Express Bed Survivor: 1950 GMC 3800

UPDATE 7/18/2019 – This sweet GMC must have not reached the seller’s reserve, so they’ve relisted it with a BIN of $4,995. You can take another look at it here on eBay.

FROM 7/05/2019 – Usually, the shorter the bed the more desirable a classic pickup is, but in the case of this GMC, having a 9-foot long bed could be a good thing! They actually didn’t build very many of these 1950 1-ton trucks with the 9-foot Express Bed and of the few that they did build, most were worked hard and are now long gone. This one has a great look to it and is said to be very solid, so it might just be worth a closer look. You can find it here on eBay in Sweet Grass, Montana with a current bid of $2,150 and no reserve!

Whether you decide to restore this truck or leave it in its original patina, you’ll want to consider restoring the interior. Hard surfaces, like the dash and steering wheel, could be preserved as they are and could look great, but new seat padding and upholstery would be a must if you want this to be a nice place to ride. It appears to be complete and in restorable condition. Given how simple these trucks are, it shouldn’t be difficult or expensive to have the interior looking great again.

Being a Canadian built truck means that this one has the iconic Chevy Stovebolt straight-six under it’s hood. The seller hasn’t attempted to start it yet, but as long as it isn’t seized up, getting it running shouldn’t be too difficult. While it isn’t a powerhouse of an engine, it’s durable and strong enough to get this truck and a full load down the road. Hopefully, it isn’t seized and will start with nothing more than a tune-up!

The Advanced Design series is, in my opinion, one of the best looking generations of GM trucks and this one really looks great in its current state. You definitely don’t see ones with the 9-foot bed and this farm-fresh look on the road anymore. With any luck, someone will save this one and either preserve it or give it a proper restoration. At its current bid, it sure seems like a worthwhile project!

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  1. Keith

    Nice truck, an easy restoration on this one.

    Like 6
  2. Bill Member

    Sure wish they still made a nine foot bed. Would be great for my Landscape business.

    Like 8
    • Glenn Schwass Member

      Wow, The GMC has a great look. I’d clear coat the truck but paint the inside dash and doors.

      Like 3
  3. Dave

    I can almost hear the crunch as you grab first gear and then the whine from the rest of them. Perfect truck for a day of fishing with your grandchildren.

    Like 18
  4. Matt steele

    Man that’s beautiful in my eyes.wish I was able to get it

    Like 9
  5. RJ

    Is it just the photo, or is the body a tad long for the wheelbase?

    Like 4
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      RJ, it’s an optional illusion-you can believe it’s too long if you want to..
      Seriously, I believe it’s due in part to the bed being NINE feet long on a chassis that was designed to handle a few different truck beds. The experts here on old trucks (notice I DIDN’T say old truck experts!) will tell me I’m full of sludge or right on at 0 degrees but that’s my take on its ungainly appearance, which you don’t see anyway when you’re driving, right? 😆

      Like 6
  6. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    With all the (VERY cool!) pickups coming out of Sweet Grass, MT., my suspicion is that there’s a new meaning to the term “truck farm”!!
    Keep ‘em coming, please!
    BTW-where was this listed-eBay, CL, ?

    Like 5
  7. lbpa18

    RJ, I have one and have been watching them for years. They all have that “rear axle too far forward” look to them. Seems an easy fix and my eye still wants to fix it, but too far forward is how it came so it stays.

    Like 4
  8. Rube Goldberg Member

    I read, Canadian GMC’s had the Chevy 216, GMC 228 and 248 were optional. I believe that’s what this is, a 216 with the oil cap on the valve cover. Another thing I learned, GMC never called their trucks “Advance Design”, like Chevy. They were called “New Design”, and there’s very little info about them. Good ol’ truck here, with 4:11 gears, you might get 55 out of her.

    Like 3
    • JerryDeeWrench

      It might look like a 216 but is actually a 235. All 1 tons and 3/4 tons had 235s. They were a option for the half tons. They were splash oilers like the 216.

      Like 6
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Actually when I worked for GM I encountered 216 engines in everything up to and including 1 &1/2 ton trucks. I don’t recall a 235 in anything smaller unless someone put it in there.

