A 'virtual garage' of antique Chevy & GMC trucks from around the World
1950 Chevy 3-Window 3100
03 September 2007
From Steve :
I've been a member for several years now. I'm finally getting around to sending my truck's story for your Gallery.
My first truck was a 1950 Chevy 5-window 3100 and was purchased by my Dad sight unseen from a classified ad. The guy drove it over from the Oregon coast to Cottage Grove where I lived at the time. It was delivered with an extra cab! This was back in 1990 and I was a Junior in high school.
By 1991 the truck was completely torn apart and we decided there was too much rust -- actually more bondo than rust -- for me to deal with.
I found truck number two at a restaurant just down the road from where I lived. The guy used it to haul cardboard to the dump. The truck was actual in very good shape and DRIVEABLE!! I told my Dad about the truck and we went down to talk to the owner to see if it was for sale. A few days later and $800, I had a new truck.
The second truck was the same year as the first but was a 3-window cab instead of a 5-window. It needed a little wiring and a new thermostat and it was road worthy. Next, I spent several days at an empty lot learning how to drive the truck.
I now had a vehicle to drive to school. I drove this truck all the way through my college years until 1998. Up to this point, I put in a V-8, power steering, front disc brakes, power brakes, Saginaw 4-speed transmission, 1978 nova rear end and air bag helper system. The air bags were for an 1950's era steel canopy manufactured by Sportsman Top (I need parts for this if anyone can help, please contact me).
This is my truck as it looked when I went to college with the Sportsman Top canopy. Just prior to leaving for college, I put in a new oak bed. I also acquired a 1953 truck bed utility trailer with a side mount spare tire. This is when I tore the truck down for restoration. It was going to be a small and simple restoration that ended up being very complex as I kept changing my mind on what I wanted to do.
It is now the summer of 2007. I live in the Eugene / Springfield area in Oregon now and my truck is still in pieces. I ended up leasing a 1500 square foot shop due to lack of space at home and I have truck parts everywhere.
I attempted using a 1963 truck IFS and it worked out great except the track width is too wide for my liking and I didn't get the steering geometry set up correctly. This front side view shows the engine and you can see the 1963 IFS I attempted to use. Looks great but too wide in front for my liking also steering geometry incorrect. I could spend more $$ and get the steering geometry fixed but again the track width is about an inch to wide on either side. Plan B -- go back to what works.
Here's a pix from the passenger side -- lots of space in the shop.
I got a new frame from a friend and started over. I'm parting out the other frame and it's components. I just received a bunch of parts from CCP to go back to what I hade before with stock suspension. So this frame will have all new stock leaf spring suspension, front and rear sway bars, disc brakes, power brakes, power steering up front.
For the rear, I picked up a 2002 Chevy S-10 ZR-2 rear axle. This baby has disc brakes, 3:73 gears posi, and is the correct 63 inches wide. WOW. I'm running all stainless steel brake and fuel lines and fittings. I have a stock Chevy 350 V-8 motor with a serpentine belt system from a 1992 Chevy 1500 truck. I'm using an Edlebrock 1406 carb and intake combo and HEI distributor.
I was planning to use a Saginaw 4-speed transmission which I hade rebuilt but have decided to go with a 700R4 instead. I have a fuel tank mounted under the bed and a fuel door on the passenger side rear fender. This is a good picture showing my bed mounted gas tank, rear air bags and receiver. Like my exhaust extensions leading out of my shop? I have a side mount spare tire on both my trailer and truck. I'm using 2000 Chevy S-10 wheels on both the truck and trailer also.
This is a picture of my trailer after rebuilding it. The truck, when finished, will have the same paint scheme and matching wheels. Note: The blue and black of the trailer isn't paint but powder coat. This makes it more durable as a utility trailer against scratches.
I also acquired a 5-window cab and a set of 1951 doors with vent windows. I traded my 3-window cab away to a friend for this cab. I have used just about every patch panel made to get rid of the rust. I can say $12K goes quick when it come to rust repair. The new aftermarket steel cab is a bargain for $9K when you think about it.
At this point, the body work on the cab is done and sitting on a dolly. The engine and transmission is done sitting on another dolly. I also bought a new bed that is awaiting to be painted. All other sheet metal work is done and is either painted or waiting to be painted.
I'm currently working on the other frame and getting it ready for sand blasting. Then I'll putt on all the new items I just got for it. I hope to have the chassis done by early next year then I can focus on painting again and finishing up the truck.
I have also collected a bunch of NOS items that include two radios, overflow tank, dual horns, vacuum windshield wiper motor, two trico vacuum fans, two trico electric vacuum assist pumps, all components to rebuild both doors, original 48 page dealership year truck offerings, original manuals, original parts catalog -- you get the picture, lots of goodies.