yesteryear. Thanks for all the great nostalgic reading and keep up the good work.
Mike Wood, Charlestown, Rhode Island.

A: Thanks Mike for your kind words and a handwritten letter. Not surprisingly, your letter brings back tremendous memories of both my love of vehicles and my late father, Michael T. Zyla, who would go on to become a noted artist and publish five art prints centered on trains and his hometown of Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

Back in 1955, at the age of 7, I sat in my dad’s garage mesmerized at the new 1955 Chevy sedan delivery sitting in front of me. My dad was hand-lettered this brand new truck for a local business, namely Ned Stank Electric in Ranshaw, Pennsylvania. The sedan delivery was black with shiny hubcaps and my dad used high gloss yellow paint to letter the name, address and phone number on the side and doors.

My dad explained the panel sedan delivery was built on a normal ’55 Chevy car/station wagon frame but did not have side windows or any seats other than in the front. That was my first experience of any type of panel sedan delivery that I can remember although I did recall other, more formal delivery trucks of the era. Even at my young age, that ’55 Chevy looked like the car I loved but was actually a delivery vehicle.

With this vivid memory still playing in my mind, I’m sure we both agree that here in 2020, the popularity of all types of panel sedan trucks, and pickup trucks, too, are growing tremendously and proven by the money they generate at Mecum and Barrett Jackson auctions. These 1950 to 1960 low on amenity, farm truck style pickups and panel wagons are now commanding well over $30,000 and up in great condition.

As for your love of the panel trucks from 1957 to 1960, most popular back then were the Chevy/GMC and Ford varieties, with Dodge, International and Studebaker also notable. These panel and smaller delivery trucks were very popular because back then the smaller vans that would eventually replace the car like delivery panels were just starting to arrive on the scene.

And, just as the full-size delivery vans that were then the number one choice of many companies (like the 1960 F-100 Series Ford pictured), they would also share some lighter duty hauling with the smaller, car-like station wagon sedan delivery units that popped up quickly. In 1960, even the new compact Ford Falcon delivery panel joined the fray.

Not surprisingly, all of these panel delivery trucks, from full size to compact, were similar in that they were built with no seating other than the driver and in most instances a passenger seat. Likewise, the station wagons were quickly turned into delivery wagons by removing the side windows and rear seating. By the early 1970s, even the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto offered panel wagons that to this day are popular, lower-cost entries into the world of collectible trucks.

More current are the modern-day Chevrolet HHR (high heritage roof) and Chrysler PT Cruiser conversions, which were both created by noted car designer Bryan Nesbitt. These little car/wagons became instant hits when retrofitted in sedan delivery livery and were utilized by countless companies for light-duty deliveries.

Additionally, the original delivery panel trucks I recently wrote about (IH Metro) did have competition as Chevy, Ford and Willys come quickly to mind. However, unlike the light-duty Metro, I remember the heavy-duty Ford Delivery vans that came in P350 to P600 series builds with dual rear wheels and heavier load capability. (See photo attached).

The attached 1956 Chevrolet Task Force Truck advertisement best exemplifies how the major manufacturers promoted their truck line. Everything from light-duty panels to the bigger delivery trucks is clearly explained in detail including haul capacities and cargo information.

In summary, sedan deliveries and delivery panel trucks came in all shapes and sizes, from the converted station wagons (even the Studebaker Lark had one in 1960) to the real big bruisers from Chevy, Dodge and Ford that were common sights on our nation’s highways.

I agree that trying to find a nice panel/delivery truck these days is tough and surmise that this category of delivery truck usually ended up at the auto crusher junkyard way before any real collectors started gobbling them up. Thus, with fewer available it takes top dollar these days to own a nice or restored example and for this reason panel trucks from 1948 through 1965 are now enjoying major attraction status at car shows and auctions everywhere.

Thanks much for your letter Mike and good luck if you’re looking to buy a delivery truck.

Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and Gannett Co. Inc. Contact him at [email protected] or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.

Sours: https://www.registerguard.com/business/20200224/cars-we-remember-panel-trucks-bring-back-memories

Panel truck old

Car of the Week: 1952 Chevrolet 1-ton panel truck

By John Gunnell

An all-new, completely redesigned line of Chevrolet trucks started production on May 1, 1947. The new trucks featured “the cab that breathes” with 30 “Advance Design” features and a front-opening alligator jaw hood that made engine servicing an easier job.

