Tim Allen’s Truck? 1957 Chevrolet NAPCO 3100 Pickup

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Buyers today face a bewildering array of choices when they enter a dealership to buy a new vehicle. From paint colors to trim materials and luxury options, it is possible to perfectly tailor their new purchase to their needs and tastes. The thought of being unable to purchase a four-wheel-drive Pickup off the showroom floor is unthinkable, but it was once the case. There were alternatives available, and this 1957 Chevrolet NAPCO 4×4 Pickup demonstrates lateral thinking. It is claimed to have once belonged to Tim Allen, star of the wildly successful sitcom Home Improvements. Whether that adds to its value is debatable, but buyers have demonstrated a liking for these classics. The NAPCO is listed here on Craigslist in Walteria, California. The seller set their price at $45,000, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder numskal for spotting this beauty.

Chevrolet released its new Task Force commercial range in mid-1955, replacing the Advance Design that had served well since 1947. It remained on sale until 1959, undergoing evolutionary updates during its production run. The first owner ordered this Pickup in Ocean Green, and it appears to retain most of its original paint. The overall impression is positive, and preserving this classic as a survivor could be viable. However, you can’t help but think how it would “pop” if returned to its former glory. There is evidence that it has suffered the typical rust issues in the lower cab corners and fenders. This doesn’t rate a mention in the listing. However, even if repairs aren’t up to the buyer’s standard, reproduction steel patches to return these areas to a factory-fresh state are available and affordable. The bright trim and glass are in good order, and the bed timber is solid. The seller floats the notion that this Pickup once belonged to Tim Allen. They don’t mention verifying evidence, and I always question the impact such claims have on value. I feel that a vehicle must be readily identifiable with that person to command a premium. A good example is a Starlight Black Pontiac Trans Am that once belonged to Burt Reynolds. It sold recently for considerably more than the market average because a Black Trans Am will be forever associated with the man and one of his most famous movie roles. I can find no evidence of this Pickup ever featuring in Home Improvements, so I believe the impact on the value is negligible to anyone but a rabid Tim Allen fan.

This Pickup’s interior presents surprisingly well for its age and is undoubtedly serviceable in its current form. The Gray seatcover is nearly perfect, with no signs of physical wear or damage. The rubber floormat looks virtually new, and the wheel is crack-free. The painted surfaces are worn, and some bright trim pieces show bubbling, but these imperfections are part of the interior’s character. One attraction of these older Pickups is that interior restorations are surprisingly easy. Dismantling everything to refresh the paint can occur in a home workshop, and I would be tempted to follow that path. This Chevy would turn heads with the interior perfect and the exterior preserved as-is. The heater should ensure occupants remain toasty on cold days, and the dash houses a factory AM radio.

It is disappointing that the seller supplies no engine photos or information on what is hiding under the hood of this Pickup. History suggests it should be the company’s 235.5ci “Thriftmaster” six, and it is from there that things become interesting. NAPCO stands for Northwest Auto Parts Company, an organization that called Minneapolis, Minnesota, home. It performed four-wheel-drive upgrades to various military vehicles during World War II, using the experience gained to develop and sell civilian upgrades in the post-war years. Owners could purchase a kit that they could install themselves in a few hours. The situation evolved in 1956 when Chevrolet would supply and install the conversion as RPO 690. However, buyers paid dearly for the privilege, with the NAPCO option adding over 60% to the Pickup’s sticker price. The seller doesn’t state whether the system in this 3100 is a factory or DIY installation, although indications are it is the former. It features the dual-range transfer case that gives these vehicles astonishing off-road abilities. The seller states it starts easily, suggesting it is a turnkey proposition that can provide its new owner with immediate classic motoring enjoyment.

