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Chevrolet 3100 Pick Up

Chevrolet 3100 Pick Up Published: 3rd Aug 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Chevrolet 3100 Pick Up
Chevrolet 3100 Pick Up
Chevrolet 3100 Pick Up
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Chevrolet 3100 Pick Up

IN BRIEF

Chevrolet’s 3100 hit the streets in 1948 and quickly proved popular for its sturdy construction and ease of use. Along with Ford’s F100 these trucks helped get post-war America back on its feet. Pre-war pickups were strictly utilitarian but these trucks incorporated comfortable and increasingly plush interiors and chromed styling cues from the cars. Gradually pickup trucks became driven for fun as much as work purposes and within a couple of decades America’s bestselling car was a truck!

TIMELINES

1947 The Advanced Design models are launched and prove very popular.

1949 Telescopic shock absorbers. introduced to replace lever arm type.

1951 Quarterlight windows added to doors.

1953 Last year for 3.5-litre straight six, engines are now 3.9- or 4.3-litre.

1954 Cabs updated to include curved windscreen with one-piece glass.

1955 Range replaced by the Task Force series trucks with the option of a V8.

DRIVING

Much like a classic Land Rover these trucks are heavy, well built and not especially fast. Expect some vagueness in the unpowered steering and an agricultural feel to the controls – it’s all part of their charm. Drum brakes all round should be well up to stopping the vehicle provided they are in good condition with quality linings.

BEST MODELS

Frankly one is much like another with the 1950’s Chevy trucks, we favour the 3100 with the shorter half-ton bed since the styling seemed to suit the shorter wheelbase and that’s what you’ll find most of in the UK. But if you’re after a working truck the longer three-quarter and one-ton trucks are worth considering.

VALUES

Early 3100s seem to always hover around the £8-£11,000 mark and condition seems to have little bearing on the asking price. We’ve seen an original 1951 with a little rust in the roof sell for £10,500 while a rusty 1954 with a newer V8 engine and automatic gearbox went for £14,000.

BUYING ADVICE

Since UK import duty for a pre-1950 vehicle was axed a few years back a large number have reached our shores – many of them Chevrolet 3100s. Expect to find as many as half the trucks you see customised with aftermarket front suspensions, old Camaro or Plymouth Volare swaps were popular in the 1980s. The newer 350ci (5.7-litre) Chev V8 also finds its way under many bonnets.

Disc brakes and power steering do make these vehicles less like an old Land Rover to drive and usually add value but customised interiors in garish colours don’t.

You’ll have next to no problem finding mechanical parts and most body panels and trim can be sourced in the USA. Note that subtle changes were often made to grilles and trim each year so it’s worth familiarising yourself with what was done, especially if originality is important to you.

Sourcing decent quality new trim or rechroming original bent pieces can get expensive. Look for rusty cab floors, door bases and around the glass. Most pickups will display evidence of hard use with dented beds and damaged wooden floors. Check the condition of the chassis, especially outriggers under the running boards, oil leaks often preserve the area around the front and rear axles but check the rear spring hangers. Overworked and badly maintained cooling systems can damage the straight-six engine, but generally they are reliable if looked after.



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