The restored and modified 1956 Chevy 3100 Pickup featured in this article is a very fine looking vehicle. The Chevy Pickup Trucks went through major design changes starting in 1955 the same as with the passenger non-truck models of that year. As most people are well aware, the 1955 through 1957 Chevrolets were quite popular then and are very popular now as collector cars.
Chevrolet called the new style for 1955 as the "Task Force Design". This name replaced the previous designation of "Advance Design" which ran from 1947 until 1955. During this time Chevrolet trucks were outselling Ford until Ford came out with their V-8 truck engine in 1954. Chevy came out with their truck V-8 engine in 1955 along with their new Task Force design. The Task Force Chevys lasted from 1955 to 1959 at which time new body styling and other improvements were designated as the "C" models beginning with the 1960 model year.
The most sought after truck in this new line was the half-ton 3100 Series. The 1956 Chevy 3100 Pickup was very much the same truck as the 1955 model. The new design for the 1955 model carried over to 1956 included sculpted door and fender panels and a lower flatter hood. All Task Force series Chevy trucks were built with rugged chassis and drive trains.
Trucks Become Stylish
For many years not a whole lot of interest was put in truck design in regards to being stylish. The selling point for trucks was, and really still is, their utility. Heavier truck makers, especially Diamond T, did indeed make good looking trucks beginning in the 1930's, but with the major automakers, real close attention to styling came in the middle of the 1950's.
Chevy's 3100 Series beginning in 1955 changed all that. When the Chevy 3100 trucks came out they actually to some seemed like a cross between truck and passenger car. Everything with the Chevrolet 3100 was designed new from the front to back including a new wrap around windshield. This was the industry's first such windshield. Ads for Chevrolet that year referred to it as a "Sweep-Sight Windshield". Stand back and look at the 1956 Chevy 3100 and you'll see a hint of racing styling. The 1957 models of the 3100 Series offered a few more colors along with some trim changes.
1956 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup Truck Specifications
The 1956 Chevy 3100 Pickup came out with a base 235.5 cid straight six cylinder engine delivering 123 horsepower. Buyers had the option for a 265 cid V-8 that could deliver 154 horsepower. In 1956 the Chevrolet engineers added some things to the 265 V-8. This included an optional four barrel carburetor which increased horsepower to 205.
The transmission was a manual three speed with buyers having the option of a hydramatic automatic unit.
Two wheelbases were offered to buyers. The standard which was 114.0 inches and the extended which was 123.0 inches.
The front axle on two wheel drive trucks is an I-beam type mounted on leaf springs.
Cargo beds for the Chevrolet 3100 Series were offered as six, seven or eight foot lengths.
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The Chevy 3100 Series Pickups are Popular Collector Cars.
The 1956 Chevrolet Pickups along with all of the Task Force design models are popular with collectors and there have been some terrific restoration jobs done on them. Collectors of light trucks and hot rods love the 3100 Series Chevy Trucks because of the body style. Parts for restoration are readily available for the Chevy Task Force trucks so they make restoration projects popular.
As of this writing car auction prices for Task Force Series Chevy pickup trucks have been strong. Selling prices being offered depending on level of restoration have ranged from the high teens to the $40,000 plus range. Some lesser restored models will be below that range. One finely restored model sold at auction for $110,000.
(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)