Tag Archives: Chevy

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.

The Build – Steering column installed

As the team continues on, they now have the firewall plate in for the flaming river steering column, which was slightly modified for the clutch rod. The brand-new steering column is ready to slide into the plate and attach to the dashboard with a single mount.

After the installation, there’s a few loose ends to tie up. The steering shaft needs to connect from the firewall to just past the engine block. In order to do this, the team will need to mount and install a carrier bearing next to the headers and suspension. In order to install the carrier bearing, they’ll have to loosen the suspension and install a bolt long enough to handle the bracket.

steering column

The steering linkage from the steering column is now completely mocked up, and it’s time to mark the set screws, put a dimple in place so that when the screws are set in, they will be locked in place. After the steering linkage is completely where it needs to be, they will put the lock tight on the set screws.

steering linkages

They will then install the stock steering wheel so they have control of steering the car back-and-forth, but just wait until you see the custom steering wheel they had made.

Now that the steering column and linkage is installed, watch as The Build team continues to restore the’65  Malibu restomod.  Watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and stay up-to-date with the progress of our classic car on our Facebook page too!

AARP Convention

Miami was a great experience! Not just because it’s Florida, but because of all the cool people I met too. From event coordinators and workers laying carpet and running electricity to the AARP members, we were all instant friends.

65 Malibu classic car

Ami G. worked her magic and made those friendships come to fruition. She inspired AARP Convention attendees to start working on that old car that’s been sitting in their garage for years. And she brought back great memories of the cars they use to have.

'65 Chevy Malibu

Whether you’re a car person or not, there’s no denying that classic cars and their stories bring people together. I heard many great tales during this awesome event. One guy I met, Richard, was a GM Autobody Tech for 40 years and remembers vividly working on the old Chevelles, like Ami G.

1965 Chevelle SS

So what was my single most important lesson from the trip? No matter how much times change, America’s passion for classic cars will continue to unite us.

65 Malibu restomod

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

1955 Ford Crown Victoria

1955 was a great year to be shopping for your first new car. Chevy finally had a V-8, and their new styling looked as cool as Kim Novak in a swimsuit. Plymouth was hotter than ever, strutting the first year of Virgil Exner’s “Forward Look” styling and boasting a V-8 of its own. Ford, whose overhead-valve V-8 was now in its second year, sported many advanced styling themes, with a deliberately strong association to the exciting new Thunderbird. The top of the line Ford Crown Victoria, new for 1955 and sporting a new wrap-around windshield, tubeless tires, disc wheel covers and tons of new options, was one of the icons of the “2 tone paint and chrome” era, sporting a unique chrome-pillar roofline, and in the case of the car presented here, the factory correct two-tone turquoise and white color scheme both inside and out.

55 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria

This Ford Crown Victoria was a solid, no rust Texas car when it received a ground up restoration in 2001. New paint, chrome, and a great two-tone interior remain in outstanding condition, and beautiful wire wheels round out the spectacular presentation of this fine vehicle. The paint retains a fine lustre, and the trademark “bright metal roof transverse molding”, along with the distinctive side spear, showcase the impressive level of attention to detail this car received during restoration. With a huge new panoramic windshield and that distinctive roofline, Ford designers had succeeded in setting the car apart in the crowded luxury car field, and established the Crown Victoria as the very top offering from Dearborn.

55 Ford Crown Vic trunk

The example pictured here retains it’s complete and correct drivetrain, and was meticulously restored to original stock condition. It is nicely equipped with the 272 ci Y-block V8, Ford-o-matic automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, and everything is very tidy and correct under the hood.

55 Ford Crown Vic

The Ford Crown Victoria’s were lower and longer than any fixed roof cars that Ford had ever produced, and certainly one of the most attractive and rare post-war Fords. The quality is evident inside and out, and exclusivity is assured, since these rare Crown Vics were only produced in 1955 and 1956.

55 Ford Crown Vic interior

Sharonville Car Show 2015

It was a perfect Sunday. There was lots of sunshine and it hovered around 60 degrees all day.

For those of us in Cincinnati, the Sharonville Car Show, kicks off the car show season. It includes:

• several hundred cars,
• a swap meet area
• food vendors
• great songs playing from the 50’s and 60’s

This show kicked off the season for Ami G., too. The trailer’s new full vinyl wrap was the perfect backdrop for her and the American Modern Insurance Group booth.

65 Malibu restomod side trailer

A lot went into designing the trailer. We wanted it to be an attention grabber. Judging from the reaction of people, we accomplished that! It’s going to be hard to miss, with life-sized side views of Ami G. on each side. You will even be able to spot her going down the highway in the opposite direction. The back is a great rear view of Ami G., and the front shows her with some of the people who had a hand in bringing her back to life.

65 Chevy Malibu rear trailer

Ami G. will be traveling all around the country in her new trailer. Keep an eye out, you just might see her heading down the road.

65 Malibu SS front trailer

Would you go to Cuba to look for a collector car?

Open trading between Cuba and the United States has never been much of an interest to collector car enthusiasts, until now. The recent possibility of open trade between the two countries has become a treasure hunting opportunity for all classic vehicle fans.

Currently, the majority of the old classics in Cuba have been cheaply pieced together to be used as taxis, and barely kept running with old diesel engines, but there are still a couple diamonds in the rough to be found.

Frankenstein Collector Car

You will find a lot of cars in Cuba that are defined as “Frankenstein Cars.” Because of the very limited resources for parts, Cubans did whatever was necessary to keep the cars running. It is not unusual to find a car like a 1955 Chevy with a diesel engine under the hood because that was the only engine available. You can also find:

interiors may be handmade,
suspension and steering parts are welded together,
paint jobs applied with a paint roller

These “Frankenstein Cars” may be collectible themselves. Some people may find it intriguing to own a car with that type of history. Only time will tell.

Frankenstein Classic Car

Also, there’s the possibility that a vintage car could be tucked away in a shed, covered by a couple tarps or blankets. It’s not just about the car either, it’s also about the treasure hunt. A barn find is defined as a classic car or motorcycle that has been discovered, often in derelict condition.

The term originates from the tendency that the classic has been located in an outbuilding or barn where they have been stowed away for years on end. Discovering a barn find that has a substantial value will always be a crowning achievement for a car guy!

You never know, that one barn find you want could be in Cuba.