Barn Beater: 1950 Ford F1

1950 Ford F1

This old truck looks like it just came out of the outback or something! The body is rough and the engine may be seized, but after going through the drivetrain, this could be one eye catching cruiser. Just think what it could be like with a hotted-up flathead, reupholstered bench seat, and ratty exterior. Some would say it could then be classified as a rat rod, but I propose a new genre – the barn beater! Some may not like the concept, but this is still a cool truck no matter how you look at it. This was the first generation of Ford’s now famous F-series line and it has some nice surprises under that well-worn exterior. The base engine in the humble half-ton F1 was an inline-six and it was normally connected to a 3-speed. This particular truck has the optional flathead V8 and a 4-speed transmission though so as far as early Ford trucks go, this one was very pretty well-optioned. It’s located in Paris, Missouri and is listed here on eBay for $3,000!


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  1. RayT Member

    I didn’t know Ford trucks of this vintage had an optional four-speed — thought they all came with three-speeds. That’s what I get for not having paid attention to trucks!

    My preferred course of action would be a bit different than yours, Jesse. I’d want to give this a “utility-grade” resto: thorough mechanical redo, decent interior and exterior de-rusted and shinied-up a bit, but no modifications. For cars, that would get you about 60 points at a concours, but would probably be a 90-point truck restoration.

    Always dug the early-50s Ford trucks, and certainly don’t mind a little wear around the edges; after all, every one I saw as a kid looked like it had been around the block a few thousand times. But they do look so nice when spiffed up! Assuming there aren’t hidden unobtanium parts I’m not aware of, it should be an easy job to make it nice.

    Like 1
  2. JW

    I love the 50’s on up Ford trucks, I would yes get all the mechanicals in order including brakes / wiring / fuel then redo the interior as stock and then I would just knock out the few dents fix any rust issues then primer it in dark gray and drive it as a truck and a few cruises, no judged trophy car shows, WE DON”T NEED NO STINKIN TROPHIES !!!

  3. fred

    Had one in high school that was 4 speed equipped. The tranny was more like a 3 speed, normally you would start in 2nd and go from there. Ist gear was called “grandma”- so low you could pull stumps with it. Nothing could stop the truck in low gear.

    • Ed P

      The granny gear would have the engine screaming between 8-10 mph.

  4. jim s

    i wonder what the story is on the other ford and the chevy truck in the photos. years ago this would have been a $300 back lot piece. now it is $3000 and i still think it would make a nice work truck. i too would make it safe but keep the ” parked by feel ” look. great find

  5. Howard A Member

    See, now here, compared to the Ford pickup on the 5th of June, Patina King, this would be the next step down, condition wise and probably the most common way you’ll find them. Take a lot to get ‘er going, as every system will need work. Wiki sez, for 1950, they moved the 3 speed shifter from the column to the floor, so this is probably a 3 speed. Didn’t 4 speeds have that little reverse lockout lever, or am I thinking of Chevy?

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. Ford didn’t use the lockout lever for some time. I’m trying to think if it was even in the late 30s when they decided that you just had to feel your way around. I drove one of those old Warner T-9s for a long time and the only trouble was the lack of a spring or anything to prevent you from sliding too far when shifting to 3rd gear. Fortunately Reverse was over and back so there was no grinding unless you really tried. You eventually got used to it, along with dealing with straight-cut gears and that unmistakable whine that could only come from a T-9/V8 combination.

  6. Bobsmyuncle

    It may be played out but im still a sucker for the P word. Not Porsche, patina.

  7. grant

    It isn’t patina its “rust” and “grime”. but clean it up and shoot it yellow, redo what chrome there is and you are looking good for not too much money.

    • Ed P

      Grant, I’m with you. Clean it up and paint it some color. Just remember, tractors are green and trucks are red!

  8. Scott Allison

    3K? No way.
    Paid $800.00 for a 49 F-3 four years ago. It was in better condition than this one.
    Yes. they had 4-speed trans. available.

    Looks like someone paid the 3K!

  9. HAlauman

    Drove 3/4 to calif 1953 nosyncro.mesh.
    La ter bought 1950 1/2 pu with 1050 olds engine what a hoot.

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