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My 1954 3100 work in progress
#1397990 Fri Feb 19 2021 08:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 736
My 1954 3100 work in progress

I purchased my 54 3100 on January 1st, 2016. I had been looking for about 3 months. I had seen this truck on craigslist for about 2 months. I was interested but it had a flatbed. This made me hesitant but the look of the cab and interior kept me coming back. It also ran and only needed tires and brakes to get it road worthy. I had bid on a couple different trucks on eBay with no luck. Most of the trucks I looked at either did not run or the rot was so bad it was beyond my skill set.

On January 1st I took my adult son, a rented U-Haul car carrier and a wad of cash and made the 100 mile drive to look at the truck. Trying to hide my excitement we negotiated a deal and I made the trip home with my new project. As a side note, I bought the truck from a man in his late 70’s. He was selling the truck because his sons had bought him a fully restored Apache. He would not show me the truck he was selling until I looked at his new truck. I am glad he showed it to me. It was a beautiful truck and I understood his excitement.

The previous owner had the original fenders even though the bed was long gone. I was able to find an original 54 box at a salvage yard in Wisconsin and had it shipped. I ordered new period tires. A fellow bolter sent me a couple original wheels for just the cost of shipping (listed in the Swap Meet forum) and I ordered all new brake components front to back. I quickly got to work and had it on the road in about a month (tires and brakes). I then replaced the headlight switch, converted to an alternator, replaced the gas gauge, replaced the door glass, replaced light bulbs all around and replaced the 6v motor in the heater with a 12v motor. I cleaned up the bed and fenders, painted and installed them on the frame by mid-summer. My number one goal was to have it ready for my son’s wedding in October. It didn’t have to be done, just look good and be reliable to drive.
I had it ready one week before the wedding. It was an outdoor wedding and my truck was used as a center piece for the shabby chic theme. This goes back to the sales pitch I made to my wife and how we could use it as a prop for various events.

I still have a lot of work to do. I need to replace the door rubber. The speedometer does not work. This has been a great journey for me. It does not have the history and stories that many bolters can tell about their trucks but I hope this is the start of a long history of memories. This past 4 years has been everything I hoped it would be. It has been great fun working on it, driving it and talking with all the people who get excited when they see it. I hope my kids and grandkids can build some memories along with me.

I have a number of photos located at the link in my signature that include many depicting the progress of my trucks restoration.
Last edited by dgrinnan; Thu Feb 25 2021 06:48 PM.

Dave from Northern Kentucky
My 54 3100
Re: My 1954 3100 work in progress
dgrinnan #1398065 Sat Feb 20 2021 01:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 556
Nice truck and story. Love the red and all the pics.

"If you can't fix it with duct tape it's an electrical problem"
1949 5 Window 3100
Veteran of the USAF

Re: My 1954 3100 work in progress
dgrinnan #1398145 Sat Feb 20 2021 09:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,151
Workshop Owner
Hello Dave,

Your story should be an inspiration to other's as you could not only see what it was, but also visualize what it could be. Great find. thumbs_up

Thanks for posting in the New Stovebolt gallery.


J Lucas

1941 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1942 Chevy 1.5-Ton SWB
1959 Chevy Apache 31 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Apache 32 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Viking 40

My Flicker Photos! []

Re: My 1954 3100 work in progress
dgrinnan #1398328 Mon Feb 22 2021 01:08 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 6
New Guy
Great looking truck Dave

1954 Chevy 3100 5 window
1932 Chevy 4 door touring
Re: My 1954 3100 work in progress
dgrinnan #1398581 Wed Feb 24 2021 03:10 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 533
Love the story. The reason I built my truck was i borrowed a 1955 f100 from my father in laws good friend when I got married. We had a big outdoor wedding reception after the actual ceremony at the church. I drove the truck to the church early before the wedding and we drove away in it. The week previously I took the truck for a 30min test drive just to get used to it so I didn’t look like a idiot leaving the church. On that ride i was having SOOOOO much fun that i said to myself “i need this in my life”. The following year I bought and built my 49 GMC and i love every minute of driving it and we often use it for photo shoots. Its been in some fall pics with my wife and we most recently used it with the dogs in the back for our baby announcement. Its funny how a old truck can become such a normal part of everything.

Moderated by  hardshell, J Lucas 

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