Preserve or Restore? 1955 Chevrolet 3600 Pickup

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Some classics come with so much character that the thought of performing a restoration seems somehow wrong. That could be the case with this 1955 Chevrolet 3600 Pickup. Its panels wear the usual assortment of bumps and bruises, but the lack of significant rust means it has no immediate needs. It could allow the successful bidder to enjoy the vehicle untouched while contemplating the path to pursue. This Pickup is listed here on eBay in Bemidji, Minnesota. Bidding has raced beyond the reserve to $6,500, and if it doesn’t climb much higher, it could be an affordable project candidate.

Chevrolet introduced its new Task Force truck range in mid-1955, replacing the Advance Design series that had served faithfully since 1947. The new models brought a more modern design, with a wrap-around windshield and eliminating the running boards being two notable and welcome changes. This one rolled out of the factory during the first production year, spending most of its life in Montana. It is unclear when it found its way to its current location, but the listing suggests it may have been a relatively recent event. I would describe its overall condition as honest, with the panels wearing the usual bumps and bruises expected from any commercial vehicle that has worked for a living. The damage is repairable, and although the photos aren’t definitive, they seem to indicate that the only rust is in the lower front fenders. The lower cab corners look clean, with the underside shots confirming the frame wears nothing but the expected surface corrosion. A previous owner fitted a replacement tailgate and lights, but the rest of the Pickup is original. The bed timber requires replacement, which would be a satisfying task for the new owner to tackle. I don’t believe that the Red gracing its panels is original, with some evidence suggesting it rolled off the line cloaked in Sand Beige. The color change potentially undermines claims that it is a survivor, but such changes were commonplace. The trim is present, and there are no apparent glass issues.

Whipping this Pickup’s interior into shape may not cost much money, but it is a task the new owner would find enormously satisfying to perform in a home workshop. The seat wears a new cover, while the switches and gauges are excellent. The wheel has a couple of repairable cracks, but the horn button is intact. This is a minor victory because these components often disappear. The painted surfaces show their age, and it’s the same story with the rubber mat. I believe refreshing the paint and wheel and adding a new rubber mat would transform the interior into an eye-catching aspect of this classic.

The seller supplies a single engine photo, and the quality is pretty ordinary. However, we know this Pickup features the 235ci “Thriftmaster” six that sends 123hp and 207 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a four-speed manual transmission. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for excitement, but the low-end muscle provided by the six makes it an accomplished load carrier. The seller indicates the Pickup runs and drives well, although they’ve detected a noise suggesting it may require front-end work. The tires are old, and the speedometer jumps when the Chevy is on the move. However, with those few minor issues addressed, this beauty should provide the new owner with years of faithful service.

There are several options the new owner could contemplate with this 1955 Chevrolet 3600 Pickup. Preservation would seem viable, as would a faithful restoration. Alternatively, it could form the sound foundations of a custom or ratrod build. Most parts for a custom build are available off the shelf, making such a project relatively straightforward. Regardless of their choice, the new owner will slip behind the wheel of a classic guaranteed to command attention. Which path would you choose, and are you willing to make that dream a reality?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Dave

    The bumpers, and the rear fenders at least, are pretty straight. If I were to buy it, it would appear much the same as it does now, though much lower. Chassis, drivetrain, interior would all be upgraded significantly.

    Like 4
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      Support that but would look for a truck needing more than this one does. Either way I’d ditch the split rims.

      Like 0
  2. Michelle RandStaff

    Great truck as is. I am in the “preserve” camp.

    Like 16
  3. Maggy

    This truck has a little too much patina for me at least.I’d paint it , fix the bed , do a few small things like the author suggested in the interior and all the usual stuff to get it safe and road worthy.Wonder if those spiral shocks are original? Cool truck.I wouldn’t go much higher then 6500 though.Never liked split rooms gotta have a cage to inflate them during replacement ,I ve seen holes in ceilings in truck shops where they didn’t have the cage in the old days but have em now.Dangerous.

