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#676811 - Wed Sep 08 2010 09:14 PM Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy?
nrdesieyes Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Wed Sep 08 2010 02:53 AM
Posts: 351
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Hi all,
I'm new to the forum and thought that this is the most appropriate spot for this question. A few years back, my old man restored a '50 Chevy 3100 and I think I want to do the same. Granted, I just turned 30, so this truck would be about twice as old as me, but I just can't escape how sexy these trucks were back in the day... I have to have one, so I'm going to teach myself all about them by rebuilding one. What I don't know is what a fair price would be for a working candidate truck to restore, so I'm looking for input from this community. FYI, I don't want to restore a truck to show it, I want a daily driver I can get out there on the road and take to work in the morning, maybe haul a few loads of firewood in the fall, etc.

So let's say you're in the market for a new project and you find an unrestored 1950 5-window Chevy 3100 1/2-ton. The body is in good condition overall, some rust in the normal spots but nothing too rotten, parts are mostly original and are all working. She still has the original 216 and it's running well enough to drive around town. What price do you think would be fair for such a vehicle? I know that there is always more to know about the condition of a vehicle, but just throw out a number anyways. Are there any specific questions you would ask the previous owner? Specific things to check on the vehicle? Any guidance you can provide to get me on the path of finding the right truck to start out with -- and what to pay for her -- would be super helpful. Thanks in advance!
_________________________
1950 Chevy 3100
1952 Chevy 3800
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#676869 - Wed Sep 08 2010 11:49 PM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: nrdesieyes]
lightflyer1 Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Registered: Fri Mar 26 2010 11:18 AM
Posts: 136
Loc: Central Texas area
It is a wide range. $2500 to $6000.
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#676875 - Thu Sep 09 2010 12:33 AM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: lightflyer1]
Garandboy Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Sun Apr 12 2009 08:20 PM
Posts: 295
Loc: Santa Cruz Ca.
for a "running and driving" unrestored truck $1000-$3500 also make sure it has a title.
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#676877 - Thu Sep 09 2010 02:12 AM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: Garandboy]
lostmy47 Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Wed May 25 2005 12:00 PM
Posts: 255
Loc: San Jose, CA
Around here, I'm in San Jose, I see them around $3000 -$5000. That's a running truck which hasn't gotten hacked to death or attacked with the rust monster.
I'd recommend learning what mods are good ones, the ones you might do, like master cylinder upgrade, 235 engine swap etc. Shop around so you have some idea of the potential costs, (gauge replacements, upholstery, tires) That way you have some info on your side when shopping.
The other thing to consider; get a 3/4 or a 1 ton. From my experience they can come cheaper as they aren't the rodder's choice! I picked up a great 1 ton for less than half of what it would have sold for if it was a 1/2 ton.

Jeremy
_________________________
1950 Chevy 3800 1-Ton Long Bed
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Sold all the bikes, leaving California behind.
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#676886 - Fri Sep 10 2010 03:44 PM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: lostmy47]
nrdesieyes Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Wed Sep 08 2010 02:53 AM
Posts: 351
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Hey lostmy47,
Yeah, I'm trying to pick up as much info as I can about the best mods to make if I want to go that route. Optimally I'll stay as original as possible, but it sounds like swapping out the 216 for a 235 is a great modification to make if possible, as is perhaps a new tranny geared so as to allow for occasional highway speeds. I'm definitely looking at 3/4 tons as well. If you see or hear about anything in our neck of the woods -- Bay Area or even the central valley -- please do shoot me a note to let me know. Thanks again for the input, gents.
Best,
Nick
_________________________
1950 Chevy 3100
1952 Chevy 3800
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#676925 - Fri Sep 10 2010 05:05 PM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: nrdesieyes]
lightflyer1 Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Registered: Fri Mar 26 2010 11:18 AM
Posts: 136
Loc: Central Texas area
New tranny means new driveshaft and rearend too. These trucks have closed drvelines. Must be converted to open driveline to start changing much around. Open came late '55, closed before that. Thankfully mine is a '54 so the rear end has a 3.90 in it. Earlier ones had 4.11 or worse (for higher speed cruising that is). Mine does good at 50 mph or so. If you plan on having a need to go faster than that, you will have to consider all this and better brakes as well.
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#676937 - Fri Sep 10 2010 05:59 PM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: lightflyer1]
cmayna Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Sun Jan 20 2002 12:00 PM
Posts: 2081
Loc: Menlo Park, Ca
Nick,
I'm keeping an eye out for ya.

_________________________
Craig's '50 Chevy 3100 5 window
My truck
If I'm not working on my truck, I'm fishing or smoking Salmon.
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#677044 - Sat Sep 11 2010 04:40 AM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: cmayna]
nrdesieyes Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Wed Sep 08 2010 02:53 AM
Posts: 351
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Cheers, Craig - greatly appreciated.
_________________________
1950 Chevy 3100
1952 Chevy 3800
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#677057 - Sat Sep 11 2010 08:07 AM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: Garandboy]
Tiny Offline
Registered: Sat Aug 06 2005 12:00 PM
Posts: 10378
Loc: South Central Kansas
Originally Posted By garandboy
for a "running and driving" unrestored truck $1000-$3500 also make sure it has a title.

AND make sure the number on the title is also on the truck you buy. Most states used the engine number as the VIN back then and a lot of old vehicles don't have the original engine any more. If the owner didn't re-title after swapping the engine you'll have a ton of hoops to jump through to get it titled after buying it.
_________________________
Sweetie Before
Sweetie Now
Sweetie In Skirts
Dust: Mud with the juice squeezed out.
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Don't bet on a horse named Tripod.
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#677123 - Sat Sep 11 2010 01:40 PM Re: Fair price for an unrestored 5-window Chevy? [Re: Tiny]
chevman32 Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Sat Mar 12 2005 12:00 PM
Posts: 1994
Loc: Sanger, Ca.
I paid $3,000.00 for my 1954 GMC pickup. I hauled it home in pieces, but complete. I took a year to think about it and another year to put it together. Then $3,000.00 body work and paint along with another $3,000.00 of misc. stuff and it was running. I guess that's pretty much the going rate for a "restored" truck. Mine runs good, not a great daily driver but it has been in constant use for the past 3 months while my regular daily driver (1992 GMC) has been "laid up" with engine problems.
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