Solid Patina: 1952 Chevrolet 3800

1952 Chevrolet 3100

This 1952 Chevrolet 3800 is aged like cheese, but not Swiss because it has no holes. Or, at least not many. The surface rust gives it texture and it still retains some of its original paint color. It is being sold out of Sweet Grass, Montana. Two bids have brought the price up to only $1,026 at the time of writing, with no reserve indicated. The truck has no VIN or miles listed, but the title is clear. You can view more on eBay.

1952 Chevrolet 3100

There is good news and bad news regarding the mechanicals of this truck. The good news is that the sellers believe this truck to be complete. The bad news, is that it has not run in a number of years. There is no way of knowing how much work it will take to get it running. They do provide good photos of the engine to get an idea. One perk is that the tires hold air and it can move about with a push. The steering is noted to work well also.

1952 Chevrolet 3100

Inside, there is a worn out bench seat, and what appears to be a hole or two in the rusted floor. They say the floors are solid, and it mostly looks that way, but one photo looks like it shows some daylight coming through. While they say the truck is rust free, there is certainly surface rust everywhere. There are some holes in other places as well, but nothing looks like it is compromising the structural integrity of the truck.

1952 Chevrolet 3100

This truck is sourced from Canada and comes with all the necessary paperwork. Many of our readers have submitted tips for trucks being sold by this seller before. That seller must do very well and be authentic to continue to be selling. This truck is a perfect example of the products they offer and their prices always are reasonable because they let bidders determine that amount. Hopefully, this truck will find a good home.


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  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    They sure don’t seem to be running out of Fords or GMs do they? Lots of these around when I was a kid. Those old babbitt pounders went for a long time but never gave up. I was surprised at how few bottom end failures there actually were on those. I had a customer with a truck very similar to this. He lent it to his hired man to take to visit some friends a hundred miles or so east of us. He phoned later that day claiming ‘A knock in the engine.’ They went out and retrieved it. We pulled the engine out and tore it down. Actually (2) rods were gone. Number 3 and 4. One piston had an impression from a valve hitting it. The crank needed a good polish and we re-babbitted the two bad rods. A set of rings and ground the valves, and it was back on the road. I’ll have to look next time I drive past their place; I think they’ve still got it…

    Like 4
  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    Man does that truck need paint and if done soon will save it from totally rusting out. How can you write an add that say no rust when a 5 year old can tell that there’s a heavy amount of rust on this truck. This truck would look great in dark red with black fenders. As for the engine I wouldn’t throw it away but I’d sure haul it out of there and replace it with a 250 cid newer engine. The babbet pounder is rebuild and keep in case I ever sold the truck. I’d also look for a newer 4 speed transmission.

    Like 2
    • Joseph

      What rust are you seeing candainmarakesh? I just thoroughly studied the photos before placing a bid and I cannot see any of this rust you’re speaking of. Have I missed something here?

    • Joe Padavano

      Clearly you don’t understand the difference between cosmetic surface rust and rot.

      Like 1
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Yes I do. I just happen to think Joe that your the one that doesn’t under stand. Rust is relentless so unless you plan on storing this old truck in a climate controlled bag your surface rust will keep advancing. You ever look at a car where rust started under the paint. And a year or to later it’s grown to a spot 5 time as big. Paint is paint weather it clear or coloured and the minute it’s breached rust gets going. And if it’s already rusty and water invades rust will eat a hole. Besides this just looks shabby and unmaintained. Whats the matter Joe afraid to get your hands dirty doing the proper metal prep. Surface rust is the prelude to rot, surface rust leaves the metal pitted, pitting traps moisture, moisture promotes oxidation ( rust ) does that clear it up for you Joe?

        Like 2
    • Matthew

      Candanmarakesh I believe you are confused as to what rust is. I have studied the photos very carefully before bidding on this truck and I see zero rust. What am I missing? Are you confused between rust and lack of paint? This truck has obviously sat outside for over half a century and not rusted, why would it suddenly rust now? It comes across that you have some kind of vendetta against this seller or you are in competition with them as it is obvious from the photographs that this truck is most certainly not rusted. I will be sure to update if I win the bid.

