Past & Present – 1954 Chevy 3100

1954 Chevy 3100

Paul Lucchesi Jr’s 1954 Chevy 3100

The story of Paul’s 1954 Chevy 3100 begins with his father purchasing a 1954 Chevy 3100, half ton pickup in November of 1953. The truck was ordered and purchased from Bullock Chevrolet in Vineland, New Jersey.

The truck was Mariner Blue and the total cost was $1,200. Paul’s father purchased the truck when he was 23 years old and had just been married. Paul was born a year later.

In 1957, Paul’s father had to sell the truck. The idea came from Paul’s mother. She was insistent that a pickup truck was not a suitable vehicle for a growing family. Paul’s father posted the truck for sale and sold it to a local. Over the years, the truck has moved on from person to person, all the time staying local.

The 1954 Chevy 3100 never left the area and was only six miles away when 56 years later, Paul’s youngest son and his father asked the current owner to sell it back to their family.

Staying local had an added benefit. The truck has only 51,591 original miles on the odometer. Paul had tried to buy the truck back many times before, but it wasn’t until his son and father talked to the owner that things started moving forward. The family explained the connection to the pickup and their family’s intention to restore the truck. The owner wanted to check with her son and said she would reach out if they ever decided to sell the truck.

Paul finally purchased the truck on October 26, 2013 for $500, almost half of what it cost brand new. The truck had been sitting for numerous years in a wooden carport that had been overgrown with vegetation.

Paul’s father passed away in January of 2014, only getting to see his pickup brought back to the family. Paul, his son and even his grandson began the restoration process in April of 2014. Their goal was to restore the truck the way that Paul’s father would like to see, but it sort-of went way overboard, according to Paul’s wife.

Initially the goal was to just get the truck running, but one thing lead to another and the restoration outgrew Paul. Crazy Horse Classic Cars in Millville, NJ entered the story to help Paul complete the build of his dreams.

Crazy Horse created a custom chassis based off a 2000 Corvette chassis. LMC orders were placed for various essential parts. Paul says that he did go overboard with the idea to have an LS1 engine under the hood. The engine and transmission came from a Corvette that had 43,427 miles on it and had recently suffered hail damage.

The total restoration took a little over a year. The chassis and engine work were done by Crazy Horse. The interior work was provided by Smitty’s Auto Upholstery.

The 1954 Chevy 3100 is now back on the road and better than ever. The Thriftmaster straight-6 (235 cubic inch, 112 hp) could never compete with the 5.7L V8 making 345 horsepower.

The cab body, doors and hood are the only original metal parts that were salvageable from the truck that Paul’s father purchased in 1953. The original gauges were retrofitted to accept the new technology from the Corvette engine.

Paul knows his father is looking down and is very proud of the family memories that his little pickup is creating for all of them.

“Now future generations of the Lucchesi Family can enjoy and build memories around a vehicle that retraces the past from its initial purchase to the present.”
-Paul Lucchesi Jr.

By | 2017-04-05T09:36:11+00:00 April 1st, 2017|3100, 47-59 Chevy CA, Chevrolet|Comments Off on Past & Present – 1954 Chevy 3100