First Year Survivor: 1946 Mercury Pickup

This 1946 Mercury One Ton Pickup is virtually complete and is from the first year of production of the Mercury Pickup line. If it looks familiar, that’s because we recently featured a 1947 Mercury truck from the same seller, but this is a completely different truck with its own unique patina. This one looks to be a rock solid candidate for a restoration or rat rod project. You will find it listed for sale here on eBay. The Mercury is located in Sweet Grass, Montana, and is being offered for sale with a clear title. At the time of writing, bidding has reached $4,150 in this No Reserve auction.

The first thing that struck me when I looked at this truck is how straight it is. The lack of paint means that if there is any Bondo lurking there, then it’s going to be obvious. I don’t see any, and I also don’t see much in the way of rust. The floors are solid, and the only obvious rust is some small spots in the passenger side corner of the cab, and a few small spots on the sides of the bed, but all should be easy repairs. All of the external trim is present, although some of the items will need to be sent off for a new dose of chrome. It also looks like all of the glass is present and in good condition.

The interior is basically complete, and the work that is required will depend on the direction the new owner decides to take with the project. The lid is missing off the glove box, although the seller is attempting to source a replacement, and the handle for the passenger side window is also missing. Otherwise, if you fixed the seat and the parts of the headliner that are hanging down, you could use the Pickup as it stands now.

Under the hood is the 239ci flathead V8 which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. The engine appears to be complete, although the seller does state that it hasn’t run in many years. He doesn’t indicate whether the engine turns freely, but these old engines are pretty hardy, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is relatively easy to get running. He does indicate that the truck rolls freely and steers. The tires hold air, but are pretty old and will need replacing.

I mentioned the idea of a rat rod project at the start, and that is certainly a possibility. I think that it would be a shame to go down that pathway, as the 1946 Mercury Pickup is quite a rare truck when compared to its Ford sibling. To my mind, being a largely complete, rust-free, and straight example makes it a perfect candidate for a restoration project. Which way would you go with it?

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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    Another Canadian exclusive truck heading across the border. If I had the funds and a place to put them they’d all be staying up here. Not nearly as many of the Mercury truck were built compared to the Ford brand and rat rod this truck would be a crying shame. There can’t be to many of these prairie trucks left out there. I’d paint this a olive green with black fenders or maybe a off white cream colour with navy blue fenders.

    • geomechs Member

      I’m not really against those trucks coming down into the States, as long as they don’t wind up in one of those butcher shops in Southern California where they end up a distant shadow of what they once were; they need to be restored and preserved as a (still) usable utility vehicle. My brother lived in Logandale, NV for several years. His neighbor had a Mercury truck very similar to this one. I understand that it came from somewhere in CA, but it must have migrated from Canada sometime before that. Of course it attracted attention; nearly everyone who saw it on the road tried to flag him down to buy it.

  2. KSwheatfarmer Member

    This is what got the work done on the farm before two ton trucks with hoists began to appear. I vividly remember waiting in line at the elevator as these were lifted up by the front axel to help the grain flow out the back. It was a rare occurrence when the engine started after its trip up and down due to carb. flooding. I have never seen a Mercury pickup this old,a very unique style. If I didn’t already have the 50 f-1 I’d be wanting this one.

    • geomechs Member

      When I was a kid there were a lot of farmers in the Chinook Belt who farmed maybe 300 acres. All they needed was a tonner, and there were lots of them, especially up along the border. Of course as the farms got bigger so did the trucks.

      When you mentioned lifting the trucks up by the front axle, that brought back some memories. The first time I took grain to the elevator was in the ’57 A-160 Binder. The agent simply hoisted the truck up and dumped it out. It spilled oil out of the air cleaner and generally made a mess of things, not to mention that it wasn’t all that eager to start. Dad told me to always use the truck hoist, which I did after that…

  3. Metoo

    Rust free? Well……… I looked at the last photo, drivers side rest fender. Enlarged photo. Bottom edge of the fender looks ragged, a bit of rust, and bottom edge is not straight. Not a big problem, but it is there.

