Rust-Free Survivor: Chevrolet 3100 Thriftmaster Pickup

The owner of this Chevrolet 3100 Pickup purchased the vehicle with the intention of undertaking a custom build, but he simply didn’t have the heart to destroy this classic. Instead, he chose to return it to a roadworthy state, and enjoy it as it is. He has now decided to part with it, so it is going to be the next owner’s choice as to whether they continue that trend, or whether they see an entirely different future for this old beauty. The Pickup is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Chevy has pushed the price along to $6,300, and with the reserve now met, a new home seems to be just around the corner for this classic.

The owner has advertised the Chevy as being a 1947 model, but I suspect that it is incorrect. The 1947 model had the fuel filler in the side of the bed, but this one has it appearing from behind the door on the passenger side. That was a change that was made for the 1949 model year, and if the badges on the sides of the hood are original, then that should make it an early 1949 model. Otherwise, this is a lovely solid Pickup. There are no signs of any obvious rust issues, with the lower cab corners, in particular, looking quite solid. There is a good amount of surface corrosion present, but none of this looks too severe. There is evidence to suggest that the 3100 was painted Green at some point, but further evidence suggests that it rolled off the production line finished in Swift Red. The panels are remarkably straight for a vehicle of this type and age, while the trim, chrome, and the bumpers are all either in very good condition or are clean and straight enough to justify restoring. The bed looks really nice, complete with fresh timber and stainless steel hardware.

Lifting the hood of the Pickup reveals a 216ci 6-cylinder engine and a 3-speed manual transmission. This is where the Chevy really shines because when the owner purchased the vehicle, his plan was to undertake a custom build. Instead, he elected to return the vehicle to a roadworthy state and just enjoy it as an original classic. That isn’t to say that it hasn’t received a few upgrades. That aluminum radiator should ensure that the engine doesn’t run hot. The original brake master cylinder was given the flick, and a modern dual master cylinder was installed in its place. While the brakes were getting some attention, he also chose to slot in a full set of new wheel cylinders. The Pickup also features a completely new, original style, exhaust. He says that the vehicle now runs and drives really well. With a view to his original intentions, the owner amassed around $5,000 worth of more modern parts for the planned upgrade, and these are to be included in the sale. These parts include a Holt 4-link rear suspension, a Mustang II front end, and an extra rear axle. The new owner can choose whether to pursue a custom build using these parts, or whether to sell them to put some cash back into their pocket.

The interior appears to be quite serviceable, but beyond being able to see that the seat cover is relatively new and free of tears, there really isn’t a lot to tell. I do think that the paint on the dash might be showing the ravages of age, but when I look around the limited photos, there doesn’t appear to be anything cosmetically that needs to go on an urgent “must do” list. There are a couple of little electrical tasks that will need to be undertaken because the brake lights and turn signals need to be wired up.

This is a great old vehicle, and I have no doubt that it will sell pretty quickly. The big question is going to be what path the next owner chooses to follow with it into the future. What would you do?

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  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    IMO, this is too clean and original to spoil by making it into just another restorod or rat rod. Get it Street ready, paint it and enjoy it as is; if you always need to go somewhere in a hurry with the “oh look at me!” factor buy the Lamborghini.

    Like 11
  2. Howard A Member

    Funny, we see more AD GM’s come through here, than I ever remember seeing on the road. I think enough has been done to keep it as is. I think it’s a ’49 too, but doesn’t matter. Also included looks like a pretty hefty oil filter, probably more than those motors were ever used to. Corner windows are a big plus. Now, aside from gearing, PAINT THE DANG THING!!!

    Like 14
    • Mountainwoodie

      HoA- Back around 1972-1973 on the western range side of the Rockies around Alma, Breckenridge and Frisco, there were a “ton”, metaphorically speaking, of what we used to call 5 windows, I had a couple serially and every tepee and cabin in every gulch seemed to have one coming or going.

      Of course at the time I might have thought they were coming when they were actually going. Can’t remember :)

      This is a beaut though I prefer paying a couple of hundred bucks for them!

      Like 1
  3. Gaspumpchas

    I’m with you guys, get out the DA sander and go at it, single stage paint job and letter rip. Seems like a later 235 cube mill, no? Love it. Good luck to the new owner!
    Stay safe and wash your hands

    Like 8
  4. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Nice radiator. I agree paint it. Wire the lights and enjoy this truck. Nice wood in the bed, I expected to be looking at the ground through the bed. Has a tailgate too. I don’t really see a down side here. For the person looking for a classic pickup: here you go.
    God bless America

    Like 4
  5. Evan

    Comes with a free side of chicken.

    Like 8
  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    Not a 216 in that engine bay. It’s quite likely a ’54-up 235. Be running full oil pressure for those who are intimidated by the anemic pressure the babbitt-pounders ran. I have to say that I saw a lot more major engine failures in the later engines than I did with the older ones. The old splashers would sometimes pound the Babbitt out and develop a major knock but the only engines I saw completely air-conditioned were the 235/261s. I saw some of those with a hole on each side of the block and pieces of the camshaft and conrods lying on the road.

    For this truck, it would need the basics. Get rid of the rust and give it a good durable respray in a color other than green. Too many of them in that vintage came in two or more shades of green; there are other colors in the spectrum. Then saddle it up and get driving…

    Like 4
  7. RTS

    Looks like the seller spent a lot of time creating the old worn “patina”. Interesting that there is newer primer in most of the areas common for rust. Looks like body filler on the driver’s side of engine bay. Why? Not an expert, but I’ll bet there are a ton of hidden and covered up issues with this one. Like rust!

    Like 2
  8. Bing

    OK, for that price, I want the chickens too.

    Like 2
  9. Comet

    Nice truck. The oil filter comments brought back an old memory. I remember hearing that very early oil filters purchased thru outfit’s like JC Whitney, often used a roll of toilet paper as a filter medium. Does anyone else remember these or am I loosing my marbles?

    Like 3
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      You are not losing your marbles. I also remember those toilet paper filters.
      God bless America

      Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I saw lots of filter units that used one or more rolls of bum fodder. Could be a rather pricey proposition today though…

      Like 2
  10. Gator Member

    As a kid, we had an old 43 WWII Army surplus ton and a half Dodge flatbed. No idea which engine it had, but I do recall being amazed when Dad changed the oil filter and used a roll of TP. Some things just leave an indelible impression on an 8 year olds mind.

  11. Joe Haska

    Remember them, because they did’t work. Toilet paper not the greatest for long term filtration. As for the truck, it is a blank slate for the new owner to build his or her dream truck. Also, it is not a 47, a 48 or later very subtle differences between model years after 48.

    Like 1
  12. sethjohns

    I do remember toilet paper oil filters. I imagine they could do a good job briefly, but wonder if they clogged engines like a toilet, with pulp debris.

  13. Gaspumpchas

    Yea Sethjon I remember them too. Filko?? I often wondered if the tp was too dense for the oil to go thru.

  14. Chevy Guy

    RESTORE TO ORIGINAL CONDITION!!!!! Stock as a rock!! I want this to be in Oregon so bad!!!! Then i could think about actually looking into it.

    God Bless America!!

  15. Tim W

    Ok, quick question- I thought the 5 windows always had a chrome(or stainless) grill and window moldings……Any thoughts?

  16. Dex

    Not sure what they all had, but I had a ’51 that was a 5 window, 1/2 ton, long step with no chrome.

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