Tag Archives: Chevrolet

1955 Chevrolet 3100 5-Window Pickup Truck

1955 was a pivotal and important year for Chevrolet. Not only did their passenger car lineup receive fresh styling that the public embraced immediately, their trucks received similar treatment as well. Series One trucks were actually introduced in the fall of 1954 and the new-look trucks set the pace for a great year for Chevrolet.

1955 Chevy  3100 Pickup

  •  235-cu. in. inline 6-cylinder engine,
  • 123hp,
  • 3-speed manual transmission,
  • independent front suspension with rear leaf springs,
  • 114” wheelbase

 

1955 Chevrolet engine

Attitudes about trucks were changing fast in the 1950s. Lots of people used them for double-duty – while it was tough enough to be a work truck during the day, the new Chevrolet was also stylish and comfortable enough for everyday personal transportation. Known as the Task Force Series, the 3100s proved that there was a market for slick pickups. Chevrolet was one of the first makers to take advantage of that demand.

 

The 1955 Series 3100‘s design was revolutionary from the cab forward. Truck buyers jumped at the chance to own one. Inspired by passenger car design, it had a streamlined, wrap-around, one-piece windshield. It featured full corner windows and a larger rear window.

1955 Chevy Pickup interior

The new trucks featured a lower hood and a chrome grille that emulated passenger cars. Jutting forward from the sculptured fenders and door surfaces, car-inspired headlamps with chrome rings helped to create an all-new, racy profile. The doors were wider and taller for easy entry. A new fresh-air heater / defroster system pulled air through the cabin and out vents at the rear of the cab. The dash design was beautiful and thoroughly modern, as was the sleek, car-like steering wheel.

 

In 2008, this fine example was restored in original two-tone green and white livery. It shows excellent panel fit and a lovely shine. It is decked out with the accessory chrome package, wide whitewalls, chrome wheel covers, a factory windshield visor, side-mounted spare and a correct, new oak bed with matching oak side rails.

 

The entire interior appears original, from the factory AM radio and original vinyl upholstery, right down to the original rubber floor covering. Even the original pedals are only lightly worn, indicating the fine and highly original nature of the truck. This and other 5-window cabs are highly desirable for their advanced styling with flawless visibility on all four corners.

 

Under the hood, the original inline six engine is clean and quiet, with a tidy engine bay and correct appearance. The truck starts easily, idles quietly, and pulls with surprising torque. The original 3-speed column shifter makes this truck very easy to drive.

 

Modern Chevy vehicles like the SSR and HHR both lean heavily on these redesigned 3100 trucks for their inspiration and it’s no wonder — ’50s-era pickup trucks have always had a loyal following. But they are often the subject of performance and cosmetic modifications, so today it can be difficult to find quality pickups of the era that are restored to their correct configuration.

 

Since only 5,220 were reportedly produced in the 1955 model year, this beautifully restored 5-window would make a fine addition to any Chevrolet collection.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo Pickup

Although the 1956 Chevrolet Cameo was destined by price to never be a high volume seller, it is of crucial historical importance, bringing passenger-car styling elements into the truck world for the first time in a serious way. Today, every truck collector in the world would love to own a sweet Cameo.

56 Chevrolet Cameo

Chevy stepped up in the mid-1950’s, developing light truck with a “Modern Design for Modern Hauling.” Forward-slanting windshield pillars on the “Panoramic” wraparound windshield combined with a new upper cab structure, hooded headlamps and shapely wheel openings to form an all-new profile. Suddenly, trucks weren’t just for work anymore. Though the Cameo’s pickup box was a standard item, fiberglass rear fenders were built in the Corvette plant and broadened it to the same width as the front end, producing a smooth flow-through look. Chuck Jordan, former head of GM Design, earned credit for the design, a precursor to many generations of Chevy trucks.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo engine

  • 350 ci V-8 engine,
  • 250 HP,
  • 700-R overdrive automatic transmission,
  • independent front suspension,
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • 114” wheelbase

 

Much like Chevy’s cars of the day, the Cameo sported an eggcrate grille, wraparound front bumper, and a third more glass than the previous 3100 Series. The interior also was more car-like — particularly the dashboard, which featured a fan-shaped speedometer and needle gauges, with a top finished in textured black to cut down on reflections. Even standard models had breathable two-tone upholstery, and the Cameo had a new frame, longer leaf springs, wider track, and a two-inch-shorter, 114-inch wheelbase.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo side

The Cameo we photographed in Houston is simply stunning in Bombay Ivory with Red accents throughout, with the 2-tone motif extending from the bed to the art-deco dash. The paint and bodywork is impeccable, with crisp paint lines, fresh trim bits, and excellent panel gaps. Even the rubber trim and glass are in as-new condition, with the chrome and all polished fittings following suit.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo interior

The bed of this truck is just as nice, with the original wood highlighted by a vibrant red bed and those hand laid-up white fiberglass fenders that caused such a stir. The smooth tailgate and ultra-cool rear end may not have been designed for farm use, but today, this truck-in-a-tuxedo is prized for its landmark design and upscale image. Driving the finest “gentleman’s pickup” from the 50’s is quite an experience, but this fine Cameo takes it over the top, providing the owner with unique style and great road manners to proudly enjoy.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo rear