      Like 1
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Ithink I explained myself pretty clearly above. That brown stuff on the hood is rust the metal will be pitted. Clear while you were looking carefully at the photos you missed that. I’m not in competition with this seller nor am I trying to kill his sale, but don’t call a rusty truck rust free. If you want to be a sheep and be gullible that’s your business but to say no rust on this truck is a bold faced lie. Your a sheep Matthew bah bah bah.

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I’d like to further add that this truck came out of nice dry Saskatchewan and that is the only reason it’s taken 50 year to just get this rusty. That truck sat in crisp cold dry air for half it’s life that will not always be the case south of the border. Why do you Americans like shabby looking rust buckets so much there is nothing original about them they didn’t leave the factory looking like crap. Most of the original paint is no longer there. You implied I might be fixated on this your right rust buckets are ugly and they look nothing like factory fresh they just look like they have never been maintained and in most cases that is exactly why there parked. The owner never kept up on repairs. So that’s what your attracted to Matthew, poorly maintained crappie old rustlers. Well I guess it takes all kinds doesn’t it.

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I’ve thought about it and I’m going to guess you lovers of rust don’t really view this as a hobby it’s an investment you think somewhere down the line your going make a few bucks on minimal effort. This is what has ruined the hobby and makes it more difficult for a young person to get involved. Mike and frank should have there arses kick for popularizing. This whole trend. JMO.

  3. MorganW Morgan Winter Member

    Well, at least the rust isn’t airbrushed on…

    Like 4
  4. Barry Traylor

    Another rust bucket.

    Like 1
    • Mit

      You must be very unfamiliar with vehicles and rust to believe what you just typed!

  5. Dave

    It doesn’t need paint. Park it either in a shelter, even under a carport it will be fine, rust forms when bare metal + water + oxygen are present, eliminate one of those things and rust stops. It’s pretty easy to eliminate water. It’s a longbed so that’s a minus, but it can be shortened to fit the new chassis because the existing setup, even if restored, doesn’t cut it for me. I would completely restore the interior but not to factory, just clean and comfortable, with A/C. I would never even bother with painting the exterior and the hundreds of hours (or $20K+ hired out) it would take to kill the rust and straighten the metal. Besides, it looks cooler now than paint will ever make it.

    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Ever heard of relative humidity Dave, that’s when the water is suspended in the air and will float right under your car port roof.

      Like 3
      • Dave

        You have no clue what you’re talking about. My garage gets 0 inches of rain per year opposed to saskatchewhocares 18 inches. You have no clue how much time and effort and money it would take to “restore” this truck with paint. Have you ever heard of paint failing because some amateur painted over rust canadianmarksehpatinahaterwe’reallsickofhearingfrom? Have you ever painted a truck like that successfully so it didn’t look like a POS in 6 months? Have you ever let someone have their own opinion without being a complete ass about it?

        Like 1
  6. Del

    Not their best one but they keep coming.

    Prices are okay. Even if its just parts

  7. lbpa18

    Never understood why long beds arent as popular. Our trucks were always used so the bigger the bed the better for us. Dont understand the fad “Be seen in a truck but not use it” thing. This is the first truck I drove on a farm and I still have this model now. Its a basic but very reliable truck. My wife drives it most and it gets lots of looks but we still use it as a farm truck. I just put a new set of biased ply tires on it a couple days ago after twenty-three years with the last ones. These are easy to work on, parts are available, and they’re reliable. Combined with the beautiful art deco lines of the Advanced Design trucks, I dont see how you can go wrong. As far as skin cancer, the corrosion on this truck can be enjoyed as patina if that’s your thing and it can be stopped with sprays that will isolate the ferrous metal from oxygen like CRC rust inhibitor or similar. As far as removing rust and hoping it doesnt return, good luck. If I didnt already have one of these, I’d certainly look hard at this one. They’re fairly rare as they were used hard. Straight ones are even more rare.

  8. petemcgee

    This seller has 120 feedback, I think I’ve seen all 120 right here on Barn Finds. Patina 1940s and 1950s trucks do seem to have a universal appeal.

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