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Sat 24 Years Under Trees: 1952 Chevrolet 3600 Pickup

This cool old Chevy farm truck has potential – and patina – written all over it. It’s from Central Kansas, was last registered in 1999, and was rescued from a tree row where it had sat for more than 20 years. The seller says it came from an estate and had been with the same family as long as the locals could remember. This running, driving 1952 Chevrolet 3600 pickup seems to be a straight, pretty solid, unmolested truck that’s ready to be made roadworthy again. It’s located in Great Bend, Kansas and is for sale at No Reserve here on eBay. As I’m writing this, 31 bids have been placed with the current bid standing at $4,000. The seller has also included a walk around video and you get to hear the old 216 inline six fire up and see what the pickup looks like inside and out.

The seller, who received good feedback from buyers of other trucks he’s offered for sale, seems like a straight shooter. In the video, he says he drug it out, got it cleaned up, and got it to running. The condition of the pickup’s body is as described: overall straight and solid and without a lot of rust (even the cab corners), although the tailgate shows signs of the tin worm. It’s not a surprise that it’ll need a new bed floor as sitting outside that long with a bed full of leaves will do that. The old Chevy left the factory originally painted Swift Red, but at some point in time, it was repainted to its current green. Visually, it’s a great combo of faded green and surface-rust brown, with some of the original red peeking through. Add to that a white (and rust) painted front bumper and repainted white grille, and you have the perfect looking weathered patina pickup. It’s the real deal and one that only an unpampered life as a Kansas farm workhorse can give you after 71 years. In addition to the floor boards, it will also need some new glass as the back glass is cracked and the windshield looks milky around the edges. It’ll also need new tires.

The Chevy’s original spartan gray interior is now more rust-stained brown than gray in appearance and the seller shares that a rubber floor mat trapped in moisture and created some rough spots on the floorboard that will need attention. The video, however, shows that the area under the front seat is solid. It looks like the radio and door panels have been removed and that new rubber for the vent windows and pedals will be needed.

Under that patina hood rests Chevy’s only engine option for the 3/4 ton, medium weight 3600 series: the proven “Thriftmaster” Stovebolt Six 216 inline-six that’s mated to a 4-speed Synchro-Mesh floor mounted transmission . The seller shares that it turned over by hand when it was rescued and that the usual was done: flushing out the gas tank, adding fluids as needed, putting in a new battery, and cleaning the points. The fuel pump was shot, so he added an electric fuel pump and after a few cranks, it started up again after sitting outside under a row of trees for more than 20 years. Based on the seller’s description and the video, the engine starts right up, sounds good, and carries the 15 lbs of oil pressure that a 216 should carry. But the seller also states that he only got the truck running and stopping, and that it’ll need a thorough mechanical going over. Like I said, I like the potential I see in this old pickup truck. Now the debate can begin about what to do next with this old Chevy. If it were mine, I’d make it roadworthy and address only what needs to be addressed, keeping its current looks and patina just as they are. How about you?


  1. Mitchell G. Member

    Replace the tires, swap out the broken glass with new glass, get the drivetrain sorted, hit the body with some Sweet Patina, and cruise

    Like 5
  2. Mitchell G. Member

    And clean up the interior

    Like 3
  3. Ricardo Ventura

    Beautiful as is.
    Very good Mr. Ron. Always showing excellent pick-ups.

    Like 0
  4. Yblocker

    Sorry, this one’s gonna need a little more than a can of clear coat

    Like 2
  5. Richard Martin Member

    Drop in an LS.

    Like 3
  6. Dave

    KEEP THE PATINA! It can’t be replicated. No clear coat. Yes, new glass, tires, and brakes. And maybe a 235, but no LS.

    Like 5
  7. Richard

    I’m a minority these days in my distaste for patina. The first one I seen was cool, but now after so many patina cars and trucks, it’s old. Even rattle can paint would be nicer. And throw that crappy six cylinder in the trees, how anemic would this truck be with that drivetrain? You don’t need to boost it, but why wouldn’t a guy install a V8? It’s only original once? Good, it likely sucked when it was original. I’m jus sayin.

    Like 8
    • Dave

      It’s all in what you want. Street rods are cool, but that’s not what I want and not what I’d do with this old work horse. Faked patina under a shiny clear coat is awful IMHO, but this patina is real and can’t be replicated. Give the old boy a little help to get back on the road and he’ll still work for you a long time.

      Like 4
    • Jamie

      I’m with you. To me, Patina means – couldn’t afford a paint job. 🤣🤣
      Guess we’re just old school.

      Like 0
      • Dave

        That’s not what it means at all, some people like the look. And so what if somebody can’t afford a paint job? He can’t own a classic?

        Like 0
    • Don

      Not sure about a ’52 but I had an orginal 49 long time back. It had split rims and 17×700 tires.

      Like 0
  8. Mountainwoodie

    Seems like a very honest presentation of an iconic example of the Advance Design truck; I think thats what they were called. Back in the very early Seventies these were everywhere on the western range of Colorado. I had a few. Mostly 5 window, we used to call them, with the corner glass. I favored the ’47 for no particular reason. They won’t go very fast and if I remember correctl if you keep the speed down those babbitted engines will last.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      Yup! Say what what you will about those engines… babbit bearings, no oil pump… they did what they were supposed to do for a long time.

      Like 3
      • Don

        They had an oil pump. Oil to the rod bearing ( babet) was via a ” slinger” . A scoop on the bottom of the rod that as the engine rotated the scoops went through a trough filled with oil by the pump, the velocity would send the oil to the bearing through a small hole in the rod/ bearing cap.

        Like 0
  9. GOM

    I had personal experience driving one of these for one of the local farms when I was just a kid. It had a factory flatbed with rack sides, but was equipped exactly like this one otherwise — this engine with 4 speed transmission. It wasn’t a road rocket, but for its intended use it was an excellent machine. Any straight 6 truck engine has smooth low end torque and is thus idea for its intended use, on and off road (in a hayfield loaded with bales,for instance.) I hope the buyer will keep this drivetrain intact and enjoy this truck as a backroad cruiser to experience what life was like for our rural predecessors: slower speeds, windows and cowl vent open, smelling newly mown hay or corn silage. I can attest that it was a hard life back then, but it was a good life, nevertheless. Good memories, great truck!

    Like 7
  10. Matthew Dyer

    Old 3/4 ton long beds were passed over for so many years. Hopefully it finds someone who will breathe more life into it and share the history.

    Like 1
  11. Greg

    Well, I bought a 1/2 ton a few years ago, ZERO rust and worthless motor for $250.

    Like 0

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