Coca Cola Delivery: 1947 Ford COE

UPDATE – This sweet COE has been relisted due to a non-paying bidder. The seller has added more info to their listing, so be sure to take another look! You can find the new auction here on eBay.

FROM 3/4/2019 – Thought to have been a Coca Cola delivery truck, this ’47 Ford Cab Over Engine is a sweet find that was running and driving just a few short years ago. Discovered in a desert climate, this truck is solid and has some neat frame features based on its life as a Coke truck. Needing to be revived and re-purposed, this neat Ford has been bid up to $5,600. Take a look at it here on eBay out of Billings, Montana.

With a big hump for the engine, the interior is shaped rather uniquely in this Ford. The two bucket seats are still in the cockpit, although they are in need of upholstery work. There is a lot of dust and dirt, but the dash and door panels look as if they would clean up well enough. One cool feature in this old Ford is the pop-out front windows which are in great shape. Unfortunately, there are no detailed images of the engine, but the seller claims that this flathead V8 powered truck was a driver “a couple of years ago”.

So what is so special about this Ford? Well now, the seller has explained that the frame has been modified to allow the delivery body to sit lower to the ground to aid in loading and unloading these trucks in their prime. Having the bays lower certainly made it easier to unload out on deliveries. The frame has been Z notched under the cab, and C notched out back. Both of these features are welcomed additions in today’s times, as so many folks go out of their way to make such modifications to get their trucks low.

With that being said, this truck has great potential to be modernized and re-purposed. The cab is in awesome shape with no evidence of any rot or significant damage. On the other hand, the front fenders have seen quite a few dings and dents where they could stand some metal work. Also, the passenger side headlight has been bumped as well. Overall this is not a bad start at all to a COE project. The already modified frame certainly has to be desirable and a selling point to those that like to build a lowered ratty COE. Would you revive this Coca Cola Delivery truck?

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    This a cool find. Can’t say for sure if it was a Coke truck, but the drop frame makes sense for a beverage body. Great start for someone’s resto-mod roll off, but to keep it as is, probably won’t happen. Just for the record, that engine “hump” is called the “doghouse” and every cabover has one. Love the 4 spoke steering wheel.

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  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I love it! These old beasts were rare back in the day and even more scarce today. And while I’ve seen some of these made into super cool street rods, they still don’t come close to one that has been meticulously restored. I sure hope that this one doesn’t add to the lengthening list of those that have sacrificed their cab for a street rod conversion…

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    • On and On On and On Member

      geomechs, you and Howard A seem to know a lot about trucks. Just a question to both of you, why do you rarely see a cab over design any more. Back in the 70’s it was all you saw on the interstate. Was it aerodynamic considerations or safety possibly?

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi, O&O. I’m sure that Howard could add plenty to this answer but I’ll offer my two-cents worth just the same. The original concept was to make the truck more maneuverable in tight situations such as city deliveries. But the concept made it out to the highways because the shorter cab allowed more of the load to be placed on the tractor. It wasn’t a LOT of difference but it added up. Regulations changed from individual axle weight to the total combined weight so the COE kind of lost its purpose. From a mechanic’s viewpoint a COE was always a pain in the butt to service. Cabs got shook to pieces after half a million miles and the jacks didn’t work properly, or the underframe cracked and buckled (or froze down) and you spent half a day just getting the cab up. Then you finally tip the cab ahead and discover that not everything that could fall through the windshield was accounted for and put away. Consequently a lot of stuff fell out of the sleeper onto the glass, resulting in a major pissing contest. COEs kind of outlived their usefullness.

