In 1928, Chevrolet introduced an overhead valve inline 6-cylinder engine that was used in both cars and trucks for several decades. The engine became known as the Stovebolt Six, a nickname that compared this reliable engine to a simple but strong type of bolt that was used for all sorts of purposes.
Chevy Acquires New Truck Bodies
Chevy bought the Martin-Parry body company in 1930, an acquisition that allowed it to replace earlier cowl and chassis trucks with steel bodied half-ton pickups that were delivered to buyers with a factory-installed bed. The new trucks were available with either a roadster or a closed body.
An increasing number of automakers entered the trucks market in the 1930s, as America’s economy began to recover from the Great Depression and demand for pickup trucks grew. Chevy pickup trucks had became more streamlined by 1937, with sturdier bodies and a more powerful 78 horsepower engine. To demonstrate the truck’s capabilities, Chevy loaded 1,060 pounds of cargo onto one of its ’37 half ton trucks and sent it on a cross country trip dubbed the Nationwide Safety and Economy Test, a run overseen by the AAA. Chevy’s truck averaged 20.74 miles per gallon during its 10,245 journey. In 1937, spare tires were added to Chevy trucks.
In ’37 (and beyond) many of the features we take for granted today had to be purchased as optional accessories — just a few:
- Passenger side windshield wiper, $2.60
- Right hand extendable mirror, $2.55
- Heater for a Super DeLuxe car, $14.95
Heaters were optional on many cars and trucks until the late 1950s to early 1960s, and they weren’t always very effective. Luckily, it usually isn’t difficult for us to find and install heaters and other creature comforts in our vintage autos.