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History 1954 Chevrolet 4spd auto

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DFW31, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    I bought this truck over the weekend for my lady and have been hearing quite a lot of different opinions on its rarity. We knew it was pretty rare being a 4 Spd auto but I've heard it's an early 55 and also that it could be an early 54. I haven't found anything concrete and figured someone of you guys would know. The title does say 53. I feel like it was a good buy and flipping it is not going to happen anytime soon but I'd still like to know more about what I've got and the market value since there seems to be such varying opinions.

    Thanks guys

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1410792713.706942.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1410792728.963734.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1410792742.281081.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1410792758.931266.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1410792783.548663.jpg


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  2. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771

    txturbo
    Member

    You can't go by the year on the title. 54 was the first year for the one piece windshield. Get the serial number off the data plate on the door jamb. The first 4 characters will tell you what year. Mine is a 54 3100 and my first 4 characters are H54K.
     
  3. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    The data plate appears to be missing...


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  4. smoked1
    Joined: Sep 19, 2010
    Posts: 123

    smoked1

    My friend had a 1957 suburban with an olds engine and automatic it was stock, and also a napco 4x4 conversion. His pretty little wife drove that beast to work every day! Oh yeah it also had power steering. Nice truck! Ive got a 59 chev with the napco 4x4 conversion.
     

  5. Is it open driveline or torque tube? If it is open and looks like it is original 6 hole it is a first series '55. It's hard to see in the pic but the hood side emblems look '55.
     
  6. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    How do I tell? Excuse my ignorance


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  7. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    It's an open driveline



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  8. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    telekenfun
    Member

    Her pickup is obviously and definitely not a 53, as noted by the curved one piece windshield and the grill of a 54/55 first series Chevy. Also the bed rails are flat not angle such as were the case on 53 and earlier Chevs and Jimmys. The sure fire way to determine the year of your truck is to crawl under it and see if there is a "U" joint coming out of the transmission or an enclosed "torque-tube". If it has a torque-tube it is a 54, if there is a U joint and an open driveshaft it is a 55. If you still have the data plate on the driver's side "A" pillar door post and the numbers match your title's numbers You are in good shape. Simply go to your DMV and have the year corrected on the title. If the data plate is missing or the numbers don't match, you've got trouble. That is a sign that the sellers sometime back didn't have a title for the vehicle and used a different title to close a sale. I advise you not to invest any more $ into the vehicle until you have cleared the title issue. You may have to spend some $ with DMV for a "title search" or Post a "bond" for it's current appraised value to get a legitimate title to the vehicle. All you need is to be stop for a traffic violation by a cop that knows the difference between a 53 and a 54/55 pickup and you've got trouble. That may be longshot but the possibility exists.
    I hope this helps answer the question. By the way, That is a great start on a killer pickup!
    Best Regards and good luck with all your endeavors,KB.
     
  9. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771

    txturbo
    Member

    If the title numbers match the numbers on the motor then everything is good.
    It appears to be a 55 1st series if nothing has been swapped around with another truck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  10. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,868

    CGkidd
    Member

    The Hydro was offered in the GMC. I suppose it would have also been offered in the Chevy. Could be a 53 with 54 parts added and drive train from 54 GMC.
     
  11. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    This is excellent info, the title definitely says 53 so that's an issue. It's been registered and inspected in texas last on 2012. I'll do some more digging and continue the research.


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  12. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771

    txturbo
    Member

    Yep....lots of parts swapping went on since lots of parts interchange between so many different years. Farmers didn't care if they had a 54 bed on a 53 farm truck. Whatever was handy got used.
     
  13. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,868

    CGkidd
    Member

    As long as the title matches the rig I wouldn't worry. Always liked the 54 grill better anyway.
     
  14. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    telekenfun
    Member

    This vehicle was always a 55 optionally equipped from the git-go with a Hydromatic as evidenced by the lack of a clutch pedal penetration of the floorboard and the location of the trans fluid inspection hole in the floor board of the actual truck's body. Stop with the parts swapping possibilities in that regard. It could have a different engine from it's original one, but those numbers don't apply to the titling questions.
    Another recourse would be to acquire a 55 junker's data plate with a bill of sale from a cooperative wrecking yard, get a title search done on that serial number to use for registration and title.
    Best regards and good luck with all your endeavors, KB.
     
  15. A missing serial number plate could cause you problems, if necessary to be inspected for new title.
    However, some "serial numbers" used on the titles were the engine serial number, located on distributor pad.
     
  16. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,651

    1934coupe
    Member

    Personally I would leave DMV stuff alone and call it a 53 as been said it looks like a 1st series 55.
    I never heard of a 54 Chevy or GMC with a 4speed hydro especially behind a 6 cyl. But that doesn't mean anything I don't know a lot of things. I had a 56 GMC Suburban(Cameo) with a Pontiac motor and 4 speed hydro (pull shifter lever all the way down for reverse and park) it was bone stock.

