For one of the most well-known lines of full-size light-duty trucks in America, there sure seems to be disagreement aplenty over how to differentiate the 11 various postwar generations of Chevrolet and GMC pickups and even what to call those separate generations.
Chalk that up in part to GM’s fairly consistent practice of completely revamping the trucks every several years and in part to the legions of enthusiasts who want to differentiate their favorite trucks from all the rest. So what do we call them and how do we tell the various eras apart? Let’s take a look
Art Deco: 1941-1947 Chevrolet and GMC certainly had pickups and light-duty trucks before World War II, but for the most part those trucks shared chassis and designs with passenger cars (heavy-duty trucks are another story altogether).
The Art Deco trucks, with that distinctive chrome-laden upside-down-T grille, are notable as GM’s first major effort to split its truck and car lines, though the design still took its dashboard from the cars and still shared a familial resemblance overall.
Two versions of the stovebolt six-cylinder – a 216 and a 228 – powered the AK Series.Naming Convention: Internally, GM referred to the half-tons as the AK series, the light-duty 3/4-ton trucks as the AL series, the heavy-duty 3/4-tons as the AM, and the 1-ton trucks as the AN.
Those designations don’t seem to have appeared in public-facing materials, however, so the truck soon took on the Art Deco nickname.Price Range: With many street-rodded and customized examples on the market today, it’s difficult to nail down a solid price, though the Hemmings Price Guide gives a range from the mid-teens up to $50,000, with average asking prices between $30,000 and $35,000.