  4. RoKo

    I’m cringing at the thought of this nice old truck being decimated into a rat rod.

    Another cool Mercury pickup leaving the country. Oh well, hopefully it’ll find its way into the hands of someone who will cherish it.

    • Tim Gervais

      I’m kicking myself in the butt for selling these two 1 tons. I owned both of them for the last 15 years. And no they were never in a barn. I actually thought this guy was going to restore them and not put them on eBay. My loss. I guess this is one of the reasons I hate selling my mercury’s.

      • glen

        You should contact him and give him HEdouble -hockey- sticks, for advertising them as barnfinds. That’s false advertising.

      • Jbones

        Greed is allllllllll I’ll say……..

  5. Ron

    It is definitely a truck that needs to be either restored or preserved as is. It would be a shame to rat rod it. If I had the money I’d be trying to get it

  6. Matt steele

    I wouldn’t rat rod this.keep it original mostly. Wow this looks like it should be in a Thomas kinkade painting

  7. Matt steele

    All it needs is a pond,cabin,barn and sunset

  8. Todd Zuercher

    This guy must be buying all the old Fords/Mercurys he can find in the area as this is about the 5th or 6th truck that’s made it here from the same seller.

    It’s interesting to hear from the last owner here too.

  9. geomechs Member

    Definitely a restoration on this. It’s too complete to do anything else. I would fix it up and use it. It’s strange; after seeing so many one ton trucks being used hard back when I was a kid, I went through a period where I didn’t care much about anything larger than a half ton. Now I like these ones just as much, whiny transmission and all…

  10. Bob S

    I love the Mercury trucks, and hope this gets a restoration. I don’t ever recall seeing a 46 or 47 one ton, and am guessing that there can’t be too many survivors. It would be a real pity if this rare truck was butchered.
    I have owned several Merc trucks over the years, and still own a 67 one ton dually. The last year they marketed the Mercury trucks was 68, but I think the 67 was prettier.

    • geomechs Member

      Hi Bob. When I was a kid I saw as many tonners as I did half-tons. I don’t think the half-ton population really started to grow until ’49-’50. And that was everything from Binders to Dodges, to Fords and Chevies, with Chevy being the biggest supplier. There were a lot of Canadian built trucks migrated across the border into Montana. The closest dealer of any kind was only ten miles north of the border, versus 35+ miles the other way. I don’t recall seeing a lot of this style but with the Korean war, and the resultant shortages, there were a lot of Mercuries and Canadian Fords came across in the early 50s….

      • Bob S

        That is interesting. I would imagine the reason a 1 ton with a box would have been the ideal grain hauler at the time. I am from the west side of the Rockies, where fruit orchards were the main farming activity, and even seeing a late 40s or early 50s 3/4 ton truck years was extremely rare. At that time, all the farmers used their tractors to pull trailers loaded boxes of fruit. There were lots of 1/2 ton trucks, but they were used as utility vehicles.
        I started logging in 1957, and the gippo outfit I worked for used a pair of clapped out old 47 Ford 1/2 ton trucks to run us up and down from our worksite on the mountain. There was a lot of corduroy road which beat the trucks badly, and there was nothing much left of them when they were finally retired.

  11. lbpa18

    If this and the last Mercs were from the same owner for the majority of their lives, I would love to know their histories. Probably gone now…

  12. Carla Hernandez Member

    The guy who sold them was glad to take the money and now his greed has kicked in seeing what could’ve been for him had he only done a quick search. Furthermore, were it that he wanted to sell them to someone who would restore them, again, a quick search of restoration shops would’ve created some interest and information. Simply putting them up for sale himself as opposed to letting his greed get the better of him he would’ve enjoyed the benefit he now regrets letting get away from him.

    • Tim Gervais

      Greed?? What are you talking about greed from me for selling these two mercury trucks. I personally have around 200 old cars and trucks in my yard. 30% of them are mercury’s. I put a rough one up for sale locally and this Mathew ended up hearing I had others and asked about buying them because he had a person that wanted them. Yes I should have looked into him. But thinking he’s a body shop or a good looking for someone. I hate the fact that he bought the trucks and did nothing but re list them. That does nothing for the hobby. I had no greed when I sold them. I thought after holding onto to them for 15 plus years they needed to be restored. It’s regret and a sickening feeling I have selling them to a resell scum that travels at night and loads vehicles at 2am. Shady shady ppl in this hobby is not what we need.

