This is a 1955 Chevrolet Advanced Design 3100. Introduced in 1947, the Advanced Design pickups represented the first generation of new American light trucks after the end of World War II. This meant a stretching of the interior proportions over the old vehicle for a roomier, better lit interior.
Horsepower ratings came in at 112, with 200 lb-ft of torque being developed from the 235.5 cubic inch straight-six. Additionally, the ride was softer due to some very technical and not very interesting suspension tweaks, which ultimately led to a truck that was more comfortable, soothing and softer on the skin than its predecessor. That being said, this was still the early 1950s, and in terms of car comfort that’s a bit like saying that Ocean’s 13 is a bit less crap than Ocean’s 12. It’s still pretty crap.
But despite this, the Advanced Design pickups posted record sales numbers for every year they were on the market, which probably explains why you see so many of them in toy stores and in children’s stories. It is a classic shape, remarkable for it’s simplicity and function-over-form aura.
This particular example is from 1955, the last year for the Advanced Design before it was replaced by the boxier “Task Force” series of trucks. But I like the Advanced Design. I had one, albeit a significantly scaled down version, in the same red color. I used to have it with me when my mother read Emily Arnold Mcully’s “Picnic,” a picture book which featured, surprise surprise, a red Chevrolet Advanced Design. This, let it be known, blew my 5-year-old mind. So yes, this Chevy is piece of worker’s equipment that doesn’t ride very well. A glorified construction vehicle. But it’s a charming piece of equipment. It’s characterful. If it had a name, it’d be Charlie, and Charlie would be full of stories from years of work. In fact, I think that’s a better name than Advanced Design.
-This particular truck belongs to Martha’s Vineyard’s local paper, the Vineyard Gazette, hence the emblems on the doors and rear window.
-I realized about two sentences in that the word “forget” appears twice in the title of these things. And I thought I was being clever.