1000BHP Chevy 3100 Drag Truck Restoration

1954 Chevy 3100 drag truck


What Car: 1954 Chevy 3100 Drag Truck

Under the Bonnet: 7L supercharged V8 (650BHP)

The Chevy 3100 pickup is a highly sought after classic American truck among collectors and enthusiasts. Its timeless design, reliable performance, and iconic status make it a popular choice for car shows and restoration projects.
Olly recently purchased this particular drag truck, having raced it for over 10 years with the previous owner Andy, who has decided to hang up his racing gloves. This Chevy 3100 is a serious bit of kit having been race prepped by Webster Engineering 10 years ago at the tune of £120k, however Olly would like to take it to the next level whilst also making it street legal. We will be following the whole progress on this with photos and videos, so a great one to follow. Head over to our Youtube channel and give us a follow.

The Plan:

Engine: Rebuild engine with uprated pistons, con rods, oil pump, fuel cell. New upgraded superchargers with ceramic coated veins. Upgraded fuel and engine management systems. New manual gearbox fitted
Interior: Swap seats out for more comfortable ones as this truck will also be driven on the street. Convert from left hand drive to right, new peddle set and steering wheel. Polly carb windows in the cab
Exterior: New custom made removable fibreglass front (moulds will be kept to sell this front end in the future). Extra braces on the roll cage.
Wheels: Rota MRX wheels 12J wide on back and 8J wide on front. Tyres 335 30 18 Nankang AR1 (back) 245 x 40 x 18 Nankang AR1 (front)
The project has kicked off with the fabrication of a new light weight custom one piece removable front end, which will allow Olly to access the engine easily when he is working on it track side. We have called upon the amazing expertise of the guys over at Sussex Fibreglass and plastics to create the mould and front end. Once the mould has been made we intend to sell these removable fronts as a product on our website.
Creating the mould for such a intricate front end is no mean feat and needs tremendous experience and knowledge. Thankfully Steve at Sussex Fibreglass and Plastics with over 100 years of personal experience is definitely the man for the job. Due to its complexity the mould will be made in 3 pieces and bolted together, however the final product will be made of one piece.
They kick off the project by filling in the seams and gaps in the bumper with plasticine and smoothing it off. Once the plasticine is in place, it helps to create a uniform surface and prevent any leaks or seepage from the gelcoat and also creates a slight radius to allow the fibreglass matting to sit in it for a smooth finish.
Next up MDF was cut to match the shape of the wing and attached, they will fibreglass up to this MDF strip and create a flange where the three part mould can be bolted together.
Next up they started coating the arches and bonnet in contrasting layers of gel coat, first with a layer of blue and then a layer of red. These layers give you the smooth finish and are contrasting so that when the mould is rubbed down you can see if you have rubbed through a layer. The fibreglass is then layered on.
The bonnet section was then gel coated and fibreglassed up to the flanges on each wing.
With the mould created and left to dry out for a few days it was then time remove it from the car and create a new bonnet with it. The mould was first rubbed down and the first layer of black gel coat was applied.
Next up a layer of grey gel coat was applied, it is contrasting colour so that you can clearly see if you have missed a spot. Then the layers of fibreglass and Aramid (A heat-resistant and strong synthetic fiber weave) were also applied.
With the all the layers applied, they were left 4 days to properly dry out before it was finally time to take the product out of the mould, clean up and test fit on the truck. I have to say the guys at Sussex Fibreglass & Plastics have done an awesome job, its looks amazing on the truck and has retained all the intricate details on from the original panels. Not only does it look great but its strong and super light weight. It will be really easy now for Olly to remove the whole front end when he need to work on the engine. He can even sit on the front wheels while doing it….Bonus!
The guys over at Curzon Fabrication have been been strengthening the built in roll cage with new custom fabricated tubular sections on the back and front of the cage.
Olly has converted the truck from left and drive to right hand drive by replacing the left hand drive rack with a right hand drive one. He has also fabricated new seat mounts for the new buckets to sit on.
To be continued…….

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