1954 icon Chevrolet The 3100 is the definitive example of the entire American pickup era. It was no coincidence that at the time, GM was the leading truck manufacturer in the US. This is a beautiful classic vehicle with a rugged look.
Updated February 2022: Among Chevy pickup trucks, the 3100 is and probably will always be a prized commodity. With values changing every year, we update this article with the latest price estimates for potential buyers or fans of legendary trucks.
The 1954 Chevrolet 3100 is a sought-after collector’s vehicle. But the American public was so thirsty for these trucks in 1954, that there are still plenty of vehicles left.
Let’s see how high demand has pushed the price of this classic Chevrolet.
Chevrolet 3100 Boasts Sophisticated Design
The first major redesign for a Chevrolet pickup truck after the Second World War was branded the Chevy Advance-Design. From 1947 to 1955, the Advance-Design was synonymous with Chevy trucks. The Chevrolet 3100 is GM’s half ton offering (3600 designated three quarter ton, etc).
Every year, Chevrolet modifies and improves its Advance-Design trucks. All GM engineering culminated in the highly sought-after 1954 Chevrolet 3100. The 1954 model enjoyed some significant design changes: visibility in previous years experienced a split windshield with a center divider. The 1954 model boasts a windshield made of a curved piece of glass. The 1954 had a high horizontal cargo bed rail. It was the first Chevrolet with an optional hydraulic automatic transmission. The half ton engine is a state-of-the-art 235-inch straight-six.
In the styling department, the 3100 is treated with new round taillights (as opposed to the 1953 square headlights), a redesigned dashboard and steering wheel, and a dramatic “bullnose” three-blade grille.
1954 3100 marked the end of the classic truck era. Midway through the 1955 model year, Chevrolet would release a complete redesign of the pickup that was badged as the Task Force Series. Today, the 1954 Chevrolet 3100 truck is much sought after by truck enthusiasts looking for classic American vehicles.
The 3100s Often Need Restoration
Many people like customized Chevy trucks while others want to leave the stock classic trucks. But whatever your intentions, you need a starting point. The unfortunate question auto lovers have to ask when deciding on their dream vehicle is, “are there any examples left?” Some vehicles are so rare that it’s nearly impossible to find a rugged one to repair. Other vehicles are mass-produced: it’s easy to buy your own and find spare parts. Mass production and low prices are the reasons we believe the Dodge Dart is the best first muscle car.
The good news is that in its heyday, the Chevrolet 3100 was a popular truck. Many trucks were built, and while some were dismantled, many remained. The bad news is that in 1954, a pickup truck was a work vehicle. The surviving Chevrolet 3100 endured years of tough work. Some of these sturdy vehicles could not be salvaged, but many needed work.
In the early 1990s, Die Hard action star Bruce Willis owns a restored 1954 Chevrolet 3100. The truck is painted a beautiful black color and updated with a V8. Either he changes his mind, or in thirty years his car collection exceeds his garage because in 2019 he sold the truck.
Jonathan Ward performs a high-end customized restoration of the Chevrolet Thriftmaster pickup via the Icon 4×4. The thorough engineering and build quality of these restorations is of the highest order, and the price tag can go up to six figures. Jonathan Ward’s YouTube channel showcases an Icon-restored 1954 Chevrolet 3100.
Price Chevrolet 3100 1954
The North American Dealers Association prints a guide on the value of classic cars today. The NADA Guide places the low-end retail value of a 1954 Chevrolet 3100 at $17,500 at the time of writing. The guide adds that the average retail price is $31,000. Finally, he adds that the high-end retail price is around $78,300. Ironically, NADA also reminds us that the original MSRP of the Chevy 3100 was around $1,419. You’d be hard pressed to buy one of these classic trucks for anywhere near that price today.
Current trucks for sale are included in the NADA estimate. At the time of writing, there are only a few restored examples that represent the lower class. In 2017, a beautiful green Chevrolet 3100 sold for $16,500 at Bring A Trailer, and we hope someone enjoys the bargain they find.
Showroom quality 1954 Chevrolet 3100s listed at Hemmings and elsewhere typically cost $60,000, $75,000, and even over $100,000. Having an interesting and unique journey should be a truly priceless experience.
We Miss the 1954 Chevrolet 3100… Here’s Why
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