Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

No Reserve Rat Rod: 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

I admit that when I saw my first Rat Rod, I didn’t understand it. I couldn’t grasp why someone would go to the trouble of creating a custom build without applying a shiny coat of paint. I have grown to appreciate these classics, and I admire their creators’ creativity, producing genuinely head-turning and unique vehicles. This 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup is a perfect example. Below its weathered exterior hides a drivetrain combination that should offer easy maintenance and excellent performance. The seller has completed the hard work, but it needs a new owner to add the finishing touches. Located in Imperial, Missouri, you will find the 3100 listed for sale here on eBay. The bidding has raced to $9,300 in a No Reserve auction.

In typical Rat Rod fashion, this Pickup wears a weathered exterior and plenty of surface corrosion. You can see hints of its original Forester Green paint, but you need to look closely to spot it. Applying a shiny coat of paint would not be difficult if the new owner isn’t taken by its current presentation. However, doing so would defeat the purpose of what the seller wished to achieve with their creation. The seller admits there is rust, but it doesn’t seem extensive. Critically, the frame and cab mounts are solid, meaning that the vehicle is structurally sound. The chrome shows evidence of corrosion, and much of the plating has seen better days. That is one of the few things I may be tempted to change if I found this beauty in my workshop. You may disagree, but refreshing the chrome pieces would provide a striking contrast to the weathered panels and paint. Some of the glass is cracked, but it remains serviceable. The seller’s decision to slam this classic and fit bigger wheels and tires adds the perfect finishing touch to the exterior.

Even if the new owner elects to leave this Pickup’s exterior untouched, they could have a field day with its interior. The seller added a set of bucket seats, a few gauges, and a welded chain wheel. It doesn’t appeal to me, but that’s a matter of taste. Transforming it from its current state to something stunning would not be difficult or expensive. I’ve already mentioned striking contrasts, but this is a chance for the new owner to let down their hair. One of the attractions of these older Pickups is that interior restorations are pretty easy. You have to wonder how stunning this could be if the buyer restored the painted surfaces in their original Forester Green, added rubber matting on the floors, retrimmed the seats to match the paint, and fitted a more appropriate wheel. It would undoubtedly turn heads without undermining the impact made by the exterior. It is an option that some may consider, although you may disagree. It’s worth remembering that this is a custom build, so there are no right or wrong answers.

When we delve below this Chevy’s exterior, we discover the seller has followed a tried-and-true approach to its drivetrain configuration. Its original motor made way for a 350ci small-block V8, while they added a Turbo 350 transmission, a 10-bolt rear end, a Camaro front subframe, and front disc brakes. The new configuration should provide measurable performance gains, and locating spares and maintenance components should be as easy as walking into your local auto parts store. The seller indicates it has a couple of minor issues, but none would prevent the buyer from indulging in a spot of instant gratification. The V8 leaks a small amount of oil from the valve cover gaskets but addressing that would be a straightforward task for the buyer to tackle. The front tires rub on tight turns, but that isn’t unusual on a vehicle of this type. If it is a genuinely light touch, moving to a slightly smaller front tire on the existing wheels may provide a solution without detracting from the overall appearance. Otherwise, the seller indicates that it is fun to drive.

Classic Pickups continue to command attention in the current market, even those that aren’t 100% original. This 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup perfectly demonstrates this trend, having already attracted thirty bids with plenty of time remaining on the auction. The beauty of this vehicle is that while most of the heavy lifting is complete, there remains scope for the next owner to place their mark on its appearance. I have provided some insight into my approach, but your vision could be different. If you were the successful bidder, what touches would you add? With your creative juices now flowing, are you tempted to join the bidding war?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Well done truck that would get finished with new paint if it was in my garage.

    Like 6
  2. Larry D

    This is a candidate to make a replica of Ole Heavy. Some will know what this means but most won’t.

    Like 3
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Street Outlaws, JJ Da Boss.

      Like 0
      • Larry D

        Yes sir!

        Like 0
  3. Greg

    Take a cool pickup, find a bunch of parts laying in or near the shop, put them in and not get excited about much else, list it on a Ebay and multiply your return by 1,000 %. When the beware buyer gets it home, buyers remorse sets in and the seller is banking the cash. Just not the right way or safe way to do things for other people.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.