Canadian-Built Workhorse: 1951 GMC 3100

I know, I know – the word patina is thoroughly over-used, a debate we don’t need to enter into here. But sometimes it’s just the best way to describe a truck, and in this case, the seller goes a step further by saying it has beautiful patina. This 1951 GMC 3100 is claimed to be quite solid underneath despite its weathered exterior, and while it’s a non-runner, these old workhorses seemingly never die. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $2,500 and no reserve. 

The seller notes this is a Canadian-built example, and as such, it’s equipped with the Chevy Stovebolt six-cylinder engine rather than the GMC-branded mill, as it would have been in the U.S. The seller is most impressed by the lack of dents, as farm trucks are usually sporting a few bruises by this point. Additionally, the only rust is said to be limited to a small spot in the passenger-side floorboard. That’s impressive, too.

Inside, the cabin is nicely weathered, with no obvious signs of damage other than the kind that stems from regular use. The seat upholstery will need to be redone, but you could throw a Mexican blanket over it for the time being. The seller claims even the glass remains original and that the ancient tires still hold air. Despite not seeing any use in many years, this truck had to have been at least stored carefully for those elements to remain original.

While the engine bay looks crusty, it appears to just be surface rust that is impossible to avoid with any vehicle used outside in harsher climates. I see this truck as being a candidate for a cosmetic restoration under the hood and inside the interior with the roughshod exterior being left alone – anyone with me? Certainly, patina like this is impossible to fake (despite many “restoration” shops’ best efforts), and this GMC looks like a potential bargain-in-the-rough with the no reserve listing. And remember, if this one doesn’t work for you, check out the Barn Finds Exclusive listing for the vintage trucks in the large Georgia collection we’ve listed.

Have something similar for sale? List it here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Howard A Member

    Again with the Sweetgrass, MT. What gives? Finally, some realistic pricing. Unless Canadia did it different. I think this is a 1950. US ’51’s had vent windows and no drivers cowl vent. Looking at the “related finds”, that red and black one looks so nice. I hope it gets restored original.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’m with Howard on this; it looks more like a ’50. The majority of sheet metal for both sides of the border was stamped in the US and consequently the CDN trucks used the same stuff. I also agree that the price for this one is most reasonable. you could budget in a driver-quality restoration on this one for the price you would have to pay just for the truck on other listings. I don’t imagine this one is going to hang around too long…

    • Al

      From what I have read, Canadian’s are always behind.

      Probably is a Canadian ’51, as parts have to go to Canada by dog sled.

      I also have read that Canada’s fastest export to the US, is landfill or garbage. Illinois is a major importer of Canadian garbage. Ain’t they wonderful.

      • Martin

        Which Canadian peed in your cornflakes?

      • Howard A Member

        Terrance and Phillip,,,

  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I really like the trim details on most of the old rigs around. Just look at that GM plate on the fan box below the dash. Do you think the bean counters of today would let that fly! Man, I want that GM plate on my tool chest sooooooo bad!

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I’ve always liked those plates too. But you might have to buy the truck that’s stuck to that plate in order to get one. I’ve seen them at swap meets. Although you wouldn’t know it to look outside out west today, spring is coming and there are swap meets on the schedule.

  4. Marko

    Sweetgrass appears to be a hotbed of classic trucks these days.

    Does anybody even live there anymore, since Curly Bob passed away?

    Population about 60 people at the best of times. On Sundays of a long weekend in Alberta, when the bars were still closed, the town would swell to about 3000 people, crowding into the 5 bars in town.

    Those were the days…..

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I grew up about 20 miles west of Sweetgrass. The farming community is still around but many of the old inhabitants have either moved away or passed on. Curly Bob’s daughter married a farmer on the CDN side, east of Coutts, and Bob’s son moved west to Washington. Danny C (I think) is the only member of his family left in Sweetgrass. He still owns/runs the Glocca Morra and deals in surplus military vehicles, and the odd motorcycle. Everybody else either moved down to Sunburst or Shelby, or out of the region entirely and some others moved in to run shipping/receiving warehouses, customs brokers, or the Customs and Border Patrol itself, and most of them drive in from elsewhere. I sure isn’t the same anymore. In case you’re interested, here’s a link to a video about Sweetgrass.


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