1950 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup "The Dude" - $24,900
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Skillfully lengthened 18 inches, the cab looks right from every single angle—the curve of the roof is uninterrupted, the beltline fits the way it did originally, and the quarter windows have exactly the right shape to follow the contours of the back of the cab.

We know this 1950 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck, also known as "The Dude," is a love-it-or-hate-it thing. If you're already at "hate it," well, move on and save us your E-mails. But if you appreciate craftsmanship, usability, and a look that says, "I don't care what the sissies think," then The Dude belongs in your garage. At a glance, it looks rat rod basic, but underneath there's a very modern set of hardware and professional workmanship that create a vintage hauler that doesn't feel as vintage or crude as its looks might suggest. V8 power, overdrive transmission, cold A/C, disc brakes… shall I continue? You can drive this truck cross-country right now, today, arrive refreshed, and attract a crowd at any show you attend. Not many vehicles can make that statement, but The Dude totally nails it.

You're undoubtedly distracted by the horns on the grille, but take a moment to look the truck over and you'll realize, "Hey, wait a minute! Chevy never built an extended cab pickup in 1950!" You may not have noticed immediately because it looks so right—as if the factory DID build them this way 70 years ago. Skillfully lengthened 18 inches, the cab looks right from every single angle—the curve of the roof is uninterrupted, the beltline fits the way it did originally, and the quarter windows have exactly the right shape to follow the contours of the back of the cab. Beautiful work! Even better, the frame was lengthened as well, so you have a full-sized pickup box, not some chopped-down mini box that looks weird. And while it's covered in satin black paint intended to remind us of a vintage primer job on an unfinished rod, it's supposed to look this way by design. That means the bodywork underneath is done and done right, with super straight sheetmetal that could stand up to a gloss black paint job just as easily. It's NICE! Pinstripes highlight the interesting parts but they're not over-done as you see on many vehicles, and you'll spend an afternoon finding all the trick little details that make The Dude special. A few of the highlights: the aforementioned Texas longhorns on the grille, the cool push bumper designed to resemble those used at Bonneville to get the streamliners rolling, wrenches for door handles, cowboy-themed hooks on the sides of the bed and tailgate, and, of course, the faux tow apparatus, which does indeed have a fully operational electric winch, so it's still useful around the homestead. Those are '59 Cadillac taillights in back and please note that the grille itself was custom-made from tubular steel, but it emulates the original so well that it almost goes unnoticed. They totally nailed the details on this truck.

The cowboy theme continues inside, and this is probably where the whiners will whine loudest. But spend a little time looking around (and past) the Holstein-inspired upholstery (which is durable vinyl) and check out the long list of creature comforts. There's ice cold A/C neatly integrated into a panel under the dash and using vintage-looking knobs on the dash for controls. Those knobs you see are actually from vintage guitar amplifiers (the builder was a musician of some note) so it has a neat theme going on. The factory gauges are operational save for the original temperature gauge, but a trio of auxiliary gauges under the dash is more accurate. More pinstripes and some hand-drawn details add some whimsy to the interior, which also includes spurs on the armrests and more wrenches as door handles. That little red lanyard is connected to a remote for the killer AM/FM/CD stereo system, which uses a vintage Fender amplifier box as an enclosure behind the seats, and as I said, the builder is a musician, so you know the sound system is pretty darned good. A few more cowboy details for good measure, including a lasso hanging behind the driver and a boot that doubles as a cup holder on the transmission tunnel. It's actually very easy to get comfortable in this truck, especially with a foot of extra legroom, and a cross-country drive should be a no-brainer in The Dude. The hardware is right.

That reliability and performance comes courtesy of a 350 cubic inch GM crate motor under the hood. It's not radical, but the combination was proven decades ago and it drives beautifully. Turn the key and it starts—every single time. It idles well, hot or cold, A/C or no A/C. And it pulls the truck around with real authority. There's an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor on top, a giant aluminum radiator, HEI distributor, and a powerful alternator that can keep up with the stereo system, as well as a neatly integrated A/C system that works rather well. The wiring is new, there's a custom radiator shroud to make the most of the fan's efforts, and a modern dual master brake cylinder with power assist for the front disc brakes. The checkerboard pattern on the firewall is another traditional rodding touch that seems to fit right in, and service access remains excellent should you ever need to tinker under the hood. It has never given us a moment's trouble and thanks to the professional build, it should continue to be bulletproof reliable for years to come. If you like to drive, this is the way to do it.

The original frame remains under the truck, but it was lengthened and reinforced to handle the extended cab, so no worries about using it as intended. It's plenty stout. The transmission is a 700R4 4-speed automatic overdrive, so The Dude just loafs along at modern highway speeds, A/C blasting. The front suspension is a custom subframe with A-arms and a fat roll bar, as well as a modern rack-and-pinion setup with low effort so it's easy to handle. A bulletproof 12-bolt rear end seems appropriate on a truck ostensibly designed to do some work, and there are highway-friendly gears inside that work with the overdrive transmission to make this a long-haul cruiser that really does everything well. Long-tube headers feed a custom Flowmaster dual exhaust system with gorgeous chrome tips out back (the stack in the bed is purely for show, of course) and while it's not detailed for show any longer, it's ideal for driving and has exactly 0 issues. This is a well-sorted machine that's ready to drive anywhere. The lowered stance is just about ideal and it sits on 15-inch wheels with full disc wheel covers to continue that Bonneville Salt Flats vibe, as well as a set of recent 235/75/15 Goodyear Wrangler radials that totally stuff the fenders.

If you can get past the in-your-face look, you'll find there's an extremely well-built, properly engineered machine underneath. And if you're like me, the in-your-face look is merely icing on the cake. I absolutely love The Dude and everything about it. It has people lined up three deep around it at every show we attend, and the workmanship stands up to the scrutiny. This is rodding done right, with a bit of flair that you don't see in run-of-the-mill rods that are afraid to color outside the lines. If you're also the kind of person who colors outside the lines, perhaps the The Dude belongs in your driveway. Call today!

Vehicle: 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup "The Dude"
Price: $24,900
Stock Number: 115078
Mileage: 2120 (since built)
VIN: 8HPB36619
Engine: 350 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.08
Wheelbase: 129 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 235/75/15 Goodyear radial
Exterior Color: Satin Black
Interior Color: Cowskin vinyl
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