June 13, 2021

Chevrolet Advance Design Truck

Chevy truck cover

In 1947 Chevrolet released the Advance Design series of trucks, their first major redesign since the end World War II. They were produced and sold from ’47 through ’55 and were the #1 selling truck in the United States for those 8 years. Sixty-four years after their release, Joe Garcia bought three trucks and made them into the 3100 you’ll see after the jump


Let’s start with the obvious, the paint job was done with the help of a friend. Blocking it took over a month because, other than the bed, there are no flat body parts. They’re all domed slightly. After the blocking, the silver and black paint was laid down. A Camaro rear end and Heidts front cross member were attached to the fully boxed frame. A set of 15×8 reversed Dayton 100 spokes were thrown on, and were wrapped in Falken rubber. A Fulton sun visor helps keep the sun out of Joe’s eyes when he’s cruising in the truck, and a 1954 model year bumper protects the bed and the rest of the body work.


Living inside the cab is the original radio. It still works too, all you have to do is let the tubes warm up. Along with the radio is a tilt steering column out of a Camaro, and a set of VDO gauges inside of a custom billet cluster. There’s also the ubiquitous fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view, because…well, they’re awesome.

Originally the truck came with an inline 6, displacing either 216, 235 or 261 cubic inches and a column shifted 3 or 4 speed manual. These things are long gone. In place of the old column shifter is a Turbo 350 transmission, and replacing the old I-6 is, brace yourselves, a 350 small block.

It doesn’t sound like anything, considering how many 350s were produced, but this one is better than the run of the mill small block. This 4 bolt main example is fully blueprinted and balanced. The heads have been milled, ported and polished, and larger valves have been stuffed in. A hotter camshaft resides inside the block, and a set of roller rockers have been added for good measure. Ten to One compression and domed pistons do what they’re supposed to do as does an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold. All of that combines to push this truck down the ¼ mile in 13.6 seconds.

(If I’ve been vague on the details, it’s because Joe was vague during our little post shoot chat. He remembered EVERYTHING that had been done, but the specific parts (manufacturer names) escaped him. Hell, he’s had the thing for over a decade and has a life outside of the truck. Can you blame him for forgetting some parts during an interview at 11AM on a Saturday?)

This truck, despite what you may think, has never seen the inside of a trailer. It has accumulated 15,000 miles since the resto-mod was completed, including runs out to Wendover, NV where the 13.6 second ET was laid down.

Now, if it looks like we shot the truck in his driveway we didn’t. We shot it in his parents’s driveway. This whole thing was and is a family affair. I work with his cousin, Issac (who took some of the photos in this article), and he told me about the truck. Actually, all he said was that he knew a guy with a “1930’s Chevy truck with a Corvette motor”, but that’s beside the point. I told him I was in, and to line up the shoot. A few weeks later, on a Saturday morning, we were headed out to Joe’s parents’s house. After a breakfast stop, we arrived before Joe. So, naturally, his mom showed us around the trophy room and kept offering to freshen up my coffee. After standing in awe of the wall of trophies for a while, Joe’s dad pulled the cover off the truck and pulled it out from the carport. Yes, carport. No garage, just a cover and a carport. Speaking of his dad, he was there during the entirety interview; throwing out answers and telling stories.

Home is where the heart is, and Joe’s family and his truck stand as a testament to that time tested saying.


Words by Michael Chandler; Photos by Michael Chandler and Issac Montoya


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