1953 Chevrolet 3100 4×4 – A Popular Post-War Cool Ride
In our final installment this week for the Cool Rides Online February 2016 Ride of the Month, here is some background information on the 1953 Chevrolet 3100 4×4.
These are not the actual vehicles nominated for February’s Ride of the Month, just general information on the vehicles themselves. Please check the link at the bottom of today’s article to view all the actual vehicles nominated for this month’s Ride of the Month.
The 1953 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck is part of the “Advance Design” series of Chevy trucks. This was Chevy’s first major truck redesign of the post-World War II era. Advance Design trucks replaced the AK series pickups. Advance Design pickups were sold from 1947 to 1955, during which time they were the top-selling trucks in the United States.
Chevrolet 3100 Details
The 3100 is a half-ton, 116-inch wheelbase pickup truck originally powered by a 216 cubic-inch, 92 horsepower Chevrolet straight-six engine. The engine first appeared in 1937, and it was not phased out until 1963. The factory price of a Series 3100 pickup truck was approximately $1300, or about $11,000 in today’s dollars. It was possible to add a variety of options like leather seat trim, long running boards, a heavy-duty clutch and chrome radiator grille. For the 1953 model year, the “Chevrolet” emblems were removed from the hood, and the hood series designation emblems now read “3100.”
Ideal for 4×4 Conversions
Converting a 1953 Chevy half-ton to a 4×4 is an attractive idea, in part because the wide flared fenders cry out for big rubber. For 4×4 conversions, owners have found vehicles with a similar wheelbase and then swapped out the newer 4×4 frame. For a complete frame swap, some enthusiasts turn to a 1973-87 Chevy or GMC 4×4. They are also popular because there are so many of them in salvage yards, making parts easier to locate. Other have used Suburbans, Broncos or Blazers for a 4×4 conversion. A body lift is typically needed to make the older cab fit the later model frame.
Retention of Original Frame
The other option is to convert the stock frame by installing drive axles and making a number of other modifications. However, working with the stock frame latter may involve more time and a need to locate some hard-to-find parts. Still, there are many ways to modify a Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck. For example, some enthusiasts have replaced the original engine with a 350 CID Chevy V8 with a Holley carburetor. The original three-speed manual may be upgraded to a modern three-speed automatic. An oversized aluminum radiator is sometimes employed to keep everything running cool.
Today, Chevrolet 3100 4×4 conversions can bring $25,000 or more at auction. Ultimately, turning a 1953 3100 Chevy pickup truck into a 4×4 results in one cool ride.