“Baby Hulk” Is a 72-Year-Old Chevrolet Pickup That Costs More Than a German Luxury Car

1951 Chevrolet 3100 25 photos
Photo: Auto Barn Classic Cars
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There are some truck nameplates out there that seem to have been around forever. Most of them wear the Ford or Chevrolet badges, and even if they’re no longer actively being made by these companies, they still manage to move vast amounts of money as they exchange hands repeatedly. And one of these apparently perennial nameplates is the Chevrolet 3100.
Shortly after the Second World War ended, the American auto industry was booming. Having not only survived, but actively participated in the defeat of Germany and Japan, carmakers took many of the lessons they’d learned on the battlefield and incorporated them into vehicles for civilians.

Chevy was an important name for the American military, being tasked, among other things, with making the one-and-a-half-ton G7100 4x4, so cherished by GI Joes for both cargo hauling and specialist missions.

Returning soldiers could not use the G7100 to work on a farm, of course, given how these trucks were too big, bulky and designed for something else entirely. So Chevy immediately felt the need to devise something that could continue the success of the pre-war AK Series half tons. It crunched the numbers, brainstormed ideas, and in 1947 came up with the Advance-Design truck series.

Although on the market for just eight years, and generally considered just a stepping stone to the much more appreciated (at least in today’s world) Task Force series that would be born in the middle of the following decade, the Advance-Design continues to put bread on the table for many custom garages across America.

1951 Chevrolet 3100
Photo: Auto Barn Classic Cars
The Advance-Design comprised trucks playing in different categories, going as far up as the 1-ton 3800 or the specialized Loadmaster and Thriftmaster. Today’s custom world is however, a true sucker for the half-ton 3100. It gets reinterpreted time and again, sometimes in surprising ways and almost always to such specification as to warrant asking prices at times higher than those premium carmakers ask for some of their brand-new models.

Like, say, $79,995. That’s double the price of a Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV and significantly more expensive than what BMW is charging for a brand-new 5 Series. It’s also the price someone is asking for a 72-year-old Chevrolet 3100.

Originally made in a Chevy factory somewhere as a 1951 model year, the truck we’re here to look at now is not too scary in appearance, but more than capable of hardcore duties, if that’s something someone is willing to use it for.

So we chose to name the truck Baby Hulk, not only on account of the green paint it wears all over (the color is officially called Evergreen and was sprayed onto the body of the machine in 2019), but also because of its innate abilities, enhanced with a touch of custom work performed by an undisclosed shop, one of the many populating the American continent.

1951 Chevrolet 3100
Photo: Auto Barn Classic Cars
The truck is designed in the style of step-side trucks, with large fenders wrapping around the rear wheels and holding the solid Birch wood bed in their embrace. The overall old lines of the original 3100 were kept, but the choice of paint and the care with which it seems to have been treated during the restoration work make it appear particularly fresh.

The body makes the connection to the ground through equally sized chrome wheels (18 inches on all four corners), each wearing Kumho radials. And they spin thanks to a much more modern type of engine fitted under the hood.

Originally, the 3100s were powered by one of three engines, all of them inline-six and ranging in size from 216 to 261ci. This one however, is equipped with an engine GM, Chevy’s overlord, installed on some of the trucks it made in the mid-2000s, more specifically that era’s Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras.

It’s the L33 engine we’re talking about, 325ci in displacement and tied to an automatic transmission. We’re told the engine was reworked to be brought back to the shape it had back in 2004, when it was made, and it still wears many of the original pieces of hardware, including the aluminum heads, hydraulic roller cam and serpentine belt system.

1951 Chevrolet 3100
Photo: Auto Barn Classic Cars
It’s on the inside however, where the Baby Hulk impresses the most. Once you open one of the two doors, the sight of an incredible interior in beige hits you. That might not be leather on the bench seat (it’s vinyl), and you won’t find anything in the way of a modern infotainment system (there is though, an AM/FM/Cassette sound system in there), but it looks spectacular nonetheless.

In front of the bench, there’s a custom steering wheel topping an Ididit tilt column and sporting air horns “added just for fun,” a Lokar shifter, and the refinished dashboard holding Classic Instrument analog gauges.

The 1951 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck can be found in Concord, North Carolina, on the lot of a specialist called Auto Barn Classic Cars. It is, of course, up to you to decide if all we talked about above is enough to warrant an asking price higher than that of a German luxury car.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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