HOT HALF TONNER

Hot Half Tonner

this Chevy pickup packs a lot under the bonnet… and under the tray!

When the Advance-Design series made its debut, it was actually Chevrolet’s first all-new post-War range, preceding the new passenger cars by more than a year.

The new-for-1947 ‘3000 Series’ light duty pickup were split into three basic versions – 3100, 3600 and 3,800 – covering ½ ton, ¾ ton and 1- ton load capacities, respectively.

CHOICE OF THREE

When the Advance-Design series made its debut, it was actually Chevrolet’s first all-new post-War range, preceding the new passenger cars by m ore than a year.

The new-for-1947 ‘3000 Series’ light duty pickup were split into three basic versions – 3100, 3600 and 3,800 – covering ½ ton, ¾ ton and 1- ton load capacities, respectively.

While restyled from nose to tail, the most notable change with the Advance-Design was the cabin. In the case of the 3000 series, the cabs were both wider and longer by more than a foot each way. The result was greatly increased in-cabin space, which allowed for the adoption of three abreast seating on an adjustable bench seat for the first time.

Glass area was enlarged too ,with optional ‘Nu-Vue’ cut-outs in the rear corners of the cab further increasing visibility.

From the 3000 series’ debut, right up to 1954, changes were minor, but there were small numbers of modifications made each year, which purists can use to identify when their pickup was built.

A FINE '51

In the case of Mark’s, it doesn’t deviate a lot from the ’47 model, but can be identified as a 1951 thanks to the side vent windows which debuted that year, deletion of the left-side cowl vent, a lower position for the rear-view mirror and a few other minor changes.

Paint choices were unaltered on the ’51 models, while the previously available two-tone paint option was restricted to fleet sales only.

However, Mark’s 3100 runs a two-tone treatment in the factory-style and extends the black and blue theme from that into the ‘CHEVROLET’ embossing on the tailgate.

MORE GRUNT

From the factory, the ’51 3100 could only be had with a 216ci ‘Thriftmaster’ inline six hooked up to a three-speed manual transmission, producing 92hp – but Mark’s pickup differs a lot from stock!

Powerplant is now a 350 Small Block Chev, juiced up with alloy heads, a Scat crank, roller rockers and a 650 Holley carb. There’s also a 2 ½ inch exhaust system and a Turbo700 4-speed auto trans with a hi-stall torque convertor.

Putting all 340hp to the ground is a 9-inch diff and a BIG set of rear boots – super-fat 31 x18.50-15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro tyres on Weld Racing rims – with Hankook 185×60-15 rubber up front. That big back end was part of the appeal of this vehicle, which Mark actually received as a present for his 50th birthday in 2013: “I loved its fat ass,” Marked laughed.

Given his passion for old trucks, tractors and utes, Mark’s wife clearly chose well in selecting a pickup for Mark’s big 5-0.

MODS AND MORE

As presented to Mark, the pickup featured shaved door handles and a split rear window, with the fuel tank moved to load area, between those enlarged tubs.

Out back, there are a couple of neat additions, including the rolled rear pan, LED lighting (which runs through an upgraded 12 volt electric system) and stop/tail lights in the “rolled” section of the tray sides.

The lack of a rear bumper isn’t unusual, as it was wasn’t actually standard equipment with the ’51 model pickups when new, but could be had as an option.

Similarly, chrome trim for the grille and bumpers was rarely seen on these workhorses when new. Nowadays, though, it seems all the restored and modified 3000 Series pickups carry a bold chrome front end.

Inside, Mark’s pickup features a Momo steering wheel and full complement of instrumentation, but the rest of the cabin area is pretty much stock.

Since getting the 3100, Mark’s modified the suspension – ’70 Camaro front and leaf spring rear – so it sits lower. Other more recent changes include a blower kit for the V8 and a few touch-ups on the paint.

Given this pickup was a gift, Mark says it’s definitely a keeper, so there are no plans to sell it. There are, however, ongoing plans to drive it – and drive it often!

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