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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend had a Chevy truck he sold years ago. He bought it about 30 years ago. It was all original (he says), but rough, and he spent a lot of time fixing it up. He sold it when he needed a back seat for kids. He swears it had a 283 in the truck right from the factory.

I told him no way, the 283 wasn't available until '57, at least in the passenger cars. But, he still swears it to be true.

So, edjumicate me... was the 283 an option in the pickups in '56? Maybe a late model year option right before the '57 line came out?

Interesting tidbit... he says the 4x4 pickups were all produced in the regular truck assembly line, then wheeled around to another building, before the body was installed, where the 4x2 front axle was removed and the 4x4 front axle, t-case, and different driveshafts were installed. Again, true?
 

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Yeah I thought this was already answered. I thought I was losing my mind or something.lol

Also here is some information for Napco (4 wheel drive) trucks.

"As early as 1942 NAPCO began building four-wheel drive assemblies to be fitted to Ford, GMC, Chevrolet and Studebaker vehicles however NAPCO is primarily associated with GMC and Chevrolet pickups. From 1942 to 1956 4×4 GMC and Chevrolet trucks could be ordered by the government and civilians with a NAPCO Power-Pak kit and the kit could be installed later. The retail price of Napco Power-Pak was $995. This option raised the price on a new two-wheel drive truck from $1,548.96 to $2,796.96. The kit was shipped in a crate measuring 80"x30"x26" weighing 1,410 pounds. In a matter of 3 hours with as little as 4 holes drilled in existing chassis a truck would be converted into a "Mountain Goat", a "full sized truck that will climb steep inclines with ease". One feature was the "shift on the fly" rubber mounted transfer case with a dual-range option. There were companies that installed these upgrades for the previously mentioned manufacturers. Besides the four-wheel drive units NAPCO also provided winches, auxiliary transmissions, tandem drive axles, hydrovac systems, and dump truck bodies.

From 1956 to 1959 the NAPCO Power-Pak option could be ordered directly from GM (an official RPO 690 was assigned in 1957) and factory installed on trucks with very few modifications to the original chassis. The 1955 4×4 NAPCO GMC or Chevrolet was a $1250.00 to $1550.00 optional add on. The 1957 Chevrolet and GMC 3100 4×4 price was a bargain at $2549.00 compared to the earlier add on kits. In 1960 NAPCO and GM parted ways when GM redesigned the front suspension on their 1960 pickup line so that it wasn't easily compatible with the existing Power-Pak kits.[1]

Prior to 1955 NAPCO Power-Pak conversions were done on 3/4 and one ton GMC and Chevrolet chassis. The Pre-1955½ ton chassis used an incompatible "torque tube" drive. In the fall of 1954 GMC and Chevrolet changed the 1955½ ton pickup and Suburban models to the compatible Hotchkiss drive.[1] Today these trucks are still considered to be very versatile and durable 60 years later and are considered to be collectible by NAPCO enthusiasts."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Same answer as the other day, absolutely not from the factory.
I submitted a post on this subject, but when I checked later that day for a response, I couldn't find the thread---- anywhere. Thought maybe it wasn't submitted due to the virus problem this site is having, or that I didn't click "submit reply" after clicking "preview post", or something else I didn't do right.

Apparently, I what I didn't do right was look hard enough. (facepalm)


Thanks!:tu

BAM55... that is some great info! Somewhere, probably on this site, is an old Chevy promotional video for their 4x4 pickups going where no truck has gone before with a team from Chevy. Great video. I was thinking about all the modifications we do to jeeps just to go where an old Chevy truck has already gone. :sign0020:
 

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I have had to argue that 327s were not available in 57 Chevys. My favorite was a guy that had a 57 Chevy with the same 3x2 setup as my 56, I said 2x4 maybe unless it was a 348 in a 58. Some people are clueless
 

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Yeah I thought this was already answered. I thought I was losing my mind or something.lol

Also here is some information for Napco (4 wheel drive) trucks.

"As early as 1942 NAPCO began building four-wheel drive assemblies to be fitted to Ford, GMC, Chevrolet and Studebaker vehicles however NAPCO is primarily associated with GMC and Chevrolet pickups. From 1942 to 1956 4×4 GMC and Chevrolet trucks could be ordered by the government and civilians with a NAPCO Power-Pak kit and the kit could be installed later. The retail price of Napco Power-Pak was $995. This option raised the price on a new two-wheel drive truck from $1,548.96 to $2,796.96. The kit was shipped in a crate measuring 80"x30"x26" weighing 1,410 pounds. In a matter of 3 hours with as little as 4 holes drilled in existing chassis a truck would be converted into a "Mountain Goat", a "full sized truck that will climb steep inclines with ease". One feature was the "shift on the fly" rubber mounted transfer case with a dual-range option. There were companies that installed these upgrades for the previously mentioned manufacturers. Besides the four-wheel drive units NAPCO also provided winches, auxiliary transmissions, tandem drive axles, hydrovac systems, and dump truck bodies.

From 1956 to 1959 the NAPCO Power-Pak option could be ordered directly from GM (an official RPO 690 was assigned in 1957) and factory installed on trucks with very few modifications to the original chassis. The 1955 4×4 NAPCO GMC or Chevrolet was a $1250.00 to $1550.00 optional add on. The 1957 Chevrolet and GMC 3100 4×4 price was a bargain at $2549.00 compared to the earlier add on kits. In 1960 NAPCO and GM parted ways when GM redesigned the front suspension on their 1960 pickup line so that it wasn't easily compatible with the existing Power-Pak kits.[1]

Prior to 1955 NAPCO Power-Pak conversions were done on 3/4 and one ton GMC and Chevrolet chassis. The Pre-1955½ ton chassis used an incompatible "torque tube" drive. In the fall of 1954 GMC and Chevrolet changed the 1955½ ton pickup and Suburban models to the compatible Hotchkiss drive.[1] Today these trucks are still considered to be very versatile and durable 60 years later and are considered to be collectible by NAPCO enthusiasts."

Nice history lesson BAMM, thanks.

Barry
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry for the late reply, been busy. Life gets in the way of the internet at times.

Virus problem? Could have been with the site. My internet safety switch kept blocking attacks from this site, but not when I posted this (latest) thread.

Bamm, thanks for the info. That was great!

I'll pass on the bad news to my friend. He'll be bummed, but that's life. Reality is often a harder taskmaster than memory. (dang, that sounds like a good sig line! LOL)
 
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