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'I don't want a trailer queen' - Dean Shaw's Chevrolet 1947 Thrift Master 3100 still hits the road

Published:Friday | February 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie

A time capsule warped with 21st-century ingenuity is the perfect description of the Chevrolet 1947, Thrift Master 3100. Owned by businessman Dean Shaw, this vintage pickup truck serves as a dose of nostalgia and the perfect vehicle for very heavy lifting.

Introduced in mid-1947, Chevrolet and GMC's advanced design truck was a major turnaround for pickup trucks of the time. Its design inspired the beginning of a new era of trucks where style and comfort were the top priorities. This truck features a large cabin, which was engineered to provide comfortable seating and better visibility.

"I'm a big fan of cars," said Shaw.

His passion for vehicles started very early due to his association with racing and the selling of classic cars, which took place on a car lot owned by his father several years ago.

"I got drafted into it (racing) by being around some of my friends, but I had a thing for fixing old cars and selling them again."

"When I went hunting for a truck, I wanted something totally different from everybody else, and this was the one that struck me," he told Automotives.




The Chevrolet Thrift Master 3100 was the first pickup truck created by the company. This left-hand model is unique in its design and a rare gem among classic cars.

The vehicle was restored 15 years prior to Shaw buyng it and was modernised by the previous owner. However, new modifications were made to get the truck working at its best.

The major challenge with restoration came from the rewiring of the pickup truck. Rewiring a vintage vehicle can be overwhelming and requires a lot of patience due to the nature of the model. Being a do-it-yourself man, this challenge was the perfect opportunity for Shaw to build on his self-taught skills with motor vehicles.

"I had to do a lot of work on this truck. It was a long process, which was very costly, but a solid investment," he said.

"I don't want a trailer queen. I like people sitting in the truck and driving it. That is what it was meant for," Shaw said when asked how often he drove the classic vehicle.

"It is my main pickup truck, and I use it all the time."

If given the opportunity to purchase another classic vehicle, Shaw was adamant that he would get the same vehicle.

"I love the nostalgia. It's not for everybody, and it is more appreciated by the older generation."


Facts on Chevrolet 1947, Thrift Master 3100:


- OHV inline six-cylinder engine with twin carburettors

- Four-speed manual transmission

- Front suspension with leaf springs and shock absorbers

- Rear axle with leaf springs and shock absorbers

- Four-wheel drum brakes

- Wheelbase: 116in

- Radios were first available in Chevrolet trucks as an 'in dash' option on the 'Advance-Design' body style.

- From 1947 until 1955, Chevrolet trucks were number one in sales in the United States, with rebranded versions sold at GMC locations.