The vehicle featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Series Half-Ton Pickup Truck. As you can see with these photos, the truck is a real head turner and a true classic.
Chevy Advanced Design
The truck's design really dates back a few years to 1947 when Chevy came out with a new model of pickup truck which they termed the 'Advanced Design' .You can call it an entirely new truck body design. A comparison between the 1946 Chevy truck and the Advanced design 1947 model show two entirely different looking trucks.
This change ushered in many significant changes and upgrades. For instance, standard equipment included a heater and a defroster. This was an obvious significant upgrade.
The cab was enlarged by eight inches and was seven inches taller. This allowed for seating for three. The windshield was made larger and was cut into two pieces. Visibility was improved. Changes were made to the front of the truck body. The grille now had a horizontal design and recessed headlamps. The fenders became rounder which made for a smoother looking body and overall better aerodynamics.
General Motors designated the Advance-Design series name to 1947 through 1955 trucks. It's interesting to note that Chevrolet was the number one truck manufacturer during all of the Advanced Design years. This was quite a feat considering that Ford came out with their new F-Series trucks after 1948.
Some of the characteristics of Chevy's Advanced Design pickup trucks included...
1) The letters on the tailgate were not painted but rather they were the same color as the tailgate.
2) The bed planks/boards were southern yellow-pine, painted black, and were not varnished. It was said that the boards were “stained” with coal tar oil and then finished with linseed oil.
3) Most 1/2 ton pickups prior to 1955 used 16" wheels (15” wheels were an option on ½ ton trucks during the 1954 and 1955 model years..
4) In-dash radios were an option beginning with the 1947 truck model..
5) A single tail/stoplight was standard and a right taillight was available as a dealer- or customer-installed accessory.
6) The Chevy 3100 Pickup was available as a half-ton, three-quarter ton and full ton capacity. All three were available on both short and long wheelbases.
Characteristics of the 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup
The 1950 3100 had a 6 cylinder Thriftmaster engine. The engine delivered 92 HP. The carburetor had an improved fast-idle/choke mechanism that helped cold weather starts.All of this continued until 1955 when Chevrolet put in their new V-8's.
Transmission was a three speed manual on the column and the brakes were four wheel drum.
The deluxe cab had optional Nu-Vue windows which had chrome trim. The cargo area had a wooden floor. There was an optional chrome grille and bumpers.
Vent windows in the truck's doors were introduced. During the mid year, the wood cargo bed went from nine boards to eight boards.
The engines in pickups continued to be 216 cubic inch low oil pressure types. This lasted to 1953. This was the last year of the 80 MPH speedometer for the 1950 Chevy 3100. It was also the last year for chrome window handle knobs and chrome wiper knob.
The 1950 Chevy 3100 had telescoping shock absorbers rather than the lever action type.
All in all, the Chevrolet 3100 Pickups were highly customizable vehicles. Engines could be upgraded and various trim schemes were available.
The 1950 price for the Chevy 3100 Pickup was about $1,250. The truck weighed 2,575 lbs.
See additional Auto Museum Online cars and articles on the links below...
An excellent reference source for Chevrolet Trucks is the book...Chevrolet Pickups by author Mike Mueller. The book tells the story about how Chevy Trucks evolved over the years.
The 1950 Chevy 3100 Pickup is a Popular Collector Vehicle
The 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup Truck is a very popular collector vehicle. In fact, the 1950 Chevy 3100 Pickup is probably the most popular from the Advanced Design era. The Chevy 3100 truck today is great for stock restorations and hot rod conversions.
One factor to consider regarding the original engines is that before 1953 the 216 cubic inch engines put out relatively little horsepower. Using these models with original engines would not fit modern truck demands.
As of this writing, asking prices for Chevy 3100 Half-Ton Pickups have a wide range. Good running models, not fully restored but with some replacement parts, can be found in the mid teens and less. On the other end of the spectrum we have seen a show quality fully restored Chevy 3100 Half-Ton priced at just under $40,000.
(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)