Cheap Project Pickup? 1956 Dodge C-4B

Who doesn’t like 1950s pickups? Well, as with anything, even free money, there will be those who don’t care for them and it sure seems as if Fords and Chevrolets get the most love. Maybe because they made the most pickups? This alternative is a 1956 Dodge C-4B half-ton pickup and the seller has it posted here on craigslist in Hansville, Washington and they’re asking $2,250.

Man, $2,250 for this truck seems like a deal to me but I’ve been wrong on pretty much every vehicle that I’ve ever gotten, other than my Honda Motocompo and Chrysler Sno Runner. Or, at least on every one that I’ve ended up selling after putting way too much money into bringing them back to life again and making them nice, reliable driver-quality vehicles. It’s a good thing I’m not in it for the money, just for saving old vehicles.

I’ve mentioned before that I had a few (four) Dodge vans but we also had a couple of Ford pickups and I had a Chevrolet stepvan shorty that was super fun, super sketchy, and super dangerous – sort of like me without the super fun part. The Dodge C-series pickups had an unusual naming convention which is a little confusing but “B” stood for a half-ton pickup. You can see how good this truck looks from the photos but the seller mentions that it will need some welding.

The seller says that there’s rust in both the floors and the doors but there are no close-up photos of either spot. There is, however, a photo showing the inside of the bed and it needs help. This is it for interior photos but zooming in on the photo above shows some scary rust on the floors. This one has a three speed manual with a column shifter, which is better known as a _____ __ ___ ____. (you knew that one, too easy)

The engine is Dodge’s flathead 230 cubic-inch inline-six which would have had 115 horsepower. It’s not currently running but barring any major catastrophies, most Barn Finds readers could get it going again. Hagerty is at $7,100 for a #4 fair condition truck, for the record. Have any of you owned a mid-1950s Dodge pickup? Good buy or good-bye?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    1st, let me say, pertaining to Scotty’s 2nd paragraph, while he may have lost money on certain projects, I know he had fun with every one. Little cash poor, but had some interesting projects along the way and that’s worth something. ( ask him about his vintage lawn mower!)
    Kind of funny, and my stories reflect from a very different time, not so long ago,,,sigh,,,anyway, back in the early 90’s, my kids bus driver was also the guy at a local dump. Naturally, his barn was filled with stuff, American Pickers before the show, among which, a ’52 Ford F5 single axle dump truck, and a Dodge pickup like this, almost identical condition. I really wanted the dump truck,, but for $250 bucks, I could have both, and the dump truck ran and drove, the Dodge did not. I got $200 bucks for the Dodge, and kept the Ford for a spell, and THAT’S how it used to be, children.
    In the 50’s, Dodge, IH, and Studebaker, all vied for #3 in the truck world. Unlike today, where there are basically 3 American brands, back then, it was get your best deal, as they all did pretty much the same thing. Tons of work here, but a great start with a decent price. Newsflash, you can tidy this up, get it running and enjoy an old pickup, everything doesn’t have to be that you could eat off it. Stuff like this is far more realistic as to what gramps drove. Once you “pristine it out” and “LS” motor it, you lose that. You want an old truck or don’t you? Great find.

    Like 24
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Howard! That’s what I’d do for sure, get it working and drive it.

      Like 3
  2. Terrry

    That windshield will have to go and it may be extremely hard to find a replacement. Too bad it doesn’t run either..still, if someone had another truck like this, one or the other good be a good parts vehicle.

    Like 1
    • Bob C.

      Windshield AND gasket will very likely need to be sourced. The rest is simple flat glass.

      Like 1
    • RKS

      A thirty second google search came up with a couple of suppliers of windshields and rubber for this truck. Bobs Auto Glass looked the best at $295.

      Like 7
  3. sourpwr Member

    If Scotty could buy this, fix it up and sell it for a loss — it just might be the truck I’m looking for

    Like 10
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha!

      Like 2
  4. Joe Haska

    Maybe not because they didn’t make as many, or could it because they are BUTT Ugly? Then there are probably a whole list of other things that contribute to their lack of popularity.

    • NW Iowa

      LOL Joe, you’re quite the comedian! What’s “butt ugly” to some is beautiful to others. And anyway, who wants to drive an ordinary ’56 Chevy or ’56 ugh, Ford? They’re everywhere! These. Are. Not., which makes these sought after by folks like me who like to be different.

      Like 8
    • RKS

      There’s no accounting for some peoples tastes. I think this is a great lookin truck.

      Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      Well, Joe, I’ll tell ya’, Dodge was indeed very popular in the ’50’s. People still boasting how the Power Wagon saved our butts, resting on the laurels of it’s war accomplishments, the Dodge pickup shown here was a big seller. This was actually a nicely styled truck, compared to Ford and GM’s dated designs. One piece windshield, automatics could be had, the “pilot house” cab( not shown) and ’55 was the 1st V8 powered Dodge pickup, all worthy options what people wanted in 1956.

      Like 3
  5. NW Iowa

    Ten years ago, I stumbled across a Dodge pickup similar to this. The old guy, I’m OLD but he was much older, was really hard to deal with. We didn’t make a deal. His was a ’55 with factory V8, 4 on the floor and grille guard. Missing were the steering wheel, seat and bed wood. It was sitting on dirt under a canopy of trees amongst the rest of his collection: a couple of early ’60s small Buicks and a bunch of VW cars and buses. This location in South Dakota was owned by another crotchetty old guy that I’d bought several cycles and a trailer from. The latter specialized in GM products, 1950’s to sparingly into the early 80s. Of all the vehicles, hundreds of them, I really wanted the latter’s ’55 Chevy 150 2 door wagon. Well, he up and died a couple years ago and now all of those highly collectible vehicles are in limbo and with no one left to contact. *Highly collectible*, most are rough parts vehicles. I took a ton of pictures back in ’15 if anyone wants to see.

