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1948 Ford F1 Garage Find

After storing it in their garage for sixteen years, the seller of this 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck has decided to let someone else return it to the road. They have listed it for sale here on Facebook Marketplace and recently reduced the price to an affordable $4,800. It’s located in Rockford, Illinois.

The F1 was Ford’s (and largely the big three’s) first attempt at designing a pickup truck that was more than just a vehicle to haul things around with. The cab was 7 inches wider than its predecessor, allowing three people to ride on the bench seat in comfort driving to town to pick up the groceries. Vent windows were featured for the first time. Doors were enlarged for easier access. And, of course, the styling was modernized with the latest horizontal trends, as opposed to the vertical lines featured until the F1. This truck offers either a fairly solid shell to build from (yes, I see the rust bubbles, but at least there’s metal in between them!) or some great patina if you’re into that look. By the way, those “DX” decals are from the Sunray DX Oil Company, which merged with Sun Oil (better known as Sunoco) in 1968. You can read about a cool old restored DX gas station here if you are so inclined.

There’s a “spare” cab that comes with the truck. I’m guessing this is indicative of some rust issues with the original, but if nothing else should offer some return on the purchase of the truck if you sell it to another restorer.

Inside the main truck’s cab, it’s reassuring to see a floor in place and what looks to be all the original gauges. Doesn’t the spotlight handle look cool? Perhaps this was a gas station’s truck used to go out on the road and rescue folks after a breakdown?

Unfortunately, it’s clear the engine will need to be rebuilt. A quick check of the internet shows that the standard engine for this truck would have been a 226 cubic-inch flathead inline six-cylinder, so this could be the original engine. This particular engine design was introduced in 1941 and continued until 1951 and produced about the same power (~90 horsepower) as the venerable flathead V-8 that was also available. Surprisingly, it was easy to find a complete rebuild kit for the engine here, so for around $1,300 and some machine shop work you could probably have the engine purring. I’m sure many of you would put in some sort of later model engine (and who will be the first to suggest a Chevy V-8…sacrilege!) but I’d want to keep this old six as it was. Do you think this truck is worth saving as I do?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    With the amount of flat head V8s still around it makes sense to put one in this truck. Could be a fun project that could be made into a weekend fun machine.

    Like 6
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    These were definitely a major change from the prewar design that preceded it. Three wide? Well, there were many times I had FIVE in the cab of my ‘47. I don’t know why it is that guys are always in pairs but girls travel in THREEs. But when they wanted a ride I was only too glad to accommodate them.

    This is a great project to take on. The six would be a welcome departure from the V8s. A definite restoration. Parts are relatively easy to come by. I wouldn’t blame anyone for installing a more modern V8 but it wouldn’t be my course of action…

    Like 11
  3. greg
    • Joe Backer

      Would need to box the frame or start with an all new one. With over 400hp that olde frame is going to twist.

      Like 2
  4. Andy

    I will assume that that this is a stick/standard shift transmission. Do you know if it is on the column or on the floor? Is it a three speed or four speed? Also, is there a free and clear title? Lastly, is there transportation available to ship it to Michigan? Some of the pictures are not clear.

    Like 2
    • TouringFordor

      I drove one in my youth. It had the flathead six and a three speed on the floor. If you let off of the accelerator while in second gear, it would pop into neutral. 🙂 It was plenty fast enough with the six.

      Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      It would be a floor shift regardless of 3 or 4 speed. Ford introduced a column-shifted three-speed late in the ’49 season but it wasn’t until ’50 that the column-shift really took off.

      I sure do remember those Ford transmissions popping out of 2nd gear. The bearing between the input shaft and mainshaft could be blamed as well as the ball-check detents on the 2-3 synchronizer pack. My ’47 jumped out of 2nd regularly and I was tempted to put a hook on the dash to capture it. I remember the old school bus I used to ride; it jumped out of high. The owner had a forked stick the was cut to the correct length so he could stick it between the dash and the shift lever to hold it in place…

      Like 2
  5. Phlathead Phil

    My kinda truck.

    Price is CORRECT!

    Like 1
  6. Johnny

    Prices are starting to come down now. The inner fenders,part of the floor,transmission ,maybe the title,radio and who knows what. I,ll pass for something that is complete and more reasonable priced. Type in your address bar 1948 Ford and see . The PATINA reminds me someone who cann,t afford to get it painted. In reality it would look alot nice with a nice paint job.

    Like 2
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    What! No comments about Redd Fox and the old Ford pickup on his show “Sanford and Son”?
    God bless America

    Like 2
    • piston poney

      we had a repelica of that truck a few years back, i love that show

      Like 0
  8. Joe Backer

    Needs a pro shop and two, three years of work. I’d put in flathead v8.

    Like 1
  9. Snaps

    I am looking for a interesting lawn decoration, don’t need the spare cab. I don’t want to fix it up but rather leave as is, a great conversation piece. Love the patina.
    Is this your best price?

    Like 0

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