  13. Bing

    Had a 48 Ford that I drove to college… it had a mercury heater in it, most likely from a car. What a neat old vehicle. I would have my body guy sand the truck lightly, put some antique lettering on the doors and clear coat it… Under the hood, I would put a rebuilt flatty with all the typical speed equipment from the era, i.e., Offenhauser heads, twin Stomberg 97’s, and switch it over to 12 volt. I’d do the interior by restoring the dash, keeping the original gauges, Brown leather seat and brown interior. New tires with the original hubcaps. Re do all the chrome trim too.
    Bet if you drove it to your local Home Depot, it would draw a crowd when you shopped inside. Heck, I just may have to buy it as my next project after I finish the 65 shortbed C 10. Pick ups are HOT right now.

  14. lbpa18

    Hi Carla. For many of us, we love old vehicles. I mean that to say we are emotionally attached to them. They may remind us of a simpler time, or be associated with happier memories. Often we dream of having one again. Then, once we are successful reality sets in and we realize we are missing one of many of the required ingredients to get this project to the dreamed of state. Sometimes it’s time, sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s something else completely. We’ve all seen “Free to a good home” on something. That person could just as easily throw whatever it is in the dump for whatever benefit they’ll likely get from it. So, it makes sense that person just wants it to go to a good home where it will get the care he/she was unable to provide. So maybe it is in this case. The last seller was happy it was going to go to a person who would take it/them to the next level toward the dreamed of state. To then see them for sale to the highest bidder would to me seem a slap in the face. Greed? Maybe. Have you ever sold anything in your life? Did you take payment for any perceived value? Or, are you so well off that you were able to just give it away free so as to not be seen as greedy. You would be rare. This is likely a “shades of gray” issue and not “Black or white”. In the case of these trucks, they really are nice and I hope they go to someone who will take them to the next level with emotion. Without being emotionally attached, we’d all be driving K cars. Im one of those guys who would take the trouble at a lumber yard to walk over and admire it, but I wouldnt expect it to be given to me.

  15. Bill W

    Don’t have the break down by model (½ Ton, 1 Ton, 2 Ton 3 Ton) but total 1946 Mercury Truck model year production was 4,817 for 1946 and 1947 was 7,995.

    Canadian Ford Truck production was 34,676 for model year 1946 and 29,227 for 1947. Ford was Canada’s #1 truck manufacturer back then.

    • David

      Hi Bill,

      Where did you get this info? Really interesting!


      • Bill W

        The calendar year production is courtesy Ford of Canada historical. I have their calendar year production dating back to 1904.

        Model year production came from an article on Ford of Canada’s 50th Anniversary (1954). The article was published by Wards Automotive Yearbook, who published a small Canadian edition from 1954 through 1961. Ford of Canada apparently supplied the production information to Wards.

      • David

        Thanks for sharing it.

        Is there any way I could speak to you on the phone?

        Would be really interested to have a chat.

        My email is



  16. Carla Hernandez Member

    Ibpa18, I appreciate the thought and consideration that you put into your reply. I must say that I’ve ‘been there, done that’ with so many cars that I’d like to have back. But, also, I need to respectfully ask that you consider that I, too, have had an emotional attachment to every vehicle I’ve seen; from the big-window barracuda I rode under in the AZ sun as a child to the Z28’s and MachI’s that I watched ride by my elementary school yard where I clung to the chainlink fence during breaks to look for. Like the aggrieved seller, I, too, have had many get away from me. Life’s good.

  17. Gary Wade

    Some of us do restore them , just finishing up a 46 Mercury now, but really hard to find parts, having to make do with 2 ton hood trim because someone needed my 1/2 ton badges and still trying to chase down 2 more bottom grille bars that disappeared..

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