Tool kits, the necessary tools that were shipped with automobiles of the day, were standard equipment with every Chevrolet until 1949, when they were offered as an optional accessory.
Two different companies supplied tools for the tool kits, Vlchek Tool Company and McKaig-Hatch Inc.
Vlchek Tool Company (pronounced Vel-check) started as a small blacksmith
shop in Cleveland, Ohio in 1895 and grew to become the largest maker of
automobile tool kits.
The company prospered, due to the rapid growth of the automobile industry.
Vlchek had been making automobile tool kits for many years and automobile companies ordered thousands of them at a time. At one point, Vlchek Tool claimed to sell to a majority of the automobile makers.
was located in the Riverside section of Buffalo, New York
and went out of business about 1980.
This article deals primarily with the 1941 Chevrolet tool kit, unless otherwise noted.
The original 1941 Chevrolet tool kit came with…
Over the years, many of these original tools were added to or removed from the tool kit bags and can be found squirreled away in the bottom of tool chests, work bench drawers and elsewhere.
I believe from the research I have done that there was only one open end wrench supplied with the 1941 Chevrolet tool kit.
The Chevrolet Master Parts Catalog refers to an open end wrench (singular, not plural). After the war, sets of three wrenches were included in the tool kits.
This Vlchek wrench has a natural finish, is 9/16” & 5/8” and is marked MADE IN U.S.A. on one side and DROP FORGED on the other. There is no trademark.
Overall length of this wrench is approximately 6 inches.
McKaig-Hatch manufactured wrenches may be found with their trademark or McKaig-Hatch written on the side.
The above photo shows a Vlchek manufactured adjustable wrench.
It has smooth, square jaws with no teeth and measures approximately 9 inches long.
One side is marked MADE IN U.S.A. 9 AUTO and the other with the Vlchek trademark and the casting number 25 (see inset photo). This casting number may differ and means nothing to the collector.
This particular example has a stamped steel jaw which was spot welded over a cast inner jaw. It was also manufactured with a cast steel jaw.
These might be found with a natural finish, painted black or with a dull cadmium plating.
The 10 ounce ball peen hammer has an overall length of about 10 3/4 inches.
These may be found with or without the Vlchek or McKaig-Hatch trademark, but most have been found with one.
The trademark is located on top of the hammer.
This example, manufactured by Vlchek, has a natural finish oak handle.
The spark plug wrench has a 5/8 hex, designed to fit the new
1941 10mm AC #104 spark plug.
The socket is 3 inches long with a 5 inch integral handle.
The above socket has no markings, but they can be found with the letter A, a star or an arrow shaped mark on the body.
They were manufactured in natural finish, painted black or cadmium plated.
These pliers were manufactured by McKaig-Hatch and has their
trademark MH in a circle, as seen in the inset.
These can be found with a natural finish or painted black.
Vlchek pliers have handles that curve away from each other on the ends.
They have the Vlchek trademark and either 'Made in U.S.A' or 'Forged in U.S.A.' on the handle.
Vlchek made pliers with a natural finish, painted black or a cadmium finish.
The screwdriver included in the 1941 tool kit has a fluted wood handle.
The handle might be painted black, ox blood or gray.
The shank and ferrule has a natural or cadmium plated finish.
The shank, including the ferrule, measures 6 inches and the overall length is 10 inches.
This example does not have any manufacturer's logo, but they can found with the Vlchek trademark on the shank near the handle.
Tool bags have been found made of different materials; lightweight canvas, woven fabric and seat cover material.
They all have two snaps and bound, sewn edges.
The bag measures approximately 9 inches x 13 1/2 inches when open.
The snaps are marked Gripper on the outside and Scoville on the inside.
This example is a reproduction bag.
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