Maple Leaf

AUSTRALIA. LORRIES, 3-TON G.S. (AUSTRALIAN). "MAPLE LEAF" CHEVROLET. THREE-QUARTER FRONT VIEW, RIGHT SIDE. I had thought that Maple Leaf trucks were manufactured in Canada and assembled in Australia or other Commonwealth Countries. If go the War Memorial site and copy the numbers 127768 into the top right-hand "search" box it will take you to the link with the truck's photo.

On the firewall of my truck it has a Holden emblem and says it was built in Australia in 1940. It has quarter-vent windows in the doors and vents in the side wall of the cab located roughly between the seat and the firewall. Is this truck which is a modified version of the Chevrolet Truck that was built in Australia still classed as a "Maple Leaf" truck.

My understanding is that 'Maple Leaf' Chevrolet trucks were the export model made in Canada in the 1930's. The cab you discribe is a cab built by GMHolden onto the imported chassis. Rear body of the truck in the AWM photo would have been locally built as well.

My opinion is that if the body plate does not say 'Maple Leaf' and it has not got the 'Maple Leaf' name badges either side of the bonnet it is not a 'Maple Leaf' Chevrolet. You cannot take the AWM photo captions as Gospel in every case as they can often be misleading or plain wrong.

Below are two photos from the AWM showing in Photo 1 the "Maple Leaf" Chev 3 ton and in Photo 2 the 'Ordinary' Chev 3 ton. Both are Holden assembled and the only difference I can see is the Maple Leaf is fitted with the 18inch Military split rim wheel and the Ordinary is fitted with Civilian type rims and tyres, plus the Maple Leaf has the cut out guards to take the larger wheel/tyre combo. A lot of the later (1941) Chevs had the guards cut out right from new.

GM of Canada introduced the Walkerville-built Chevrolet Heavy Duty or Extra Fort in French, as of 1st Juy 1930. They were based on the equivalent GMC and used Chevy engines but GMC trans. This continued until 1833 when Maple Leafs replaced Chevrolet HD, but again were GMC-based. Basically a Chevrolet equivalent of GMC for Chevy dealers. It then gets complicated from around 1938 with COE being introsuced, and GMC adopting Chevy or Chevy-based engines shared with MLs, and MLs using Chev and 224 cu in Chev-based engines. I think ML was dropped for 1952 in favour of GMCs, and Chevrolet-badged heavier trucks.

Into the pot we must add firstly from 1935-39 Oldsmobile trucks for export only including for Holden assembly, and secondly 1937-9 export Chevrolets, GMCs and Olds trucks all being US-built 'clones' [component-sharing and in effect badge engineering], with COE available before Canada in 1938 and in the US in 1939. GMC and Olds trucks used the Olds 224 cu in '224' engine, Chevrolet the 216, and all were available with Hercules diesel engines!
The Maple Leaf trucks were basically a Chev with minor trim differences and a Maple Leaf sign on the hood. The 42 to 46 trucks still had the Chev sign on the front of the hood and the Maple Leaf signs on the back corners of the hood. Maple Leafs were sold by the dealers that sold Pontiac cars. The 41 to 45 models had painted grilles etc since chrome was needed for more important wartime stuff.

IMy understanding of Maple Leaf trucks is that they are h/duty chevs and to be able to quickly tell the difference other than the name and numbers (16 or 1600)
1. They have a different diff centre , with a ratio of 7.16 ( same as 3 ton blitz ) as apposed to 6.17 of a chev.
2. The m/ leaf has 5 wheel studs front and rear , with studs being of approx 5/8 or 3/4 diam ,where as the chev has 10 studs rear and 5 or 10 studs on the front and a smaller stud.

From about 1947 onwards they went away from the 216 engine and used the 235 splash feed one.

They were Chevrolet 1.5t and up built in Ottawa using a mix of GMC and Chevy parts as well as some Canadian parts. They were marked as "Made in Canada". They are basically the same as US built,yet some parts did not interchange. They hoped that it would help Canadian sales if a truck was offered as built in Canada. Also,British Commonwealth countries,like Australia,put high tariffs on US built products because the US really didn't import anything from them (didn't need to) and AUS didn't want imbalanced trade. The tariffs were minimal between British commonwealth countries because England imported a good bit from AUS. So,this was a way for GM to offer trucks at a more affordable cost.