Live Auctions

Blank Canvas: 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

Here at Barn Finds we get to share some of the coolest cars and trucks around. If time, money, and space weren’t limiting factors, we’d probably all have a ton of project vehicles at one time. In fact, if I didn’t have a classic truck project already, I might be bidding on this 1950 Chevrolet. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $5,625. Located in Hurley, South Dakota, this looks like a really great truck. So out of all the projects we feature why did this one catch my eye? Let me explain.

While a running project is probably an important factor for a lot of people, not having an engine or transmission leaves a world of possibilities. There isn’t any information in the ad regarding what happened to the original power plant, but the engine bay looks pretty clean. In fact, they trimmed the hoses and wires so short that I’m guessing they were going to smooth the firewall. If this was my truck, I’d probably install a blown small-block V8. The hoods on these trucks are tall enough, you can squeeze a blower inside without cutting a hole in the engine. How about you? What engine/tranny combo would you go with?

The interior looks very original and complete, which is a bit of a surprise considering the engine compartment. You can see a hole where the transmission tunnel would be. I’m not sure if this was done intentionally to fit a floor shifter or if it is just a rust hole?

The wood in the bed has been removed as well. You can see just how simple the frame and suspension is on these trucks. A bit of time with a welder and you could modify the suspension pretty easily.

Overall, this is a great looking project. The exterior has great patina and is in great shape. The only drawback for me is the lack of a chrome grille. Other than that, this is nearly a perfect project. What do you think?


  1. Dave

    I don’t mind a painted grille, and this is prime hot rod material since the engine and transmission are gone, purists can’t complain. But they will in 3, 2, 1…

    Like 2
  2. Joe Haska

    Of course, I agree with you a 110% ,this is just a perfect start for a great build, a blank slate and looks like an affordable start.

  3. Vegaman Dan

    I would go with painted grill myself. Light commercial. Two tone paint. No drive train, so a 90’s-2006 1/2 ton donor Suburban would be cheap. Could be a good source for seats too.

    Fun project I wish I could do.

  4. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Sure enough, lots of possibilities here. Cut a hole in engine? I don’t think so, lol.
    Might as well relieve this old truck of the entire front and rear suspension system and bag it adding a Ford 9″ rear end. Engine and transmission would be late model G.M. Fuel injected V8 and tremec gears for me. Open book this is. Each builder to their own imagination.
    God bless America

    Like 1
    • Bruce Jackson

      Why don’t you clarify that the author probably meant to say, “cut a hole in the HOOD”…never mind—I just did that for you.

  5. Poppapork

    Since the hood is tall and i would like to build something original i think 53 series detroit diesel (seen anything from 3 cylinder to a V6 in a pickup truck). The military used aluminum heads on these to reduce magnetic signature.

  6. Bill Hall

    I see a modified 250 or 292 CHEVY slightly modified 6 along with a modern trans and rear end.

    Like 2
  7. JohnfromSC

    Five years ago someone I met in Stugis sold me a five window in relatively the same shape for $1 just to stop paying the storage fees on it, but mine had a badly running v8 and auto so it would at least move on its own. Cost me $1,700 to get it shipped to the east coast as it is quite expensive to ship out of northern rural areas. Put a bit more into it before I decided the only viable approach was a resto costing $50K. So I sold it for $2,500 to break even.

    How fast values are rising! This one will cost more to ship as it does not run.

    Like 1
  8. Richard Martin Member

    I would put in a 265 cu. in. with a 4 speed.

  9. Kenneth Carney

    Keep it a 6 by all means. You don’t always need a ground pounding V-8 to
    make a truck like this stand out. I’d go
    with a 3.8 3800 V-6 and 700R4 tranny.
    There are millions of these things lying
    around and they’re cheap too. That would be a good way to build this truck
    and not break the bank. And if your wife
    or girlfriend objects, tell her you’re building it for her.

    Like 1

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