Build Your Own Stubby! 1957 Chevrolet 5100

The first time I saw this awesome 1957 Chevy truck it reminded my of “Stubby Bob.” If you aren’t familiar with the Motor Trend show Roadkill, mechanics and magazine editors Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger modify all kinds of vehicles with outrageous features in an effort to entertain their audience (and themselves). They took a 1950 Ford F-6 two-ton dump truck and made it into a rear-engine, short-framed wheel-standing beast and named it “Stubby Bob.” While this 1957 is a long way from doing wheel-stands, it looks like a really fun and unique project. It can be found for sale here on eBay with a current bid of over $3,000. The reserve hasn’t been met yet and there’s no buy-it-now price. Located in Eureka, Montana, if you want to have this project started soon, you’ll need to pick it up before the snow flies! Thanks to Ikey H. for the tip on this cool truck, let’s check out more!

Here you can see just how dramatically short the wheelbase is. The seller describes this truck as an L.C.F. (Low Cab Forward) and not truly a C.O.E. (Cab Over Engine). Although the cab is technically over part of the engine, it’s not considered a true C.O.E. Whatever you call it, I call it cool!

Speaking of engines, this truck features the stock 283 cubic inch V8 with 2bbl carburetor. The seller states they put new spark plugs and fresh gas in it and it started right up. The oil looks good, but they didn’t let it run too long. Hopefully a little bit of simple mechanic work will get this truck up and running long-term. If you are planning on pulling a trailer, you’ll probably want to do an engine swap but the 283 will be fine for normal cruising.

The interior looks decent and amazingly, the floors look really solid! The seat will obviously need a complete re-do, but that’s to be expected on a 60+ year-old truck.

Overall, this truck has a great look and seems like an awesome project. If you’ve always wanted a classic truck like a ’57 Chevy, but want something a little more unique than the typical pickup, this might be the right one for you.


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  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is a nice unit. Unfortunately the only thing it could be used for would be a trailer-puller. And it wouldn’t offer the greatest ride either. This was no doubt used as a switch unit for trailers in a shipping compound. It looks like the frame has been shortened. Years ago I saw some of these (mostly tilt-cabs) that were used to deliver mobile homes. I would actually try to find a better frame if this were to come my way. Fix it right up and use it to pull the trailer. The 283 isn’t going to pull it very fast. Back in ’57 the larger Chevy trucks used 322 Buick engines. I heard stories about them using the GMC/Pontiac 347 but I never saw any evidence. I would be tempted to find a 454 and drop it in, while the purist in me would want to find a 348/409 to get it more period correct. And I would NOT pull the cab to use on a modern chassis. I’m still mad at my friend after I located a couple of these for him to build some period resto-mods to do towing chores. When I saw that he’d unceremoniously cobbled the two cabs together to make a crewcab and dropped them onto a modern chassis I was visibly upset with him. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him since the whole thing got hauled away for scrap when he sold his acreage…

    Like 9
  2. 71FXSuperGlide

    What would this in it’s shortened state have been used for? Moving trailers around the yard?

    Cool cab design.

    Like 5
  3. boxdin

    Its called a mobile home toter and where you have mobile homes you will see lots of these.

    Like 6
    • 71FXSuperGlide

      Thanks. I see a quick search on images also shows the modern versions with the same short wheel base.

      Like 3
  4. Little_Cars

    Still bigger than my MG Midget, and slower in high gear. Yet, somehow I want to take this truck home and lavish it with a modest restoration then drive it like I stole it. Cool, cool, cool.

    Like 3
  5. Chevy Guy

    Awesome!! I love these old COE designs, especially ones older than this!

    Like 1
  6. Ward Curtis

    …and is that a Ford one and a half ton in the background of the second picture, with the shop built canopy over the bed?

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I think that’s a Chevy. I look at the louvers in the hood sides plus the wheels but without a closeup you often never know…

      Like 3
      • Little_Cars

        Willys-Overland circa 1931-36 had louvers like that, along with the slope of the windshield and shape of the A-pillar. Grille looks like Chevy though.

