1956 chevy truck

1956 chevy truck DEFAULT


Article by Mark Trotta

Introduced in March of 1955, Chevrolet's new 'Task Force' series was quite a departure from their existing line of pickup trucks. Smooth, rounded sheet-metal replaced the old pontoon-style fenders, and large, wrap-around windshield glass offered better visibility and gave a more contemporary look. And for the first time, an eight-cylinder motor was available under the hood.

1955 Chevy truck

1955 Chevy Pickup

The 1955 model year began with the continuation of Chevrolet's Advance Design pickups, which dated back to 1947. These first-series trucks, built until March of 1955, were durable and sold well. But Ford's new 1953 F100 pickup, as well as Dodge's new 1954 truck models, prompted a re-design to a more modern looking truck. Taking styling cues from their successful passenger car platform, Chevy's 2nd-series pickups were re-engineered and restyled for mid 1955.



Chevy Task Force trucks rode on a new, wider, six-cross member frame, allowing longer front and rear leaf springs to be fitted. The standard half-ton 3100 series had a 114" wheelbase, which it shared with the smooth-sided 3124 series Cameo Carrier. The 3200 series trucks had a longer bed and rode on a 123" wheelbase. Three-quarter ton models used 3500 and 3700 designations. Chevy's venerable Stovebolt Six, standard on all models, displaced 235-cid and produced 123-horsepower.

Electrical systems, upgraded from 6 to 12 volts, were one of many improvements on the new series of trucks. The biggest news, however, was Chevrolet's new small-block V-8 engine, introduced on 1955 passenger car models, was now offered with their trucks.

A 3.75 x 3-inch bore and stroke set first-year V-8 displacement at 265 cubic inches

Read: Chevy Small-Block History

More efficient and more powerful than the six-cylinder motor, the new "small-block" V-8 was also 30 pounds lighter. First-year Chevy V-8's did not have an oil filter nor a provision for one. An add-on filter canister, mounted atop the thermostat housing, was optional.

1956 Chevy Pickup

Aside from slight emblem changes, 1956 Chevy truck exteriors were unchanged. The long options list from last year was back, including power steering, power brakes, whitewall tires, full wheel covers, chrome front and rear bumpers, and a factory-installed radio.

1956 Chevy pickup truck

The Custom Cab option included chrome interior door knobs, arm rests, dual-sun visors, a cigarette lighter, and a large wrap-around rear window. Starting in 1956, V-8 engine blocks were machined with an oil filter boss, allowing a full-flow oil system.

Read: Best Oil For Classic Cars and Trucks

1957 Chevy Pickup

Third-year Task Force pickups received a distinctive new grille that would be a one-year only feature. Increasing the bore of the small-block V-8 brought displacement from 265ci to 283ci. Engine output increased to 185-horsepower.

1957 Chevy truck

Transmission Choices

A total of five transmissions were available; a three-speed and heavy-duty three-speed manual, three-speed manual with overdrive, four-speed manual, or GM's Hydra-matic automatic.

1958 Chevy Pickup

To accommodate an industry-wide switch from two to four headlamps, all Chevy passenger car and truck models saw styling changes.

The new Apache model came standard with painted grille and front bumper, and could be upgraded to chrome. The new Fleetside model featured a smooth-sided cargo box and larger bed capacity. Model designations were shortened to 31, 32, 35 and 38 series. A recasting of the 283 small-block gave thicker cylinder walls and side motor-mount bosses.

1958 Chevy Fleetside pickup truck

Four Wheel Drive

Before 1958, Chevrolet had used outside suppliers such as Minnesota-based NAPCO (Northwestern Auto Parts Company) to convert their light and medium-duty trucks to four-wheel-drive. A GM-designed 4X4 drivetrain was now available. Air-conditioning also became available as a dealer-installed, factory-authorized option.

old Chevy pickup truck

1959 Chevy Pickup

The last year of the Task Force line saw minor changes only. Front and side emblems were changed to distinguish this year's model from last year's. Posi-traction became an option, and larger drum brakes were used. In all, 13 different truck models were available this year.

Read More: Classic Trucks History

1958 Chevy Apache Pickup Truck


Sours: http://www.classic-car-history.com/1955-1959-chevy-truck.htm

Chevrolet Task Force

Motor vehicle

Chevrolet Task Force Series
Old Pick-up Truck (6234934912).jpg

1956 Chevrolet Task Force

ManufacturerChevrolet (General Motors)
Also calledApache
Cameo Carrier
Viking (medium-duty)
Spartan (heavy-duty)
GMC Blue Chip Series
Assembly(main plant)
Flint Truck Assembly, (Flint, Michigan)
(branch assembly)
Van Nuys Assembly (Van Nuys, California)
St. Louis Truck Assembly (Saint Louis, Missouri)
Pontiac West Assembly (Pontiac, Michigan)
Oshawa Truck Assembly (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada)
Sainte-Thérèse Assembly, (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
GM Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
ClassPickup truck, commercial truck
Body style2-door truck
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
PlatformGM A platform
Transmission3 or 4 speed manual
3 speed Hydramatic
Wheelbase114.0 in (2,896 mm)
123.0 in (3,124 mm)
172.0 in (4,369 mm)
PredecessorChevrolet Advance Design
SuccessorC/K Series

The Chevrolet Task Force was Chevrolet's successor to the Advance Design series. The Task Force Series ran from late 1955 (second series) through 1959. At GMC dealers, it was called the Blue Chip Series.

