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Grape Hauler! 1965 Jeep FC 170

The seller tells us that this 1965 Jeep FC 170 was only used on a farm to haul grapes to the packing house, and therefore only has 26,000 original miles! Naturally, farm miles are pretty tough ones, so it’s wearing a few dents, dings, and some rust from it’s life. There’s also the not so small question of a lack of title at the moment, but the seller seems to think that’s not a big problem (I disagree). Naturally, it’s in California, a little south of the Napa Valley (perhaps they were eating grapes as opposed to wine grapes?) in a town called Sultana. You can find the eBay listing here. Right now it’s bid to $3,000 without a reserve.

The FC 170 was the benefit of a much larger bed and even width than the original FC 150 (introduced in 1956 on the standard CJ-5 chassis). The seller was told that this one has been sitting for around 30 years, ever since the shift lever on the outside of the transfer case was broken. However, the seller is including a spare case and part needed to repair it. That looks like a very useful bed to me, but the few forward control vehicles I’ve sat in, much less driven, just feel odd to drive to me. You get used to it after a while, though. Most of these that I’ve seen have a lot more rust than this one does.

The interior pictures were evidently taken before the seller pulled the seats out. Although there’s some work to be done, honestly it looks remarkably complete and usable to me.

That covered hump in the middle is where the engine is hiding. The surface rust is a little worse on this side; it must have been more “in the weather”.

This is the 226 cubic inch “Super Hurricane” flathead six cylinder engine the cover is hiding. The seller has rebuilt the carburetor but it’s not running yet. I’m guessing the ball-type heater valve is a post-production modification (wink).

What a massively solid frame. There are some signs that it was lubricated when it was being used as well, another good sign. While I may not be the biggest fan of these unusual Jeeps, I know some folks fit that category; are you one of them? Does this look like a good buy to you?

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Comments

  1. boxdin

    These are great, but are trucks in the roughest sense of the word.
    I like their new one better;

    13+
  2. Craig Brockhaus

    Looks like a clean Barn Find to me!

    3+
  3. redwagon

    i think that’s a one off prototype, ie not scheduled for production.

    agreed, it sure looks cool.

    1+
  4. Dave Wright

    These are not a truck but a rebodied Jeep….heavier than the regular model, same low power engine and drivetrain. Interesting vehicles but poor on the road. I have a friend with maby 1/2 a dozen of them he bought for scrap…..probably best to use in the vineyards for short slow runs. A bit like a mini Unimog, more tractor than vehicle. As for Wine grapes and counties in California. Fresno was always the largest producer by volume, just doesn’t have the name.

    1+
  5. boxdin

    True; Napa Valley Wines sounds a lot better than; Fresnos Wines.

    2+
  6. JW

    I really wanted one of these but it’s way too far away for the money and work involved to make road worthy.

    1+
  7. Howard A Member

    How do you break a shift lever off? No gas cap, hasn’t it been raining in Cal? The 170 was tad bit better, being longer, but miserable vehicles. Like Dave sez, short hauls,,,is about all you’d be able to handle. And to DISagree with Dave, I’m not sure what he considers a truck, but this is a truck in my book, probably the toughest truck you could get. War proven mechanicals, just not the most civilized. Up north, the cabs literally fell off these things. Great find.

    1+
  8. Dan

    Gas station boss I had in 1970 (yeah I’m old)…..had one of these things to drive as a service truck, was a blast to drive….

    2+
  9. Sam

    Maybe the seller should barter with a local pot farmer…ha ha. A local, former, full service gas station had one with a snow blade.

    3+
  10. Blyndgesser

    Wish someone made a forward-control truck in this size range for the US market today. Imagine a modern FC170 or a 21st century Econoline pickup, with a ten foot bed and a modern four cylinder turbodiesel. Ultimately practical but cool.

    6+
  11. leiniedude

    Surprised to see the flattie in there, I thought by 1965 they would be using the 230 Tornado. Nice old rig. Here in Wisconsin that tail gate would be worth a fortune.

    3+
  12. geomechs

    That F226 motor. Let’s see: Oliver, Hyster, Clark, REO, Gardner-Denver, Consolidated Pneumatic, Massey Harris, just to name a few users. A popular powerplant, used in nearly everything that moved, tilled, lifted, hauled, drove, pumped, or hammered. Still no powerhouse but it was a damn sight more powerful than the 4-banger. A local farmer had one with a 4 cyl. You had to push it to get it going, downhill with a tailwind. I often wonder what happened to it. The guy used the old FC Jeep as a regular farm pickup. His wife often drove it. One day it disappeared and nothing replaced it….

    1+
  13. Rock On

    Hino still makes something that resembles a forward control. Some of the couriers and cartage companies in the GTA use them.
    http://www.hino.com/phone/trucks.html
    P.S.
    Sultana grapes are for raisins not wine.

    5+
    • Blyndgesser

      That’s a much larger truck, like the Isuzu NPR.

      0
  14. Ken Martin

    My Dad bought a ’58 FC150 the day JFK Was shot. We plowed snow with it for 32 years. It was perfect for that. Kept it in a heated garage, so rust was slowed. Sold it in 1996, to a friend. He said it wasn’t what he was really looking for, so he scraped it. It was all original, what did he expect? If he had said something to me, I’d have bought it back. I’m still not happy with him! Life goes on.

    1+
  15. chad

    this & era vans could B a lill nose heavy…go down a hill, unloaded, hit the break & U were on ur frnt bumper…

    0
  16. leiniedude

    Grapes or raisins she is gone now. Sold for $5,200.00. With 19 bids.

    0

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