G-7105 and K-51 Panel van Community - search for owners!

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aarondnelson

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I'm trying to build a community of owners, a 'band of brothers' if you will, for the WWII Chevrolet 1.5 Ton Panel Van. These vans are part of the G-506 family with the specific model number G-7105 (also G-4105 in the early years). Many may also recognize the variant adapted for the signal corps called the K-51 (the vehicle associated with the SCR-299 Radio Set). It is my understanding that the majority of G-7105s were adapted to the K-51 variant making it more common that the basic model - at least in production. It seems reversed when it comes to domestic survivors. I honestly am new to MVs and have little knowledge on the van in general, but I happen to own one with plans for a restoration somewhere down the line. Feel free to check out my album where I have posted photos of it.

Back to my opening line - I'd like to find more of these trucks/owners in order to accomplish a few things: 1. Build a community of owner enthusiasts; 2. Capture and preserve the history of these metal beasts; and 3. Share our findings with the SS community. If you own one of these, know someone who owns one, have pictures or information on them, please share them here! These trucks are funny - In my mind they are one of the coolest MVs I've ever seen (kinda the reason I bought one), but some people think just the opposite. For instance, Fred Crismon (US Military Wheeled Vehicles) Describes the as being one of the oddest he has ever seen (I'll have to get the actual quote for a follow on).

I have been creating private albums for the current owners that I know to enjoy, but I just recently made one a public album. I hope to keep unveiling the currently existing examples that I haven't been able to pair with an owner. Take a look at the album and let me know what you think!

Thanks for your time and interest!

Aaron
Kansas

Keywords: G506, G-506, G7105, G-7105, K51, K-51, 1.5-ton, 1-1/2, Panel Van, Panel Truck, Radio Truck
 
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NDT

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You are a member of a very exclusive club. I don't recall any posts here about anyone having one of these. I have a SCR399, kinda in the same boat as you, have to figure out things by yourself. Good luck and post some pictures of your rig.
 

TaylorTradingCo

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I would like to see what you are talking about, but I don't know how to access your album you are talking about. I have a modern version I think is similar to what you are describing. I am hoping to get it running in time for the GA Rally. It would be ideal to haul stuff, pull a trailer full of stuff, and sleep in.
 

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porkysplace

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I would like to see what you are talking about, but I don't know how to access your album you are talking about. I have a modern version I think is similar to what you are describing. I am hoping to get it running in time for the GA Rally. It would be ideal to haul stuff, pull a trailer full of stuff, and sleep in.
Click on his screen name in post #1 , then click on "view profile".
 

NDT

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Just checked out your album. I think yours is about as good as they come these days. Was yours a winch model? I don't think yours ever had the radio set up in it.
 

aarondnelson

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Porkysplace - thanks for offering guidance on the albums!

NDT - great to hear from our larger, 6x6 brethren! As someone mentioned, mine is not a radio truck, and I’m not planning on adding the equipment. That being said, I am looking for a trailer to pull behind. The Ben hur trailer normally accompanied the radio trucks (albeit, with a generator and the designation k52). I don’t posses the skill to track down all that equipment! Three of the owners I know are building the k51 trucks with full scr-299 equipment. More power to you!

Taylortrading - one of the other owners of a van like mine salvaged it from IN the side of a mountain. An old miner apparently agreed with you as he LIVED in it. I’d love to use mine for camping some day!

Back to NDT - they didn’t make winch model radio trucks, but there are a few I know of where people have retrofitted.

As to the power wagon comment, I have a picture where I superimposed a wc-19 panel next to mine. They aren’t small in their own right, but these chevys dwarf them!

Thanks for looking, y’all!

Aaron from Kansas
 
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aarondnelson

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Quote from Fred W. Crismon on U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles on the subject:
"One of the stranger looking trucks of the WWII Period was [the] 1-1/2-ton Chevrolet 4x4 Signal Corps K-51 panel van. Used almost exclusively by the Signal Corps for transport and maintenance of radio equipment, it featured a normal narrow commercial panel van body perched on a full width 1-1/2-ton chassis. The wheels protruded in a most exaggerated manner at the rear, and created a very stable appearance..."

Also I've attached an image overlaying the G7105 with the WC-19 for a size comparison between the Chevy and the Power Wagon.
TM9-2800 Power Wagon vs Chevy!.jpg
 

aarondnelson

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MV Nuts:

Keep in mind, I've been adding more albums for you all to peruse. I have kept a few private, but will slowly be 'releasing' them so-to-speak. Thanks for looking!Logo Being Made.2.jpg

Aaron from Kansas
 

WW2Chevy

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Aaron, are you also on the G503.com forums?? I think you will find that there is a lot more traffic on their 'Trucks 1/2 ton thru 2 ton' sub-forum. Lots of good information there about the G7105 and K-51 trucks, and also the rest of the G506 family of trucks... There are also a couple of good Facebook groups that are dedicated to the Chevy trucks as well.

It looks like your truck is a pretty early model, judging by the embossed engine side panels and the serpentine grill.

What are your plans for your truck?? I am in the process of restoring my G7117 cargo w/ winch. Bought it when I lived in Nebraska. Recently stumbled across a small stash of the vacuum wiper motors used on these trucks. Been looking for the correct ones for 12-15 years... Will be following your post.
 

aarondnelson

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WW2Chevy -
Thanks for the heads-up! I have accounts on G503 and CCKW, but I haven't posted anything there. I'll be sure to peruse their threads on the subject!

