In case you haven't noticed, vintage pickup trucks are red hot right now. Trucks that were selling for under $10,000 for years and years have suddenly doubled or even tripled in value as collectors discover that they're not only beautiful, but fun and practical hobby vehicles. This 1949 Chevrolet 3100 half-ton has been beautifully restored, fully sorted, and is ready to drive, show, and enjoy this summer.
In the late 1940s, pickups were still tools, and as a result they have an honest, solid feel about them and are easy to operate. Chevy introduced the Advance Design trucks in 1948, and they were a home run from the beginning and remained popular until they were replaced in 1954. The 3100 Series was available as a Pickup, Panel Truck, Canopy Express Truck, and Suburban. They were also supplied as an individual chassis, which allowed custom commercial body builders to create a combination that was exactly what the customer required. Of course, factory paint choices were somewhat limited, which is why most of the late-40s Chevy pickups you see wear a coat of Forester Green similar to this 3100s. Workmanship on this truck is excellent, and it's highly unlikely that any farmer, carpenter, or auto parts store owner would have worked his truck as hard as they did if they all looked this good. With a great deal of time, effort, and money spent on the restoration, this truck fits together extremely well. The paint is two-stage urethane and looks fantastic, especially with the contrasting black fenders, which really work with the trucks utilitarian lines. The design is handsome and remains one of the most popular with collectors for its simple good looks that never go out of style.
The deluxe models like this one received several upgrades, including a chrome grille and front bumper. Speaking of chrome, the finish on all the bright pieces of this truck is excellent, including the 3100 badges on the sides and the big Chevrolet badge on the nose. A single tail light was standard equipment, but for safety, this truck carries two correct tail lights. Other upgrades include the sun visor on the cab, a chrome rear bumper, and a side mirror. Sharp-eyed readers will note that the glass has been replaced and carries a slight tint, which isn't original, but that you'll appreciate when you take this truck for a drive to the local greenhouse or home center. The bed has been beautifully refinished with dark oak that's so nice, you'll probably have to think twice before hauling anything with it.
The engine is Chevy's erstwhile 216 cubic inch Stovebolt inline-six, which powered cars and trucks for decades, and a version of which ended up in the first Corvettes. They're rugged, reliable, easy to service, and parts are still readily available even over the counter at your local auto parts store. This one will most likely not need any major work in the near future, thanks to a thorough rebuild at the time of restoration, and a recent tune-up by the pros here at RK Motors Charlotte. Nicely detailed, the sturdy engine looks great in the big engine bay, which was designed to make service under adverse conditions easier. The original oil bath air cleaner is intact, feeding a single throat downdraft carburetor that also helps the 216 eke out fairly decent gas mileage. In 1949, things like oil filters and fuel filters were still optional, and this truck carries both, which is a smart idea on a truck that will be driven. The engine bay has been restored to factory standards, with new wiring, reproduction hoses with correct clamps, and proper finishes used throughout. I'm especially impressed that the engine is a soft satin finish, which is far more correct than the high-gloss paints you so often see on restored vehicles, and in a truck it's completely appropriate. This truck has also been upgraded to 12 volts, though you wouldn't notice, because it still runs an original-style generator instead of a modern alternator. Nice!
Speed is not one of this trucks virtues, but it will haul big loads and do it dependably thanks to a three-speed manual transmission and 4.11 gears out back. Designed to work, not cruise the superhighways, it's still a comfortable driver at 45-50 MPH and thanks to the Advance Designs updated suspension and a set of modern tubular shock absorbers, it rides well enough for a vintage truck. Brakes are hydraulic drums at all four corners, and they don't need power assist to stop the lightweight truck confidently. A single exhaust system is correct in appearance and tone, with that characteristic inline-six grumble. A full-sized spare hangs under the bed, which has been nicely finished underneath as well. It rides on original style 16-inch steel wheels with simple polished hubcaps and modern light truck 245/75/16 radials.
Just because the trucks interior is basic doesn't mean it isn't handsome. While the days of trucks being outfitted as lavishly as luxury cars were still several decades away when this truck was built, the Advance Design knew that style mattered. The dash is clean and uncluttered, with an optional center-mounted AM radio that had a single speaker in the middle of the dash. A complete array of gauges keep an eye on the engine, and they've been beautifully restored with the rest of the truck just 67 miles ago according to the rebuilt odometer. The brown vinyl bench is firm, and offers a commanding view of the road. There's no power steering, but driving the truck is easy thanks to a large diameter wheel that's topped with a chrome horn button for a little flash. There's also an optional heater (yes, even the heater was optional), as well as a set of seat belts that were added during the restoration. All the plastic knobs have been restored, the chrome is very nice, and the paint on the dash and inner doors is as nice as the rest of the body.
Documentation includes a lot of promotional materials from Chevrolet about the 1949 truck line, a reproduction of the original maintenance folder, an owner's manual, and a vintage 1947 California license plate. To help with maintenance and restoration, there's also an accessories installation manual, a factory assembly manual, wiring diagrams, a shop manual, and a pair of reference books on Chevrolet pickup trucks.
Quite honestly, 1949 Chevrolet pickup trucks were never this nice, and this one is over-restored in every way. As someone who appreciates trucks as tools, I figure this one will never again haul a load of firewood or fill dirt. On the other hand, it will be a hit at shows and they're a lot of fun to drive. There's massive aftermarket and hobby support for these trucks, and information is readily available no matter what you care to know. And really, what could be more fun than driving down to the local Home Depot to pick up a few flats of flowers this spring in your new 1949 Chevrolet? This is a wonderful machine that is only just now starting to earn the hobby's respect as a legitimate collectible. Just as with any other collector vehicle, it always pays to buy the best you can find mark my words, in three years, this one will seem like a bargain. Call now!
You May Also Be Interested In
3100 Pickup Truck$89,900
3100 Pickup Truck$79,900
3100 Pickup Truck$49,900
3100 Pickup Truck$94,900
What Customers Are Saying
First I would like to say that the staff at RK Motors were very professional and courteous. I was very impressed with the write-up and the details that were presented on this car. The photo shoot was amazing and the video was outstanding. Tony Klein, the consignment manager was amazing to work with. Tony always answered all of my questions within a timely manner. I was impressed with the time frame in which my vehicle was sold. I would and have recommended RK Motors to all of my car enthusiasts. Thank You RK Motors for a great job!