    Like 5
  4. Craig

    PRESERVE IT AS IT IUS… That’s the true beauty of it!!! Having had 44 vehicles, I have yet to own a pick-up truck, and would love something like this to be my very first one! “Keep the clean side up!” BEEP BEEP

    Like 3
  5. RexFoxMember

    Make it safe, clean up the interior, fix any rust and then use it for household hauling and local errands. If the engine is tired, I’d consider dropping a 283 in it.

    Like 5
  6. RMac

    Cool old truck I am not a patina fan so paint it beige and spruce up the interior and new non slit rims and tires the just make sure the suspension and drivetrain are in good shape and drive it. Maybe upgrade the vacuum windshield wipers to electric
    My neighbor growing up had one as his gas station service truck 3600 is a 1 ton heavy duty chassis I believe

    Like 2
  7. Kenneth Carney

    Dad and I rebu8lt one back in ’69. Ours was a well used shop truck Dad bought from a friend who owned a truck stop. It was
    tired, battered, and bruised, but it ran well and had solid bones
    Over that summer, Dad and I did the body and mechanical work
    while Mom and my sister stitched up a blue naugahyde interior
    complete with door trim. We went to a carpet shop and found a
    piece big enough to cover the whole cab floor and the door cards
    When it was all said and done, the truck was finished that fall and sold to a family friend. Every time I see one of these trucks
    i relive that wonderful summer so long ago. Thanks for the memories..

    Like 6
  8. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    I’m thinking the only thing that’ll keep this from being sold in 3 days for $7500-8500 is that it’s in Bemidji, Minnesota..and you gotta wanna go there to get there!

    Like 0
  9. Matthew Dyer

    Hmm… No pictures of the passenger side.
    My favorite front clip and the wrap back window also.
    Driving it is a chore, back when we did more with less.
    Note: She’s older than me.

    Like 1
  10. geomechs geomechsMember

    At this stage it’s full body-off and give it a driver-quality restoration. You don’t have to get stupid with the paint; just get it mixed at the local hardware store and spray it on with the ol’ deVilbiss. This is an ideal job for a first-timer because there’s nothing here that will require reinventing of the wheel. Keep the basic 235, 4-speed and spartan equipment. I’d maybe pick a color other than the original “Calf Sour Yellow.” GM had some spectacular colors on its palette: Seasick Blue, Airsick Green, Toddler Blowout Brown, Specimen Yellow, just to mention a few. I think I would slant toward the darker colors like maroon, or navy blue. The white grill would really set that off. But I’d have to get it home first. Lots of enjoyable hours ahead with this truck…

    Like 4
  11. HoA Howard AMember

    One of my many “impulse buys” as a younger man, I bought a “double nickel” Chevy stepside like this, only lifted, drop front axle, 327/4 barrel, fender well exit headers, ladder bars, 4 speed, t’was more hot rod than pickup. It was exactly that, a hot rod, but was poorly done, and didn’t take me long to realize they ruined a nice truck.
    This is another great find, in that, there simply can’t be many more like this out there. However, that’s right, here it comes, being the “Anti-Geomechs”, of sorts,,this has snowballs chance in Hades of remaining original. Heck, I bet most don’t even know what that little pedal is next to the foot feed. I think ’58 was the last year for the “Stomp Start” and required a special tip toe dance, especially on a hill.
    I realize I say things people don’t want to hear, but too bad. I know we, or I at least, try to hold on to the past, and sure, a redone ’55 Chevy pickup would be the ultimate for us older folks, but I just don’t see it today, and I live in a “cost no object” area. It’s an unusual sight to see anything original today. Unless you’ve been under a bridge for the last 20 years, you know what will happen to this, and I always say, it’s okay. At least it will be better than this heap and maybe sport a nice paint job.

    Like 1
  12. Christopher Gush

    “They’re only original once”. I believe stated by Hagerty. Kudos to the owners having kept it pretty much original and on the road. Its appearance with all its historical “markers” tells its own story. Some basic basic maintenance over the years on a relatively technologically simple truck will be easy for future owners.

    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.

Barn Finds