You are correct. My van is a 1941 model. It is the 'early series' with the external battery access. I have the old grill, old filler cap, old engine side panels, old rear doors (only open 90 degrees line the civilian), but I do have military round gauges. I'm guessing these didn't all change at one time, but probably as they ran out of parts of each. Seems like the practical, military thing to do.

I'll throw in a small anecdote to that effect. For the vans, there appear to be two 'early' versions. I'm open to correction by anyone reading this, but my understanding is that there was a very early run of trucks (<100) that retained the civilian battery box location - under the passenger side seat. I've included a picture to show the difference. Note that the top is the early (early) series, and the lower is a later series, but it does have the 'Chevrolet' embossed panels. The top shows a smooth, continuous rocker panel aft of the passenger door with continuous running boards, while the lower has the battery access. They utilized the pickup forward running board, and a unique-to-the-panel rear. The fuel filler location may also have been altered further aft when the battery moved. Keep in mind that the lower is actually a later truck, but the battery access was the same across all panels that had it (to my understanding). To my knowledge, there may only be 1 or 2 of the early fellas still around.

In regards to the wiper motors - I may have an interest! A previous owner electrified mine, which are nice, but they definitely lose the nostalgia factor!

The truck runs and drives, definitely road-worthy, but not exactly road-'safe.' First plan is to fix the essentials: Glass (in process), brakes, lights and change the fluids. I don't plan to restore it any time soon, but I will slowly chip away at it. The largest area to tackle will be the rear doors. Mine are a proper mess. It looks like it was used to train driving students how to back up... and hit things. One change I may pursue (that will definitely upset some folks) is to install the DUKW wheels and tires. It was a high floatation option during the war for the desert theatres - to my understanding. Probably won't do it right away, but I do have the wheels! I need one more, though!

What do you have left on yours?
G7105 Early Series - Batt Box.jpg
 
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aarondnelson

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Wolfen - I recently received a photo of two panels side-by-side, apparently taken in Portland. Not sure how old the photo is, or where exactly it was taken, but I intend to find out! Just saying!

Thanks for following - I think we can keep things interesting for a while!
 

WW2Chevy

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Aaron, you are correct about there being two "early " versions. The earliest model was the Y series, which still had the battery inside the cab. The next model was the Z series. This series had a number of changes inlcuding battery location, gauges, grill configuration, etc. Next was the N series. Late in 41 and very early 42 there was a short time when all three series were being built. The N series was built from early 42 through the end of the war.

My truck is ucrrenlty stripped down to the frame, and I am working on correctly a bad case of "winch droop".
 

papabear

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Not really a panel van but it IS an early 1941 1 1/2 ton GMC Radio Truck (K18-C).

I just wanted to share a few pics of it because it IS kind of a rare bird.

The pic with the trailer is not mine, it's from a 1941 LIFE Magazine a friend sent me but it shows what the complete package looked like.
 

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aarondnelson

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WW2Chevy - Thanks for the clarification. I know that the Portrayal Press has put out a helpful booklet that explains some of this, but I appreciate the finer details! Please post any pics you may have of the early-model Cargo trucks. I've attached a page from my TM10-1461 manual - a G7105, panel specific manual. The manual is dated April 01, 1942. It shows the battery being located under the passenger area. It also shows the spare tire carrier that a truck would have along with a winch - which were not offered on panel vans. There may be some other items that a more-trained eye could point out, but I thought I would include it for reference. I should also note that another section in the manual states that the battery is located outside of the frame in the common spot. I'll give the war dept. a pass on this since the attached page is for 'Chassis Lubrication' reference and not for the electrical system. :cool:

TM10-1461 Lubrication Points page.jpg
 

aarondnelson

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papabear - Very Cool Truck! The trailer is super cool, too! The first pic you posted makes it look like a full-sized radio tower was built on the top! Curious about this rig - what radio equipment did it carry? Did it get replaced by another vehicle, like the CCKW radio trucks? I think the SCR-299 and SCR-399 systems must be rare, but yours especially so. Thanks for sharing!

It reminds me of the French AFWX - creative Cab-Overs!
AFWX Coe.jpgK18 and K19.jpg

Also - is it 4x4?
 

aarondnelson

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I had to move my van outside for the winter. I guess it will spend its next year like it spent its last 75... outdoors :(. The move was done hastily since I inherited some vehicles that I needed to make space for indoors. I have not completed my windshield restoration, so I cut out some plywood covers. After looking at it, I got the idea to do this. My sons love it! This makes me want to name my rig. In the movie Cars, the Jeep is named 'Sarge.' I wonder if I could go with 'Major?' Any ideas?

IMG_0412.jpg
 

papabear

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papabear - Very Cool Truck! The trailer is super cool, too! The first pic you posted makes it look like a full-sized radio tower was built on the top! Curious about this rig - what radio equipment did it carry? Did it get replaced by another vehicle, like the CCKW radio trucks? I think the SCR-299 and SCR-399 systems must be rare, but yours especially so. Thanks for sharing!

It reminds me of the French AFWX - creative Cab-Overs!
View attachment 748809View attachment 748810

Also - is it 4x4?
LOL...The radio tower looking thingy is actually a power line support...the truck is just parked under it!!:-D

The truck was equipped with the SCR-197 system with a PTO powered generator (mine is missing), a BC-325 radio (heavy rascal -missing) and the trailer had a remote generator (I have that one), and several other radios/remotes (which I have most).

The story I got was Uncle Sam knew we were gonna get sucked into the war and we had almost NO high powered mobile radio/commo sets so the Signal Corps basically took an "off the shelf" bread truck variation and came up with the K18-C. It was a two wheel drive 1 1/2 ton truck powered by a 248CI six-banger and was used while the 4X4 systems were being brought on line.
 

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