The 1941 Chevrolet AK Series pickup brought to the General Motors light-truck lineup a new sense of strength in design and engineering. Knowing their products might soon be rolling into World War II probably encouraged truckmakers to design stronger, more versatile new models for the early 1940s. One such was the 1941 Chevrolet commercial lineup.
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Standard engine was the passenger car's six, with 216.5 cubic inches and 90 horsepower. Optional for heavy-duty use was the "Load Master" six: 235.5-cid, with 93 bhp and significantly more torque.
In addition to conventional three-speed synchromesh, Chevy offered an optional four-speed and a sliding-gear four-speed, the last mainly for heavy-duty models.
The 1941 truck design was related to the passenger cars, but by no means identical and far removed from the very car-like 1941 Chevrolet Series AG sedan delivery and coupe "pickups."
Bevelled grille bars were horizontal in the upper section, vertical below; headlamps sunk partly into the front fenders. All this added up to quite a streamlined Chevy, more modern looking than the T-series Dodge and the 1941 Ford, if not quite as sleek as the new Studebaker M-series or International's K-line.
A crank-open windshield and metal-framed door windows were new features, while the wide, comfortable seat used a latex-bound hair pad on coil springs.
Pickups came in 1/2- and 3/4-ton versions, the latter on a longer 125-inch wheelbase. Boxes were heavy-gauge steel with a durable wooden floor, reinforced and protected with steel skid strips.
Brochures noted a tailgate "heavily reinforced with box-type girders and channels, welded to form an all-steel unit of extraordinary strength and rigidity" and fitted with an "anti-rattle fastening."
The red and black 1941 Chevrolet AK Series pickup pictured with this article is completely stock. It's fitted with the 216.5-cid six and three-speed transmission hooked to a stump-puller 6.17:1 rear axle. Its only options are a heater and twin wipers.
Collectible Pluses of the 1941 Chevrolet AK Series Pickup
- Sharp new styling that has held up well
- Practical for contemporary use
- Strong collector interest
- Good supply of mechanical parts
Collectible Minuses of the 1941 Chevrolet AK Series Pickup
- Styling not as stick as the best 1941 trucks
- Body parts in short supply