Gold Mine: 1952 Chevrolet 3100


Wearing patina and having an interesting back story this Chevrolet Pickup has an appealing look. Supposedly having spent time as an equipment and supplies hauler, this Chevy at one point found itself with an expired engine where a newer 235 inline 6 was fitted. Mechanically safe and reliable this truck is ready to roll to its new home. Bidding has currently reached $5,300 with the reserve unmet. Find it here on eBay out of Castle Rock, Colorado.


The reliable and sturdy 235 Inline 6 is clean and is listed as being a healthy engine. The wiring and other essentials in the bay look remarkably nice, and speaking of wiring, this truck has been converted to 12 volt. The paint on the firewall is nice as well. We find it unusual that someone went to the trouble to paint the engine bay red, when looking at the interior and door jambs, it’s quite clear this truck or at least the cab was a light champagne color. We will come back to the paint. The 235 is backed by a granny geared 4 speed manual, which maxes out around 55mph according to the seller.


The interior of this old Chevy looks pretty nice aside from the missing door panels.  The dash board has a lovely patina, and is in very nice condition. The steering wheel is remarkably nice, but there are a few cracks present. The bench looks very nice having been reupholstered. Looking at the dash and the door jambs, we can see that lovely Champagne color, that we cannot see anywhere on the exterior. The engine bay has been painted the same color red as the exterior. Some of the rust and “patina” on this truck looks natural, while some of the patina looks to have been doctored, or forced. Not to say that this trucks story doesn’t hold water, we love the story and the cool “Climax Mine” logos on the doors. The exterior of this truck wears loads of patina, with no evidence of rot. The passenger rear fender has 3 cracks. The passenger running board has a ding in it as well. The windshields are cracked as well as the back window. One of the slats for the grill is bent as well. Aside from that the exterior is nice. The under-body is starting to get a little crispy, where sitting in the woods was not the best thing for this old truck. But the underbody could be given a coating of rust inhibitor, or if it lives it life in a garage, maybe it wouldn’t be that much of a concern for some. The wood bed is present, and is all there, though the wood is getting a little long in the tooth. But for driving purposes, it is just fine.


Road ready with a great street appeal this Chevrolet will make a great cruiser. We appreciate the patina and wheel combination on this one.  What would you do with this Chevy 3100?


  1. charlie

    Sanford and Son!

  2. Terry J

    Maxes out at 55 is because of the (probable) 4:11 rear end and the low revving 6 banger . Remember, the interstate highway system didn’t exist in ’52, and a truck like this did not often need to go very fast. In first gear (granny) you could climb a tree at about 5mph. That torque tube rear end ended in ’55, but it’s easy to adapt a better geared open driveline rear end to these trucks. Measure the spring width and go looking. What about the torque tube transmission? That thing is bullet proof was used up to 1962 in 1/2 to 2 ton Chevy/GMC trucks. And get this: find a later model donor, and the transmissions rear section unbolts and will fit any of those years. Simple open driveline swap, and there are lots of those trannys laying around cheap. Done that many a time back in the day with my ’49-’53s that I had over the years including a couple of 3100 Panel trucks. :-) Terry J

    • BIG FISH

      Terry J, You are showing your age pappy or is it Grand Pa. lol. I am 55 and never heard of that that torque tube rear end thingy that your talking about or some of the other stuff. God bless you for your knowledge and long life. Its B.F.R.S. Like your self that makes me like to read the comment section.

  3. John H. in CT

    That tag is clearly a repro, so be careful depending what state you are in. Underneath passenger side the sheet metal looks fairly torn up, so check the frame. Not a deluxe 5 window, so pretty much all on at current price.

  4. ccrvtt

    Best looking pickup truck ever.

  5. Sunbeamdon

    It’s Halloween again! Be afraid, be very afraid; this one will rise-up to bite you when you ain’t lookin’!

    Too much “fake” patina! Too much penetrating rust (look closely at door sills, etc.)

    Mother nature always wins!

    • Bruce

      The “patina” on this is as fake as Dolly Partons boobs…Just sayin !!!

      • Terry J

        And as such, I don’t really care…… looks great to me. :-) Terry J

        Like 1
      • Terry C

        Look for the Mc.Lean and Mc.Lean song (Canadian comedy duo) in regard to your reference. You will be amused. Search under Dolly Patton’s t***. May have misspelled Mc.Lean… You’ll find it.

    • Robert Reeves

      what guy called torque tube is a closed drive shaft system . where drive shaftt is inside of a housing connecting rear end to transmission had a ball socket at trans. to allow up and down movement .

