Big Little Truck: 1953 Ford F350 Long Bed

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When I first saw the pictures of this 1953 Ford truck, it both looked familiar and unfamiliar. It was familiar in that the general body style was what I was expecting, but I didn’t anticipate the long bed or the heavy-duty wheels. This is an F-350; as a matter of fact it’s the first year that an F-350 was offered. Previously, the heavier-duty trucks were the F-2, F-3 and F-4. It’s up for sale here on eBay with reserve not yet met and is currently being stored in Johnsburg, Illinois.

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No real history of the truck is given in the ad, but based on the witness marks on the passenger door, it had signs attached at some point. The bottom of the bed is now diamond plate, so I suspect it’s been used as a heavy-duty hauler as Ford intended it to be. I like the proportions of the truck with the long bed versus the typical short bed, and of course the additional load space doesn’t hurt.

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Obviously it’s an inline 6, and the owner states it’s a 215 cubic inch version, which is the smallest engine available in the truck. Interestingly enough, the 6 was rated one horsepower higher (101 hp) than the venerable 239 cubic inch flathead V8, which was in it’s last year of being offered in Ford trucks. The truck is said to run and drive, although you need to coax it to start.

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The truck has a 4-speed transmission and certainly could use some work in the interior. The seller tells us it needs all the glass replaced except for the windshield! I wonder what caused the large dent in the passenger side of the dashboard–I’ll bet there’s a story there and I hope it wasn’t someone’s head!

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Overall, I really like this truck and wish it were closer to me so that I could have a better look. I’d make it safe and drive it for a while, then consider fixing the rust and the dents. I like the way it looks now, though, so I don’t think I’d be in a tremendous hurry. I wonder what it will go for? What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Jason Houston

    This is Ford’s 3/4 T. pickup with 16″ wheels.

  2. JW

    Cool but this truck is going to need some serious work before hitting the lumber yard.

  3. Norm Wrensch

    F 350 is a 1 ton and they did come with 16″ wheels or maybe even 17″. I don’t think the 3/4 ton which would be a F 250 came with the long bed.

    • Rex cothren

      Yes I have f250 long bed

  4. Bobsmyuncle

    Widow Makers?

  5. jim s

    i too would make it safe then put it back to work. if the reserve is low enought it this might work out. nice find

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s a full-fledged 1-ton. I’ve seen them dualled up both in cab/chassis and lwb. pickup. Transmission looks like a T-98, a synchro 4-speed that didn’t whine like the T-9 crashbox. Of course behind a six it wouldn’t whine like it would behind a flathead V8 anyways. I wouldn’t turn a truck like this one down. Fix it up stock, and use it…

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, beat me to it. 1 ton. I’m sure there’s a stack of leaves on the back and it rides like the proverbial “lumber wagon”. I had a truck very similar to this, only a flatbed dually. Even with the 2 speed rear, which this doesn’t have, 45 mph felt like the world was coming apart. I can only imagine, this would be similar. Lot of work, but F350’s like this are kind of rare, as most were 1/2 or 3/4 ton models. I think the horn button signifies 50 years of Ford.
      And yes, Bobsmyuncle, those split-rim “widow maker” wheels would be the 1st thing in the scrap pile.

  7. Woodie Man

    What a great beast!…Wish it was on the West Coast. Hard to drive for the able bodied much less the handicapped! I love original old trucks!

  8. ron tyrrell

    We used these on the ranches in Wyo but took the box off and installed a stock bed that would haul two horses or two cows or about six sheep. I have this same type truck by Chevy and it has 19 inch split rims.

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