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Former Farm Truck: 1955 Chevrolet 3100

The Advance-Design Series of trucks was Chevrolet’s first after the conclusion of World War II. Introduced in mid-1947, the platform would soldier on until early 1955 when it was replaced by the Task Force Series. This ’55 Chevy is one of the last built before the switch and is in great mechanical condition, only needing some new seals in the manual transmission. Located in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, this pickup is being offered by its third owner here on eBay. Bidding has reached $8,100 while the reserve is still in limbo.

General Motors was the truck sales leader in the mid-20th Century. Both the Advance-Design and New Design (as they were called at GMC) were built to be larger, stronger, and sleeker than the pre-war AK Series they replaced. The same basic design family was used across the board, including the Suburban, panel trucks, canopy express, and cab overs. Three main sizes of these units were offered: the ½ ton, ¾ ton, and full-ton versions in both short and long wheelbases. The seller’s 3100 is likely a ½ ton though the seller does not say so.

We’re told this Chevy pickup spent much of its former life on a farm, and it was kept in dry storage (barn?) when not being used. The body is in fair condition with plenty of patina, so it has its share of dents and dings, but a minimum amount of rust. The hood was replaced by the former owner so it has the only paint that’s not original to the ’55 Chevrolet. Though no photos are offered, we’re told the interior is also original.

Once in the seller’s hands, he/she went about renewing the truck mechanically, starting with the 235 cubic-inch inline-6. The engine was overhauled, and a new starter was installed along with a radiator and a rework of the brakes and exhaust. There is new rubber on the ground at all four points and the only thing remaining on the to-list is to replace some leaky seals in the tranny. The truck has seen only 500 miles of use since it was reworked, but some health issues prevent the seller from doing anything more. So you can use it mostly as-is or decide whether to cosmetically restore this old workhorse.


  1. Howard A ( since 2014) Member

    Weeeeeellll, no doubt a great find, certainly not $8 THOUSAND dollars worth of vehicle. You can have my old squarebody for $3, I bet. The squarebody was road worthy, at least, this is nothing more than what it is, an old, slow, rattly door farm truck. It’s refreshing to hear a seller call the transmission what it really is, and not this “granny gear” crap. Do people even know what the controls “C” and “T” are even for? Where’s the wiper switch? ( unmarked, on the dash) And I believe these still used the old starter pedal, which required some fancy footwork. These are apparently still out there, a lot of barns in this country, but I just don’t see the value here. It, as is, has a very limited use today, and resto-mod, here we come, and that’s okay, I suppose. It just takes too much to make these compliant for today

    Like 6
    • Howard A ( since 2014) Member

      Oh, one more thing( and 2 EA comments prevents a log in everytime) that fuel line routing. While the words vapor lock you don’t hear much these days, even though my Jeep exhibits a happy phenomenon called “heat soak”, that is similar, that fuel line right behind the hose was trouble on hot days. While the obvious fix is a different rear axle, anything over 50 is white knuckles anyway.

      Like 5
      • Dave

        $12,400 now. Looks like the seller and the bidders have a better understanding of the market. I think that virtually all these trucks are headed for resto-mod, or hot rod as I call it. Personally I wouldn’t waste my time restoring one of these, life’s too short.

        Like 1
      • L. Vaughn

        Howard, have you actually tried to find one of these that’s not a total rust bucket? The way I read the information this one has a rebuilt engine, new starter, new radiator, new brakes, exhaust and tires. Look at the picture motor has new plug wires, coil, dist cap, and the carb appears to be cleaned up (rebuilt?). I have one of these 53 model that I’m working on. Trust me you’ll soak up almost half the cost of this one just rebuilding that engine, if you can source parts and find a shop that knows anything about them. Now that being said there are all kinds of (rebuilds) anything from a trip thru the car wash with a can of engine degreaser and a rattle can of paint to a full tear down, inspection, machining the block, head and replacing all the internals with new parts. If someone is in the market this one would be will worth a look.

        Like 0
    • Dave

      My father had a 54 and you’re right the truck was a dog. You had to haul ass to get the wipers to go fast😂. Many times I had to lift my feet because he had to jumpstart the truck. The good thing is his truck tool box consisted of a straight head and a flat screwdriver, 9/16 and 1/2 wrenches, an adjustable wrench and channel locks. That’s all you needed if you’re on the side of the road

      Like 3
  2. ShaneH Shane

    Why was i thinking 54 was the last year for this design?