  7. local_sheriff

    If you guys read the ad you’ll observe seller admits to have shortened its frame for easier transport. That’s somehow sad as that means it can hardly be built as a semi tractor only in its current state, with horrible driving characteristics with the short WB.

    Best bet is, just as seller suggests, is to move the cab onto a newer chassis if you want a truck with more modern behaviour. These LCF trucks are IMHO übercool with such an aggressive ‘in-your-face’ look that will scare the living s*** out of anyone even when parked. Best of luck to the next owner! 👍

    Like 4
  8. Chevy Guy

    Awesome! I love the look of these COE trucks, especially the older ones!

    Like 1
  9. TimM

    Lengthen the frame and make a sweet flatbed out of it with a diesel and an early 6,9 or 10 speed standard transmission!!

    Like 2
  10. Robert May

    My grandfather hauled and set up house trailers for 20+ years and used several of these. You wouldn’t believe how and where they could back mobile homes into spots. Thanks for jogging some awesome memories.

    Like 5
  11. Del

    Nice odd ball unit.

    Doubt it will sell

    Like 3
  12. Bob McK Member

    I would love to have this. It would be really fun to take it to shows.

    Like 3
  13. Glenn Schwass Member

    Man I wish I was in the position to get this. it is perfect. It would be a terrible ride ,but so much fun. My wife on the other hand would have a fit. Just such a knarley beast…

    Like 5
  14. Wayne

    Low Cab Forward it is not. A LCF is a cab over engine with the driver in front of the front wheels and lower to the ground. Have you see an ISUZU box truck lately? That is a “Low cab” Forward.
    This is a cool truck. But without. About 6,000 pounds of trailer tongue weight you will need a kidney belt to drive it. I would find another chassis to rest the body on
    Sorry to you purists.

    Like 1
    • Dean Blegen

      CAB You may be right the ISUZU LCF’s but Chevrolet in 1955 dramatically changed what was called a STUB NOSE (Or some guys called it a SNUB NOSE) into Lower cab and longer hood that Chevy renamed it to a Low Cab Forward (LCF) which went on for many years. In 1960 Chevy came out with a “TILT CAB” that put the Driver ahead of the front wheels. I do think that the 1955-57 were the best-looking trucks that Chevrolet ever built.
      I own a near perfect, rust-free ’56 low-wheel base Grain Truck with the original 265 V-8 in it. They were all V’8’s!

  15. Chas358 Chasman358

    I had the distinct pleasure of working for General Motors as a contractor at their Warren, Michigan Tech Center a few years ago.

    They sometimes displayed cars from their Heritage Collection in the lobby of the Tech Center.

    One of the vehicles displayed was a 1964 GMC pickup. It had a 317 ci small block Chevy with a 4 speed slim Jim Hydramatic trans. Neat old truck.

    GM has many beautifully restored old passenger cars and light trucks in the Heritage Center.

    What a great place to work that would be. Get paid to work on beautiful old cars.

    What’s a bad day at work for those lucky folks!

    Like 4
  16. Chas358 Chasman358

    GM has 165 cars on display at the Heritage Center.

    Like 1
  17. Richard j Martin

    I really don’t think that this is a mobile home transporter. If the frame has been shortened as they claim, then it was probably used on a farm as a grain truck. Also, I think that a mobile home transporter is even shorter then this truck.

    Like 1
    • boxdin

      Another clue it was as a “toter” is the way out there mirrors to see around a large trailer. I can’t think of another use for this truck except as a toter. Grain trucks are much longer wheelbase.

      Like 1
  18. Fred Alexander

    Lengthen the frame beef up the drive train add deck – – -tow truck hydraulic type and you got a hauler – – –
    OR you could go old school and build ramp deck with winch etc – – –
    Lots of potential.
    Get her running,show up at show and shines take a couple of years to get a good plan together and fly at it.
    If i were much younger I’d be testing the waters on bidding – – – even though Id have to bring her back to Canada.

    Like 1

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