Passion Through Design – 1951 3100 Chevy Truck

GM Scene Magazine®

Jeff Higgins' 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

For Jeff Higgins, being a part of the custom automotive lifestyle has shaped him into the person he is today. It all started years ago when Jeff began his passion by hanging out with friends, working on their own vehicles, and learning the tricks of the trade. Soon after, his passion led him to a great deal on a 1951 Chevy 3100 located in western Colorado. So, his adventures sent him and his good friend Jerry Gilpin out on the highway to pick up his next truck build.

The idea for this purchase was to transform the truck into a cool patina daily driver for himself. On their way home, he and Jerry started talking about other possibilities for how Jeff’s new 3100 purchase could be turned into. Jeff recalls his plan not only got changed up once but at least 10 times before the truck was torn down.

One day, Jeff drove his patina 3100 up to Dan Tallant at Tallant’s Hot Rod Shop on the north side of Kansas City, Missouri. After multiple conversations with Dan on how Jeff’s truck should be built, the final build layout was set in stone, and Jeff handed over his truck to Dan to let him work his magic on the truck.

Since the original motor was not going to be left stock, Jerry Gilpin built up for Jeff a strong 383 Chevy Stroker with forged internals that could withstand any kind of force injection. After Jerry finished up the last bolt on the newly built motor, Jeff brought in a big 6-71 supercharger from The Blower Shop that would feed a strong 9 lbs. of boost to the 383 powerplant.

To make the truck handle this newfound horsepower, the old front suspension was tossed out and replaced with a Mustang II complete assembly along with a set of new 12” Wilwood drilled and slotted disc brakes. The rear frame also needed reworked; that’s where Dan’s shop boxed in the rear frame for strength and installed a Tri-bar kit.

The guys at Tallant’s Hot Rod Shop started on the body of the truck. Some of the items on the list to do were smoothing out the body panels and adding a custom walnut bed wood treatment to the bed. Once all the custom touches were finished, it was time to hand over the truck to their painter. A custom Burgundy PPG paint was chosen. Once out of the paint booth, it was just what Jeff had envisioned.

Next, the truck was moved into Tallant’s Upholstery shop to work their magic. The bench seat was wrapped in a tan Rolls Royce leather hide while custom touches were applied to the door panels. A Vintage Air system was installed along with a Kenwood head unit and speakers. Now, with the final touches complete to the interior, the truck was ready to ride in comfort on the road.

The guys at Tallant’s Hot Rod Shop handed over the keys to Jeff. Ecstatic was a good way to describe his emotions as he admired this wonderful creation. Without the drive and focus shown on his truck, this would not have turned out as expected. The first car show the truck was entered just proved by how much attention it received that it was a grand slam. Jeff would like to give special thanks to Jerry Gilpin, Dan Cain, Dan Tallant, and everyone in the shop who had a hand in rebuilding his dream truck into reality.

GM Scene Magazine®