6,000 Original Miles: 1955 Ford F250

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

The picture alone makes this 1955 Ford F-250 an intriguing find, but then you read the description: 6,000 original miles, parked by the only owner’s son in a barn somewhere near Louisburg, Kansas. The seller claims this truck is in excellent condition despite its dusty confines, and that Thunderbird owners have been asking him for years to pull the motor for one of their projects. Thankfully, it remains complete and is listed here on craigslist for $20,000. Be sure to go here if the ad disappears.

$20K is a tall ask, but this truck is likely quite unrepeatable. It’s been in this barn for 40 years, still on its original tires. The body has been converted to a flat-bed, but the seller retains a traditional pickup-style bed, rear fenders and tailgate should the next owner wish to convert it. The truck has been repainted at least once by the seller’s father due to fading (not rust). The dust provides further evidence as to how long this truck has been stationary.

Inside, the vibrant red doors and dash panels reinforce the fact this truck hasn’t seen much heavy use despite its commercial-grade bed. The seller notes his father ran a body shop and stored the truck there for years. The drive from the shop to its current country home was uneventful, and the seller adds that the “…front end and transmission drove like new.” The interior really does look practically new in the wrapper, though the bench seat will apparently need reupholstering.

Check out that clean chassis – further vindication as to the truck’s low mileage claims. Now, what do you do with it? My instincts tell me to put the pickup body back and get rid of the flatbed it’s currently sporting. Polish the paint, tune-up and enjoy. These aren’t so valuable that adding a few hundred miles annually is out of the question. Whatever you do, just watch out for those pesky Thunderbird owners.

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  1. Fred w.

    So his 20K price is based on the fact that it drove well 41 years ago? No mention of whether the engine is running or is stuck?

    • Metoo

      Call the guy and ask him about the motor. See how simple it is?

    • steve

      Amazes me how much money some of these people are asking for, in some cases, not much more than scrap iron!!!!!! I mean, 20 grand for this old truck that will probably need thousands invested before it will move….BUT IT’S THE OWNER’S AND HE CAN ASK WHAT HE WANTS…..

      • Barry Klotz

        Didn’t the article say it runs? You might confirm that.

  2. Bob

    Question, how can he state that it is a Tbird engine when it only has a 2 barrel carb? Every “Tbird” engine I saw in full sized cars back in the day, was clearly marked. I swapped a “Tbird” 312 into a 53, and not only did it have a 4 barrel carb, but also, the valve covers were marked with the T bird emblem.
    I get that this is most likely a low mileage truck, but I don’t see $20,000 in it.

    • Andy

      He didn’t say it was a Tbird engine, just that Tbird owners want it. A manifold swap takes what, about an hour?

      • Bob

        For one thing, that 55 truck engine could be a 239, and even if it was a 252 or a 272, it would have a compression ration of 7.5, whereas the Thunderbird engine had a compression ratio of 8.1.

      • glen

        Actually, he does say the ’55 V8 engines are the same.

    • CD

      The C Code 57s were a 2BBL 292..

      • KKW

        But all 312s were either single or dual 4barrels

  3. Leon

    I recall a story a few years back about a truck during WW2. Maybe International. It was put in corner of warehouse with something like 23 miles and sat there for 60 years

  4. Mike

    The seller states “barn find!!!” When did sitting for ages in an unheated, damp, dusty, bird sh!t splattered, rodent infested enclosure become such a selling point?

    • MrBZ

      Why are you here?

      • dan

        he don’t have to tell you,lol

  5. Rube Goldberg Member

    While my 1st thought, being red, was some sort of fire truck, but there’s no evidence of that, so it probably is just a red stake bed. I don’t think it has 6,000 miles, speedo’s and cables broke all the time back then, ( I had several trucks of this vintage with non-working speedo’s) but it certainly doesn’t have a lot of miles. Be a great start to a very cool truck. This is one instance where I say resto-mod the heck out of it.

  6. Suttree

    The site is Barn Finds. The comments section should be called Nitpick A Part(at least in this case for sure).

    • Tim S. Member

      I think mostly what they’re complaining about is sellers who ask driver quality money for vehicles a homeless Calcuttan wouldn’t spend a night in, and outright demand primetime Barrett-Jackson money for anything that will run.

      • Carter Gorman

        My opinion is only a chump would fork out the 20 grand the seller is asking. To my observation one thing about collectible older vehicles seems to be increasing: The number of owners who think they have a gold mine when they put said old vehicle up for sale.

        Maybe for $20,000 the seller will dust off the truck for *free*! 😀

  7. Warren

    Well if someone wants to buy this engine to put in their 55 Bird, more power to them. Just do not tell them it is most likely a 239 not a 292 or 312. 55 239s were similar in that they were a Y-Block but had several differences such as head port size, water pump mounting, etc. I built one up for a 60 F100 project. Ran great, had decent torque for what it was, but was no 292 or 312 that is for sure.

    • MrF

      Is this a picture of your 239? Looks nice.

