Tim's Trucks homepage    |    1954 Documents   
Chevrolet Engine Colors 1912-1966

This is a reprint of an article that appeared in the June, 1996 issue of Pickup 'n Panels in Print
[publication of the National Chevy/GMC Truck association],
titled 'Engine Colors and More'. The article was written by Robert Hensel of Brillion, WI.


I do not know of any book that gives the engine colors for all Chevrolets. I have found it here and

there in many Chevrolet letters and books. I have come up with a list that covers most engines and some speculation, that does not mean that Chevrolet always followed what they said either.
The color of the fan is another sometimes sticky problem. As best as I know all replacement fans were black, we have some controversy in the early 30's. Some pictures show the fan was pained engine color at the time of production. In the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America we do accept black and in my opinion black is what they should be. I think the engine for production was assembled and painted before the fan and other add-ons were added to the engine before it was put into the vehicle. The oil fill/breather tube is another case of engine color or black. I go with black.

Maybe this would be an idea for an article and maybe start some arguments. What we strive for in the VCCA is what the vehicle was like when new and offered to the public using only genuine Chevrolet parts available at the time of production. A good example that can cause hard feelings is white walls. They might have been available but Chevrolet did not offer them until the mid 30's and I don't think it was until 1962 or '63 that you could order them on a truck. The dealer could install them but Chevrolet did not offer them, they would be after market items.

At times it is fun trying to find answers to the question but it can get frustrating  when the answers are not to be found. I have a very large Chevrolet literature collection, and trucks are my main interest, but I can not always find the answers.

The vehicle listing from a 1923 Parts Price book does not cover the 1912 and 1913 Chevrolets, it does not list the T Truck for 1918 but they were built starting late 1917. The G series truck was Chevrolet's first attempt at what we call a 3/4 ton truck. It was only built in 1921 and 1922. One more interesting thing in the list is the M series of vehicles of which there is a light delivery chassis listed. This was the ill fated copper cooled engine and only a very few cars were built before they were called back. There are at least two examples, both coupes that still exist and I know of at least one engine. As best as I know they never built any of the light delivery chassis for sale. What happened to the vehicles that were called back is still a mystery to me. I have heard they were dumped in Lake Michigan, or the were converted to water cooled cars. I heard they used the left over engines in lift trucks used in the plants in the late 20's and early 30's but never found any proof of this. The conversion idea sounds most logical. About the only exterior differences was the shell in place of the radiator. It had many horizontal louvers in it. The idea here is the 1 ton truck used the same engine as the light delivery starting in 1923. Before that the Light Delivery and the G truck used the 490 engine and the T used the F series engine that had a longer stroke.

Engine Colors


* Assumption
** Assumption because it is a carry-over from previous year.
*** Assumption because it was found in next years book
Disclaimer:Due to the fact that there is no official book that lists all the Chevrolets engine colors, many of these colors are assumption. Many of the colors in this list are taken from authenticated vehicles. Various assembly plants had different colors and tints. Colors were also subject to availability and these may have changed at the plant. Also different options on a vehicle would determine the color of the engine especially the truck 283 engine. Also remember the primary goal of the assembly plant was to get the vehicle out to the consumer. If a color was used up, the next available color was utilized.

