350-Powered: 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

Taking on an unfinished project can be fraught with dramas, but sometimes the sale takes place due to extenuating circumstances. Sadly, the owner of this 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup has passed away, and his family has chosen to part with the vehicle. He has performed some sensible upgrades, and these should help the buyer on the path to creating a cool custom. It is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding standing at $9,200, the reserve hasn’t been met.

The Pickup is finished in Juniper Green, and the paint is showing its age. However, if the buyer is looking for a vehicle that wears its age loudly and proudly, then this is one that is worth more than a passing glance. Being a workhorse, these old pickups tend to wear their share of larger dings and dents. That doesn’t appear to be the case with this one, because the panels are surprisingly straight. There are a few small dings, but fixing these would be a straightforward proposition. The other issue that these old things can face is rust. The lower cab corners and floors can be particularly prone. Once again, this doesn’t appear to be an issue. The cab corners look sound, and the floors wear little more than a coating of dry surface corrosion. I can’t spot any problems with the glass, and I believe that at least the windshield is tinted. One cool addition is the amber-colored sunvisor. This would be a practical improvement on those sunny Nevada days. Another addition is the alloy wheels, and these give the vehicle a tough and purposeful appearance.

The bigger wheels provide a hint that this 3100 is not 100% original. Lifting the hood reveals a 350ci crate motor, which is backed by what is believed to be a 4-speed Muncie transmission. The rear end has also been changed, but it isn’t known what this is. The engine found its way into the Pickup approximately 6-years-ago, and it is believed to have covered about 30,000 miles since this occurred. It isn’t clear how well the vehicle runs or drives, but the generally clean appearance of the engine and underside gives us some cause to be optimistic. Even though some information has been lost with the owner’s passing, the family still holds the majority of the invoices and paperwork for the work that has been performed. This should allow potential buyers to gain a decent insight into the story behind this classic.

Opening the doors of the 3100 reveals more good news because the interior is another area that shows promise. It isn’t show-quality, but it is definitely serviceable. I have been trying to determine the origins of the seat because it isn’t original. The same is true of the wheel, which appears to be a reproduction Corvette item. The seat seems to be upholstered in leather and is free from rips and seam separations. It could benefit from treatment with a leather conditioner, but it would seem to need little else. The painted surfaces present well for a vehicle of this age, while the rubber mat on the floor appears to be free from any issues. I can’t spot anything that would require urgent attention, and I can’t see any reason why the interior couldn’t be utilized unchanged for many years to come.

I love this 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup. It has bags of character and appears to be completely rust-free. The upgrades that the late owner has made would seem to be very sensible and should allow this to be a trouble-free and reliable classic. The big question facing the next owner will be whether to treat the vehicle to a cosmetic refresh or to leave it largely untouched. If I were to buy it, I might be tempted to finish the interior to a high standard, but to leave the exterior as-is. However, I’m not buying it, but you could be considering it. If you are, what would you do?

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  1. Howard A Member

    Yarrr, matey, I likes it too. Never cared for the AD trucks, but ’54( and early ’55) was my favorite. The updated grill really made it. I know purists scream bloody murder, but this looks like a really neat truck. Someone did a nice job, and if you are going to update these babies, this is the way to go. You can tell, this was dads baby, the visor, the compass, the traffic light finder, a lot of the old, but a freakin’ Corvette(?) motor and a 4 speed, I bet this was his driver for years. Always sad to hear about a loss, but turn, turn, turn, somebody gonna get a sweetheart. There’s no need to do anything on this except change the oil. Great find.

    Like 5
    • Karen

      Use it on the country land in Pass Christian Miss

    • bry593

      I agree. This was someone’s baby. The guy put late 40’s plymouth trim on the fenders for Pete’s sake. The guy was serious about adding the bling. Also note that crazy rear bumper with the rear facing spot light. Lot’s of details like that indicate he was quite conscious of how his truck looked and performed. It’d guess it might just need some seals and fuel refresh and you could keep on truckin’.

  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    I would add to Howard’s list take the Kangaroo catcher off the front so as to show that shiny grill and repaint it.

    Like 3
    • Phlathead Phil

      I agree. Dump the front bars. It looks like surplus something from Alcatraz.

      Also, get rid of that phunky shade. You can tint the window instead.

      Other than that it looks solid. Price is in the ballpark.

      • JMB#7

        That phunky shade is period correct.

        Like 2
  3. Dave

    Wow, watch the video. Something in the motor has a very loud whine, maybe a Pete Jackson timing gears “noisy” set. $9300 reserve not met

    • George

      Could be as simple as alternator (PS pump) whine, take off the belt to check.

  4. ruxvette

    What a cool truck! As stated, I would remove the ‘roo catcher. I love the
    hood louvers, the frenched antenna, the lights/reflectors at the end of the bed rails, the (lighted?) Indian head on the front splash pan. All trick stuff you have to look for. It would be a fun knock around truck for $10-11,000.

  5. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    It’s been Mexicanized. Not that that’s a bad thing just not to my taste. Those chrome spears on the front fenders look like they came off a 48 Dodge, they have to go. That sun visor also must go. The chrome trim on the lower parts of the fenders also must get the heck out of town. I do like the engine and transmission selection. Wheels are okay. I guess I just want it to look original on the outside but comfortable on the inside, with ease of driving power steering and brakes and a powerful V8 under the hood. Lots of possibilities whatever your taste. I would go as high as ten grand but no more for this truck. I have mixed feelings about the cow catcher.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  6. Wayne from Oz

    It’s absolutely awesome. Wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe a respray. It’s no longer available, I guess someone made an offer off eBay that was too good to refuse.

    Like 1
  7. Phlathead Phil


    I’ve seen hundreds of these old trucks practically everywhere from L.A. to B.C., and in 26 states phor over 40 years.

    I even owed a ‘50 GMC.

    NEVER EVER seen one with a “Phunky” shade, except this one!

    “Period Correct” DOES NOT mean stock.

    • JMB#7

      You are correct that period correct does not mean stock. Period correct means that it was a modification that existed in the early years of customizing a particular vintage. In the 60’s I saw plenty of vehicles (from the 40’s & 50’s) with tinted exterior windshield shades (in Ohio). Where as adding window tint would not be “period correct”. I am not saying I like it in particular. But I do enjoy seeing these weird oddities from different periods.

      Like 1
      • JMB#7

        I will concede that many people consider “Period Correct” to only include those parts available in the exact model year and for that specific car. In general I prefer a looser definition which includes both factory & aftermarket items available during the early years of a particular vintage. It would also include fabricated modifications that were again done in the early years.

        Like 1

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