Buried In The Garage: 1950 Ford F1 Pickup

If you are a car buff of any note, then you are aware that last week was auction week in Arizona. From the spectacle that is Barrett-Jackson to the myriad of lower level auctions also held that week, a lot of vehicles changed hands at prices far and above what they would if sold locally. However, antique car auctions sometimes drive asking prices beyond what the market can bear. Take for example this 1950 Ford F1 pickup for sale here on eBay out of Guntersville, Alabama. The Buy It Now price is set at $25,000, but you can also make an offer. Are early postwar Ford trucks worth this much?  Let’s take a closer look and see.

The ad gives us little in the way of description. We are simply told that this is an early 1950 F1 and that it is a one owner barn find. If you own it, how can you find it?  Likely this is an older restoration that found itself sitting after the owner lost interest for whatever reason. There are a number of vehicles hitting the market under the exact same circumstances. While it often takes some work cleaning out the fuel system and going over the brakes, these vehicles represent quite a bargain. Restorations are frighteningly expensive these days. When you add up all the parts and rebuilding fees that you are sure to encounter during a full restoration, the juice is often not worth the squeeze unless the project is a labor of love.

If this is truly a one owner vehicle, then it probably was a labor of love. Old pickups kind of grow on you. I can see someone taking the time to fix this truck up to finally enjoy rather than use as a tool to put food on the table. Make no mistake about these trucks being tools for work. The idea of purchasing a truck as casual transportation was a few decades in the future. If you wanted a vehicle to travel from town to town in, you bought a car. Today’s “Cowboy Cadillacs” are a far cry from one of these rough riding beasts.

Looking closer at this particular truck, we can see that someone put a lot of money and effort into it. The paint and the trim look to be well done. The interior also appears to have benefitted from a full interior kit and refinishing of the painted surfaces. One of the saving graces of restoring a pickup is that refurbishing an interior is relatively inexpensive. Another plus is that the average person can successfully install the upholstery and trim with little assistance. Compared to a sedan, trucks are a breeze.

It is in the engine compartment that we see that some corners were cut. The inline six-cylinder engine, the wires, carburetor, and even the battery got a green paint bath. Obviously, this is incorrect if you are restoring this truck to factory original. It also tells us that the engine was likely not pulled from the truck for a rebuild or at least new gaskets. It may not need much, but if you are going to ask top dollar, the devil is in the details. The type of engine is a plus though. Many of these trucks came with Ford’s more glamorous Flathead V-8. The inline six, however, has a reputation for being extremely reliable. It also has a torque curve better suited for use in trucks of this size.

Is it worth $25,000?  Probably not as it sits. There are details that need to be addressed before it can bring Barrett-Jackson prices. The good news is that there are many clues that this was a solid and relatively rust free truck, to begin with. If you look through the various websites to find a Ford of this vintage, most of them have a rust problem. Parts to replace the rusted areas are plentiful.  It is just that it is a lot easier to make a perfect truck out of a nice truck like this one to start with. I hope it finds a good home. What do you think a fair offer on this F1 would be?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like what I see although if this showed up at my place, my wife would object to the green. She would prefer blue, and truthfully, so do I but I wouldn’t strip this one down to change it. If you want big bucks you have to ask for bigger bucks. It definitely wouldn’t be worth that as far as I’m concerned. A six would be just fine but a cleaned and detailed engine compartment would help sell this truck. A total cleaning would also help. The correct color for the engine is red with black accessories. I think that Ford carried on with red engines through ’53 on both sixes and V8s.

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  2. Howard A

    Seems to me, judging by all the junk around, somebody passed away, and the seller is stuck with the task of selling dads truck. They clearly know nothing about it or it’s value. I think at one time, it was a nice running truck, but been sitting too long, going to need everything again. Nice try on the price, but have to be nicer than this for that kind of money.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Excellent observation. I have no doubt that a lot of people are faced with that task. Probably their only guide to the price is BJ’s auction. You know, a trip to the newsstand to pick up a copy of the current car seller and they would find out all they need…

      6
  3. dmose Member

    BJ is great but Mecum Kissimmee is actually the largest collector car auction in world they just ran a little over a week ago close to 3500 vehicles…..lots of emotional buys at BJ and Mecum but lots of accurate market prices to learn from.

