Today you can buy a pickup with unbelievable power numbers, tow ratings, and all sorts of handy technology. But if you love your trucks dripping with vintage style, but still want some of the finer technological offerings you can get on a vehicle today, you don’t always have to give up too much. There’s a glorious 1955 Chevrolet 3200 NAPCO 4×4 for sale and it’s a restomod done right.
In 1955, Chevy released its Task Force truck series, the successor to Advance Design trucks. While pickups of the era were still seen as work vehicles, Americans were using them for more. Pickups made their way into suburban and city life. Seeing this change in how buyers used their trucks, Ford and GM both added refinements, style and features to their pickups. Chevy boasted the Task Force trucks’ good outward visibility and ease of entry.
But what Chevy considered to be unprecedented in 1955 is old-school technology 67 years later. For example, the engine originally under the hood of this beautiful truck made less power than a base model Toyota Corolla. And the radio is similarly stuck in the past.
That’s where a restomod can come in, and this one looks so good that it looks like a diecast model truck.
This 1955 Chevy 3200 pickup started life with a 3.9-liter straight-six that made 123 gross horsepower that drove just the rear wheels from the factory. However, the Northwestern Auto Parts Company (NAPCO) added its Powr-Pak, a system that converted the truck to four-wheel drive.
NAPCO is a parts supplier that originally opened its doors in 1918. In the early 1940s it decided to fill a hole that it saw in the truck market. Silodrome notes that four-wheel drive had proven itself in WWII, but for returning soldiers and civilians at home the choices of 4x4 trucks were slim. They could get a 4x4 conversion done, but they often involved sending off a truck for intensive modifications.
NAPCO started converting Chevrolet, Ford, GMC and Studebaker vehicles to 4x4 starting in 1942 and the company differentiated itself by making an easy conversion that could be finished in just a few hours.
NAPCO conversions were offered directly by GM between 1956 and 1959. Here, the NAPCO conversion added a new front axle, front differential, front driveshaft and a two-speed transfer case.
According to the seller, the truck was found on a farm by the previous owner then sent to a shop for a full restoration.
Since the owner wanted the truck to do work pulling horse trailers, they decided to have it fitted with a 330 hp GM Performance 350 crate engine fueled by a Holley Sniper EFI. It also has a Bluetooth stereo with a period-correct look, power steering, a trailer braking system, LED taillights and more.
The new engine sends power to all four wheels through the NAPCO conversion and a 700R4 automatic.
The end result is an old truck that still looks the part but could do modern work. You get modest power in a package that you could actually daily today. A NAPCO-converted truck is reportedly worth more than a regular 4x2. Thus, I’m not really surprised to see this one bidding at $50,000 with three days to go on Bring a Trailer.