Year Engine Color
1912-14 6 Cylinder Black *
1914-23 4 Cylinder Gray
1924-28 4 Cylinder Dark Green (Gray Green)
1929-36 209 cid Blue Gray
1937-53 216 cid Blue Gray
1941-52 235 cid Blue Gray
1953 Truck 216 Blue Gray
1953 Standard Shift 235 Blue Grey
1953 Powerglide 235 Blue
1953 Truck 235 Blue Gray
1954 Passenger Blue
1954 Truck 235 Gray
1954 Truck 261 Green
1955 Passenger 235 Gray
1955 Passenger V8 Orange
1955 Truck Thiftmaster 235 Gray
1955 Truck Loadmaster 235 Green
1955 Forward Control Loadmaster Gray
1955 Truck Jobmaster 261 Yellow/Green
1955 Truck Taskmaster 265 Yellow
1955 Truck Trademaster 265 Gray
1956 Passenger 235 Blue*
1956 Passenger 265 Red
1956 Passenger V8 Orange*
1956 Thriftmaster 235 Green**
1956 Thriftmaster Special 235 Gray**
1956 Jobmaster 261 Yellow **
1956 Trademaster 265 Gray**
1956 Taskmaster 265 Yellow**
1956 Loadmaster 322 Red
1957 Passenger 235 Blue**
1957 Passenger 265 V8 Chartreuse
1957 Passenger 283 V8 Red
1957 Truck 235 Green**
1957 Truck 261 Yellow**
1957 Truck 265 Gray**
1957 Truck 283 Different Options
(Gray - Yellow - Green - Black - Orange)
1957 Truck 322 Red
1958 Passenger 235 Blue*
1958 Passenger 283 Orange*
1958 Passenger 348 Orange
1958 Truck 235 Gray***
1958 Truck 261 Green
1958 Truck 283 Light Duty Gray***
1958 Truck 283 Heavy Duty Green***
1958 Truck 322 Orange - Red
1958 Truck 348 Tan/Gray
1959 Passenger 235 Blue*
1959 Passenger 283 Orange*
1959 Passenger 348 Orange
1959 Truck 235 Gray
1959 Truck 261 Green
1959 Truck 283 Light Duty Gray
1959 Truck 283 Heavy Duty Green
1959 Truck 322 Orange - Red
1959 Truck 348 Orange
1960 Corvair Natural*
1960 Passenger 235 Blue*
1960 Passenger 283 Orange*
1960 Passenger 384 Orange
1960 Truck 235 Blue Gray
1960 Truck 261 Green
1960 Truck 283 Trademaster Green
1960 Truck 283 Taskmaster Gray
1960 Truck 348 Gray
1961 Corvair Natural*
1961  Passenger 235 Blue*
1961 Passenger 283 Orange*
1961 Passenger 348 Orange
1961 Corvair Truck Natural*
1961 Truck 235 Blue Gray ***
1961 Truck 261 Green **
1961 Truck 283 Gray **
1961 Truck 348 Gray **
1962 Passenger 153 Orange
1962 Passenger 194 Orange
1962 Corvair Natural*
1962 Passenger 235 Blue *
1962 Passenger 283 Orange
1962 Passenger 327 Orange
1962 Passenger 409 Orange
1962 Corvair Truck Natural*
1962 Truck 235 Blue Gray **
1962 Truck 261 Green**
1962 Truck 283 Gray**
1962 Truck 327 Green
1962 Truck 348 Gray**
1962 Truck 409 Orange
1962 Diesel 212 Green
1962 Diesel 318 Green
1963 Passenger 153 Orange
1963 Passenger 194 Orange
1963 Corvair Natural *
1963 Passenger 230 Orange
1963 Passenger 283 Orange*
1963 Passenger 327 Orange
1963 Passenger 409 Orange
1963 Corvair Truck Natural*
1963 Truck 153 Gray - Orange *
1963 Truck 230 Gray - Orange*
1963 Truck 235 Blue/Gray**
1963 Truck 261 Green**
1963 Truck 283 Gray **
1963 Truck 292 Green
1963 Truck 327 Orange/Red
1963 Truck 348 Gray **
1963 Truck 409 Orange
1963 Diesel 212 Green
1963 Diesel 318 Green
1964 Passenger 153 Orange
1964 Passenger 194 Orange
1964 Corvair Natural*
1964 Passenger 230 Orange
1964 Passenger 283 Orange *
1964 Passenger 327 Orange
1964 Passenger 409 Orange
1964 Corvair Truck Natural*
1964 Truck 153 Orange
1964 Truck 230 Orange
1964 Truck 283 Orange*
1964 Truck 292 Green - Black - Gray*
1964 Truck 327 Orange
1964 Truck 348 Tan/Gray, Orange
1964 Truck 409 Gray
1964 Diesel 212 Green
1965 Passenger 153 Orange
1965 Corvair Natural*
1965 Passenger 194 Orange
1965 Passenger 230 Orange
1965 Passenger 283 Orange
1965 Passenger 327 Orange
1965 Passenger 396 Orange
1965 Passenger 409 Orange
1965 Corvair Truck Natural*
1965 Truck 153 Gray
1965 Truck 230 Blue
1965 Truck 250 Blue/Gray
1965 Truck 292 Green - Dark/Gray
1965 Truck 327 Green
1965 Truck 348 Gray
1965 Truck 409 Gray (w/silver rocker cover)
1965 Diesel 159 Green
1965 Diesel 212 Green
1965 Diesel 318 Green
1965 Diesel 351 Green
1965 Diesel 477 Green
1966 Passenger 230 Orange
1966 Passenger 250 Blue
1966 Passenger 283 Orange
1966 Passenger 327 Orange
1966 Passenger 396 Orange
1966 Passenger 427 Orange
1966 Truck 153 Gray
1966 Truck 230 Blue
1966 Truck 283 Blue/Gray
1966 Truck 292 Green - Dark/Gray
1966 Truck 327 Green - (Blue Suburban)
1966 Truck 348 Gray
1966 Truck 409 Gray
1966 Truck 194 Gray/Blue


Note: When Orange is stated, it means Chevrolet Orange.

Special Thanks to: Gale Garmon of K-ville, PA for assisting in determining engine colors.

A Tip from Carl Pearson: 292 Green can be obtained through Krylon, paint #2013, known as GM Alpine Green or Detroit Diesel Green.

More on GM engines

T-1918 - '28 Light Truck has the same engine as the 4-cylinder car engine.

1941 - 235 CI engine was available in 1 1/2 ton and COE models.

Through the 1950's - GMC also produced a 302CI 6-cylinder engine.

1957 - GMC produced a 347 CI Pontiac engine.
Copyright 1996 Pickups n Panels in Print
    Tim's Trucks homepage    |    1954 Documents