    3
    • AMXBrian

      That’s why I like checking EBay. You can check the sold listings and see what other people have actually paid for something.

  4. Gaspumpchas

    Lets see inflated price of 25 large. s*it piled all over it so you cant see actual condition. How about taking an hour of your life to wash it? No indication of engine condition. It may well be a nice truck but how would you know. I do see lots of parts that got painted green that shouldn’t have. I am sympathetic to some one liquidating an estate- but how do you expect to sell with an ad like this? if you cant do it yourself, get some one to list it for you. SMH> Sorry about the negativity, but someone who asks the moon for a vehicle and wont even wash it is trying to get rich quick with no effort! Good luck to the new owner.

    Cheers

    GPC

    11
    • Dave

      I was searching around at a CB shop whose owner had died and there was a moldy Honda CX500 buried under debris. The owners daughter wanted $1000 firm. No idea as to its condition. What you’re describing is apparently quite common.

      4
    • JEFF S

      Just checked and the buy it now / make offer price is now $19,995. So, $15 K cash might just buy it, once you talk about all the stuff the truck will need to get it on the road. Then you will have a nice truck for under $20 K. If I had the money, I would go take a look, there are not too many of these left.

      2
  5. daCabbie

    In an effort to be fair to the seller, you can always come down on the price, but you can never go up… hence the ‘make an offer’ option.

    I wouldn’t offer more than 10k. Brakes, fuel system and possibly even a full motor rebuild are needed.

    It’s a beautiful piece of machinery, but not 25k beautiful…. wait six months and maybe the seller will come to their senses.

    7
  6. Vincent Martinelli

    I just left a message for the seller on EBay. In all fairness, someone replied and said he is selling for the owner and several hours away and not a car guy. Honestly, I understand this particular situation, but its maddening that people think they can simply sell a vehicle (for big or bigger money) via internet without good photos or description. Unreal. If you cant touch and feel and smell it, you better give us a great reason…So heres what I wrote…

    No disrespect, but how in the world can we, as potential buyers, make an informed decision to put down 25000 on a vehicle that has no detailed photos, most of which are blurry (Clean your lens) and which shows no photos of the undercarriage and angles of the vehicle??? And no disrespect again, but there is ZERO description of the engine, transmission, suspension interior its history…. everything!!! Does the motor run? Transmission? Brakes? Rust? Floorpans??

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    • Dave

      I used to buy a lot of vintage CB radios from Flea Bay. Although I know how to fix them a basic rule applies: don’t spend more money than you’re comfortable throwing away. I’d rather buy things I can drive home.

      3
  7. CJ

    Weak description, Large money! Hmmmm

    3
  8. Woody

    The hoarding around this truck might have preserved it just a bit,looks like a solid and rare ‘50 Ford!

    3
  9. Roy L

    From what little we see in the pictures, the sheet metal looks ok. From personal experience I know how hard it is to get body parts for 50 and 51 F-1’s. If you can get it for 10 grand it would be worth putting some money into it. Demand more pictures before you make an offer.

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  10. Vincent Martinelli

    The gentleman did provide extra photos to me via email, but again, no further script on components etc. Nor the undercarriage. Thanks Guys! And Yes, 9 -11 Grand seems right.

    1
  11. ctmphrs Member

    They must have gotten a little clue. The Ebay bin is 19995.00 now.

    1
    • Vincent Martinelli

      Thanks!

  12. aribert

    To comment on the opening paragraph and not the pickup, I guess I’m not much of a car buff. I don’t keep up with any car auctions or cable TV auto build shows.

