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Textbook Case – Mark McDonald’s 1950 Chevy 3100

We all agree that black paint requires a meticulously prepared surface, right? Mark McDonald’s 1950 Chevy 3100 pickup exceeds all expectations in that regard. The Axalta black laid down by the crew at Double Z Hot Rods in Dinuba, California, is just the first of many outstanding touches that you see on this pickup.

Mark credits the Double Z team for much of the work on this well-crafted hauler. Starting with the Art Morrison chassis, this pickup has all the right pieces in all the right places. The chassis incorporates an independent front suspension and a four-link rear setup featuring a Strange Engineering differential. Wilwood six-piston discs reside on all four corners. Pirelli tires surround 18×8-inch Raceline wheels on the front and 20×10-inch versions on the rear.

1950 Chevy 3100, chevy 3100, classic truck, 3100, 1950 chevy truck, double z, double z hot rods, truck of the year
1950 Chevy 3100, chevy 3100, classic truck, 3100, 1950 chevy truck, double z, double z hot rods, truck of the year, wilwood brakes


The essentially stock five-window body has been massaged just enough. The fender welting was deleted, custom running boards added, and all openings and gaps adjusted to be precise and consistent. Kindig door handles replace the stock pieces while the cowl vent was eliminated. Both bumpers were pulled closer to the body and raised. The wood-lined bed was raised four inches and shapely rear fender wells were modified to accept the wider (and raised) rear wheels and tires.

1950 Chevy 3100, chevy 3100, classic truck, 3100, 1950 chevy truck, double z, double z hot rods, truck of the year
1950 Chevy 3100, chevy 3100, classic truck, 3100, 1950 chevy truck, double z, double z hot rods, truck of the year

Power is supplied by an LS3 from Gandrud Performance topped by a Borla Eight Stack induction system. Spark comes from a Holley ignition. Modified heads are covered by Billet Specialties valve covers, with custom stainless headers and a stainless Borla exhaust system feeding waste gasses out the back. A 4L80 automatic transmission directs the power to the rearend.

1950 Chevy 3100, chevy 3100, classic truck, 3100, 1950 chevy truck, double z, double z hot rods, truck of the year


1950 Chevy 3100, chevy 3100, classic truck, 3100, 1950 chevy truck, double z, double z hot rods, truck of the year, 8 stack

The interior continues the black theme but adds contrasting red door inserts and seats into the mix. The diamond-stitched upholstery patterns add a little old-school texture. A stock dash finished in matte black paint houses Classic Instrument gauges as well as air-conditioning outlets, while the chrome tilt column from ididit is topped with a Billet Specialties steering wheel. Mercedes loop carpet was used for the floor and mats. The custom console built by Double Z holds additional A/C outlets and controls, power window switches and a pair of cup holders.

1950 Chevy 3100, chevy 3100, classic truck, 3100, 1950 chevy truck, double z, double z hot rods, truck of the year, custom interior, red leather

The attention to detail in Mark’s pickup is outstanding, from the use of stainless or chrome fasteners throughout, to the engineering under the hood. If you want to know what separates good from great, spend time looking at Mark’s 1950 Chevy 3100. It’s a textbook case of how to build a clean custom truck the right way.

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Photos by John Jackson & Damon Lee

Dave Doucette is a long-time Goodguys member with a career in newspaper, magazine and website journalism. He was one of the founding editors of USA TODAY, editor of two daily newspapers and co-owner of a magazine publishing and trade show company. He owns and operates Real Auto Media. His first car was a 1947 Ford; he has owned Camaros, Firebirds, El Caminos and a 1956 Chevy that was entered in shows from California to Florida before being sold last year. He was one of the original Goodguys Rodders Reps and served as president of two classic Chevy clubs. Doucette grew up in South Florida, avidly following the racing exploits of local hero Ollie Olsen and, of course, Don Garlits. He remembers riding his bicycle to Briggs Cunningham’s West Palm Beach factory to peak through the fence at his Sebring and LeMans racers.

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