Chevrolet’s Advance Design trucks were the first new Chevrolet vehicle to get a redesign after the end of WWII. The styling was so popular, the public made the Advance Design trucks number one in sales through the model’s production run of 1947 into 1955. Larger, stronger, and sleeker than anything in GM’s truck line before, the 3100 series competed against the Ford F-series, Dodge B-series, and the Studebaker E-series trucks.
The Advance Design truck styling inspired later GM engineers that used the 3100’s cues to design the Chevrolet SSR and HHR vehicles. It’s no wonder the Chevy 3100 trucks have held a solid place in collector’s and custom builder’s hearts. Through TCI Engineering, we found out how much they help Advance Design truck fans realize their dreams.
Like many of us, Josh Gonzales has been dreaming of owning a custom vintage Chevy truck since he was a kid. Unlike the majority of the dreamers, Josh obsessed over every detail of his truck build as he grew and discovered more options. For years, while he was mentally building his truck in his head, he physically focused on raising his family and growing his businesses.
Years passed, and with his full family life and successful businesses going smoothly, Josh decided it was time to realize his childhood dream of building a custom Chevy truck. Keeping it in the family, he reached out to his cousin John Ortiz in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, to help with the build.
John’s years in the industry led him to longtime TCI dealer, Jerry Spear of J & J Rod & Custom. Obviously, Jerry showed the cousins the cost-benefit of a TCI chassis. This set the stage for the rest of the build.
Spending the next two-and-a-half years working on the build, John sought out some of the best top-shelf products in the aftermarket to outfit the project for his cousin.
Under the hood is an LS2 engine, the same type that was used in GM’s performance vehicles like the Chevrolet Corvette C6, Chevrolet SSR, and the Pontiac GTO. Unlike the stock 6.0-liter 400hp LS2, this one has been bored to 6.2-liters and beefed up to push around 500hp.
The interior’s yellow stitching highlights hints of yellow used repeatedly throughout the build. The interior was done by Al’s Upholstery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Al’s Upholstery was established in the early ’90s by an Albuquerque father-son team, Al and Adam Duarte. What started out as a small family-owned business, is now one of the most highly regarded upholstery shops in New Mexico.
Custom-made American Racing wheels create an aggressive stance for this truck. The rear’s are a made-to-fit 22-inch, with 20-inch wheels on the front. The low-profile Nitto tires add to the sleek look. The bodywork had been shaved to make the entire truck look sleek, so the wheel and tire combo play into that theme well.
The biggest praise Josh had was for the TCI chassis. “We went with a TCI chassis because my cousin tells me they are the best. So that is what we went with … and it came out cherry.”
For more details on Josh’s 3100 Chevy dream truck, watch the full video. For more information about TCI Engineering and its chassis offerings, visit them online at totalcostinvolved.com.