        Like 2
  9. Wayne

    Even the 1/2 trucks had 4.11 gears. I believe (partially because of the taller tires) that these had 4:56 rear gears. However my brain could be malfunctioning because of age and yesterday’s celebration.
    Still a very cool truck! I would be a tempted to just keep it stock. But I would also be tempted to plop the body down on a much newer chassis and drivetrain.
    Hummm, decisions, decisions……..

    Like 7
  10. JohnfromSC

    I rescued one of these from Sturgis three years back. Mine was in worse condition, with cut up floor and not original tranny or motor. Still got $2,500 for it back then. Anything less than $3,500 is a go9d price IMO.

    Like 2
  11. JohnfromSC

    I rescued one of these from up in Sturgis three years back. Mine was in worse condition, with cut up floor and not original tranny or motor. Still got $2,500 for it back then. Anything less than $3,500 is a go9d price IMO.

    Like 2

    Beautiful to me. I learned to drive in one of these, 50 years ago foot starter and all. What a nice truck. Currently at $2550, which would be a steal in my mind. I agree with JohnfromSC anything up to $3500 is a great price too.
    I can still hear the loud exhaust, from a true work horse.

    Like 3
  13. Gaspumpchas

    Jerrydee- is that 235 A Babbitt pounder? I’m thinking that it is, since the chevies had them until 53 without powerglide, then all the 54’s. Just curious. Another beauty from Sweet grass! Keep em coming!!

    Like 3
    • JerryDeeWrench

      Yes it is a babbat pounder. They looked just like the 216 the only way I found to ID them was the carb mounting was about a1/4 in larger than the 216. Also the exhaust was larger. Internally the camshaft timing gear was allumanun instead of fabric.

      Like 1
  14. JerryDeeWrench

    Yes it is a babbat pounder. They looked just like the 216 the only way I found to ID them was the carb mounting was about a1/4 in larger than the 216. Also the exhaust was larger. Internally the camshaft timing gear was allumanun instead of fabric.

  15. Ken

    3600 is Chevrolet nomenclature. The 1-ton GMC is the 250.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      It seems to me that the CDN GMC 1-ton was a 9430. The CDN Chevy counterpart was a 1430. I sometimes wonder why they wanted to be different. On the border you got so used to both you no longer noticed it…

      Like 2
  16. Del

    Montana Man. Stealing Canuck trucks with that big american dollar.

    Even not running thats a great price.

    Transport costs will be more than purchase price.😁

    Like 4
  17. TimM

    Great looking truck!! Today they keep making the beds shorter and shorter!! Probably because no one uses them as a truck anymore!! I have a mint pickup with a six foot bed and it’s pretty much useless to me as a truck!! It gets good fuel mileage though!! It’s nice to see a truck that was used as a truck!!!

    Like 2
  18. Brad

    Beautiful – what a perfectly-weathered finish. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see this $4500 truck again in a year from now… as a $200K ICON Derelict.

  19. Ken Carney

    Looks like we’ll keep our ’91 F-350 a while
    longer. It’s got an 8-foot bed and that’s
    about as big as it gets. Only problem we
    have is sourcing one of the original fuel
    tanks and repairing the switchgear between the tanks. Seems like some jolly
    joker put a Camaro tank in one of the wells where the factory tank sat. Gonna
    have to get a stepladder so that she can
    climb into the cab without help. Mom’s
    just over 5 feet tall and unable to get in it
    without one. Gotta do it. Wanna see my
    itty bitty MIL driving that great big truck!

    Like 1

    5k or best offer? Well, I like this truck a lot, but I think that is a bit much. Maybe in a few more years I will think that is a good price, but shouldn’t it be running and driving for that kind of money? Best of luck to buyer and seller.

    Like 1
  21. Sg

    I bid on the truck last time it was for sale but got outbid at the end….it sold for under 4K with no reserve, but shortly after was relisted at 4995. That seems to happen a lot on eBay these days…

    Like 2
  22. Del

    Probably schill bidding or another buyer who does a no show.

    Like George Jones 😁

    Like 2
  23. Del

    Does this have Blue Tooth ?

  24. Mike A

    Hmmm, the current eBay listing is for $4995 as the Barn Finds writer says….but the original eBay listing shows the truck was SOLD for $4050. It always seems fishy when this happens; if the original buyer didn’t come through, then at least SAY SO in your new listing. Just my $.02.

    Like 3

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