No Reserve: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

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Finding a classic Pickup that is an ideal candidate for a project build can be challenging, especially one that is affordable. With values climbing, even the roughest examples can often command surprising prices. Occasionally, Pickups like this 1951 Chevrolet 3100 will pop out of the woodwork. It needs plenty of work, but it is a blank canvas for the right person. Although bidding has been relatively spirited, it remains within an affordable range. This old truck is listed here on eBay in Umatilla, Florida. Bidding sits at $1,508 in a No Reserve auction.

I know it raises the hackles for some people if we use the “p” word when describing the appearance of an old classic, so I’ll avoid that one here. However, you have to admit this Pickup has plenty of it! The panels wear a consistent coating of surface corrosion, almost entirely eliminating its original Swift Red paint. A couple of things surprised me when I examined the photos. The first is the lack of significant dents or other panel damage in what was undoubtedly a workhorse. There are a few, but they appear minor and easily repaired. The second surprise is the lack of penetrating rust. It has afflicted the lower cab corners, but with replacement steel readily available, addressing the problems should be inexpensive and straightforward. It is also visible in the floor pans, but I had no trouble locating a complete floor pan kit for under $650. With that welded in, the body would be rock-solid. We receive no frame photos, but what is visible carries the same level of corrosion we see externally. The buyer may pursue a frame-off process to ensure no further deterioration. Most of the glass appears cracked, and some chrome pieces are missing. Admittedly the new owner faces a long list of tasks with this old Chevy, but the simple nature of construction could make it an ideal candidate for someone seeking a first or DIY project.

Potential buyers must accept that this Pickup is a roller because the engine and transmission are long gone. The engine bay would have housed a 216.5ci six that sent 92hp and 176 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a three-speed manual transmission. That combination would not have made this classic a jet, but carrying its full load would not have raised a sweat. The lack of drivetrain components opens a world of possibilities. Locating another six to slot under the hood is possible for those considering a faithful refurbishment. I believe the successful bidder will probably opt for a V8, and we’ve seen plenty of these old classics powered by a small-block. The conversion is so common that many required parts are available off the shelf. The seller supplies no clear interior photos, making it difficult to determine how complete it is. The seat frame is present, but we know little beyond that. If the new owner chooses a custom build path, they could create the interior of their dreams with bucket seats and personalized upholstery. The world will be their oyster, and it is an opportunity to let their imagination run wild.

While it needs plenty of work, tackling a build on this 1951 Chevrolet 3100 should be worthwhile, considering its potential value. You will struggle to find a roadworthy example under $20,000, although figures above $30,000 are common. It is a genuine blank canvas, which many potential buyers will find attractive. Although the price sits at a modest level, it has reached it off the back of thirteen bids from eight potential buyers. The action so far occurred in under two days, suggesting people like what they see. Do you like it enough to drop a bid or two? If you did, what would be your plans?

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  1. geomechs geomechsMember

    Looks like a worthwhile project. Finding an engine and transmission won’t be all that difficult but tracking down all the mounts and accessories to hook it all up will be a challenge. For the one who wants to go with a different engine/transmission combination this would be something that shouldn’t make you feel guilty. A 216 for me but that’s me. Your choices may vary.

    Like 6
  2. bobk

    My choice would be a modern engine transmission combination, perhaps a v6 or small v8, backed up by a 5 speed manual. Maybe overdrive?

    As for the body/interior, retain it as historically accurate as possible, but with a more modern audio system.

    Might be worth watching to see how this progresses.

    Like 2
  3. Bing

    I have a 54 chev pu. We put a 327 and a 350 auto in it and new brakes and all wiring. Clear coated the faded paint and rust.
    Eye turner when ever I drive it. The sound out of the duel exhaust dispels any thought it is a stock truck.

    Like 1
  4. Tyler

    My choice would be to sit the body on a S10 frame so you can get modern brakes & suspension. Bright red or blue paint, with a fresh oak bed floor. And for powertrain, a turbo charged Ecotec 4 cylinder from one of GM’s offerings, bolted to a 5 speed from the S10. I’ve seen this combination done & it’s remarkably well balanced while also more than peppy enough for long cruises. A little far for me to have to go pick up, but if price remains right, might just be worth it.

    Like 1
  5. Frederick Richardson

    I have a COMPLETE engine and tranny from a ‘4! Chevy coupe for the purest for sale. It’s in running condition but most would want to freshen it with new rings.

    Like 0

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