    Pat
     
  17. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771

    txturbo
    Member

    Engine numbers were used for titling in lots of states back then.
     
  18. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    We have no Intention of profiting on rarity. This is a truck my girl has wanted for a long long time and it's not going anywhere. It will be registered the way it was in 2012 with the 1953 title. The purpose of this research is purely for curiosity. And I would like to know the value difference based on the rarity. Again purely outbid curiosity.

    I paid 7500 for it running and driving with new interior so I feel like I did ok.


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  19. mphudak
    Joined: Jul 30, 2010
    Posts: 176

    mphudak
    Member
    from Atlanta

    Def a 54 or 55, by the open driveline it "should" be a 55. Yes, 54/55 are pretty rare autos. GMC released it in 53, chevy in 54. Those who would spend the $ for a an auto typically would spend the money on the GMC, making it a rare option on chevy. You can tell it is an original hydramatic cab by the transcover coming up the toe board in a curved shape w/the attached gas pedal, lack of provision for floorstarter and the removable panel around where the steering column goes thru the firewall/toeboard. It may also be push button starter (not sure if that was just a 54 item or if 55 also had it). If you look at transmission crossmember it is removable unlike a manual trans. That all said, it may have a little more value but you have to find the right buyer. If that HM needs going thru it will be costly, which is the downside compared to a manual truck.

    I'm not going to touch what should be done w/the missing id plate or it having a 53 title. all in all looks like you have a nice clean truck. Good score!

    HM floorboard vs standard
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  20. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,173

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Having a title that is matched to the truck is important for much more than conversation's sake.

    Even aside from the possibility of law enforcement issues, the insurance coverage is dependent on the vehicle having numbers that match the title and the ID numbers you provide the insurance company.

    A ticket for improper registration is nothing compared to having the insurance company decline to pay a claim, especially one made by another party.

    Ray
     
  21. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    telekenfun
    Member

    If it runs well and drives without any issues I would say you got it for the right price. Your girl will appreciate the automatic transmission. The Hydro, I believe, would be a negative to most of the public in the truck marketplace simply because of their desire to have a vehicle to shift gears in. Personally, I find that clutching and shifting through in town traffic has become rather tiresome. Also as seen on this thread how little knowledge is out there regarding this option. Most buyers have big plans for a truck like yours would swap in a V8 and maybe a Mustang or Nova front clip and so on and if they can afford it would probably only use the body parts. Maybe stick the body on a S10 or Trailblazer chassis. Pretty soon there won't be any original ones like yours left. Then yours will get really valuable.
    While I don't believe there is any preference or bias towards any particular year the most significant feature that would effect the value of any year first series advance design pickup is the "Deluxe Cab" option, also known as "a 5 window" with the corner glass. It is unfortunate that your truck doesn't have that option. That would add to the value considerably. Aftermarket tops are now available to upgrade standard cabs to a deluxe version but they may not fit 54/55 models. Getting a legitimate 55 title and registration plate will increase the value more than anything else you can do right now.
    Go to my profile page and view my album of SemiSweet as seen on "My Classic Car" TV series.
    Best Regards and good luck with all your endeavors, KB.
     
  22. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    It runs and drives perfectly. Engine is smooth and trans shifts perfectly. It tracks straight as an arrow. It's going in for paint this weekend


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  23. mrspeedyt
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 711

    mrspeedyt
    Member

    I must've missed your results of the engine serial number...if that's the same is on the title.
     
  24. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771

    txturbo
    Member

    I didn't see it either....
     
  25. DFW31
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 148

    DFW31
    Member
    from Texas

    It is the same as what's on the title, it's not the original motor. The motor that's in it is from a 53


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  26. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,173

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Maybe the block is '53......but the head/valve cover is '54 to '58.
    '53 still used the two studs through the top of the valve cover and the heads did not have the pads drilled/tapped for side flange screws.
     
  27. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    My only comment is, nice truck! And, any girl that loves a/her truck is OK in my book. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
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  28. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,567

    327Eric
    Member
    from Diablo Ca.

    I bought a 56 GMC with a handwritten Bill of sale on the back of a business card. Both myself and the seller thought it was a 57. Went to the DMV, did all the proper paperwork, they did the vin inspection, and now the truck is registered as a 57. A lot happens in 50 years that doesn't mean anything shady was done. I had a parts truck that was originally a hydro truck once. Thought it was a 54.
     
  29. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,933

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    You don't see too many hydro (Auto) equipped PUs these days, they were in the minority if original. I've seen the column and hardware sell for a reasonable amounts on the interweb. I can't see the gate but would be similar to my 46 Olds with no park, N - Drive (H) - Drive (L) - R.
     
  30. sorry to reopen a old thread...back in the day-TX used engine #'s for the truck titles....so as long as the engine matches the title...your good to go.
     

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