Amazingly Original: 1952 Ford F-1

52 Ford PU 3

At least for me, there is nothing better than seeing an old car or truck in original, as-built condition. They are relatively few and far between these days, and too often, as we see on Barn Finds, original cars have been stored badly and when found, are no longer pristine. When I saw this incredible original 1952 Ford F-1 pick up in this ad here on craigslist in Fairfield, Connecticut, my jaw literally dropped. This is just a beautiful example and wonderful to see, regardless of the asking price of $25,000, which puts it way out of my price range.

52 Ford PU front

I don’t follow truck values for early Fords, so I did a little quick research online, and it looks like this seller knows what he has and is not at all out of bounds with this asking price.

52 Ford running board

But the real point is not what it’s selling for or what it’s worth, just look at these pictures and you will appreciate how well it has been taken care of for over 60 years.

52 Ford floor

The seller tells the story of how this truck remained in such great condition: “This truck was used to hold extra fire hoses for a fire station in south Dakota and always stored inside… Runs drives and sounds like new.. Paint is all original with spots of primer coming through from being polished at the fire house often.”

52 Ford engine and fender

How it got from South Dakota to Connecticut is not mentioned. But the seller does point out that the truck’s body is excellent, with only dings and scratches from normal use, and that it has no rust. In addition, the bed wood is original and has one rotted spot from hose water dripping on it for many years.

52 Ford front seat

The truck’s interior is claimed to be in “like new condition,” and the pictures do bear that out, although the seat is dry and has some obvious cracks on the driver side.

52 Ford dash

The dashboard is absolutely beautiful. For an old work truck, this looks like a pretty comfortable place to spend some time.

52 Ford engine

It has a six cylinder engine too – 1952 was the first year for Ford’s new overhead valve 215 cid six. In this truck, the engine compartment does look extremely clean, shows the original paint still on engine and even the valve cover decal looks good. I am guessing that even though the six was the base engine offered, that it is rarer to find than the flathead V-8, but perhaps someone more knowledgeable about these trucks can confirm production numbers for the engines Ford offered.

52 Ford inside door

No pictures of the bed or undercarriage were provided in the ad, so even though this truck looks great and the seller’s description sounds legitimate, anyone about to spend $25K (or close to that) will need to perform a thorough inspection and road test. Even with only 23,000 miles, and not counting its 63 years of service, it’s still a used truck, isn’t it? If I was going to buy this truck, I’d want to know exactly where in South Dakota it came from, and its complete history through the current owner. Hopefully, all that information will be available. If you are interested in 1948-52 F-1s, there are lots of examples of this era Ford commercial vehicles for sale on Hemmings.com, with prices that vary wildly. Fire department trucks are frequently low mileage and well cared for vehicles, but not so frequently for sale. For me, this particular example’s originality and pristine condition make it really special, and if I had the money and the space, I’d be at the seller’s house today (it’s less than ten miles from where I live too!) You can find out about these trucks from other owners on a Ford truck owner’s forum here and the Society for the Preservation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America (SPAAMFAA) might be of interest as well. So would you be proud to have this truck parked in your garage?

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Comments

  1. JayGryph

    Truck is very high priced, in my opinion. Nice truck though.

    Friend of mine has a ford of this vintage but with the earlier slat grill that’s done up as a mild and subtle period custom, patina for days but a very nice interior and overall very genuine look and feel to it and I think he was only asking 11 or 12 for it.

    Someone may pay this, and truck prices are steadily on the rise, but I dunno, seems steep to me.

    Way cool though.

  2. Jason Houston

    When you look at what kind of 1952 Ford truck 25G’s will get you – all cut up, kiddie wheels, missing parts, hippie paint jobs, wrong/missing running gear, etc. – this is a bargain at any price. Cars only have nice original patina ONCE!

    • Dairymen

      Wow, the first positive post from you! Keep it up!

      • Jason Houston

        Well, excuse me, oh humble Sir.

      • randy

        I was just thinking the same thing!

        I luv you man!! ;>), we are watching you!!

  3. Ed P

    The condition of this truck is amazing. It looks likes all it needs is gas to be a daily driver. Getting another truck to be like this one may well cost more than $25g. So, the price is high, but not unreasonable.

