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1932 Chevy Pickup

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1932 Chevy Pickup
Posted by cefinkjr on Saturday, May 30, 2020 11:20 PM

I recently cleaned up my workbench drawers, etc. and came across a kit for three, HO scale 1932 Chevy Pickup trucks.  The floors and axles are molded in black plastic and the remaining parts (8 per truck) are molded in clear plastic.

The instructions are pretty skimpy but, really, there aren't many ways to put  these parts together.  My question though is painting.  The B/W drawing on the front of the package indicates chrome bumpers, headlights and headlight support bracket, radiator, widnshield frame, and wire wheels, a light colored body, and a black truck bed and roof (and 3/4 panel).  All 6 wheels (a spare on each front fender) have wide white walls.

I'm wondering if all that chrome and the white wall tires would have appeared on a typical pickup truck in 1932.  Those items would have been more expensive and this was the depth of the Great Depression.  I'd understand these for restored pickups on a modern era layout but I model 1943.  I'm thinking they should be painted flat colors with black bumpers and black wall tires.  And, being 11 years old, some rust and dents (created by a heated screw driver) would be in order.

Opinions? 

Chuck
Allen, TX

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Posted by Little Timmy on Saturday, May 30, 2020 11:40 PM

The Chrome parts were indeed Chrome. Except the wire wheels , they were usually Black, or, painted in an accent color ( red rims on a black truck for example )

The Chrome wire wheels and white wall tires were available as a high end option, at the time.

Rust...... It's a good thing !

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, May 31, 2020 12:01 AM

In period pictures I have seen all the way up the mid-1950s where I model, white wall tires are actually very rare on all vehicles.

I believe in the 1930s the bumpers were actually nickel plated, but in 1/87 I think that would look pretty much like chrome.

I briefly owned a 1976 Chevrolet truck with a chrome front bumper and a silver painted rear bumper. I traded it for a Snap-On tool box in 1986.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, May 31, 2020 3:54 AM

cefinkjr
  And, being 11 years old, some rust and dents (created by a heated screw driver) would be in order. Opinions? 

Just bear in mind that they did build them to last, back then.

My 2 Cents Cheers, the Bear Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by cefinkjr on Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:01 AM

Thanks to all for your replies.  I'll be using some of your ideas when completing these trucks.

Little Timmy: I'm going to take your word for the Chrome parts . . . more or less.  The best I can do will be acrylic "Sterling Silver"; call it 11-year old Chrome that hasn't been well maintained.  One of the three, I've decided is going to be bright red with all the trimmings: Chromed wire wheels and white wall tires.  Wheel rims will be red if I can manage it.  This is the town show-off's truck.

Kevin: As I said above, "Sterling Silver" is the best I'm going to be able to do toward Chrome or nickle plating.  But thanks for the input on white wall tires.  I thought I recalled white walls being "the latest new thing" when I was a teenager in the '50s.  The other two trucks (see above)  will be dark blue and black with no white walls.

JaBear: Good point about "built to last".  Maybe dents would be going too far (besides being difficult to make realistic while avoiding destruction of the model).  I don't think rusting would be inappropriate however.
 

Chuck
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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, May 31, 2020 12:22 PM

Most of my layout's vehicles are from the late '30s or earlier, and only a couple have whitewalls.  I usually do the silver paint for bumpers and other chromed stuff, as most of mine are either Jordan Miniatures or Sylvan kits, both fairly fragile, but a lot of them also have painted bumpers, usually black. 
If you can find some affordable aluminum tape, a solid and not-to-fragile bumper, with a simple shape (not too "busy") could quite easily be plated with such tape. 

It's not quite as shiny as chrome or nickel, but not too bad.
The only place I've used for modelling, was for the "steel" panels on a scratchbuilt boxcar...

...but of course, on the boxcar, it had to be painted...

 

Wayne

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Posted by cefinkjr on Sunday, May 31, 2020 1:13 PM

doctorwayne
If you can find some affordable aluminum tape, a solid and not-to-fragile bumper, with a simple shape (not too "busy") could quite easily be plated with such tape.

Great idea!  I just happen to have some silvery metallic tape left over from another project (had to buy about 50 times more than I really needed).  The bumpers on these Chevy pickups are the old style with two horizontal strips running across the front and rear (4" high?) attached to brackets of some sort.  The tape ought to do a great job.  Thanks. Bow

Chuck
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 1, 2020 10:30 AM

Wire wheels, wide whites, and chrome bumpers on a Chevrolet truck in 1932?  On THREE of them together?

This was in the age of the introduction of Budd wheels in place of artillery wheels.  Wires in the back would deform the first time you hit a bump with full load in the bed.  You could replace a lot of tires with what you'd spend to little purpose on a nickel or chrome bumper.  These are work vehicles, not junior classic cars adapted like Galloping Geese because their resale value crashed in the Depression.