  8. AirBoss

    That’s a lot of wear to the steering wheel finish for ‘6,000 miles’

    • LAB3

      Agreed! That caught my eye right off the bat.

      • Beatnik Bedouin

        Ditto from me… and the earlier comment about speedo cables breaking is spot on.

        $20K sounds a bit rich for this particular example.

    • Brakeservo

      Like so many “low mileage” cars offered, I have to wonder just how many times it’s been an original 6,000 mile car! And even if, IF the claim were true, it’s meaningless now as everything has be be rebuilt anyway if you really want to drive it!

    • Keith Hoskins

      Kind of looks like overspray from a previous paint job.

      • Whippeteer

        It does state that the car was repainted.

  9. geomechs

    I’m rather skeptical here. I like the truck but it’s so far out of my budget that I wouldn’t bother to make an offer. I always thought that the 239/256 ohv engine was a one year only (1954) and ’55 brought out the 272. Regardless I like those old ‘clickers.’ Overall this would be a nice truck to clean up and use. $20K though? Maybe someone else’s budget can afford it…

    • Warren

      My understanding is the 239 stuck around in the F250 through 1955. $20K asking on this is honestly a joke. No mention if this is set up for a 8 foot or 9 foot bed. Either way, you end up with a truck that restored is not worth 20K. In my opinion, $5000 tops.

    • KKW

      The 239 was used in trucks through 55. 56s got the 272. The 256 was actually a Mercury engine, I don’t believe many trucks came with one. And as usual, I’m sure there would be no quibbling over the asking price if it had a bowtie on the front.

      • geomechs

        Hi KKW. Thanks for the info. I knew that the 256 was a Mercury engine but I understand that it was fitted into the larger (F600) trucks as an option, much the same way as the 255 flathead was made available in the F-6/600 in ’53 and older.

      • JoeBazots

        The 55 was available with 223 inline 6, 239 V8, 256 V8, or the 272 V8 – at least according to data from ACES.

  10. half cab

    Am I missing something or what?says only owners son …but his dad bought in 1972?

    To many years between 1955 n 1972.

  11. James S.

    You can find well running examples for less than $10k, who knows what type of work this truck needs. “Still has air in the tires” yeah, driving on 40 year old rubber is a great idea! Seller is greedy, lazy and watches too much television.

  12. Classic Steel

    Great a low mileage big truck that will ride roughshod with manual everything!
    It’s a farm truck and not worth 20k to haul pigs and cows 🤠🤑

    Now if they come out with car shows that judge livestock in back too then this is s deal with dual trophies potential 😂

  13. Dave Mc

    Lumber wagon. You would have to take a leaf or two out of it or wear a helmet.
    Unless it’s loaded down, even my ’13 250 is a rough ride. These were worse.

  14. Ensign Pulver

    Are commercial trucks, beyond panels, becoming the next thing? I’m getting attracted to stake bodies…I think I have a problem.

  15. Luke Fitzgerald

    I don’t believe that 6k claim for 1 second – look at the engine bay – like someone previously advised,,the speedo stopped, but the bs didn’t – probably been tarted up a couple of times

  16. newfieldscarnut

    Overpriced .
    Get it running , driving and roadworthy and put a safe set of tires on it you won’t look like a ripoff .

  17. Gaspumpchas

    If I sound like a stuck,broken record, let me know. you would think for the steep price they would clean it off and get better pics of the box and rear fenders for a prospective buyer. Sure seems in good shape tho!!!

  18. Bob S

    Tough audience today…………….

  19. KSwheatfarmer Member

    Actual miles? Farm trucks around here could see very limited duty,usually only hauling grain during harvest. Then figure in typically short distances from field to town or farm storage and the miles just don’t add up very quick. Used to help my FIL with his auction business and sold a few with even less miles than this one.

  20. KSwheatfarmer Member

    Looks like a typical farm truck to me.

  21. KSwheatfarmer Member

    Looks like a typical farm truck!

  22. MrF

    That Y-block over-the front exhaust manifold is just too much! It’s the perfect complement to the stacked intake ports. Both intake and exhaust were thus badly restricted, at least maintaining consistency. I don’t have anything against these engines, but simply can’t imagine what Ford engineers were thinking. Chrysler was making the hemi, Chevy was on the cusp of the free-breathing small block, and the traditional Ford V8 auto asphyxiates. Amazing, and sure makes me wonder what happened.

    • KKW

      Oh, I see we have one of “you guys” in the audience, with that age old misconception about Y-blocks. Actually those stacked ports worked quite well. Ford one their fair share of races with these engines in the mid 50s, in fact, they dominated NASCAR in 1957. I don’t think they had too much trouble “breathing”.

      • Roger

        My dad educated me about how quick the Y block Fords were,telling me about a ’56 Ford car that belonged to a co worker that he had the experience of driving on the way home from work one evening when he got in a dogfight with a DeSoto Firedome and thoroughly whipping it,as he stated they were running side by side then when he punched the Ford to the floor,opened up the 4 barrel and dropping into passing gear it ate the DeSoto for lunch,always loved hearing that story.