      • Terry J

        That enclosed driveline set up was used from the Model T Ford up to 1948 in Ford cars, and with many brands of early cars, some clear into the 60’s. My Dad’s new 1966 Rambler still had it , and the Chevy Chevette used that into the late 1980’s. It has a solid driveline shaft running inside an enclosed steel tube. That tube was therefore a suspension / structural component of the cars engineering. Actually worked fine, but boy did my dad cuss it years later when it was time to put a new clutch in the Rambler. Requires pulling the rear end / torque tube back to the pull the tranny. :-) Terry J

  6. Sunbeamdon

    ccrvtt – nothing personal, this one “don’t float my boat”

    • ccrvtt

      No offense taken, I’m not a truck guy at all. A friend & I drove a ’53 from Michigan to Maine to California back in the day, rebuilding the brakes as we went. Got about 300 miles to a quart of oil. Held the head pipe to the manifold with a pair of vise grips – probably still on it. Just a bit of nostalgia on my part. Imagine that on BarnFinds!

      BTW, glad the downvote is back even though I got flamed so much on one comment they had to take it down. That’s what makes this my favorite site.

  7. Mark S

    I got to say the thing that makes RUSTINA popular is there is no skill required to create it and no money need to keep it looking that way. But here’s the thing if you had a brake hose that was cracked and dirty with rust on the fittings would call it worn out or would you call it patina. The sheet metal on any car is the essence of the car. The styling and the structure that houses all the parts. So why would you replace a worn out brake hose but not worn out paint, which is the material that protects the structure from corrosion and ultimately disintegration. So I say restore the body paint it with single stage paint and redo the logo on the door, it will look like the truck the mine bought all those years ago. And that would look cool.

    • bob

      Mark, because a worn out brake hose is a safety concern while worn out paint is not .

      Like 1
      • Mark S

        Very true Bob I guess the point I was trying to make is that it’s kind of the easy way out. I think it is far more impressive when you see a vehicle where someone put a lot of sweat equity into there very gorgeous restored car. I feel that the ones left looking like rust buckets are more quickly destined to the neglect they came from. JMHO

  8. Woodie Man

    Back in the early seventies these and the five window versions were all over Colorado. We used to go to Leadville once in a while from Alma. Love me some molybdenum! Wonder why the listing doesnt address the gold door jambs and dash……leaves the impresson the truck was always red

    • Eric H.

      All the Chevy trucks of this era and into the 1960’s had this color interior.

  9. chad

    “…Be afraid, be very afraid; this one will rise-up to bite you when you ain’t lookin’!
    Too much “fake” patina! Too much penetrating rust (look closely at door sills, etc.)
    Mother nature always wins!…”

    Eventho I’m in MA I may know these guys. I’d agree.

    Too bad, truck’n me R same age…
    go 4 1/2 dat price…

  10. Sunbeamdon

    Hey Chad – thanks for quoting me! As observed above, I too am familiar with torque tubes – and vacuum shift 3 speeds!

    With three kids, 16 grandkids and 10 greats my patina is real! And I’m only 39 (thanks Jack)

    I’m about a dozen years senior to this P Up – my patina is starting to show; my flow is starting to slow; so of the the toilet I go!

    • Terry J

      Haw Haw, Don. I’m a mere 68 but I’m sure you remember President Eisenhower. Ike was a Junior Army Officer in/after WW 1 and in 1919 he took part in an 80 truck coast to coast army maneuver. It was very difficult because the trucks were circa 1916, roads were mostly dirt and mud,and most bridges that existed could barely carry a wagon or car. When he became President (1953-61) he pushed through an Interstate Highway system (1956), having seen the German Autobahn. How I wish to God that we had him or his like today. Maybe we do. I was born in 1948, so I grew up in rural Eastern Oregon with (1) Trucks like this and (2) a pre-Interstate Highway road system. :-) Terry J

  11. Rustytech Member

    Ain’t it amazing what you can do with a little paint remover, a wire brush, and some rattle can clear coat?

    • Steve H

      so obvious they created their own “patina.” Cool truck but I wouldn’t touch it. There may be too many hidden surprises lurking all over that one.

  12. ben

    priced out of my range all ready for what it is can find all orgs for 5gs and up but theres a butt for every seat

  13. Prowler

    Bruce…I agree with you on the fake patina…not a big fan either
    But let’s not attack fake boobs of which I am a big fan
    That’s a whole different industry
    As Bob Seger said…way up firm and high

  14. Ck

    I like this truck fake petina and all .You can go any way you want to on this truck.leave it like it is and fix the thingsthat need to be fixed.Its allmost all original why not restore it? You can get pretty much anything you need to do it. Ok everyone start exercising that thumbs down buttonfinger. …Hot Rod the Heck out of it ,swap in a V8 change the rear end and trans . Bag it put it on the ground ,add some nice rims and tires ,and air conditioning ,just cuz you wont want to get out of it …… EVER.This is a sweet ride any way you look at it.

  15. Billy Joe

    Great looking truck … I’d throw my hay in the back, wear my coyboy hat and drive with pride.

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