The light trucks came in 3100 (1/2-ton), 3600 (3/4-ton) and 3800 (1-ton) series. The 1-ton line included a large panel truck with prices starting at $1,445 and a standard weight of 4,220 lbs. This large panel had a 137-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 223.88 inches.

The 1947 Chevy 1-tons were ES models. The next year this changed to FS and the price climbed to $1,596, but there were few other changes. Each year the first letter in the model designation changed and the price jumped slightly So the GS model was the 1948 version, the 1950 was the HS, the 1951 was the JS (IS was skipped because the letter I looked like the number 1).

That brings us to the KS model of 1952, which is where Tim Blum’s truck fits in. Blum is a truck restorer from Baraboo, Wis. He normally makes older heavy trucks look new again, but he and his sons Matt and Josh decided to do the same to a 1952 Chevrolet 1-ton panel that Tim originally had only $500 in.

“I bought it 32 years ago,” Blum told Old Cars Weekly. “Baraboo Asphalt Co. had purchased it from the W. R. DuBois & Son construction company down here. They had it in their boneyard and it was rotted out. They had put a generator in the back of it and they had flood lights up and down both sides of the roof and both sides of the body. When they rolled it on the crushers at night, the truck was their light plant. They lit up the whole quarry like that.”

Blum bought the truck and Baraboo Asphalt Co. kept the generator, which they took out of it. Then, it took Blum and his boys about 10 years to get the truck back to its present condition. “It’s not a show vehicle,” Blum admitted. “It’s just a nice daily driver and I have a lot of fun with it. “

Under the hood, the truck has a 235-cid Chevrolet “Stovebolt” six replacing the original 216-cid six. “The 235 didn’t come out until 1953,” Blum pointed out. “So, at one point somebody changed it, but I’ve got no complaints because it goes down the road really nice and we have fun with it. The truck still has the three-piece rims and 17-inch tires.”

Blum agreed that you don’t see many of the 1-ton panels. “As near as I can figure it, this one originally came from either J.R. Hahn in Baraboo or Baraboo Sysco Food had two of them. So, I can’t tell you which it was, but I can tell you it originally came from Baraboo where it was used as a delivery vehicle.”

Blum says the truck was “just always different and I liked it.” He says the body work on the trucks is “a little bit friendly because waves at you.” The truck will drive down the road comfortably at 65 mph, but 70 mph is pushing it a little bit. Blum and his sons tried to decide what color to paint it by driving around to car lots and check out vehicles for sale. They wound up selecting a 1993 GM green and gray color combination.

The external sun visor — a factory accessory — was purchased from a man in Reedsburg, Wis. Blum said that a lot of parts were picked up in junkyards. “It was fairly easy to get a lot of the front-end parts from Jim Carter truck parts in Kansas,” he said. “But for the back parts — the fenders and running boards and so on — nobody remade them. When Accessoryland was in Dubuque, Iowa, I got quite a few parts from them.”

As far as can be determined, production totals for 1952 Chevrolet 1-ton panel trucks are unavailable. However, they are probably out there on some report, since the production totals for 1950 models have been found and are on the Internet. The 1950 Chevrolet 1-ton panel had a production run of 7,701 units.

Advance-Design trucks were marketed from 1947 until the first part of 1956. In those nine years, 1950 saw the largest total production of Chevrolet trucks. Total calendar year production for the eight-year period looked like this:

1947 335,343

1948 389,690

1949 383,543

1950 494,573

1951 426,115

1952 332,115

1953 361,833

1954 325,515

1955 393,312 (only early ‘55 trucks were Advance-Design models)

It is fairly safe to assume that the 1950 total of 7,701 of the large panels was probably the high point of production of that model. That year was a record year for United States car and truck production as a whole. During the 1951-'53 period, production restrictions brought about by the Korean War held production down. By 1954-'55, these trucks were getting old-fashioned and not selling as well as they had at the beginning of the series.

A little math tells us that the production total for 1952 was about 67.15 percent of the total for 1950. Extrapolating from the numbers for the 1-ton panel suggests that about 5,171 of these trucks were made in 1952. That’s just a guess — but it’s an educated guess. Chevy may have sold a few less or a few more fleets of 1-ton panels in 1952, but chances are we have a pretty good estimate at 5,171. This may explain why Tim Blum hasn’t seen many others.