    Like 4
  6. Johnny C.

    This could be a good truck with the right person fixin’ it up. Not the purtiest face on the block, but it’s got enough bulldog in it to have fun with. It’s north of Seattle, which means it’s seen a LOT of moisture… A.K.A. rust potential. I just wish people would quit say “it would make a good rat rod”… UGH! I’m so sick of that over-used term!

    Like 4
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Back in the early 70’s I was given a 55 Dodge PU by a friend who got it for a carpentry job he did and the guy didn’t pay so he got the guy’s truck. It took a lot of love and time but I got it running, which was good because it had a Desoto Fire Dome hemi under the hood. A lot of work and a lot of electrical tracing to figure out what the prior owner had done to it, but I got it running. It was a blast and had a 4 speed with granny low. Talking about the body, it needed some work but that metal is more like a tank, it’s thick and no rust throughs on it. I had to sell it for a down payment on my first house, boy I sure miss it.

    Like 5
  8. 86_Vette_Convertible

    One more thing, I spent about 2 hours trying to get a wheel off, only then did I figure out the lug bolts on the passenger side turned counter clockwise while on the drivers side it was clockwise to take them off.

    Like 6
    • Howard A Member

      Ha! Lot of cars in the 50’s and even ’60’s and ’70’s had reverse thread lugnuts. Some have “L” or “R” on the stud. Our 1950 Packard had them, and many Mopars too. I always wondered why they did that, and not continue it today, I mean, lugnuts still hold wheels on the same way they did then. Anyone?

      Like 2
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        These weren’t lug nuts on the truck I had, they were honest to god lug bolts that threaded into the hubs. This was the one and only vehicle that was built that way I’d ever worked on. Ironically my Dad had had a 54 Dodge pickup on the farm, but I don’t remember Dad ever changing a tire on it so I don’t know if it was set up the same way or not.

        Like 1
      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        The idea was that if the lug nuts tighten turning toward the rear of the car they wouldn’t loosen in toward braking. Military did the same thing on the trucks I drove from 64-67 while in the army.

        Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Lug “bolts” were actually quite common in the 50’s. Our 1950 Packard had them, Nash too. It’s how Nash got away with no wheel wells. That 2″ clearance with no studs, enabled you to remove the tire. It was the lug bolt that had the “L” or “R” on them, not the lug stud, I think.
        Thanks, John, I heard that too, but I don’t see how it’s any different today, and I don’t recall many wheels coming off modern cars without reverse thread. People don’t take tires off near as often and the impact wrench made sure they wouldn’t come loose for years and years,,,people today can drive their entire life and never change a tire.

  9. Mike S.

    Had a ‘49 & ‘51 Dodge. One had small rear fenders, 3otTree and wrap around side windows. Other had 4otFloor, fat rear fenders and standard cab. They both had the long ram hood ornament and the “Job Rated” center grill piece. Drove them for awhile and got tons of attention out of them. Not fast and was ugly as sin, but still loved em and still miss em… Still have both hood ornaments and the wrap around windows.

    Like 3
  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    One of my many older brothers had a 55 same color. Flathead 6 and granny box. He pulled the engine and his bil (who was a very good mechanic) rebuilt it. I helped him reinstall it with a new clutch. Then he sold it. No more American trucks anymore unless you count Toyota and Nissan along with Ford. Chrysler corporation sold to foreigners along time ago, and General Motors is a Chinese company now.

  11. Joe Haska

    Howard,
    I agree with you and everything you said, I am just coming from a whole different direction than you are. I am an old time Hot Rodder and even a current Hot Rodder and I love pick ups. I have had Chevrolet’s older and newer and 1/2 a dozen 53 to 56 ford F-100’s, I currently am driving one I just finished. My point is I like the trucks for entirely different reason’s than you do, but I respect your opinion and you are correct most of the time. I pop off and forget that my opinion is based on what I like and what I want to build.

  12. Joe Haska

    NW IOWA, Thanks for the comedian thing,I take that as a compliment. Also , sorry some times I say stuff I really do believe, but I don’t want people to think it is expressed to be mean or holier than everyone else. I really am a live and let live kind of guy, I just love cars so much ,sometime I don’t mind my manners.

    Like 1
    • NW Iowa

      You’re not alone in that, Joe. I love old vehicles of all kinds but do have favorites and…….sometimes I’ve been known to belittle ones I’m not so fond of. I just need to remember that everyone’s taste is their own and should be respected. LOL, however, ….my biggest peeve is those way oversized wheels some people think look good on classic cars. Ugh! Stay safe.

  13. David Ulrey

    My take on what I’d do and I really wouldn’t mind owning this one. Spend the money to make it completely road worthy, fix the rusted floors and here’s something that will ruffle some feathers. Nothing against the flat head 6. I’d pull it and sell it to someone who could use it for a restoration. Find a nice 225 Slant Six and 3 spd that bolts up or maybe a 3 spd that has an overdrive. Keep it and use it for local errands a couple times a week as long as I’m capable of safely driving. After I’m dead or incapable of driving the next owner could go whichever direction they want. I’d do it for me so it would be the way I want it. Maybe, just maybe, a daily driver quality paint job. Maaco would be totally fine for my wants.

    Like 1
  14. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    The price has been lowered to $2,150!

    Like 1
    • Seth KARPEN

      Good thing it is on the wrong coast for me

      Like 1
      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        I know, it’s super tempting!

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