Pick of the Day: 1949 Chevrolet pickup found in a Texas barn

Patinaed truck has been brought back to presentable and running condition

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The Chevy pickup looks like it's ready for a run to the feed store

While exotic sports cars, muscle cars, pre-war classics and such that are rediscovered after decades in repose are often described as “barn finds,” here’s an actual workaday Chevrolet pickup that seems like the rancher just drove it into a barn one day and left it there. 

Fortunately, this pickup was stored in a dry Texas barn, where it survived reasonably intact, and then was pulled out and put back on the road again in as-is patinaed condition.

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The Pick of the Day is a 1949 Chevrolet 3100 half-ton pickup that the Rowlett, Texas, dealer advertising the truck on ClassicCars.com describes as “about as original as they come.”

“Here we have a genuine Texas barn find, rescued from an out building on a ranch in Corsicana, Texas,” the seller says in the ad. “With the exception of the wheels and tires, everything else is as it came from the factory. 

“This old girl had to be dragged up (onto) the trailer, but since then she has received the TLC needed to make her roadworthy once again.”


There are no signs of rust or rot, according to the dealer, who describes the mechanical work that was performed to bring the pickup back to life. Pressure tests confirmed that the original 6-cylinder engine’s compression and cooling system were as they should be, the seller says, so the reconditioning went from there.

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“The motor got new fluids, hoses and belts,” the seller recalls. “A replacement thermostat and rebuild of her original Carter one-barrel carburetor (were) accompanied by a new gas tank, fuel lines and filter. The electrical system was rehabilitated and now with a fresh 6-volt battery all the lights and horn are working again.

“Underneath, she got new brake wheel cylinders and a master cylinder to ensure she stops safely. Fresh motor and transmission mounts and some brand-new whitewall tires finished the job.” 

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The engine compartment needs some sprucing up

The result was totally satisfactory, the seller says, as the pickup runs and drives down the road as it did in its heyday, back when it was still working the ranch. The odometer shows about 77,000 miles.

“With a push of the starter pedal, the truck starts up easy and idles calmly, almost silently (choke and throttle controls work smoothly),” the ad says. “The transmission and clutch engage perfectly. Acceleration is good and the brakes work well, for 1949 brakes. Steering is responsive. She runs cool in the Texas heat with good oil pressure.”


While the pickup was repainted sometime in the distant past, fitted with new bumpers and some lenses, and the interior partially refurbished, the pickup still looks gloriously original.  Naturally, there are a few odds and ends that need to be fixed up.

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“The speedometer needle is broken,” the seller notes. “Both front and rear windows could benefit from fresh seals. There is a heater under the dash that has not been tested or connected. Wiper motor works, but currently missing wiper arms.  The wood bed is showing its age but is still solid.”


Sourcing some original hubcaps would be good, as the white steel wheels look pretty funky as they are now.

The asking price for this “genuine Texas barn find” is $24,400.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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