In addition to being fairly rare, the 1-ton trucks were rugged machines. They had a four-speed manual transmission with floor shift, a full-floating rear axle, multi-piece spilt wheel rims, heavy-duty underpinnings, a standard 5.14:1 rear axle and beefy 17-inch tires. The GVW rating was 7,000 lbs. with single rear wheels and 6-ply tires and 7,700 lbs. with optional 8-ply tires.

To Tim Blum, his rugged and rare Chevy panel is a mini truck, since he’s used to restoring giant semis for friends like collector H.E. “Gene” Olson. “We have a lot of fun with this one,” he stressed. “It drives really nice at highway speeds and we enjoy taking it up the road a-ways, then turning around and heading back home. It’s a hard-riding old Chevy and we don’t see many others, although we have seen a couple of car magazines with similar trucks that they were even using to pull a trailer.” We couldn’t help thinking that Tim was talking about a certain ex-Old Cars Weekly truck that’s known as "Buck."

Sours: https://www.oldcarsweekly.com
1959 Chevrolet Apache Panel Van For Sale

Panel truck

Van based on the chassis of a pickup truck

A panel truck (also called a panel delivery[1] or pickup truck-based van) in U.S. and Canadian usage is a small delivery truck with a fully enclosed body.[2] It typically is high and has no rear windows in the rear cargo area.[3] The term was first used in the early 1910s. Panel trucks were marketed for contracting, deliveries, and other businesses.[4] Often described as a small van (based on the chassis of a truck or pickup truck) used mostly for delivery rounds, the British equivalent is a "delivery van."[5]


Consumer demand from farmers and businesses for stripped-down Model T versions prompted Henry Ford to market vehicles that independent builders could supply cabs and cargo enclosures according to users' needs.[6]

The U.S. Army ordered 20,000 Dodge half-ton chassis sets for use as cargo trucks and ambulances During World War I that were then marketed after the war as the "Screenside Commercial Car" - a pickup with a roof and roll-up side covers or a fully enclosed cargo-bed.[6]

Chevrolet made a van-like version of their Chevrolet Suburban, which was a station wagon version of the Chevrolet pickup truck from the 1930s. Panel truck versions of the Suburban were made until 1973.

Ford made panel truck versions of their pickup trucks until 1960. Panel trucks were also converted into canopy expresses, which were primarily used by farmers. Panel truck versions of the Agrocar were also released until 1978.

  • 1923 Dodge Brothers Screenside (canopy) truck

  • Chevrolet Advance Design panel truck

  • 1955 Chevrolet 3800 Panel Truck

The style of the panel trucks from the 1930s to 1950s inspired the style of both the Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Chevrolet HHR.[7][8] However, both of these were car platform-based models (Chrysler PL and GM Delta platforms respectively), not built on a pickup truck chassis.[9]

The current use of panel trucks describes commercial delivery vans.[10]


The difference between a sedan delivery and a panel truck is that the sedan delivery is based on the chassis of a sedan, hatchback, or station wagon, while a panel truck is based on the chassis of a pickup truck.[11]Unibody-based vans are similar in size and in functionality but have a unibody chassis.

Canopy express[edit]

A canopy express (also known as a "huckster truck"[12]) is a light-duty cargo van based on the chassis of a panel truck. Canopy express vehicles have open display areas behind the driver's seat commonly used for peddling vegetables and fruit, but also used for other kinds of deliveries that require easy access, such as newspapers and radio equipment.[13][14]

Canopy express trucks evolved as a more stylized version of standard pickup trucks that contained open canopies installed over the pickup bed. They were built by Dodge, General Motors, and International Harvester as well as other manufacturers. Ford Canopy Express trucks were merely aftermarket conversions of their existing panel trucks.

As the United States became more suburbanized after World War II, sales of canopy express vehicles declined. Dodge ceased production of these trucks in 1948,[citation needed] while GM offered the last of them in 1955.[15]

  • A blue 1953 Canopy Express from Chevrolet, loaded with fruits and vegetables

    1953 Chevrolet 3100 canopy express

  • 1940 Dodge canopy express

See also[edit]


Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panel_truck

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