Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

1948 Chevrolet 3604 Pickup Survivor

Like all the U.S. vehicle manufacturers, Chevrolet came out of the war effort in 1946 looking to make up for lost time. This was especially true of the truck market because of pent-up demand in both the consumer and commercial sectors. Largely unchanged (from the naked eye) compared to its more recent predecessors, this 1948 ¾-ton pickup looks to have held up well and only has a minimum amount of rust to be dealt with, just patch it up and keep going. The truck can be found in Vancouver, Washington and available here on eBay where the bidding has gotten to $7,100, but the reserve is still elusive.

Except for some functional changes, the 1948 Chevrolet trucks were much the same as the 1947 editions. This era of the Chevy truck was known as the Advanced-Design models because of their progression in reliability and civility since the pre-war models. If you were to look for differences, for example, the fuel tank was moved inside the cab, long and thin and standing upright behind the bench seat. The cab was now mounted at four points rather than attached to the frame at three points via shackle bolts and rubber mounts. This was done to help the frame flex without affecting the passenger compartment. To prevent putting too much stress on the front frame crossmember, two smaller shackle mounts were set on the forward chassis rails. So, many of the changes made for 1948 were refinements to what was already there. A nod to Hod Rod Greg Wapling for Chevy truck data.

The seller’s 1948 Chevy appears to be a model 3604, which was the designation for a ¾ ton, long-wheelbase pickup. It’s said to have been stored under cover all its life, which no doubt contributed greatly to it surviving as well as it has for 72 years. The paint looks decent and rust as at a minimum, mostly at the bottom of the cab and running boards, although the seller adds behind the seat on the passenger side and the floorboard in the same general area. The wood in the bed of the truck looks like a recent upgrade.

We’re told the mileage is under 20,000, but that could easily be 120,000. The truck is powered by a 216 cubic inch inline-six paired with a floor-shifted manual, which could be a synchronized 4-speed. And dig those big horns! The truck is said to drive and stop as it should, running smoothly and quietly. The brakes have been refreshed except that the emergency brake cable needs adjustment. The electrical system has also been upgraded, from 6 to 12 volts. The electrics like the lights and heater work and the optional Delco radio appears to reside in the middle of the dashboard. The seat will never recovering, but that’s no big deal.

Chevy built fewer ¾-ton trucks as they did the ½-tons, 44,526 units in 1948 vs. 106,733. The 3604 like the sellers would have been one of 30,228. Sadly, most of these trucks were worked to death and have since passed on to the great junkyard in the sky. Hagerty suggests a super nice ½-ton is worth $20,000, so the ¾ models should be in the same territory. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this one go past five digits. Production data is courtesy Znet.com.


  1. angliagt angliagt

    From the “Good Old Days”,when trucks were
    cheaper than cars,& used as intended.
    These were also what most Grandfathers drove.
    How did we ever get here?

    Like 12
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I sure like what I see here. Keep it clean, tuned up, oil changed and it should do anything you want it to do–within reason. Not a big fan of 12V conversions but that’s just me; I can make 6V systems do whatever I want. I’m actually at the point that when it comes to this style I prefer the 3600. It’s heavy enough to haul something substantial yet it still looks pretty decent. I’ve been watching Hagerty’s ‘Redline Rebuilds’ on YouTube and I like most of what has been done to that ’50 3600 they’ve got. I might have taken that one considerably further than Daven did by taking it down to the frame and building it up again, in a driver-quality restoration but I cannot really fault what was done. I might add that they’ve progressed a lot further than what my own collection has…

    Like 8
    • Ccanderson

      Geomechs, back on 77 o had a 54 gmc short box, with the 216 4 speed 5 window all original. Thong got about 6 mpg! But was just cool cruizing around the back roads of yellowstone county. Had it at a friends shop sitting outside and one of those crazy hailstorms came up and totally trashed that truck , I never saw it again.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Wow! Only 6 mpg? Those old 216s and 235s were noted for being real good on gas. My ’49 car gets into the upper teens–unless you give it some cheap gas. I fueled up in Kalispell one time and I decided that back in ’49 the car was designed to run on just about anything that was combustible so I put in the 85.5 (it was available at the Town Pump at that time). All the way through the Marias Pass that old babbitt-pounder was about the grumpiest thing on the road. I couldn’t believe that that old 216 could detonate but it did. Got into Cutbank and filled it with 91 Octane. What a difference! Lesson learned…

        Like 2
  3. KKW

    When it comes to classic trucks, swb 1/2 are by far the most popular and desirable, I don’t see this reaching those heights in $$$, but who knows. 12 volt conversions are a good thing, much more practical and serviceable in this day and age, and alternators cost a fraction of a generator. Not sure about that being a factory radio, it appears as though someone cut a hole in the delete plate to install it

    Like 5
  4. Dusty Rider

    I hate to see a plastic fuel filter right over an exhaust manifold like that, it looks like an accident waiting to happen. Nice truck though, especially since it isn’t on fire.

    Like 6
    • Wayne from Oz

      Dusty rider, I’d go one step further, I hate plastic fuel filters anywhere.

      Like 1
  5. Mike T

    I don’t think a 12 volt conversion is all that necessary in these old cars and trucks. I spent almost 3 weeks in the hospital this year and my 1929 Ford Model AA sat in my garage for 10 1/2 months and it started right up when I was able to get out. There are no electronics to drain the battery and I have no wiring that can drain it.

    Like 0
  6. matt

    I don’t think it has an all syncro trans, it is more likely a granny gear first… aka stump puller first…aka creeper first.

    Like 1
  7. Mountainwoodie

    We used to buy these ‘5 window’, we called ’em, for 250 bucks a pop back in the early seventies on the western slopes of Colorado, They were as common as VW’s were in the City I only had 1/2 tons. Every time I hear a particular Loggins and Messina song, its like I’m back in Alma Colorado freezing my butt off and driving over the Hoosier Pass. This one looks especially nice but I expect that granny gear would be a long pull on a 3/4 . The price is too damn high! :)

    Like 0
  8. Charles Turner

    A number of people make the same mistake: saying “advanced design”……..yeah, it sounds better but of course Chevrolet called them “advance design”. Like to have a 3/4 ton like this…….definitely!

    Like 0
  9. Rob C. Sigmon

    When I was a kid (early 20’s in 1986, had a nice ’48 Chevrolet sedan……very cool car! Always wished I had a matching Chevrolet truck from 1948 as well. Back when American products were over built & the best in the world!! Period.

    Like 0
  10. Johnny Garcia

    still Available?

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.