TASK-FORCE — THE NEW APPROACH

New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature -

Chevrolet in­tro­duced its new Task-force range of half-ton pick­ups in 1955, with styling cues from the pas­sen­ger cars run­ning right through to the larger ton­nage ve­hi­cles in a range that ran un­til 1959. The new Task-force line-up was an­other step up on its mar­ket-lead­ing pre­de­ces­sors. Chevrolet was the first to of­fer a V8 en­gine op­tion with its 265-cu­bic-inch (4.3-litre) mo­tor. Chevrolet’s 3100 se­ries of trucks en­joy a steady pop­u­lar­ity among re­stor­ers, and an ease of mod­i­fy­ing with larger V8 en­gines. Task-force ve­hi­cles boasted a big­ger cab; doors that con­cealed the run­ning boards; a beefed-up sedan chas­sis and, at last, 12V electrics. A fur­ther num­ber of changes came with the 1957 model. These in­cluded a much more rigidly mounted rear axle, im­proved door safety locks, and wrap-around wind­screens. GM stylist Chuck Jor­dan fur­ther changed the look of the pickup for 1957, ad­ding a stylish cab in­te­rior with a dished steer­ing wheel, echo­ing sedan styling, as well as the panoramic glass. The new bulged bon­net had two chrome ad­di­tions that added to a very dif­fer­ent-look­ing Chevrolet pickup, along with a new grille. For the 1958–’59 model year, the final year for this shape, the body re­ceived twin head­lights and a num­ber of cos­metic changes. Amer­i­can Chevrolet clubs gen­er­ally ac­knowl­edge that the 1957 mod­els are still the most pop­u­lar to own. The three­speed trans­mis­sions were some­times a lit­tle weak in their syn­chro­mesh, but, oth­er­wise, they were usu­ally re­garded as a tough truck. De­vel­oped in 1941, the Chevrolet 235-cu­bicinch (3.9-litre) six was steadily im­proved, and gave lit­tle trou­ble if looked af­ter, with an out­put of 140hp (104kw). A ver­sion of it was used in the first of the Chevrolet Corvettes. (Source: Jeff Koch — Hem­mings Mo­tor News)

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