  13. Matthew Newcombe

    This was the seller, Randy Frawley’s response when I advised it was worth $10-$15k and noted the flaws and lack of effort. Looks like you’re dealing with a seller of high integrity.

    (BF Note: the picture of the FB response violated our language standards but suffice it to say that it was extremely rude and vulgar!)

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    • Vincent Martinelli

      Matt, can you give us a hint? (On the picture) You know, I find it frustrating the guy can send a vulgar picture but cant come on and debate or discuss with us why the vehicle is worth Barrett Jackson Prices. I had the opportunity to see very poor photos of the undercarriage so I STILL cant form an opinion about frame rust etc. I Can say that the underside (From what I can see) has not been cared for, and appears 69 years old. Still, Randy, please tell me about the motor, transmission etc..pull that vehicle out and lets see the motor run, frame shots get it on a lift…Thanks

  14. Vincent Martinelli

    They Now Changed the Buy It Now to 29,995!!!!! Oh well, I would have made a reasonable offer….

    • JEFF S.

      Vincent – This guy is all over the place on price, $25 K, $19.99 K then $29.99 K.
      What is going on, a buddy stopped buy and said your crazy for selling it that cheap. No anyone who would pay the new ask, is CRAZY! I watched the BJ auctions last week and there were many great buys under $30 K.

      Sometimes people think they have gold, this one is FOOL’s gold.

      1
      • Vincent Martinelli

        Jeff, and everyone on the thread…..Well, this was fun watching and commenting! Hahaha. I know exactly what you mean Jeff. I just went online to see if anyone bit, but he raised the Buy It Now to 59,995!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its too bad because I would have made a reasonable offer but they have spent more time playing games than describing the vehicle. Perhaps its better I not deal with immaturity and spitefulness..

  15. JEFF S.

    Vincent – I just found an interesting site. Classic Car Deals .com They claim to be the worlds largest online consignment company. There are over 653 pages of cars and trucks etc. I am up to page 20, many of the prices are above my budget, but there is a lot of nice cars under $20 K. It is sure nice to find that there are plenty of classics out there, and you do not have to put up with guys playing games, if you are looking for a car of your youth. I just wish I would of kept my 1951 Jowett Jupiter, 1951 Ford coupe with V8 Flathead and 1962 Chevy Impala with 409 and 1977 MGB that I purchased brand new for $5500, that I owned way back in the 1970s. 4 great ones that I should of kept.

    • Vincent Martinelli

      Jeff,

      Thanks so much sir. Awesome cars you had!! Yes, the cars of my youth in the 70s and 80s were a 57 Chevy, 57 Buick, 68 Cougar, 69 Plymouth Fury III 68 Dodge Polara, 70 Camaro and 78 Camaro Show Car. (Plus all kinds of other stuff) Great Fun!! However, now that I’m nearing 60 Im thinking good quality 1930s, 57 Buick Cabalaro, 57 Chevy and maybe a truck or two. Imagine if we kept our past? Better than the stock Market! Best —

  16. JEFF S.

    Vincent,

    Considering what we paid for used cars back in the 70s, it is crazy that we did not just keep them all. I graduated South Gate High School, CA in 1974.
    The 51 Ford was a graduation gift from my parents. My Dad paid $300, purchased from the original owner in Long Beach, with plenty of extra parts. I sold the Ford for $700 in 1975 and purchased the 62 Chevy for $150, then traded it for the 51 Jowett Jupiter (value today $75 K, ops.) in 1976. Sold the Jupiter for $1,200 and used $1,000 for down payment on the 77 MGB.

    In the next few years, I was thinking 50s and 60s 2dr hardtop any make or model and PUs of course. In 2013, I picked up a 1966 Mercedes 250SE 4 door with 2.5 liter 6 with mechanical fuel injection and 4 speed for $2,500 from a family friend. When I find a 2dr Coupe that needs drivetrain, I will be making another purchase.

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