  4. Donnie

    Reel nice truck. cant get the Sanford and son them song out of my head but that’s ok

    • streamliner

      Check out the ebay link. The real “Sanford and Son” truck was a 1951. Sold on ebay in Oct. 2014 for $28,000. TV show provenance aside, that truck was in poor condition. This unrestored, unmolested survivor 1952 F-1 is amazing. I agree, the asking price is high but not unreasonable. Unrestored vintage vehicles in this condition are rare and desirable.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/251677693437?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

      • r.goodhue

        the 1951 and 52 1/2ton pickups had the three tooth grille making it rarer than the others museum quality would be appraised for 58,000.00 so the price is a bargain.

  5. JW

    If only I had that kind of cash laying around this baby would be in the garage next to the Mach1.

  6. fred

    If only Fred and Lamont knew what they had….

  7. Jim O Member

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Howard A Member

    Well, the up side is, this is a very nice find. I’ve said it before, there just CAN’T be many of these left in the country, which may or may not justify the price. The downside, is everybody with a rusty hulk of a pickup, ( and not knowing the difference between this and their’s) will think their’s is worth big bucks too. Apparently, if you want an original, hardly used ’52 Ford pickup, this is what it will cost you. Some quick facts ( according to “How Stuff Works”), the 215, 6 cylinder put out 101 hp, compared to the 239 V-8 that put out 106 hp. ( couldn’t have a 6 putting out more than a V-8)They made 81,537 F-1 pickups in ’52, down from ’51 at 117,414, at a cost of about $1200 per truck. Chevy was still #1, but Ford was catching up fast.

  9. jim s

    this truck is too nice for me but would be great for a lot of people. i wonder how many offers the seller has already received. great find.

  10. Chebby

    It’s a super nice truck with great provenance, and maaaaaybe the condition makes it “worth it” but what are you going to do with it for that money? It’s too pricey for Home Depot / dump runs, and given that it’s a only few steps more civilized than a tractor, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to spend that much time behind the wheel. You’d have to be a really wealthy guy who can pay whatever he wants for an occasional toy, and I’d assume people with that kind of money want nicer toys than this. Or at least I would.

    If I had $25k to spend on an automotive acquisition, a primitive old truck would not even make the list. And then who is the next buyer after you?

  11. Chebby

    Also, it’s worth noting the “Cost Clipper” sticker with its plaid background on the valve cover….several car manufacturers of the day made references to Scotland for their thriftiest offerings. Studebaker even called their cheapest strippo model the “Scotsman”. I don’t know if that’s exactly racism, but you sure can’t do that today LOL.

    • Brakeservo

      Well, I once owned a 1948 Rolls-Royce specifically built without a radio or heater per the desire of it’s first owner, a Scotsman!!

  12. Jason Houston

    In 1985 I saw a late-model burgundy Rolls Royce in Palm Springs, which had blackwall tires and small hub caps, all factory.

  13. geomechs geomechs Member

    Very fine example of a well-kept pickup; they don’t come any better than this. If it were mine I’d maintain it and drive it. Doing anything else with this would be blasphemy.

  14. Jason Houston

    I agree 100%. Protect it, don’t destroy it! Virgins like this only come around only once in a lifetime.

  15. JD

    Too bad a shark got hold of it and is asking a sky-high price for it – just try to find another one, though. He definitely has the market cornered on this one. I’m sure the fire company that owned that truck for all those years won’t be seeing a penny of the proceeds, either. Hopefully it will go to a good home now. Those pics are just amazing to behold!!!

  16. Brakeservo

    What makes you think that a “shark” got a hold of it, and if there’s a market for it at that price level (and I’ve got to think it’s pretty limited) why should he be compelled to sell for any less? Sounds almost Marxist to me.

    • Jason Houston

      Because 99.9% of what you see on the Internet is offered by sharks (flippers, bottom-feeders, hustlers, clandestine used-car dealers). This ain’t the good old days when little old one-owners would throw an ad in the Sunday paper!

  17. David Frank David Member

    What a great truck! It’s a matter of personal prefference I guess. I’d rather have this original truck than pay a bit more for the restored one pictured (in the museum). True, the restored one is beautiful and has some nice upgrades, but some of us love an original truck like this. (The restored pickup is being sold on consignment for the long time owner)

  18. Mike

    I always thought with this grill that the truck was smiling a big grin at you.

  19. Phil

    When I first came to North America the first vehicle I bought was one of these. Cost me $100 to buy and $100 to insure. Wish I had kept it. Nice Truck.

  20. Danton J. A. Cardoso

    Cue “The Streetbeater” by Quincy Jones when this rig rolls up.

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