Portlandia Outtake: Chevrolet “Advanced Design” 3100 – My Favorite Pickup

(first posted 11/10/2017)      We’ve had lots of them here over the years, but I just can’t not stop and shoot when I see one of these. Especially when it’s such a nice one, spotted a couple of blocks from the Mercedes SLC, and sitting in front of a vintage bungalow. My paean to these fine trucks is here. It was America’s favorite truck in its day (by a healthy margin), and it’s still my favorite pickup truck.

I don’t have the statistics at hand, but in its day, Ford pickups were a distant number to the Chevy. And the GMCs sold well too. I’m not sure exactly why Ford was so far behind…well, Ford had just really slid in the 40s, and it took some heavy lifting to get that ship righted after the war. But I don’t think Ford became a serious threat in pickups until a couple of decades later.

I love the sound of an old Stovebolt six; a gentle murmur at rest, rising to a slightly hoarse tenor under a load. Music to soothe modern stresses. These were everywhere when I was a kid in Iowa, all the Mennonite farmers had one (except the ones I stayed with) and they just exude reliability, strength and security. Well, to me anyway. Obviously it was the result of my youthful exposure to them. A timelessly great machine.