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Barn Bound Since ’82: 1949 Chevrolet 3800 Pickup

The listing for this 1949 Chevrolet pickup opens up with, “Here’s your chance to get a true barn find 1949 chevy pickup“! Look at it, it looks like a farm truck of some kind, so where best to find it? Probably in a barn! OK, now that I have that odd, probably meaningless observation out of the way, let’s take a look at this well worn Chevy that is closing in on three-quarters of a century. It is located in Murdock, Minnesota and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $2,850, twenty-one bids tendered so far.

The seller states that this truck was, in fact, found in a barn in northern Minnesota where it has been cooling its heels since 1982. I hear northern Minnesota, and I think COLD, so “cooling” those heels is no exaggeration. But the cold storage conditions must have been pretty preserving as this truck, in spite of surface rust and patina, seems to be remarkably solid. I have searched through the numerous, portrait-oriented (not the best for what I’m trying to do here), images and cannot find evidence of rust-through. There are known body locations on these Chevrolet Advance Design trucks that are known as rust hot-spots and this example is having none of it. Admittedly, I have no images of the cargo bed or underside to review, but this truck is trending in the right direction integrity-wise. As is often the case, this one is going to need some glass replacement. The most obvious boo-boo is the bent front bumper which is hanging out like some kind of cow-catcher but the seller advises that he has a replacement. Unfortunately, there is no tailgate.

This truck, according to the seller, rolls, and steers but that’s about all it does on its own. The original 92 HP, 216 CI, in-line, six-cylinder engine is still in place but it’s a non-runner and in unknown condition. The seller mentions that the four-speed manual transmission does shift through all of the gears so it seems at least that part of the drive-train is still usable.

The interior is about what you would expect. It was a spartan affair from the start, made more so by the passage of time. There is no mat covering the steel floor which appears to be sound other than a large round hole in the driver’s footwell, something planned? There are loose wires hanging under the dash and the dash itself, along with the gauge bezels are rusted. As for the seat, something made a nest out of it long ago. But truck interior environments are small, not like, say a ’60s vintage Chrysler Town & Country station wagon, so refurbishing it should be the least of one’s concerns.

The interest in these trucks always seems to be preserved “patina” with hot-rod mechanicals. Being a 3800, this is a one-ton capacity truck that may not lend itself as well to a mechanical transformation as a 3100 half-tonner would – it’s hard to say at this point, one would only be limited by imagination and funds. That being the case, if you were the lucky winner of this auction, what would you do with this 1949 Chevrolet 3800 pickup?


  1. A.G.

    The hole in the driver’s floor is for accessing the brake master cylinder.

    Like 9
  2. HJR

    I’d fix it and drive it!
    The hole in the floorboard is access to the master cylinder for adding brake fluid.

    Like 8
  3. Steve

    If he ran the vin and it was clear, why didn’t he just get the title?

    Like 2
    • Seth KARPEN

      When the truck was new there were probably no titles in that state

  4. robert j mulvaney

    as long as it;s clear it’s a car. vin matches no problem , he’s saving his cash on paper work cost ,meaning new owner pays & waits been there done that

    Like 1
    • Steve

      Y state is a pain in the butt you need to find the last two owners of the vehicle. Good luck with that

  5. lbpa18

    Love mine. All stock. Just a good truck. Even though its a 1T, it actually rides pretty nicely on old springs. Hard to find shocks though as they werent struts, they were articulating and Ive never seen one for sale.

  6. Arden

    Rebuilt one in 2004 with U S Army livery and a faux Oldsmobile engine. Added a movie-prop 30 caliber machine gun on a turret. Remember TV’s Rat Patrol?

    Like 2
  7. Johnny

    I would buy it but, without a clear title or everything was cleared for a clear title. I,d fix what needed to be fixed and drive it. Then when some suck offer me some out rageous price. I,d sale it and find me another one,but $3,950 is a little high for one without a title and not driveable. I,d say the guy does not have much in it.Maybe $200 and its why he is on ebay. These old 3/4 and ton jobs will beat you to death. Who ever buys it .Its a good work vehicle.For a every day driver. I take out some springs for a softer ride.

  8. matt

    My Dad bought this same truck – maybe it was a year newer -when I was about 16, in 1963. This had a granny gear in 1st, some people called it a stump puller gear.
    I don’t remember what I told him when I blew the clutch in that truck – – but it was my first transmission removal and clutch replacement experience. ( I should have gotten in big trouble, but I do not remember him calling B.S. on me)
    Having grown up on the seat of a 1953 Ford Jubilee tractor, I limped home revving the engine enough to synchronize RPM’s for shifting.through the gears.

    Like 1

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