Barn Fresh! 1946 Ford Pickup

This is most definitely a barn find, as you can see. This pickup was parked in this barn in 1973 and had been there until recently, with the keys still in the ignition. It’s a 1946 Ford and it’s listed on eBay with a current bid of just under $4,000 and there are five days left on the auction. It’s located in Norco, California.

It looks a little better out in the open, no? This truck has a rugged look, just a little (a lot) more than a modern pickup does. Maybe that’s because we know how really raw that it was as a vehicle. This was no luxury commuter like the majority of pickups are today, this was a tough, knuckle-bustin’ work truck. Period. There is a photo, here, of the truck after they started to clean it up, that’s pretty amazing!  I believe this is a model 69Y, a 1-ton, and the seller has that listed. But, they also have F1 and F3 listed, which wouldn’t have been available until the 1948 model year.

Thankfully, this was a California truck so for the first two-and-a-half decades while it was still in use it didn’t suffer the scourge of rust that a lot of us have to deal with. And, then to have been put into a barn, an actual barn-barn, like on a farm with animals and farm implements and seed sacks and great meals at the family table, and other Ford pickups.. that had to help with keeping the rust at bay.

The interior of this truck is as honest and rugged as the exterior is. This 71-year old truck only has 30,000 miles on it and I’m sure that generations of mice have been born and buried in and around it, but the soft-goods (seat, windlace, etc.) look like they’re in ok condition.

In 1946, the 239 cubic-inch, 100 hp flathead V8 was made available in the pickup. This is the engine that most buyers would want in this truck. This truck “is exactly as Henry Ford built it and the perfect basis for a restoration or museum piece.” It’s hard to argue with a totally original vehicle, even if it needs a lot of work to get it usable again. How would you restore this pickup?

Fast Finds


  1. terry

    Just enough to be safe driving it. Preserve everything else. It’s a beauty!

  2. Alan

    Heck yeah, the battery tray even looks healthy

  3. Metoo

    Just curious. What make and year is the other truck peeking out on the right

    • FoMoCoLoCo

      51-52 Ford F Series

  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Definitely a Canadian truck (headlight and parklight rings are body color–or were). It’s a tonner for sure. A great find as this is about as complete and original as it can get. The heads say C69A which indicate that the engine COULD be the one it left Windsor with. Could do a number of things with this truck. You could get it running and tuned up, and use/enjoy it as is or you could do a complete restoration. I sure wouldn’t butcher this one as it’s way too complete to wreck. It’s a stump puller with a Warner T-9 4 spd. and 5+ axle ratio. Super whiner; everyone will hear you drive down the street. I’d love to have it…

    • glen

      So,this didn’t spend it’s working life in California?

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi glen. I saw some photos of this on another site a fair time ago, and the barn scene is a farmstead in Saskatchewan, Canada. It seems to me that four trucks came off that farm. Not to worry about that region, very little salt on the roads, at least in the southern part of SK and AB. Montana uses very little and I think Idaho and North Dakota outlawed salt almost completely. There’s a lot of vehicles clearing Customs at Sweetgrass, MT and they are mostly coming from Saskatchewan and heading south down I-15 for California. Montana got virtually picked clean 20 years ago and now the buyers are venturing up into Canada. I lost out on (3) really nice ’38 Ford pickups that were a stone’s throw from the border in Alberta and Saskatchewan. I was as close as 15 minutes to one of them. I lost them all to order buyers from California who don’t even quibble with the price. They call to get the banking transit numbers, the money is transferred and the deal is closed.

    • FoMoCoLoCo

      Yep…known as a “Jailbar Tonner”.

    • glen

      I’m in Central Ontario,Canada. Salt is used here, but as the temp. drops below, say -10 Celsius,salt doesn’t work so good. Sand is also used around here.I doubt salt would be very effective in the Prairie Provinces due to the cold temps.
      Thanks for your response.

  5. Todd Zuercher

    Love this truck. This Norco seller sure found the gold mine with all these Canadian trucks. They just keep coming – this one is my favorite to date.

  6. Don

    This old trucks worked harder then any new truck will ever have to 💪

  7. mike d

    what an awesome find ! Up to 6K ( Wednesday evening) I know nothing about what is available to bring this up to par. would almost imagine the wood in the box will need replacing, but that would be the extent for me . lets hope it runs well!

  8. Phil

    I had the sister to this truck, only mine was a heavy 1/2 ton. 100hp V8 with granny low 4 speed trans. Green/yellow. I was the third owner. I repainted it the original green and yellow, then took it to the original owner and showed it to her. She remembered it as being their first truck, and they used the heck out of it. Still had the original owners manual in it with her shopping list written in pencil on one of the covers.

    When she went to pick it up, it had wooden planks for bumpers. Ford sent metal ones later. Speedo only went to 60 mph with the 100 hp 4 speed. 3 speed trannies had the 100 mph speedo. This was back in the middle to late 70’s. When I went to sell it, I put it out by the highway, and a woman bought it for her truck driver husband for a retirement gift, who would drive past it every day as it sat there. Good days.

  9. JW

    I like this truck but would rather have the newer one next to it. Like the shark tooth grill better.

    • FoMoCoLoCo

      It was kind of common for customizer’s in the late 50’s and early 60’s to visit the boneyards and add extra “teeth” to the grille bar.

  10. FoMoCoLoCo

    There is huge support over at the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum.
    The one to the right is 51-52.

  11. dan

    from the passenger’s side it looks like a 4×4

  12. stillrunners lawrence Member

    This has been listed here before and on other sites – just guess the price is too much or it would have sold or the demand is not great for these jail bird Fords.

    • Matthew

      Lawrence, stop making up stories. It’s my truck and I’ve never advertised it anywhere until now. And it’s a No Reserve Auction with several bids so far, so you saying the price is too much makes no sense.

      • Mike H. Mike H

        Ah, thank God for The Internet! People talking out of their asses, **Since 1996**

        Good on you for making your voice heard, Matthew. Bit by bit there are those who help to restore faith in humanity.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Matthew, thanks for joining the discussion, and if you want to share any more information about your truck let us know :-)

  13. 86 Vette Convertible

    I like the truck but have a question. To me it looks like the rearend is moved forward in the wheelhousing. Is it just the angle of the pictures or is it moved forward for whatever reason?

    • Matthew

      It isn’t moved forward and it’s not the photos. The majority of these old farm trucks are fitted with a hoist which causes the bed to sit slightly high and a little back so as it can tilt without hitting the cab, this is what you are seeing. This truck has been fitted with one, probably when it was new. If it were to be removed, the bed could be mounted to the frame in the correct position so as the rear wheels are located central in the rear fenders.

      • 86 Vette Convertible

        Appreciate the info. Thought it looked strange, at least to me.

        PS – never seen one of these old ones with a hydraulic box before, so didn’t even consider that.

  14. Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this great looking truck sold for $6,600!

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