This 1957 Chevrolet NAPCO 4×4 Pickup is undeniably cool but isn’t cheap. I believe we can leave the claimed celebrity ownership history out of the equation because it will probably have little impact on the value. If you believe NADA and Hagerty, the seller’s price is in the ballpark. However, if you examine recent sales results, it seems optimistic. The price could be why it has been on the market for twenty-three days. Do you agree, or do you think the seller is being realistic? Over to you.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. numskalMember

    Walteria is a neighborhood in Torrance CA which is a bit southwest of Los Angeles. There is one picture on the Craigslist ad that shows Tim Allen ( or someone who looks like him) standing next to the vehicle, but you have to decide if that’s good enough for verification (if that matters)

    Like 4
    • Todd Zuercher

      Definitely Tim Allen in the picture. But whether that’s proof he owned it or whether his ownership adds value – I’ll leave that for others to decide.

      Like 3
  2. EuromotoMember

    Tim who?

    Like 9
    • 370zpp 370zppMember

      Woody’s younger brother . .

      Like 2
  3. Slantasaurus

    Does having been previously owned by a convicted felon add any value to a vehicle? Asking for a friend.

    Like 7
  4. numskalMember

    Home Improvement (Tom the Toolman Taylor), The Santa Clause, Toy Story (Buzz Lightyear), etc

    Like 5
    • Todd Zuercher

      Yes, not Home Improvements!

      Like 2
    • "Edsel" Al leonardMember

      Thats “Tim” the toolman Taylor……

      Like 3
  5. Keith Mountain

    This should be a 283 v8 in the engine bay. Clues are in the lack of a foot pedal for the starter and the chrome V on the doors and on the hood ornament below the bowtie.

    Like 10
    • solospeedshop solospeedshopMember

      Yes 283

      Like 4
    • Jon King

      The V-8 option in the light duty trucks in 1957 was a 265. The 283 became available in these trucks in 1958.

      Like 3
  6. Last Man Standing

    The last man standing was a 1956 Ford Green F150 not this green Chevrolet
    I would more proof this is in personal collection. I know he has muscle cars with Porsche imports too


    Like 0
  7. solospeedshop solospeedshopMember

    Yes Tim Allen owned it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X13ynXesK60 Watch the You tube 1/2 way through you will see the truck! PS it is in my drive way Yoshi forgot to cancel add and Was worth every penny it now belongs to Solo Speed Shop Thanks! Bill

    Like 1
  8. solospeedshop solospeedshopMember

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X13ynXesK60 watch video half way through Tim Allen owned it and now owned by Solo Speed Shop in SO CA PS worth every penny

    Like 0
  9. solospeedshop solospeedshopMember

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X13ynXesK60 watch video half way through Tim Allen owned it and now owned by Solo Speed Shop in SO CA PS worth every penny very nice truck!

    Like 0
  10. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Be worth it if it had been owned by one of the tool girls!

    Like 6
  11. Glenn SchwassMember

    Nice but $45k is rich. I don’t care if he owned it.

    Like 6
  12. Mountainwoodie

    I love these NAPCO trucks. Should have bought one when I was too cheap to spend five grand for one. I’ll never learn.

    Like 4
  13. dkelley57

    If Tim Allen owned it, I’m surprised he didn’t put “more power” in it using Binford’s 2100!!

    Like 4
  14. Tim W

    I have one of those chrome “V” emblems given me by a now deceased gentleman that built these trucks at the GMAD Leeds plant in KC,MO back in the day. He said he snuck it out in his lunch box……

    Like 3
  15. angliagt angliagtMember

    Back in the mid/late ’70’s the owner of a local
    alignment shop gave a ’59 (?) to sell for him.His Father-
    In-Law bought it brand new,& it was repainted a Root Beer
    color,with the underside detailed,& I was told that It had
    never been taken off-road.It sold for $2500!
    I would have bought it,but had a new Toyota pickup on
    order.Wonder where it is now?

    Like 3
  16. MGM

    Had one of these in 74. Dark blue 57, 235-3 on tree. Had an unreal ass end, topped out at 75-80. But it was a hoss, quick . I see the rarity in this one, but 45k is up there. Tim Allen or not. This one is very nice. Wish I’d kept mine. Incredible what brings in top money these days. I sold mine in 77 for $50 to a youngster friend of the family.

    Like 1

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