The 1955 second series offered standard options and add-ons such as 12-volt electrical systems, Chevrolet’s first V8 engine since the 1917 288 cu in (4.7 L) Chevrolet Series D, and Fleetside beds in 1958. Commercial trucks and various other heavy duty models were available.[1]


1955 Second Series or Stepside Series: First year for new body style. New "wrap-around" windshield—a truck industry first[2]—and optional wrap-around rear window on Deluxe cabs.[3] Power steering and power brakes became available for the first time on GM trucks. Electrical system upgraded to 12 volts. Beds are 6.5 ft (2.0 m) and 7.5 ft (2.3 m). Fenders have single headlights and one-piece emblem is mounted below horizontal line on fender.[4] The more luxurious Cameo Carrier series introduced; GMC's version was called the "Suburban."

1956: Wider hood emblem. Two-piece fender emblems are mounted above horizontal fender line. Last year for eggcrate grille.

1957: Only year for more open grille. Hood is flatter with two spears on top, similar to the 1957 Bel Air. Fender emblems are still above fender line, but are now oval-shaped, as opposed to previous versions in script.

1958: First year for new Fleetside bed (called Wideside by GMC) in 6.5 ft (2.0 m) and 8 ft (2.4 m) lengths, significant redesign of front end. All light-duty trucks are now called "Apache", medium-duty trucks called "Viking", and heavy-duty trucks called "Spartan". Truck has four headlights instead of the previous two and features a shorter, wider grille running the width of the front end. Parking lights are now in the grille instead of being in the front of the fender and the hood is similar to 1955/1956 models, but with a flat "valley" in the middle. First year for factory-equipped air conditioning. For 1958, GM was promoting their fiftieth year of production, and introduced Anniversary models for each brand; Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Chevrolet.[5] The trucks also received similar attention to appearance, while staying essentially durable, with minimal adornment.

1959: Minimal changes from 1958, the most apparent was a larger and more ornate hood emblem and redesigned badging on the fenders. This was the last year that the NAPCO (Northwestern Auto Parts Company) "Powr-Pak" four-wheel drive conversion could be factory ordered.

1960: The Chevrolet and GMC C/K-Series replaced the line.

  • 1955 Chevrolet Task Force

  • 1957 Chevrolet Task Force 4WD

  • 1957 GMC Suburban Carrier

  • 1958 Chevrolet Apache 4WD (NAPCO)

  • 1959 GMC 9310 pickup truck


External links[edit]

General Motorsplatforms


In production



  • A (FWD, RWD)
  • B
  • C (FWD, RWD)
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G (FWD, RWD)
  • GM2900
  • GM4200
  • H (FWD, RWD)
  • J
  • K (FWD, RWD)
  • Kappa
  • L
  • M (FWD, RWD)
  • N
  • P (RWD, FWD)
  • Premium
  • R
  • S
  • SCCS
  • Sigma
  • T (FWD, RWD)
  • V (FWD, RWD)
  • W
  • X (FWD, RWD)
  • Y
  • Z
  • Zeta
  • C/K Series
  • GMT (325/330, 345/745, 355, 360, 400, 530/560, 600, 800, 900, K2XX)
  • Lambda
  • Theta


Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Task_Force
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This 1956 Chevrolet 3100 is a pristine example of what mid-1950s Chevy pickups looked like when new. Chrome-plated bumpers, wheel covers, headlight rings, mirror caps, and big windshields solidify the look.

Chrome-plated bumpers, wheel covers, headlight rings, mirror caps, and big windshields solidify the look.

Up front, the chrome bumper includes guards that help protect the grille, while allowing the truck to push-start over vehicles – a common practice back in the day to bypass a drained battery. The egg crate grille and hooded headlights with chrome rings share a similar design language as the 1955 Chevy Bel Air sedan.

The raised hood gave engineers all the room they needed for different powertrain options, all of which came with tall carburetors and big air cleaners The raised hood also allowed for the additional body line that ran rearward from the headlights, through the doors, and onto the cargo box.

Out back, the bed is utility focused. The top bed rails are protected with oak planks. More oak lines the bed floor. Remember, spray-in liners wouldn’t be invented for another 40 years or so. Thanks to the step-side bed design, the wheel wells don’t interrupt the cargo hauling room inside the bed. The hinged tailgate is supported via chains, which also serve as the locking mechanism. Two small brake lights were fine back then, though they’d never pass modern DOT muster.

Period-correct BFGoodrich tires with whitewall sidewalls and Deluxe Cameo-style wheel covers finish off the factory-fresh look.