    Like 3
  3. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    My dad had a 54 which is basically the same as the early 55. Chevrolet changed body style mid year 55. Dad’s was a light yellow with brown interior. Never really cared for the color, but the truck did everything needed of it on dad’s farm. It also doubled as his transportation to an from his Union carpentry jobs. One of my brothers hauled a load of trash to the dump and the truck rolled over the hill crashing at the bottom about 100′ drop. that was the end of that truck, so dad bought a 61 model.

    God Bless America

    Like 4
    • Kenneth Stewart-

      It may say 1955 but it’s the 1954 MODEL, trust me. My father had both.

      Like 2
      • Butch

        There were two series in 55 Chevy pickup. This one is a 1st series which looks like the 54 model. About the middle of 55 Chevy went to the 2nd series, which looks like the 56 Chevy.

        Like 2
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    My Dad, during one of his disputes with the local International dealer, had a ‘54 3100 which was a pale blue. I well remember those white hubcaps with the large black bow tie. Dad drove it for a couple of years which back then was about the time he kept any of his personal trucks. Gravel roads and being a veterinarian in addition to being a rancher, he needed a truck ready to go. He’d put about 25K miles a year on them then get a new one. The old one would either get traded in or become part of the farm fleet.

    I don’t remember a whole lot about the truck as I was beginning school when the truck got traded for a ‘59 Chevy Tonner. I do remember the foot-operated starting pedal. The Binders on the place used either a button or the key switch. Actually got practiced up using the start pedal, and the one on a ‘49 Dodge that wandered into our place and never left. And when I got into the repair business I encountered a lot of starting pedals; they really taught you how to finesse your foot to operate the starter and gas pedal at the same time…

    Like 4
    • David Ulrey

      Anyone know what’s going on with GaspumpChas? I haven’t seen him on here for awhile. He had been a regular like you and Howard.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Interesting you should say that. I’ve been wondering what happened to a few commentors/members who seem to have faded away. I occasionally get a notice from a posting a few years back and see a lot of names/handles you don’t see anymore. I certainly hope it isn’t our sometimes caustic remarks that turn them off. I know I had a major brush with a commentor on another page that turned me off there. And it takes a lot to get my dander up. We’ve got a good group here for the most part…

        Like 1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        He hasn’t commented since January. Hopefully everything is alright.

        Like 0
  5. Dave

    Weeell, it’s up to $12,400 now. That’s the market, like it or not. Go ahead, get mad Lol!

    Like 3
    • James A Graham

      As PT Barnum would say,”There’s a sucker born every minute 😅

      Like 2
      • L. Vaughn

        James A Graham, it’s just about what you want. I see people spending way more and getting way less, what about model T’s and model A’s. Let’s not even talk about the early foreign car collector market. These truck have seen a lot of interest in the past few years. For a lot of people, me included, these were owned by grandparents or parents when they were young and it’s what they learned to drive a stick shift with. Everything people have said on here is true about these trucks, low power, low geared to make a true highway speed pretty much impossible. Poor handling bad breaks, noisy, and if you ever drove one in the winter when you step on the break or clutch pedal cold air runs right up your pants leg because the pedals go thru a hole in the floor. Yes I can go buy a $60,000 brand new truck, and every 4-way stop intersection I stop at there’s one just like it, just a different color. Maybe its trying to relive my youth, or maybe like PT Barnum says I’m just a sucker I have one of these in my garage that I’m working on. In Oklahoma where I’m from IF you can fine one that’s not a rust bucket, and has everything this one has had already done it’ll be priced in this range.

        Like 0
  6. Corey

    I have a 47 3100 AD panel truck. They sfarted midtear 47 and ended mid year 55. Engine and drive train out of a 55. So much fun to drive, geared really high though so it screaming when you are on the highway doing 50. In the late 40s highways werent really a thing and these old farm trucks didnt need to be geared for the freeways.

    Like 2
    • Robert Holt

      Ah, the good ol’days when you didn’t need your truck to do anything but be a truck. And most roads (in my neck of the woods anyway) were gravel, and only two lane if paved. I have always had an affinity for these old workhorses, but in my opinion, the later body style that appeared in ’55 is the toughest looking truck that ever rolled on pavement! My great grandfather had what I believe was a 49 tonner, the common black with a flatbed. I’ve only heard stories of it’s prowess from my mom, but I happen to know that it’s still resting peacefully behind one of my great uncles’ house…hmm, I wonder what it would take to get that thing rolling…

      Like 2
  7. Maggy

    I love these old trucks. This one is perfect as is imo.I’d just repair the trans leak. If I only had some acreage in TN .I’m working on that though.glwts

    Like 2
  8. Jerry Long

    They made this model and the new model both as 1955s.

    Like 0

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