Solid and Original: 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

We’ve seen a few Chevrolet 3100 Pickup project vehicles recently here at Barn Finds, but this seems to be one of the best. It appears to be a solid example, and while it has its share of surface corrosion, it looks like it is rock solid, with no obvious rust or rot in any of the usual places. The Pickup is located in Ottertail, Minnesota, and is listed for sale here on eBay. At the time of writing, bidding is sitting at $2,551, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

This really is a solid old girl. The floors look great, the cab corners look solid, as do the running boards. The frame looks really good, and apart from an assortment of minor marks and dings, this really does look like a great base for a project vehicle. The bed will need new timber, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for a Pickup of this vintage. It’s also worth noticing a few of the changes that appeared with the 1954 model. The first was the introduction of a curved, one-piece windshield. This gives the vehicle a more modern look, while the grille treatment was a one year only item, which also gave the 3100 a far stronger and bolder appearance.

The owner doesn’t provide a lot of information about the mechanical state of the Pickup, but I think that it is fitted with a 235ci straight-six engine, and it definitely has the 3-speed manual transmission with a column shift. Hopefully, the engine turns freely, although I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the next owner performs a transplant of some description, as that is quite common. The owner does say that it ran when it was parked some years ago, so there still might be some hope of firing it up without too much work.

If you threw a blanket over the seat, the interior could probably be used as it is. The interior does appear to be complete, although there is a reasonable old rat’s nest of wiring hanging down under the dash. Having said that, the bones are there for a nice restoration, and the interior would look good restored.

I have really developed a fondness for these old Pickups, and I understand why they are in such high demand. The vast majority that hit the market today have rust issues that need addressing, from the very minor through to the very major. This one is a clean example, with virtually no rust. Everyone has their own idea about what they would do with it, and I’ll be interested to see just how varied the ideas are from our readers. You never know. Your idea might be the catalyst for someone to take this one on.


  1. Howard A Member

    Ok, conversely ( from the IH pickup of about the same vintage,,and condition) if you are looking to redo an old pickup, this is a much more plausible starting point. While not 4 wheel drive, it’s a popular resto-mod candidate, as original types like this just don’t have the appeal like they used to, and just about every one today gets fitted with some LS motor and clown wheels and I suppose that’s ok, but even resto-modders aren’t going to start with a $13,000 dollar beater.

    Like 4
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Out west there’s still an enthusiastic crowd that embraces these in stock livery. In other words I’m NOT the red-headed stepchild. The 235 engine gives good service and will pull like a trooper. My dad had a ’54 Chevy. I can barely remember it because he traded it for his ’56 Binder. But I remember it being a robin’s egg blue with white hub caps that had the large black outlined bowtie. It’s funny because I would’ve been around 3 years old when Dad got his Binder…

    Like 3
  3. AZD

    I like this one-and-a-half year design update. Lots of subtle changes for ’54. The grille certainly broke with the previous design and gave it a quick refresh before the 55.2 model came along.

    Like 2
  4. Steve

    The one piece windshield was unique to “Advanced Design” trucks made in 1954 and the first part of 1955. I have an “early 55” 5 window truck. In addition, it also had a modern open driveline/ driveshaft and was 12 volts. (I also have a “late 55” “task force” big window pickup. Both were originally dark green, as all Chevy trucks of the time were, unless you paid extra for another color.

    Like 1
  5. Chevy Guy

    This is the same truck as the one in the link.This was posted a while ago also and it was aslo in ottertail MI, the engine pic is the same, and so is the interior. Definitely the same truck. Barnfinds, please stop re-posting things

    Like 1
    • Dave

      I recognized the Ottertail name.

    • ctmphrs

      It just ruined your day having to read a listing twice didn’t it.

      Like 1
  6. AJ

    That’s a 4 cylinder not 6, look at the spark plug wires going into the block, the engine can start and an LS motor swap would be a sin.

  7. Darrell Gooch

    I saved this truck . I will be keeping it original . The 6 cyl 235 did start and runs . Just need brakes . I will paint it at some point .

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.