There are some dyed-in-the-wool classic truck enthusiasts that wouldn't have any year or make of truck other than the one they currently own. For some this might mean a real oddball that is miles away from the mainstream. Not to hurt anyone's feelings but there are just some trucks that will never have much of a following, and consequently will always be hard to find parts for.
We mention this because every once in awhile we'll get an inquiry from a reader new to the classic scene that wants to buy their first vintage truck, and they will ask if we have any pointers on which truck would be the best to restore and customize. One of the first considerations a person should think about before deciding on which make and year of truck they want to get involved with should be whether or not restoration parts are available.
Until the aftermarket sprung up this meant that just about any truck 10 years or older would be difficult to bring back to showroom condition. Fortunately, on older trucks, especially ones that are destined to be customized, there's not a lot of emblems or trim pieces that will have to be replaced. Two areas on a classic truck where there's no avoiding the aftermarket is the grille and front bumper. Without a nice grille and bumper there's no way a truck can be considered cherry. In the past this meant tracking down a good used grille, or even three grilles to complete one and then have it re-chromed. Unfortunately, the real grief doesn't begin until after one has brought their restored grille home and discovered the chrome shop polished the letters off their grille to the point where "Chevrolet" or "Ford" looks like it is spelled in Russian. In today's world trucks that don't have a reproduction grille available the process remains the same, but for certain models of classic trucks, such as the '47-53 Chevrolet, there is relief. Thanks to the folks at Classic Industries of Huntington Beach, California a brand-new reproduction grille is available, and it costs less than the price of re-chroming an old grille.
That said, we can't tell you installing a new or used grille on a '47-53 Chevy is easy because they are usually a real bear. The first thing a person needs to do before attempting installation is track down an extra friend or two to help drop it in without destroying the paint, and of course after following the captioned photos below the job will go smoother than jumping in cold.