Made In Canada: 1953 Chevrolet 1434 Pickup

Made in Canada doesn’t have quite the same connotation as made in Japan did back in the middle part of the last century. This 1953 Chevrolet 1434 Pickup was made in Canada and it’s a tough one. A one-ton truck, in fact. It’s listed here on eBay with a current bid price of $4,000 and there are over four days left on the auction! This toughie is located in Audubon, Minnesota.

The 1434 is a one-ton pickup for the Canadian market, they were known as the 3800 series in the US. This is one tough truck, and it has a rare 9-foot box! There’s a lot going for this one, as you can tell from the rampant bidding. Oh yeah, it’s a five-window cab model, too. Did I mention that the 9-foot box is a hydraulic dump box?

Trying to track down this color, or colour, I ran across several different sources for 1953 Chevrolet paint colors. This color/colour is listed as #332 on the tag. I’m assuming, maybe incorrectly, that GM used different paint codes for Canadian-made vehicles? It sure looks like a faded Juniper Green (#518) to me and I didn’t run across a 332 paint code. One of you will know. And, about that paint, I promise to not use the p-word! 1953 was the last year with the two-piece windshield and one of them is cracked on this truck.

The seller mentions two small spots on the passenger floor, which I’m assuming are rust spots. They say that it’s solid, but you can tell that it’ll need lots of work before you trailer it to the concours show.. hey, wait, this is a truck! Most folks would get that floorboard rust under control, tidy up the interior, do the brakes, fuel system, cooling system, and the rest of the mechanicals, and use it as is.

I believe this is Chevy’s 216.5 cubic-inch inline-six with around 85 hp. There may have been some overlap on the 235 six that was used in some trucks starting in 1954. In either case, this one isn’t in running condition currently, it hasn’t run in years but it turns over. Hopefully the next owner can get this one back on the road. I’ve read a couple of articles that mentioned a 37 mph top speed, so if you see me zoom by you in a minibike… Have any of you owned a Canadian market Chevy pickup?

Fast Finds


  1. Don

    I would think a little faster maybe 45 our 50 on the highway 🏁

  2. Brakeservo

    When I was in high school I had occasion to drive a ’53 Chev 1 ton and we drove on the L.A. freeway system so certainly it must have done at least 55 mph. But the last time I drove it was through a closed garage door. Do you know how loud that was in the neighborhood at 5 am!?

  3. Rod

    Amazing what these are selling for now. The 3 window is the desirable cab and much harder to find.
    I have had two 1/2 tons in the past and they maxed out around 55 mph so I think this 1 ton would be somewhat slower.
    Summers coming and based on this I may start scouring the farmers fields for trucks. Manitoba still has considerable trucks just sitting.

    • Don

      I thought it was the 5 window that was more rare?

      Like 2
      • Tom

        I’ve had numerous Chevy trucks of this vintage both 3 and 5 window. By far the most sought after are the 5 window models. The folks that will tell you their 3 window is rare is because they own one but wish they owned a 5 window…lol! If you own one it doesn’t matter whatever cab design, just enjoy it as is.

        Like 1
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s interesting how many Canadian trucks have migrated across the border, especially lately. As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, there were a lot came south into Montana, especially during the early 50s. I don’t know why they designated different model numbers for the different points of origin because the trucks themselves were virtually identical. Maybe it was to prevent smuggling?

    As far as the top speed is concerned, the 3800 (or 1430) series could make 50 without too many problems. They were lower geared than the 3100 but they also ran those 17 inch wheels that offered a lot more distance per rev on the tires.

    The 216s were dominant in Chevy tonners. And I saw a lot of 216’s that had rods pounded out. I found that with splash lube you didn’t want to use oil that was too thick. You used 30W in the summer only. I had a lot of customers who used 20 for the entire season, switching to 10W in the winter…

    • Ed P

      At this time, Canada had import tariffs on vehicles. The different model name/number is probably to make Canadian built vehicles identifiable to Canadian authorities.

  5. Sam

    Is top speed with or without a load of back-bacon and Molson in the bed?

    • glen

      and the 9 ft. box holds more!

  6. Tom Cotrel

    I’d like to see how it goes up against a Fargo or Mercury.

  7. Tom Cotrel

    Is this a Maple Leaf?

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      From what I read/heard, the Maple Leaf was a line of larger trucks that were essentially built by GMC but with Chevy badging. They allowed Chevy dealers to balance out the truck market.

  8. Bruce Pearce

    GM of Canada did use their own paint sources, as mentioned.

  9. Roger

    These trucks are awesome!

    I have a 1954 1434, with hydraulic dump box, same as the one pictured except for the slightly different body(1st series).

    Max speed is around 45mph. They have the Eaton HO72 with 5.14 gears. This can be upgraded with 4.10 gears out of chevy 67 to 72 3/4 tons, but good luck finding one.

  10. Vern

    My 1953 chev 1434 runs 45mph. With a 5.14 diff.
    I think there were two diff. Options.
    My father had a 1950 GMC one ton that was used as the family vehicle. I believe it was capable of 55-60 mph.
    It may run a little faster but I’m uncomfortable running the 216 at a higher RPM.

  11. Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this truck sold for $4,200.

    • Charlie

      My father bought it lol I stumbled on this article by chance looking for info on the canada to american conversion for the model

  12. CR Rath

    Hey that the truck I bought ! It’s in great condition with minor rust in passager floor . It seems to have been a working truck as soon as a year or so , motor is really clean under valve cover . When went to pick up it wouldn’t fit on a u-haul trailer , needed so inch or two . Just getting into going through it but real happy with it . Got parts catalog an manuals . Lots of what I need to get it running avliable .

  13. Cory Shrigley

    I’ve got the Canadian version, a 1434. Same colour, has a hoist. Not sure of size of engine though.

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