If you’ve ever set eyes on a late ’40s-’50s truck without a visor you’ll know that something’s just not right. In an instant, the truck looks void of something essential and that’s when you realize the truck looks like it’s got a big forehead, and, to be honest, it looks somewhat cartoonish.
While the opinions may vary, in the lowrider world the vote is unanimous that sunvisors are a must-have. Simply put, external visors give our classic trucks a gangster lean, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Much like the difference between a hat and a beanie, the “bill” of the external visor offers a more formal entry of style; and if you had to stay G’d up from the feet up then the hat would be your obvious choice.
Then again, these visors are so big that referring to it as a “bill” may be an understatement, as they’re more like sombreros.
Looking Back in Time
First introduced back in the late ’40s, you can’t find much history about them, but luckily I live just a stone’s throw away from an older gentleman who’s got a driveway of classic trucks in a full state of disarray. So I walked over to ask him what he knew about visors and the first thing he told me was they’re not visors, they are properly referred to as “awnings”—a historical fact that is correct since he showed me the patent drawings formulated by Peckat back in 1939.
After plenty of small talk, my neighbor began talking about visors and he shared an interesting story about them. He talked about a company named Fulton that was based out of Wisconsin. The company was known for producing aftermarket parts for cars and trucks but their claim to fame at the time was the sunvisor. He talked about seeing his first visor getting installed somewhere around 1946, but as the drinks were pounded back the information started flowing much smoother.
My neighbor, Tim, recalls the styling transformations that took place and was quick to point out that visors started off with a squared off look and then were replaced with rounded edges. As he rattled on and on about the installation nightmares, he believed that Peckat sold the first visors shortly before Fulton dominated the market; in hindsight, he also recalls the Peckat visors being easier to install.
As his need for more beer drowned his history lesson on visors out, I decided to cut my class short. But the fact remains that visors do hold a special place in history as an accessory that was later on adopted by GM somewhere around 1954. Sold to customers as a way to keep the interior cooler and protect the windshield from snow and ice, it was a popular option, along with the stainless steel vent shades.
You Can Get Them With Ease
But with vintage visors fetching insane prices, one company has stepped to the plate and introduced Fulton-style visors that install with ease. The company we’re talking about is the one and only Brothers Trucks, and their adjustable visors can be attached to 1937-1954 cars and trucks. Made of heavy gauge steel, they retail at just $499, thus leaving it a no-brainer to pick one up.