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Exceptionally Solid: 1951 Ford F-1 Pickup

It is common for older Pickups to suffer rust issues, but this is not due to poor design. The type of life they generally lead exposes them to adverse conditions, and rot seems almost inevitable. That is why this 1951 Ford F-1 Pickup blows in like a breath of fresh air. It is an original and unmolested classic that was part of the one family until recently. Its ace up the sleeve is that the ordinarily rust-prone areas on this classic are rock-solid. It needs a new home, with the seller listing it here on Craigslist in Prescott, Arizona. They set their price at $18,200, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting it.

It is unclear when the seller purchased this Pickup, but they indicate they did so from a family that had owned it since new. It is a complete and unmolested vehicle that is a prime candidate for restoration. Its original Raven Black paint shows the marks and imperfections you might expect for a vehicle of this age, and surface corrosion is emerging in a few spots. However, it is this classic’s lack of rust that many will find irresistible. The usually prone areas, like the lower cab corners, are exceptional, while the floors appear perfect. The only rust worth noting is small spots in the lower fender corners. This area is a renowned rust trap, but simple patches should address the issue. The panels sport some bumps and imperfections, but none require attention if the new owner chooses the preservation path. The trim is intact, and the glass looks excellent for a vehicle of this type and age.

The seller supplies no engine photos, but they provide plenty of information on this Ford’s mechanical specifications and health. Buyers could order their 1951 F-1 with a 226ci flathead six or a 239ci V8. There was little to separate the pair on paper, with the power and torque figures surprisingly close. The V8 produced an additional 5hp, but with both power and torque peaks occurring lower in the engine’s rev range, the V8 offered a more effortless load-carrying ability. This Pickup features the mighty 239 that sends 100hp and 180 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a heavy-duty three-speed manual transmission. The good news for potential buyers is that this classic has only minor needs. The engine is strong, the transmission shifts smoothly, and the clutch is perfect. It runs and drives well, but the brakes pull to one side. They probably require attention before the vehicle is considered genuinely roadworthy, but that task shouldn’t break the bank or take much effort.

I wouldn’t describe this Pickup’s interior as pretty, but it has some positive attributes that potential buyers will welcome. The gauges, with clear lenses and crisp markings, are exceptional for their age. The factory AM radio is both intact and functional. The heater works as it should, and there are no missing parts. The painted surfaces look tired, the upholstery is toast, and the wheel is badly cracked. Addressing the paint and upholstery issues will be straightforward because dismantling the interior of vehicles of this age is easy if the buyer seeks a high-end finish. Seatcovers and rubber floormats are readily available, and I quickly found a NOS wheel for $300. That last item isn’t cheap, but since the wheel was flawless, the price is justified if the new owner seeks perfection.

Rust repairs on classic Pickups like this 1951 Ford F-1 generally aren’t complicated, and sourcing the required patches is easy. However, if an owner can avoid the hassles of that task, it will reduce the stress and expense of their restoration. That is the case with this beauty, but it also makes it a prime candidate for preservation if the new owner wishes to retain it as a genuine survivor. Hmm, restore or preserve? Which would you choose?


  1. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Fix it, patch it then just drive it.
    But be careful-the added performance part on the front hood could cause for some unprecedented aerodynamic effect and affects!

    Like 7
    • Jimbosidecar

      That little added performance part is actually pretty valuable, at least in the Bullet Nose (1949-1951) Studebaker world.

      Like 2
  2. Scrapyard John

    This is an example of good / acceptable “patina”, in my opinion. I’d leave the paint alone. I don’t necessarily think this truck would look better if it was repainted to perfection…

    Like 9
    • Steve smith

      Finally, the proper use of “patina”, instead of rust

      Like 2
  3. Todd Zuercher

    A nice for sale in my hometown. I drove past where this truck is located on Saturday afternoon. If I had known it was there, I would’ve stopped in for a look!

    Like 3
  4. BlondeUXB Member

    What’s going on with the passenger front fender ?
    Are you sure it’s not a Buick ?

    Like 6
    • Ford Coolness

      Looks like played with like hood ornament propeller.

      Late 70s my dad bought a 1950 with 4 in floor bull dog.
      WOW granny gears for a flat head V8.

      Late 70s no rust and similar paint was $600 😎

      Like 1
      • Fred W

        Yep, I bought a 1950 F1 in similar shape in the mid 70’s and I’m sure I didn’t have $300 to spend. This looks more 8-10K to me.

        Like 1
    • John Washburn

      A Buford?

      Like 1
  5. bone

    Adam posted this same truck here last October ; it was in Colorado and selling for $12,500 .

    Like 5
  6. karl

    And the seller then bought it from the original owner , now this seller bought it from the original owner

    Like 8
  7. Ted R. Pierce

    This is a Western Colorado truck. I’m 72 and I knew that truck my whole life. The man that owned it worked with my dad in the coal mine. Seen it cruising around our small town all the time. When he died it went to his grandsons who passed away approximately 1 year ago. It was sold at a yard sale to a friend of mine. That’s the story on the old truck.

    Like 16
    • Big C

      It apparently gained $6,000 on it’s trip from Colorado to Arizona!

      Like 4
  8. James

    They don’t come much more original. It’ll sell to someone who “has” to have it.

    Like 2
  9. Matthew Dyer

    What a great survivor. I suspect the transmission is unsynchronized.

    Like 2
    • stillrunners

      That’s actuallty the same 3 speed trans going back before the war with truck gears but is called an “open drive” trans from 48 up to 52 in the trucks. It’s a weak trans but if driven nicely I guess it could last like this one has and yes non-synco in 1st.

      Like 2
  10. Carnut

    Big C is 100% correct.. after reading ads for decades you can smell a flipper about a mile away..

    This one stinks of Flipper 101.. no rust.. look at his pics.. holes in running boards.. yeah it’s real dry.. cool truck for sure

    Like 4
  11. william j baldwin

    what are the round things on the sides of the front fenders?

    Like 2
  12. jim

    The first thing I thought of when seeing it was Sanford and son

    Like 4
  13. z1rider

    Are we sure thats not a 4 speed? I was thinking by 51 the 3 speed was a column shift.

    Like 2
    • Daniel John Bayne

      The Mercury M-1 came with 3 on the tree only. ( 255 Flat Head )

      Like 0

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