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Canadian Tonner: 1947 Ford One-Ton Truck

This cool old Ford truck made its way down from Canada into California just recently. The seller claims that it was a one owner truck, but that would mean that the guy he got it from was seriously old. It was parked sometime in 1987 and must have been parked in a barn because it’s surprisingly solid. Hopefully the next owner just does the work to make it a safe driver and leaves the exterior alone. It’s located in Norco, California and is listed here on eBay with no reserve!

The war may have been over, but most manufacturers had to just dust off their old models and continue production. Ford did the same, but not before making some improvements and dropping a flathead V8 under the hood. This truck was supposedly parked after it threw a pulley. The loose belt does back up the story, but let’s just hope it’s not seized up and can be resuscitated easily.

If you take a close look at the floors and door sills you’ll notice that this thing is solid! I couldn’t find any serious cancer down so this must have come from a dry part of Canada or it was kept inside. Even so, this is impressive because the rust proofing techniques used back then couldn’t have been very advanced. The paint must have been tough though because much of the original factory sprayed stuff is still in place!

The seller mentions that they bring down old trucks from Canada, but that they all include clear California titles. This would be a fun truck to clean up and use for chores and occasional trips to town. Don’t expect a comfortable ride or good handling though. This beast is going to work your forearms and you’ll need to plan your stops ahead of time. Still, I haven’t found many trucks with a better look than this ol’ gal. What do you think?


  1. gardener

    I think you people who like that leave it alone rust look are nuts you can’t leave one like that where I live the great salt monster comes for it like it’s snake time.But do think your taste in trucks is vary good.I also have to ask why leave the brakes stock if not safe for todays roads.I can’t plan all my stops yas i know what you mean but I live on edge of farms and city so lots of people rushing somewhere.So I would put new and modern brakes and freshen up the engine and paint it the same green or as close as could find and try to match factory if bed or fenders were black always liked that look.Then I would give to my 18 year old girl to drive she loves these old trucks.I just couldn’t send her out with the old ones.She has been into trucks and old trucks all her life just loves them all she got a neightor to sell her a rust free 1983 F-100 a few years back and just loves it faded paint and all she lets me help her on it but wont let me buy any parts gotta love her strong will she will get it done.But I think she might trade me for this old one if I got it.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      You think that I’m nuts for not wanting to paint it, but you’d gift it to your 18 year old daughter? Hmm…

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  2. Mike Young

    Original brakes are fine. As long as cylinders freshly rebuilt/replaced…Linings renewed. Got a sissy foot? Add a remote power booster.

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    • Woodie Man

      sissy foot! lol

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    • Scot Douglas

      Apparently, you have not had a single reservoir system fail on you. The brakes at the wheels may be fine, but I wouldn’t drive that far without a master cylinder upgrade.

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      • packrat

        Yes indeed. In addition, I’ve driven a 47 Studebaker to club meets for a gentleman who had it ‘restored’ by the shadiest shop in town. I don’t know how they hoodooed it, but it took STANDING on that brake pedal to get it anywhere near a reasonable stopping distance. Everything was hooked up, it was just brutally insensate. It is an incomparable feeling when you pull up behind someone in traffic and that brake pedal just drops to the floor. Think Fast!

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  3. Tyler

    Also listed here (as is the Mercury seen in some of the ebay pics). For $9995. http://www.bbtaws.com/inventory-1

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  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Damn! I found my missing air cleaner! Mine got boosted 30 years ago and I’ve tried vainly to find another one just like the one I lost. As I’ve said many times before, growing up on the border between Montana and Alberta, I got a chance to see the cars and trucks from both sides. There was very little difference between the Canadian and American Fords of this era. The first thing I see is the headlight and parklight rings painted body color instead of cream to match the grill. The pinstriping is a little different (a couple of extra stripes on the CDN unit) as well. This truck is in excellent shape. I could’ve only wished that my ’47 half ton had floor panels in this good of shape. There’s no rust underfoot at all. Full restoration. You can’t do anything else with this truck; it would be a major sin….

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  5. JW454

    Although the left side is missing, this appears to be a dual side mount truck. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. Was dual side mounted spare tires offered on these trucks?

    It looks like a very solid truck.

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  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    Photos must have been taken in Canada. That’s a Mercury M-68 in the background….

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  7. CJay

    Why does the tailgate have a coal/grain gate in the middle even though the bed does not look to dump?

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi CJay. There were a lot of small farmers used tonners like this where I grew up. Most of them had hoists between the box and the frame. They put the sideboards in the bedsides and loaded away. But some thought that a hoist was a firivilous investment and didn’t buy them. Besides, there was always a hoist in the local grain elevator. The elevators had a hydraulic bed on the scale that could pick up the front wheels of the truck and tip it back. It was quicker and there were a lot less exhaust fumes, however, the carburetors always flooded from being tipped back that far so most farmers preferred using their own hoist–inless they didn’t invest in one….

