Farm Fresh Find: 1956 Ford F-100

The Ford F-series has been the best-selling truck for over 40 years, and the best selling vehicle for almost as long. They’ve been produced since 1948, and while the newest versions boast massive towing capacities, seating for 6, and all the tech goodies you can dream of, there’s something nostalgic for many people about early, bare-bones, hard-working trucks. This 1956 Ford F-100 is an example of that – a simple truck that was meant to work hard. It’s currently up for sale here on eBay in Garner, North Carolina. At the time of writing, 40 bids have pushed the price to $4,800, although the reserve is not met yet.

First of all, I have to say I really like the photos on this listing. Whether you’re a GM, FoMoCo, or Mopar fan, this faded red truck in a suburban driveway with an American flag in the background really just makes me think of small-town USA, and I wouldn’t mind adding it to my collection! Plus, you can see the nose of another old vehicle sticking out of one of the garage bays, so you can assume the current owner has an appreciation for automotive history. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the 2nd generation F-series (1953-1956) in original condition and not customized – its design was a big step up from the first generation, and the wraparound rear window option (this is 1 of 6,000 made that year) , curved front windshield, and large front grill give it a great look.

The seller tells us the truck has quite a bit of rust, and you can see the worst areas in the other listing photos – running boards, rockers, the roof, and the floor all look like Swiss cheese. The bed floor is also missing. The hood, fenders, doors and bed sides look to be alright, but there is still plenty of work cut out for the next owner. The areas that aren’t rusted look to be surprisingly straight, without any major dents save for the back driver’s side that looks to have a previous repair. I love the patina, though looking at the door frames and engine bay you can see that the original color of this truck was a light blue, so perhaps keeping the current color isn’t as important.

Inside the truck is a very basic interior. Other than the heater, I didn’t spot any options. The basic metal dash looks good, although we don’t know the condition of the gauges. You can see some wayward wiring underneath which usually means electrical issues, although with this simple truck I can’t imagine it would be hard to resolve. Notice the location of the battery, and the use of vice grips on the window cranks. I’ve used that trick myself, and I’m sure many of you reading this have as well!

The seller doesn’t tell us what engine or transmission combination this Ford has, or if they are original, but we can see from the emblem on the front grill it came with some sort of V8 from the factory. Perhaps one of you sharp-eyed Barn Finds readers can at least identify the current engine here. We’re told the engine turns over but doesn’t run. Lots of work, but lots of potential here. What would you do if this was your truck?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    I think the draw to these trucks is they were just plain good looking. Nice lines, simple facilities for hauling and enough power to move anything that would fit in it. The Ford designed trucks that followed just didn’t have a great look to them compared to this line. Love the vice grip window winders. My story is when dating to the drive in movies in my ’32 coupe I’d take the steering wheel off and hang it on the outside door handle to make a little extra room inside. One night, after a fun fog up the windows movie, we got ready to leave and the steering wheel was gone. Put vice grips on the steering shaft and drove my date 22 miles home. Not so much fun with a ’65 Ford truck steering box installed.

    Like 15
    • Howard A Member

      Nice! One should always keep a “locking pliers” ( all locking pliers are coined “vice grips”, like Kleenex or Jello) on hand. Once while riding one of my dirt bikes in the woods, took a minor spill and broke the shift lever off. Locking pliers to the rescue,,Ta-Da,,,saved the day!!

      Like 6
  2. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I like these trucks. I expect that to be a 272 engine. I like the look of the big back window, but your neck can sure get hot. Vise grips were a handy tool to have in your car for various remedies. I can’t justify the price for these trucks though.
    God bless America

    Like 6
  3. Howard A Member

    This is a great find, and what I feel a truck like this should go for, not this 5 figure baloney. Biggest problem with these, is front cab mounts, and by the looks of the floors, these are most surely rotted. Not a deal breaker, they can be repaired, just a big job. ’56 was my favorite model of these, with the “built in sun-visor”, and that Y block motor (279?) was probably one of the best motors Ford made, powering everything in the mid-50’s from cars to semis. And the best part, as is, it’s fully capable for todays travel, well, 55 mph anyway, which is good enough for me. Cool find.

