My Rescued 1950 Chevrolet 3100 5 Window
I’ve been called a lot of things, some good, but mostly, well, you know. The one thing I know I am for certain, a feen for old things! I’m not keen on taking the highways and try to always stick to back roads in hopes of spotting some random relic. One time, my mother and father were in town for a visit and I drove my dad around in my ’69 Ford F100 truck to show him some old cars, all in various locations, within 10 miles of my house. I counted 25 pre -1970 classics that day. Yeah, I’ll admit, I have a slight obsession. That obsession is what recently landed me this 1950 Chevrolet 3100 5 window truck.
As stated, I love all things with a little age on them, architecture included. I noticed a charming mid century neighborhood just a few miles from my house so I decided to drive through and peep a few homes. As I roll down the established streets I spot the iconic grille and headlight bezel of a 3100 truck. That was all I could see of the truck as is set back in the corner of the two car garage. It was almost like it was hiding from the public, trying to not be seen, lying low! Lucky for me, I never look at the road, always scanning! I made a note of the truck and over the next year would drive past the house every now and again just waiting until I saw someone outside. That’s my rule, always wait until someone is outside, then approach, never knock on the door to inquire about an old car. It never ends well.
I left work one day and thought to myself, “I should check on that 3100” and sure enough, as I drive past, I see a gentleman outside pressure washing. Game time! I pulled in the driveway and was able to start a detailed conversation despite a skeptical start. I never just roll right out with asking to buy an old car. It’s rude, the car and owner deserve your respect, give it to them and in return you’ll get much more information on the vehicle. That information will help you make an informed buying decision should you have the opportunity.
The current owner inherited the truck after his father had passed. He had flown out to Kansas and drove the truck back to Charlotte where it had been stored in his two garage for years. His father, a former Ford Motor Company engineer purchased the truck new in 1950 and restored it in the early 1980s. That’s right, Ford guy gone rouge! The owner and I spent several hours together that day and quickly realized we had a lot in common despite our 45 year age difference. I was able to purchase the truck and have been making some updates and enjoying the drive.
Old vehicles have a soul, I feel it my obligation to set that soul free by rolling down the open road. It’s often said that it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. When I’m driving my ’50, I reminisce about driving past the well maintained mid century home and seeing the truck packed away and semi-forgotten. Life is funny, enjoy the ride!
Front Suspension and Brakes:
The truck already had a Mustang II IFS in place when purchased. I needed it to be lower, so I went with 2″ drop spindles and added bigger 11″ GM disc brake rotors with GM metric calipers from Speedway Motors. They (Speedway) also provided me with some new tubular upper control arms and I added new MOOG ball joints top and bottom.
For the rear suspension I went with a set of Posies Rod and Customs Super Slide Springs and a 2″ drop block. The spring and block will provide me with an additional 6″ drop. I’m still working on the suspension upgrade, I’ll post pictures on our Facebook page once completed. Side note: Posies is a great company and a staple in the hot rod community.
Wheels and Tires:
I went with Wheel Vintiques 12 Series from Summit Racing and painted them with single stage Tacoma Cream. So nice! The wheels are wrapped in BF Goodrich radial whitewalls from Coker Tire with ‘Cross Bar’ hubcaps from Hubcap Mike in CA. The look is perfect!
The truck was driven to Innovative Speed Shop where the top shelf crew gave the paint a deserving polish! If you are looking for a proper detail shop in the Charlotte area, you need to call Innovative Speed Shop! They are true car guys and top notch professionals. Trust me, you’re ride will be safe in their shop as it will likely be parked beside a Ferrari, Porsche GT3 or vintage speedster. It’s insane!