The vast majority of classic trucks seen in magazines and at shows sport a list of modifications longer than War and Peace. While those extensively customized trucks are always cool to look at, this 1949 Chevrolet 3100 manages to carry the same level of appeal without a single body modification. The recipient of a 100-point rotisserie restoration, the truck exhibits a level of quality unobtainable from the assembly lines of the 1940s. Featuring a 235 cubic inch inline six cylinder, a three-speed manual transmission and a color sure to turn heads in any situation, few trucks in our showroom have generated such a buzz. If you’re in the market for a classic piece of Americana that can be driven, shown and fully enjoyed, this ’49 Chevy may be exactly what you’re looking for.
After the war, GM rolled out their all-new Advance Design pickups nearly a full year before introducing their revised passenger cars. Why? Well, most will agree that, because truck production continued through the war, the body dies were getting worn and needed replaced. It’s a simple answer and the kind of thinking you might expect behind such a wonderfully uncomplicated machine. Of course, the 3100’s appeal begins on the outside where lines memorable enough to inspire the Chevrolet SSR and HHR are coated in a bright layer of red paint. The paintwork presents well from any given angle - a testament to the rock solid body work beneath. A visor has been added and painted to match while the running boards wear a coat of black for some contrast. It’s an attractive package sure to draw a crowd at just about any automotive gathering.
One of the best parts of the Advance Design pickups is their deceptively straightforward accents. Not decorated to the hilt like most 40s and 50s cars, theses blue collar runabouts illustrate how a good design looks fresh even 60 years after it was first introduced. At the front of the truck a domed hood hangs a detailed Chevrolet crest above chrome-trimmed headlights, small square parking lights, a simple chrome bumper and a white, chrome-trimmed grille. At the top of the truck a classic, divided windshield and like-new greenhouse glass align behind vertical stainless trim and bright stainless wipers. At the sides of the truck, simple “CHEVROLET 3100” scripts, streamlined door hardware, small cabin vents and a chrome fuel filler ride above the glossy running boards. At the back of the truck, an embossed Chevrolet tailgate hides a restored Oak floor bed behind carefully sleeved chains, Stopray Stimsonite tail lights, and a second chrome bumper.
While this pickup would have originally shipped with the stalwart 216ci I6, the bay has been upgraded with a 235ci I6 as found in later models. The foundation is a 3764476 block dressed in gray paint and topped with a 3836848 head. The single valve cover wears a matching coat of gray alongside a yellow Thrift Master decal. That yellow is repeated on braided plug wires which originate at the OEM-style distributor mounted on the passenger side of the bay. Fuel is atomized by a single Rochester two-barrel which is partially hidden underneath a black AC-labeled air cleaner assembly and. from the Carter filter to the stainless lines, every piece of the fuel system looks brand new. The belt drive turns a single fan and a Delco generator while, opposite, a tagged factory radiator strives to keep the I6 at temperature. From the new wiring to the correct hoses and clamps, a great deal of effort has gone into creating a factory appearance between the fenders. Turn the key and the 235 comes to life with a distinctive rasp that only an inline six cylinder can provide.
Crawl underneath this vintage bowtie to find a clean frame dressed in black paint. Power is put to the ground through a traditional 3-speed transmission that’s tied to a sturdy GM differential. Correct leaf springs, lever-style shocks, and drum brakes occupy all four corners of this chassis mixing rugged road prowess with firm and solid stops. A single-pipe exhaust system, which routed through a factory replacement muffler, runs the whole length of the truck and terminates in a subtle turndown that hangs just below the rear bumper. Everything rolls on a set of nostalgic steel wheels that turn 6.00-15 BF Goodrich Silvertown wide whites around red paint, chrome trim rings and smooth chrome hubcaps. Overall, the underside of this 3100 is simple but purposeful and that’s the beauty of General Motor’s Advance Design pickup trucks - they’re easy, clean builds that still possess the unmatched charisma and beauty of golden era Detroit steel.
Slide inside this Chevy’s fully restored interior and step back into the simplistic and purposeful culture of the late 1940s. The vibrant red from the truck’s body is snuffed out in favor of metallic brown paint that spreads from the dash to the doors, roof and stylish factory steering wheel. A wide and supportive vinyl bench combines with a brown headliner and door panels to add a luxurious touch that’s further accented by the presence of a factory heater and AM radio. Signal is sent to a single, center-mounted speaker in the dash that’s hidden behind stainless trim that continues across the glove box. Further brightwork can be found on the steering column where a chrome shifter and aftermarket turn signal control both reside. There’s also detail pieces like chrome door handles and window cranks to make sure you get your proper dose of later 40s flash. The floors round out the cabin with a utilitarian bend thanks to easy-to-clean rubber mats. Overall, this is a great place to log miles from and one you certainly won’t get tired of looking at!
The sale of this pickup includes a series of restoration images that provide a nice overview of the rebuild.
If you’re looking for a unique classic that mixes a professional restoration with unmatched style and unparalleled fun, this Chevrolet truck deserves your full attention. It plays to nostalgia and Americana that everyone can appreciate, it’s spectacular from every angle and it’s a highly drivable piece that actually FEELS like vintage hardware. Whether you’re racking up trophies at shows or just spending a Saturday night on the town, it’s guaranteed to be the center of attention wherever you go!