        COEs like this one left a lot to be desired for working on. The cabs on these wouldn’t tip forward; you HAD to remove the doghouse and open the front end up. You eventually got used to standing on your head or becoming quite a contortionist (or both). But they weren’t all bad either. The engine sat on a subframe which unbolted from the main frame and slid out the front (sort of). Of course you had to remove the rad and all accessories then contend with a rusted subframe, or bits of pea-gravel, or mud jammed between the main frame and the sub-frame. You learned a whole new vocabulary. Funny that I say stuff like this but would still love to have one…

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      • Howard A

        geomechs covered some of a cabovers origins, but in the 70’s, there still were “total overall length laws”. The idea was, the shorter the truck, the longer the trailer. Cabovers were usually short, meaning a longer trailer, and a few extra feet of cargo over a year adds up. Cabovers were superior for getting around in tight spaces, but after length laws were abolished and many deliveries moved to outside the city, the cabover was no longer needed. Also, pretty hard to make a cabover aerodynamic,( although, many tried) and fuel prices further spelled doom for the cabover. Good riddance, I say, I drove half a dozen cabovers, and hated every one. The only one I half liked was the IH 4070B Transtar. The absolute worst, was the set back axle Freightliner. Some drivers loved them, others, like me, hated them. I knew drivers that would call in sick if they had to drive a cabover for the day. I drove whatever the boss told me to drive, but I didn’t have to like it.

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      • On and On On and On Member

        You guys are a font of knowledge about trucks. Thank you for your experience. My guess was so far off.

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        That’s right, Howard, the overall length rule. I forgot that; too many things mired in the gray matter. While I never drove a Cabover, except to roadtest, I didn’t care for them one bit. I saw a lot of guys who couldn’t walk very well after driving them for a few years. It’s like being on top of a pogo stick–without the spring…

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      • grant

        Listening to you guys talk trucks is like being little and eavesdropping on dad and his buddies again. I remember the old man hating the cabovers, he said they shook him to jelly. I seem to remember he didn’t think they were particularly safe either.

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  3. D.Meister

    I love COE’s . I’m an avid scale modeler and am currently working on a ’53 Ford COE resin cast and….I also have this very year Ford COE in resin cast waiting in the wings as my next project. I grew up with these trucks in our family’s business and have a great appreciation for them.

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  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Ad has ended. I admit I have a fond feeling for COE’s. I’ve seen a few set up as car haulers and almost without exception they’re ‘SEXY’ looking if set up properly.
    Hope this one gets back on the road in the proper shape to make a splash wherever it goes.

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  5. RobB

    I would love to have one of these to use as my race car hauler. (like the one on Counting Cars.)

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  6. Tricky

    I want one, convert to a low-bed pickup, to tow my 5th Wheel!

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  7. canadainmarkseh Member

    I say steel the cab and put it on a modern frame. Put a cube van body on the back and a cumins diesel under the hood. Then I’d covert the cube van body into a stealth urban tiny house. With all the amenities. Lastly live and travel in it until I’m to old to do it anymore. I guess a guy can dream.

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  8. canadainmarkseh Member

    Oh ya two air ride seats up front too.

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  9. TinkerToy

    I agree on the IH 4070B. What a Truck. My first cab over was one. Chinacabinet “non sleeper “. Cummins Formula 290 w/9 speed. Guaranteed you were first on the scene of an accident

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  10. guggie

    My first job out of high school was at a toy factory and they had one of these COE Fords . One of my jobs was to take this truck and go to the ware house and get card board shipping boxes , we used to heap the boxes up higher than the cab and then have some of the guys sit on top of them so as they would not fall off the truck , it was really cool when we crossed the rail road tracks and that old Ford would buck like a bronco , every once in a while some one would fall off lol.That old Ford COE would start every time even at -10 temps , Oh the good old days .

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  11. Peter Chast
  12. Howard A

    “Non-paying bidder”? Sounds like wifey stepped in,,,

    • Jim Z Member

      Description of “non paying bidder” does sound suspect. According to the bid history (bidder with 38 feedbacks) had bid mulitple times on that truck.
      Shill bidding at it’s finest!

  13. Rex Rice

    I loved how easily they turned, much easier than the normal trucks. I also liked the view from up there.

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