Just when you think you've seen every variation on a popular model that's possible, something new like this 1950 Chevrolet 3100 pickup shows up and breaks the mold. Slammed, full of Chevy V8 power, and sitting on an upgraded late-model chassis, it's a vintage truck that doesn't feel vintage and nails the custom look that everyone loves.
This old pickup got a new lease on life complements of a professional frame swap that expertly mated the 1950 bodywork with a 1989 Toyota pickup chassis. Now before you go clutching your heart, take a look at the build and you'll quickly realize that an upgrade like this makes a lot of sense. Nothing of the original bodywork was altered beyond removing the running boards and trimming the front bumper, so it has a very low, in-the-weeds look. The matte blue paint works well and is very much in fashion today, not quite making it look like a rat rod, but certainly giving it an intense, low-maintenance look that is extremely appealing. It's also durable and since it's smooth, it will be easy to take care of in the future. Some of the original details remain and were painted satin black, including the grille, nose emblem, and running boards, while other parts stayed chrome, so it's a nice contrast. You'll spot those trick exhaust cut-outs in the cab corners, which are connected to electric diverters, so you can go full bore or mellow depending on your mood. The bed floor was raised to accommodate that ultra-low stance, and there's both an access panel for the battery and a fuel cell in the back.
The interior uses bucket seats that probably came from the donor Toyota truck and they work rather well here. Wide and comfortable, the blue upholstery looks like it should wear like iron, and they fill the spacious cab rather well. It's not luxurious, but they did take some time to make everything fit nicely and to add a custom 2-spoke wheel that now sports a Corvette-esque emblem. Modern Auto Meter gauges fill the dash pods with auxiliary dials taking the place of the original radio grille, and the tall shifter for the TH350 3-speed automatic transmission looks right out of the '50s. The custom metal floor was fabricated to clear the frame but still leaves plenty of room, and you know it's not a rust bucket when all that stuff is new. There's a retro-sound radio that sounds pretty good and slots into the top of the dash like it belongs there.
Don't worry, there's not a wimpy Toyota 4-banger under the hood. No, in this case you're getting a stout 400 cubic inch Chevy V8 that sits in the engine bay like it was born there. With a 4-barrel carburetor and a tall intake manifold, it makes copious low-end torque and you're going to need those fat rear tires to keep it planted. It's nicely detailed with finned valve covers, a chrome air cleaner and alternator, and painted engine block; tidy without being over-done. Underneath, the front suspension is fully independent with stout control arms and modern shocks, and service parts should be easy to find. The exhaust system features turn downs just ahead of the rear axle as well as the aforementioned cutouts that lead to the cab corners, and you'd better believe it sounds heroic. That looks like the original Toyota rear end, and before you worry about breakage, you need to realize that off-roaders have been using these with giant tires for decades without issue. Front disc brakes, staggered shocks, and simple black wheels with staggered radials complete the roster.
This is a cool build that takes some reliable, familiar hardware and brings it together in a traditional way. If that isn't' the essence of hot-rodding, I don't know what is. Call today!