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      • CJay

        We had those our trucks for delivering house coal, But they were always on a dump bed.
        I’ve seen photos where trucks were raised to dump out the contents of the bed, none that I know of in central PA though.
        Never thought of that! Learned something new on BF.

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  8. gardener

    as for sissy foot it’s not me the breaks would be fixed and brought up to modern standers but for my 85 lb size 0 daughter ya she is little and maybe has a size 6 shoe (that’s a 4 to us men) I want her as safe and happy as can be.She loves old trucks but the old breaks just arn’t up to snuff so ya I’d make this truck safer before I let her lose with it.If you don’t get that sorry but she’s worth a lot more then a few $$ and a couple weekends of time to keep safe as I can.That’s the least I can do to keep her happy and safe so have a laugh and enjoy it was funny till you find out who”s driving that old truck.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi gardner, it’s admirable you’d like your daughter to experience old trucks, but be advised, there’s a huge difference between a ’83 Ford F-100, and this. The brakes would be the least of your worries. She’d have a hard time with the steering, probably need a few phone books to sit on and blocks on the pedals, without a seat upgrade, no air bag, or restraints of any kind, and a top speed of 50 mph, most certainly would be a hassle today. And might want to tell her about “vapor lock”. Not to mention, no heat, or cooling, or phone ports, personally, I’d stick with the ’83 F-100. She’ll get plenty of nods with that.
      Btw, single brake systems, when properly maintained, work just fine. We used them for 50 years. Besides, I’ve found, a skidding wheel, be it from mechanical, single or dual hydraulic drum or disc or air brakes, is a skidding wheel.

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      • gardener

        Howard yours is the best reply yet.I,m younger then you but not young.Yes my first car was old when I got it a !940 desoto plain jane 4 door brakes just the single type and drum of course.Now I don’t claim to know it all but i know new cars go from 60 to 00 in about 130 to 170 feet this truck or my old car say what 250 maybe 270.Thats why I would up grade the brakes and she is young just like we all were once and doesn’t always remember stuff like that.As far as the seat belt goes it would have at least 2 shoulder type before she drove it.Her truck now doesn’t have pluges for cell phone or her computer but the solar charger in her backpack works fine for both.Asfar as vapor lock and the rest she will learn like we did stuck at a gas station on friends house and call dad or grandpa to come help fix it.Heck my dad says thats half the fun of being a grandpa is watching me and my brother doing the same things we asked of him when we were young.I like that dad is still able to help her in this day and age so many kids don’t talk to there parents let alone grand parents about cars and what not.I know I’m not a keep them stock type of guy but I like them just not for me or mine I like improving the old cars and fixing them up better then before.Restomode may be a bad word here but that’s my thing one peice at a time till we get them done.I think it’s a great way to spend time with my girls and my dad to.Thank you for your thoughts on truck safety.I do like reading what you wright talk to you again.

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      • Howard A Member

        Hi gardener, my daughter is a peanut too and I could see her driving something like this. She grew up with me with stuff like this ( in her travels now, she always sends me pics of old trucks sitting) Resto-mod isn’t really a dirty word, it’s how it’s applied. I was going to suggest that with this. It’s a lot of work, but put this body on that ’83 F-100 frame, you get the best of both worlds. It’s when someone takes an obvious classic, that for historical reasons should remain stock, and modify the heck out of it, that concerns me some. Have fun.

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  9. Rustytech Member

    You can stabilize the “patina” look with a clear coat, ( they come in gloss or flat finish ) personally I’m not into that look, but to each their own. Howard is correct about single cyl brakes, if maintained they work fine, and did for decades. The key is MAINTENANCE! If it were mine it would get a frame off to OE spec restoration. It’s never going to be a daily driver so give it it’s due and enjoy it at those weekend car, truck, and farm shows.

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  10. Lion

    My daily driver for three seasons a year is a 1952 Ford 1/2 ton. When I put radial tires on it the stopping distance dropped significantly even with the stock breaks, which have been rebuilt and always maintained. But this old stuff is scary at best. After a highway run I came into town and while parking the pedal went to the floor. The carter pin through the shaft that holds the break pedal to the master cylinder had worn out, And the shaft worked its way out. All the parts were laying under the truck where I had parked. Had it dropped out 5 minutes earlier when I was doing 40 MPH coming up to the red light leading me off the highway….
    I reinstalled everything with a washer protecting the carter pin which I now check regularly for wear.

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  11. Derek Woodgate

    Hi Jesse. I am from the U.K and have just got back from a trip to Canada. I visited a place called Caribou Crossing Trading Post just outside a town called Carcross and they had a Ford One Tonner in the grounds. I love old American pick ups and this one was very similar to yours and it was a thing of beauty. I took more photos of it than anything else there. I hope you get to see this my friend. All the best from the U.K. Derek : )

    Like 0

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