Now if you were using the truck for advertising or wanted the 'show' I suppose better paint and more plated pieces would appear.  But you'd have to be an idiot to put wires on a Chevy by choice, and I suspect as pressed-steel wheels evolved over the ensuing decade those would become more and more prevalent.

Trucks would not get multiple coats of lacquer paint, either, or be regularly garaged, waxed, etc. so I suspect the point made about about their paint becoming faded and flat is a valid one.

And really!  Two fender-mounted spares, like some Packard or Duesenberg, on a pickup truck?  What truck user wastes his money on that?  He'll have a few tubes and carcasses somewhere, perhaps with tube-patching supplies, and know how to use his tire levers...  

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Posted by Little Timmy on Monday, June 1, 2020 7:17 PM

Overmod
Wire wheels, wide whites, and chrome bumpers on a Chevrolet truck in 1932?  On THREE of them together?

The wire wheels came stock from the factory. So did  most of the chrome (actually Nickle plated ) trim . On the Chevy Cabrolet, the vent's on the hood also came chrome..... er... Nickle plated. The White wall tire's were offered as an "option"

Here's a few picture's of a 32 Chevy pick-up , and a 32 Chevy Cabrolet.

 

These were built from William's Brother's kit's. The kits are a "poor" rendition of the real thing, and I used the tire's and wheel's from a few Jordan cars to replace the "incredably crummy" wheel's on the kit's .

Hope this help's / inspire's you.

 

Rust...... It's a good thing !

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 1:14 AM

Timmy: Great work on those two vehicles. They look great. The additional work spent on the wire wheels really paid off.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 4:26 PM

FWIW early rubber tires were white; if you look at very early automobile pictures you'll see that. Later, they added carbon black to make them black, but they made black ones with white sides soon after. Whitewalls date back to WW1 era. 

Stix
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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 7, 2020 3:24 AM

I was proceeding on the assumption that the models were 'trucks' rather than the 1930 version of an El Camino.  That of course was just plain wrong.

It gets worse, of course: I took a quick look around to find examples of early-30s 'light pickups' and EVERY example I found had wire wheels.  (Not all were the tall version with thin tires that look so good on these cars... but they all share the wire construction.)

Worse yet, not only was the chrome radiator, light shells, bumper etc. an option, you could apparently get chrome cowl lights too...

One interesting little detail: in these years, the Chevy commercial line (pickups, sedan deliveries, etc.) used the tooling and parts from the previous model year of car production (this may in part explain why the chrome could be cost-effectively offered for trucks).  So a '32 pickup would be detailed same as  '31 sedan.  I don't know the exact range of years this applied, but it wouldn't be hard to find out.

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Posted by softail86mark on Monday, June 8, 2020 12:50 AM

I'm thinking the owner(s) might have installed a garden bumper to rugged up the back end,no?

WP Lives

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 11, 2020 8:50 AM

Keep in mind they didn't re-do cars for each year like they do now, a particular model of car or truck would be basically the same for years and years. The car makes didn't have to re-tool each year, keeping costs lower. Remember too that if you were working during the Depression, prices had actually come down (a "depression" means there's 10%+ unemployment and deflation - prices dropping - for three straight quarters) so it was possible to buy nice things. Except for the bottom year with 25% unemployment, for most of the time the unemployment rate was about what it is now - 14%. Cars still have bumpers and chrome etc.

Stix
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:54 AM

wjstix
Keep in mind they didn't re-do cars for each year like they do now

I do not think anyone redesigns car annually anymore. My 2015 Impala is nearly identical to my neighbor's 2019 Impala.

New model year redesigns were a thing only from roughly 1953 through 1961. It carried on a bit through the 1960s with body panel and grille changes. For example, the 1964-1965-1966-1967 Mercury full size models all look different from one another, but they are really all the same car.

Now cars are designed to last 5-10 years in production with only minor trim changes. That keeps costs down, and we do get a much better product.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 11, 2020 10:48 AM

Annual redesign was a big thing at GM in the early '30s, whether not the annual changes were as major as those at Ford in the mid-Thirties.  I do suspect at least some of this was proto-Insolent Chariots social marketing pressure to get the 'new' model, cleverly pressured by last year's trim and features becoming prominently business-commercial and work-vehicle recognizable...

in a sense, the transformation between body style in 1930 to that in 1940 was as profound as anything actually seen in the Fifties right up to the Exner excesses after 1957-1958.  It might be interesting to tot up retooling cost per year in constant dollars through at least 1955 to see the degree to which this is applicable.

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