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Blank Slate: 1953 GMC 3100 Pickup

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This truck sat in the Arizona desert for twenty years, according to the current owner. It’s a 1953 GMC 3100 Pickup and it’s found on eBay with a current bid of $1,000 and the reserve isn’t met. This one is located in Painesville, Ohio and you won’t be driving it home; there’s no engine or transmission!

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This truck is almost identical to the similar Chevrolet pickups of this era, 1947-1955, and you should have no trouble finding parts. The seller mentions that the driver’s side cab corner is rusty but that’s it for rust-out on this truck. Sitting in the Arizona desert for a couple of decades probably didn’t help the interior any, I’m guessing that mice turned this into quite a palatial hotel. But, the body looks great, other than some surface rust. Yes, the running boards are there, they’re in the bed and they look great, too, as does the tailgate.

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The interior doesn’t look too bad, considering what any of us would look like if we sat in the Arizona desert for twenty years. You’ll want to get that mouse-infested seat out of there pronto, but this would be another part of the blank slate that this truck is; everything needs to be gone over. I’m guessing that this truck won’t be restored back to original-spec. This truck will have power windows, a floor shifter, leather seats, hidden Bluetooth and iPod adapter; all the goodies. Just a guess.

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Here’s where you’ll be spending most of your time and money on this GMC. The possibilities are literally endless on how to power this pickup. I’m guessing there’ll be a V8 in there eventually, but, what size? Vintage Air, too? I thought so. I’m an incurable purist when it comes to restoring things back to original spec, but this is one case where I’m with 99% of you on how you’d redo this blank slate. How would you redo this truck?


  1. Peteylocks

    Fix the rust, clear coat the patina, get an engine with lots of torque , a tranny that can take it and turn it into a big bad 4×4

    Like 0
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    GMC is a little harder to do original if you don’t have the original motor. A rebuildable 228 might be a challenge to find so you would be looking more at a 270 if you’re a purist. However, since someone has already absconded with the motor and transmission then a later six like a 250 or 292 would be acceptable. Problem with installing a V8 would be clearing the steering column; but then, a lot of people have done it. I might add that I’ve seen one of these sporting a 454 with a tunnel ram and 2-4bbl’s. The guy had to run a steering box from a car on the outside of the frame but he succeeded and was even able to shut the stock hood.

    Of course if it were mine then I’d be shaking a lot of bushes to see if a 228 fell out.

    Like 0

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