Patina Pickup: 1939 Chevrolet Pickup

It doesn’t seem like that many years ago when I would’ve looked at this 1939 Chevrolet Pickup and wanted to apply a fresh coat of paint to its corroded panels. Those were the days when I missed the point with these vehicles, but I have now seen the error of my ways. This classic is a custom build that features bags of character. With an upgraded drivetrain and a solid body, it is ready to be enjoyed by a lucky new owner. If you can picture yourself behind the wheel, you will find the Pickup located in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, and listed for sale here on eBay. Intense bidding has pushed the price to $20,000, and there’s time left on the listing if you want to stake your claim on this cool custom.

Examining the supplied photos carefully, you can spot the occasional hint that the Pickup originally wore Swift Red paint. Those days are long behind it, with the exterior now wearing a consistent coating of surface corrosion. The seller doesn’t indicate whether this has been treated to prevent further deterioration, so this might be something for potential buyers to consider if they want to retain the existing appearance. The listing indicates that there is little rust for buyers to consider, with any significant floor problems now consigned to the pages of history. The panels have accumulated a few of the dings and dents that you might expect in an older Pickup, but these do nothing but add to its character. The glass is all in good condition, with those pieces in the doors being new. The owner has slammed the vehicle, and when combined with the new 15″ steel wheels, it adds a sense of purpose to this classic. The bed has new timbers that provide a nice contrast to the rest of the exterior, and while the trim shows its age, it is all present and in keeping with the Pickup’s overall character.

The engine bay of this classic would originally have housed a 216.5ci six that produced 85hp. Those ponies would have found their way to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. However, the owner has modernized everything significantly, making the Pickup a viable proposition as a daily driver. Under the hood, we find a 305ci V8 that is hooked to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission. The motor features aftermarket headers, and an aluminum radiator with an electric fan should help to keep things cool. It isn’t clear whether the engine has received any internal upgrades, but you can be sure that the driver will have a lot more than 85hp at their disposal. The owner has approached this build as a complete package so that it possesses handling and braking abilities to cope with all of those additional horses. The front frame rails have been boxed, and the Pickup features independent front suspension with tubular control arms and enormous 13″ cross-drilled disc brakes. The rear has also been boxed and is equipped with a four-link setup and adjustable springs and shock. There is also a new master cylinder, fuel lines, brake lines, and frame-mounted fuel tank. The electrical system hasn’t escaped his attention. As well as a fresh wiring harness, all lights and lamp sockets have been replaced. Overall, that should leave the buyer with nothing to do but hit the road for a spot of classic motoring pleasure.

The owner seamlessly combined the old with the new when he created this classic’s interior. Once again, the painted surfaces wear a coating of surface corrosion that indicates the vehicle’s age. He installed new sound deadening on the floors and the inside of the roof before fitting fresh carpet and a new headliner. The perfect finishing touch is the fresh leather seat upholstery that has a wonderful aged appearance. The new wiring harness means that all of the gauges and lights work as they should, while the 23″ American Shifter should make selecting the correct gear in the Turbo 350 transmission a breeze. It looks wonderful, but there are a few tasks for the buyer to consider. The truck doesn’t feature functioning windshield wipers, so that will need to be addressed. Less urgent (potentially) is the lack of a heater. Depending on where the buyer is located, this may not be a consideration. However, I suspect that the new owner will probably address this as a matter of course.

I’m not ashamed to admit that there was a time when classic pickups held little appeal to me. I viewed them as nothing but workhorses or beasts of burden. I also believed that any project builds of this type required a stunning and shining paint job to be considered complete. However, my view has been changed as I’ve delved deeper into these types of builds, and I have reached the point where I find them quite attractive. The owner of this Chevy could easily have slotted in a new engine and transmission and then called it a day. Instead, he has created a vehicle that should be easy and comfortable to drive and would be capable of handling and braking abilities that were unimaginable to its original creator. I can’t see one reason why it couldn’t serve as a daily driver, and it seems that I might not be alone in that view. There have already been an incredible sixty bids submitted at the time of writing, which graphically demonstrates that people like what they see. Are you tempted to join this bidding war, or are you going to sit back as an interested observer?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Sorry, guys, but a truck build this good deserves new paint and chrome. If it’s part junk, leave it part junk. If it’s as nice as nice as this truck, make it look nice.

    Like 17
  2. KC John

    It does look nice right now. Wonderful build. Not a ratrod but a real hot rod. No year in paint jail and then a lifetime of worrying about rock chips. Instead this baby is out killing bugs and making road trip memories. I absolutely love this truck. Don’t get me wrong, I dig shiney stuff too.

    Like 21
  3. CarNut

    “Bad ass truck”..
    Back in the 80’s.. a real gear head would put in a big engine in a old car or truck and was respected.. now 80% of Americans are on Medications (alter brain activity).. and you find the key board warriors who are quick on giving negative opinions.. A car is like a Mans wife you never criticize it.. just not good manners and that was one thing I loved about the car culture back in the days.. today I can’t even go to a car show because of all the negative comments I hear.. Like I tell folks.. “I find the real builders admire another mans work.. the guys who sit in the shadows just talk”..

    Like 22
  4. ChevelleSS

    Oh boy, my HOA would poo-poo all over this thing parked in my driveway. Dopes.

    Like 4
  5. sir_mike

    Very good starting point for a nicely painted truck.

    Like 1
  6. Haynes

    A paint job?!? OMG…a bigger motor you car-show wimps…sorry but a paint job…a paint job?!? So sad for you…So sad

    Like 3
  7. Haynes

    A paint job….that’s hilarious… if you got 10k for paint and body you put it in the drive train…a paint job is to-look-at..or worse because you want other people to look at you…sad and pitiful..depressing

    Like 2
  8. charlie Member

    I have been looking at old pickup trucks that can do 70 mph comfortably since where I live they put the interstate type highway over the old two lane highway in many places, leaving no option to leave town other than a highway where the going speed is 75mph. This would be fine, but it is so low that it would not be a good work truck, I need to haul manure, dirt, and other stuff and drive “off road” which means stupidly now, on dirt roads. And, I would paint it, and use it.

    Like 1
  9. Bob C.

    A red 305? I thought they were all blue by their debut year.

  10. Frank

    Nice Coyote engine with a 5 speed Tremec do the interior and drive it.

    • JimmyinTEXAS

      This is a GM! Leave the wild dog engine in the crate and slap an LS or LT in front of that Tremec and cruise… lol

      Like 3
  11. Kurt

    Leave it looking the way it is now but get a travel trailer of the same vintage and go on vacation.

    Like 3
  12. Francisco Andrade

    I can picture it with the running boards painted flat black, chromed bumpers & thin whitewall tires. Leave everything else as is😎

    Like 2
  13. RKS

    The only things I would do (besides fixing the wipers and putting in a good stereo) is swap in a built 350 and fix those sagging door handles. Then I’d like to build a teardrop trailer and hit some runs.

    Like 1
  14. Jay B

    I think the dash is a 1940 Chevy, the 1939 dash was one year only three gauge round cluster like the 1939 GMC dash…

    Love the truck

    Like 2
  15. Dick Romm

    I think the truck IS a 1940 model. the ’39’s didn’t have those free standing parking lights like this one does. I think that was the only exterior modification between the 39’s and 40’s.

    Like 1
  16. bone

    ” Little rust for a buyer to consider ” ? The whole things covered in rust ! It looks awful IMO ; even a cheapo backyard spray job would have this looking like a truck again instead of looking like a tree should be growing out of the bed

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