Chopped 1948 Chevrolet 3100 Is So Red Not Even the Pro Street Bits About It Matter

1948 Chevrolet 3100 12 photos
Photo: Mecum
1948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 31001948 Chevrolet 3100
Body color is a very important attribute of a custom car, SUV or truck. It's the first thing the human eye perceives, thus the right choice can go a long way in making a project successful when it is eventually ready to be sold. In most cases, body color is there to enhance everything else, not totally eclipse it.
Yet that's exactly what happens with this 1948 Chevrolet 3100. All body panels and imposing, the pickup disappears in the background of a color so powerful and obvious it dwarfs everything else.

The color is officially called Scarlet Red, and it's of the PPG variety. A lot of it seems to have been used to dress the entirety of the exterior, with the unnoticeable exception of the headlights and wheels. Apart from them, absolutely everything, from the front grille to the rear tailgate, and from the running boards to the roof, is red.

The custom pickup is a most successful exercise in craftsmanship. Born as a member of the Advance Design line of Chevrolet trucks one year after the breed was introduced, it probably spent most of its life doing hard work, just like it was supposed to.

Then, Classic records show it was purchased in 2000 for just under $3,000, somewhere over in Maine. It's unclear who purchased it, but we do know before that happened it somehow ended in the hands of a customizer named Art Hathaway. It is he who's responsible for this exciting apparition on your screen today.

The project started from the get-go as a Pro Street build. That means it just has to have the looks of a race car, without actually being one, and has to pack a mighty V8 under the hood, a narrow rear axle, and even a roll cage.

1948 Chevrolet 3100
Photo: Mecum
There is no roll cage imagined for this one inside the gray interior. In fact, if there is one thing I don't like about this build, it is the fabric seats, door panels, and dash, which come across as absolutely dull compared to the rest of the machine. But everything else is in place.

The massaged body of the Chevy still uses the original fenders, hood, grille, front bumper, and cab, but the close attention paid to each and every one of them makes each body part look shiny new.

Helping with the distinctive look is the height of the roof, now sitting three inches closer to the steering wheel thanks to a careful chop. A new bed is fitted at the rear, flanked by perfectly rounded fenders that mimic the ones in the front.

The connection between the truck and the ground is made through rather small, 14-inch wheels that work wonders in exaggerating the dimensions of the body. They are aluminum products of Weld origin and shod in rather fat tires that are barely visible under the massive fenders.

I said earlier the truck is powered by a V8 engine, but its exact displacement is not listed on the Mecum website, where we found the red beauty as it awaits to be sold during the Chattanooga auction taking place in Tennessee later this month. The only thing we know about it is that it's gifted with dual Holley carburetors.

But if this red incarnation of a Chevy 3100 got your less red blood pumping, and you'd like to know more about it, finding old specialized magazines might be one way to go.

1948 Chevrolet 3100
Photo: Mecum
The truck's description is filled with references to its magazine appearances, dating back to 1995 when it was shown in Truckin' and Peterson's Custom Classic Truck. The most recent reference to it can be found in the May 2005 issue of the Super Chevy magazine.

We did look into the matter and went through old magazines, and found the Chevy is hiding in the engine bay a 461ci big block powerplant, tied to a Turbo 400 transmission. As listed in some of its many print appearances, the engine has a power output rated at 650 horsepower.

Suspension-wise, the list of goodies fitted onto the ride includes stuff like Ford Mustang hardware for the front, and Total Cost Involved coilovers at the rear.

For some of the vehicles it is selling in Chattanooga Mecum does list the financial expectations of their owners, but not for this 1948 Chevrolet 3100. It is listed as one of the stars of the event, and there's an apparent reserve for it, although we are not informed how much that is.

For reference, a Concours condition 3100 from that year (yes, there are such things around) goes according to valuation specialist Hagerty for as much as $66,000. This one, with all the upgrades it features, and especially thanks to the impressive and unforgettable color, is probably gunning for a lot more.

We will of course keep an eye out to see what happens with this half-ton, and get back to you with updates as soon as we learn more.
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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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