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Memorial Day Special: 1956 Chevrolet 3100

Califronia black plate

This 1956 Chevrolet 3100 has undergone a cosmetic restoration, but is claimed to be a real military issued truck. It was delivered to the U.S. Government in August of 1956 and was used on a base in California. It was later sold to the public, but retained the glove box plate which has the delivery information on it. The seller thinks that the mileage (less than 10k) could be original. Unfortunately, when someone resprayed it they used a slightly different shade of green. The original paint is still visible in areas though so hopefully when the next owner repairs the minor rust spots, they will get the color right. It’s located in Thousand Oaks, California and is listed here on eBay for $14,500 or best offer. These 3100s are cool trucks in standard form, but the fact that this one served our country makes it much more interesting. Happy Memorial Day!


  1. Dan Farrell

    Looks like Clint Eastwood’s truck from “Every Which Way But Loose”.

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    • Chad O.

      Beat me to it! That’s exactly what I was thinking!

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  2. Tirefriar

    This truck has the tidiest engine compartment I’ve recall seeing on a vehicle. The military spec “no frills” is a major factor. Cheap to maintain and run, just like Uncle Sam prefers. I am not sure on the prices of these, but if its solid as it looks, this maybe a good candidate. I can totally see it as my DD…

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  3. Bobsmyuncle

    I’d say this was pretty desirable indeed. Nice simple truck to rumble around town, perfect for grabbing groceries, parts, and trips to the hardware store or nursery. I’d have to throw the obligatory hand grenade shifter in there.

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  4. Alan (Michigan)

    I can’t fathom how someone would do such good looking work in some areas, then attack the outer body with substandard repairs and a rattle can spray job.

    So much to like about this truck, but the hasty exterior refinish has me puzzled.

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    • Ed P

      It looks like they were 1 rattle can short of completing the new paint job.

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  5. SoCal Car Guy

    Some of the shoddiest bondo work I’ve seen in a long time. There’s barely a single straight panel on this thing, doors don’t fit well, hood doesn’t fit — period. Everything about it screams rattle-can “restoration.” Even the “tidy engine compartment” is sloppy with overspray (look at the blue on the distributor, stuff rattle-canned where it was easy to reach and overlooked where not, and in the passenger side shot of the engine you can see where the (very wrong) blue paint on the engine was sprayed right over old grease and is lifting. And a steel (or sheet metal) plate welded into the bed where there should be wood slats and metal hold-down strips.Add at least 100,000 miles to the odometer, and cut the price in half.. It’s really appealing at first glance, then all of the warts start showing up on this toad.

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  6. Howard A Member

    While I agree with the less than appealing,”rattle-can” restoration, it’s clear to me, this was a well preserved, unused example to begin with. I could just see this truck sitting in a corner of a military warehouse somewhere, and I’m sure there’s more out there. The epitome of simpleness, when a truck was a truck. One of my favorite “barn finds” here yet.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. I share your thoughts on this one. Only thing I don’t like is that it’s not on its way to my place. Your imagining about one just like this sitting in the corner of a military warehouse somewhere; do you remember the stories that circulated around about Harley 45s, in the crates, sitting in a warehouse? You never know though; one might just be sitting in a warehouse somewhere, maybe some little used air force base, just waiting for some TLC.

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  7. JW

    While I’m a Ford truck man at heart I’ve owned several old Chevy pickups. This one ha s a few flaws from a quick make over which may be a marketing play with the ad stating if you want it restored the seller does this all the time they will accommodate you. But with it’s simplicity and style along with it’s military history I would love to have this truck to restore it back to it’s glory days, but sadly it’s sold.

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  8. Tyler Bolles

    Anybody notice the plugged hole for the road draft tube? Is that a military spec thing? I know some folks stick a PCV valve in there, but totally plugged? Looks like the whole engine was sprayed blue, maybe in place?

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  9. Chris

    ‘Original stereo” Did Uncle Sam pony up for even an AM radio in those days?
    I’m skeptical about that for a start.

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  10. don

    once again, claims under 10k miles? B/S! on military truck? these get used and used hard!

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