    Like 9
    • Dave

      It may be a 56, but it’s the kind of truck I envision every time I hear “Ol’ 55” by the Eagles.

      Like 2
  4. Joe Haska

    These Trucks are a favorite of mine, I have had 7 of them ,in almost every configuration. Six cylinder , stock flathead and O/D. Also, a couple with big block OHV Fords and all the suspension upgrades and the amenities of a “Resto Mod Pickup”. I have liked them all, I am now ,finishing MY LAST ONE”. It is an accumulation of all those before it and what I liked best in each one. I figure if I can’t get it right after 7 tries ,it’s time to do something else.
    As for this B/F truck, in my pinion it is a parts truck and I would have to think twice about it.

    Like 3
  5. ERIK

    As a kid in the mid 1970’s, a neighbor (a gentleman by the name of Russ) down the street of our neighborhood had a 1956 Ford Pickup that he occasionally would drive when not using their “family” car (a 1970 Chevelle). His college-age son drove a 1969 Cougar. Anyway, if I recall, Russ had the truck since new and by the 1970’s, every other summer he would spend a few days, right there out in the street, painting the truck with a brush and roller with some good old Rustoleum. Sometimes it would be blue and other times it would be green. Probably done so in the name of keeping a shine to the truck but alos probably trying to keep the SW Pennsylvania rust at bay. He had that truck until the mid 1980’s when it was suddenly gone and in it’s place was a shiny new Dodge D50 mini pickup with a cap which I believe he had retired (and had become a widower) and decided to treat himself to a new truck. Not sure whatever happened to that old Ford truck. Unfortunately, I was too busy being a teen to value how decades later I would pine after Russ’s old 1956 Ford pickup and wish I could time travel to tell my younger self to tell Russ to sell me his old Ford Truck. From time to time my brother and I will mention Russ’s old Ford truck from when we were kids in the 1970’s and we are further amazed that at that time as kids the truck was only around 15-20 years old and that would be like seeing a 2006-2001 Ford truck parked on a street today…but not quite the same as seeing Russ’s old 1956 Ford truck parked on the street back then.

    Like 5
  6. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Ford engines in the 50’s were 239, 272, 292, 312, 332, 352, and 390.
    God bless America

    Like 1
    • Rick

      There was a 279 Y-block V8 for the heavier duty trucks.

      There was a 361 FE V8 first available in 1958, mainly as a police interceptor option.

      The 390 FE V8 wasn’t offered until the 1961 model year.

  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Meant to say Ford V8 engines of the 50’s, not including 6 and 4 cylinder engines.
    God bless America

  8. Gary Rhodes

    $7k for that? and four days to go?Ho Lee Chit, they must see something I don’t. A rotted out longbed big window is not worth that. Buy a nice shortbed big window and save money in the long run, this turd needs everything rebuilt or replaced. I hated the knee knocker cowl on these.

    Like 1
  9. Steve Cota

    This engine would be a 292 Y Block as indicated by the Blue paint.
    The 272 version would have been painted yellow.
    The gearbox is a 3 speed as it is a column shift.
    there were 2, three speed trans options available for the F-100 in 56.
    A light duty, which was the same box used in passenger cars,
    And a Heavy Duty box which had a “Granny” low and reverse gear.
    The HD box was a conventional top mount, floor shift truck trans.
    with a special top cap that had an adaption that brought the shift arms down over the side so that it could be shifted from the column shifter.
    Note also that the knockout is still in place where the passenger side sun visor would have gone, indicating that this truck never had a sun visor for the passenger. They were an extra cost option at the time, as was the heater.. My own 56 F-100 that I’ve been driving for the last 35 years, also came from the dealer with only a drivers side visor.
    This would be an excellent truck to do a totally stock restoration on, all the rust repair panels are readily available, and when finished, would have no problem whatsoever keeping up with freeway traffic

  10. Gregory Rose

    It’s a long bed! Plus to much rust! But mostly the 3/4 long bed kills it! I had 53 flathead in High school painted it 75 corvette yellow! Then 55 f 100 in 81 after got outta Army straight six did body work then traded it for 750 Honda! Stupid me! Now have 55 doing gonna be best one yet! Lv body style! Pluss Lv 55 or 57 Chevy truck body style beautifull trucks!

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