By modern standards, the interior of the 1956 Chevy 3100 is spartan and bare. However in its day, the Chevy’s interior was state-of-the-art in pickup interior design. It features a two-tone painted dashboard that matches the exterior, a V-shaped gauge cluster typical of period Chevrolets, and various knobs that control features like the manual engine choke, windshield wipers, and lights.

This particular pickup has the four-speed manual transmission. The floor-mounted pedals are far different than the dash-hung pedals of today. And that pedal to the right of the accelerator? That’s the starter pedal, which engaged the starter motor after the key had been turned to “start.” Manual crank windows with side-vent glass are the only form of air conditioning.

The wide bench seat offers room for three people. The seatbelts show here are likely an aftermarket addition, as most vehicles didn’t start coming with seatbelts until years later.


Chevrolet offered three different engine choices for the Task Force pickups. There was the 265 V-8, the more powerful 283 V-8, and the base 235 inline six-cylinder. The straight six is what powers this example. The engine dates back to 1941 and held a storied history before the 1955 Chevy pickup came along. A version of this 3.9-liter engine even saw service in the C1 Corvette in 1953.

Its simple design features a two-barrel carburetor that feeds air into the intake manifold.

In this application, the engine produced roughly 140 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Of course, the Chevy 3100 is no powerhouse able to tow a 12,000-pound boat or haul two-ton boulders in its bed. Trucks weren’t built for that back then. Rather, the Chevy pickup and its contemporaries were designed to be honest vehicles for transporting good and men to jobsites or around the farm. These trucks were tools. That’s nevermore evident when looking closely at the engine.

Its simple design features a two-barrel carburetor that feeds air into the intake manifold. Interestingly enough, the intake only features three pipes, which divide the air/fuel mixture between two cylinders each. It wasn’t the most effective method, but it worked. What’s more, check out how both the intake and exhaust manifolds are held against the block. Yep, it’s six bolts with retention tabs. Talk about easy maintenance!

In reality, the Chevy 3100 is a half-ton truck, and back when it was new, a half-ton truck was literally rated to haul a half-ton of cargo. That means this truck could lug 1,000 pounds in its bed – not bad considering its timid engine specs.


The price for a new Chevy 3100 in 1956 was $1,619. That might look inexpensive in modern times, but it was a hefty price back then. Even more, the price had increased from $1,494 for the 1955 model.

Now in 2016, Mecum Auctions expects this pristine example to sell for between $50,000 and $60,000. Talk about appreciation. You can check out Mecum’s auction results here.


Ford F-Series

The Ford F-Series was at the end of its second generation in 1956, but still offered strong competition against the Chevy. Like today, the 1950s F-Series included various weight classifications. In fact, two classes were offered for each F-1, F-2, and F-3. Competing against the Chevy 3100 was the F-1 – Ford’s least hefty half-ton with a 5,000-pound GVWR.

Ford offered three engine options for the F-1 in 1956, including the 279 and 317 Y-block V-8s and the 223 Mileage Maker inline-six. The straight six made 137 horsepower and was mated to either a heavy duty three-speed manual, a three-speed automatic, or a four-speed manual.

Dodge C Series

Dodge’s C Series debuted for 1954 and lasted through 1960. The C Series bridged the gap between the pre-war, B Series Dodge trucks and the more modern-looking D Series trucks. For 1956, the first generation of the C Series was in its last year. The Dodge also featured a stepside bed like the Chevy and Ford, making it easy to step up to the bed for easy reaching fro cargo.

The C Series is also the first Dodge pickup to offer a V-8 engine. However, the comparable engine to Chevy and Ford’s I-6s was Dodge’s L-head 218 inline six, which made 100 horsepower. Unlike the other two, the L-head used a flathead design, having the valves inside the engine block.

While the Chevy was the undisputed king of chrome for 1956 and the Ford wasn’t too far behind, the Dodge wasn’t the showiest model on the dealership lot. Dodge fixed this in 1957 with the second generation of C Series. More specifically, Dodge offered the “Sweptside model” that embodied the big-fix, big-chrome look of the day. Still, the Dodge was the third mutt in two-dog fight in terms of sales.


The 1956 Chevrolet 3100 pickup proved to be a fantastic workhorse during its day. The 1950s were a prosperous time in America, with growing cities, expanding infrastructure, and booming farmlands. The Chevy 3100 helped the country grow while keeping the stylish looks of the day.

Expect this pickup to sell well at auction and for its value to only increase in time. It might not be some rare Ferrari, but this classic Chevy is no less important to the history of the automotive industry and culture.

  • Love it

    • Classic design
    • Bulletproof inline six-cylinder
    • Immaculate restoration
  • Leave it

    • A far cry from the modern workhorse pickups
    • Expensive

Source: Mecum

Mark McNabb

Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio

About the author
Sours: https://www.topspeed.com/cars/chevrolet/1956-chevrolet-3100-pickup-ar173871.html

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Truck 1956 chevy

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