      • MrF

        Just based on what I read and how the passages look (small). I have nothing against Y-blocks (except maybe that exhaust manifold). I have also read that they have a unique sound and hope to hear one sometime.

  23. RockNRoll

    I think the reason so many chime in to “nitpick” is what makes this country so great. The freedom to express oneself is why we love this country. Now, that being said, it’s safe to assume that we jump in and give our two cents when we differ in opinion with the author. I tend to agree with the majority on this one. The truck is simply way too overpriced. The return on investment just simply isn’t there, cleaned up or not on this truck. It would look nice cleaned up. And perhaps even fun to drive once Maintenence is performed. But there are so many other choices that a person can make for $20k+ that a person can purchase and enjoy with their investment.

  24. guggie

    cant believe you guys missed the brake,clutch,and gas peddles they look like new , always one indicator of use on old vehicles . the motor is sure dirty though.

  25. Alexander

    x2 on the worn steering wheel and speedo cables. SELLER: Show us what the removed pickup bed and fenders look like so we can see the beautiful blue oval patina from when the truck was new!

  26. Alexander

    Looks like it might have been a yellow truck originally. Look at the area under the hood by the brake master. May be red overspray on the steering wheel. Regardless… serious dough for a truck that doesn’t look like anything with 4 figure mileage should look. Let the possums continue to walk all over this dusty heap. Sell the engine!

  27. Whippeteer

    Those paw marks look suspiciously like raccoon… Check carefully for critter damage.

  28. Whippeteer

    If you go to the ad, the engine looks pretty crusty for only 6K miles. The pictures of the bed that comes with it is pretty crusty too.

  29. Pete

    I dunno, I think the body is solid in so far as the cab goes. That wear on the steering wheel was prolly caused by a wedding ring on the left hand. The hole in the seat back by a screw driver left in the back pocket. I am kinda torn about the condition of that engine for the mileage described. The difference between the inside of the cab and the motor is night and day. 6K miles on the clock. Hummm. Repainted cab, with a mismatched bed, really dirty engine and compartment. Something ain’t right. 20K if it was perfect maybe.

  30. Jimbo

    Person is nuts $20,000 no way

  31. KKW

    Contrary to popular belief here, it IS possible for an old vehicle to have extremely low mileage, especially if it’s a farm truck. I have an idea for all the non believers. Park a new vehicle in a barn or shed and leave it. Then go back in about 40 or 50 years, and see what you find. You will find a vehicle that looks like it has 100,000+ miles on it. There’s a thing called deterioration, and it takes a heavy toll when stored in a non climate controlled environment. I know this from experience.
    Btw, I’m not sure what happened to the steering wheel on this truck, but it isn’t wear. When the shiny black finish wears off these steering wheels, it’s still black underneath. Whatever that is, isn’t black, more like red or brown.

  32. theGasHole

    Because: If you want $10k for a truck, you need to list it at $20k, if you want $5k for a vehicle, you list it for $10k. That’s why.

    • Chinga-Trailer

      Well, Mr. GasHole, I think you’re doing it all wrong, but don’t feel bad – most people do. I recently sold an old sports car on eBay for $50,000 – the opening bid amount after the listing had been live for only about 45 minutes. Why did it sell so quick?? Because that was what it was worth. Sold an old Hot Rod the same way for $100,000 after the listing had been live for just half a day as well. Why did they sell so quick? Two reasons – both priced properly and in each case I also put my phone number in the listing. Now, friends have suggested I might have sold them “too cheap” because they sold so fast, but no, if properly priced and honestly presented, a car should sell for it’s asking price if said price is reasonable. Was I being stupid? I dunno, what do you think – I paid $30,000 for the car in the $100,000 sale, and $14,500 for the one in the $50,000 sale. Quick, easy, in and out – and people who’ve bought from me in the past never ever complain that I misrepresented or mislead them – that is how you really sell cars!

      • theGasHole

        Well I was being slightly sarcastic. My point was that people will list a $10k vehicle for $20k, and end up settling for much less (often after repeated no sales).
        I sell things much the way you do, but in a much lower price strata. I usually buy for around $2,000-$4,000, make sure the title is clear, the vehicle is cleaned, good photos, good description, and my phone number. Generally sell within 7-10 days, and make around $2,000-$3,000 per vehicle. Wash, rinse, repeat. You obviously know the formula as well, but from ads I’ve seen, 95% of people sure don’t!

  33. Chinga-Trailer

    Absolutely we both apparently know how to sell cars – another thing I’m amazed at is sellers making an outright lie, so obvious to anyone with half a brain that I think the only thing they accomplish is to say to the world “See, I will say anything, absolutely anything to make a sale, you can’t believe anything I say!!.” Those guys I stay away from. The best situation is when a prospect sees the car in person for the very first time and finds it to be better than he expects – it psychologically disarms him and he fears if he doesn’t buy it immediately, the next guy who sees it will! And that’s why they will pay full asking price!

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