Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Flathead Equipped! 1952 Ford F1 Panel Truck

Time for another trip in the Wayback Machine. Last week, we took a look at this 1946 International Metro, a one-time, found everywhere commercial vehicle. Today, it’s a 1952 Ford F1 panel truck, that like the Metro was once found in so many trades and delivery capacities. This example is advertised as a barn find and appears to have both its qualities and detractions – let’s see what’s really here. This Ford F1 is located in Lakeland, Minnesota and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $3,500 with zero bids tendered as of this writing.

The body of this truck is a bit of a mixed bag – there are dents, surface rust, a missing running board, and slightly stoved in rear doors. Paint? Nope, replaced by patina, and not sprayed on, posed patina but the real thing that only time and exposure can create. The seller describes this F1 as, “nice real solid truck with nice floors and body.” The seller adds that he has an “extra set of running boards In really nice shape” but the ones in the image don’t look so hot. The external highlight is probably the grille, while it is finished off in a rust hue, it is complete and not dented, a notable achievement considering how often the grille is the first thing that gets tagged.

For power, this F1 is sporting a 106 HP, 239 CI flathead V8. Considering how rapidly automotive technology changed in the post-war years, it’s amazing, that twenty-one years on, Ford was still employing this old flathead engine. Of course, it was a solid design, very impressive for 1932, and it did undergo improvements over the years. The seller states that the engine starts and does not smoke but he has no history around its past. I’m no flathead expert but the engine appears to be in original condition short of what looks like an improvised fuel line/filter. Gear changing is accomplished via a three-speed manual transmission.

The interior of this F1 is a blank canvas, probably a little too blank as it doesn’t appear to have a driver’s seat. The floors, both the steel passenger compartment floor and wooden cargo deck are in sound shape. The instrument panel is fifties truck simple with a minimalist gauge set that appears to be partially clouded. Add-on turn signals look to have been tacked on but that’s the only nod to modernity beyond standard 1952 fare. The cargo area doesn’t give an indication as to what this Ford’s prior purpose was all about; there are some horizontal wood strips in place but they could have participated in innumerable hauling solutions. What really matters, is what one thinks they can do with this Ford moving forward. Whatever the plan, a new windshield needs to be in the mix.

I have probably seen more International Metro vans in recent years than I have spied Ford F1 panel vans and I haven’t seen a Metro in a long time. The options as to what one can do with an old truck like this Ford are unlimited. This example has a nice draw because of its flathead engine but old trucks, be it a Metro or an F1, and their original driving characteristics aren’t desirable today for anything more than a trip around the block. A custom or altered makeover would seem to be suitable for this truck but there are many options available. What would you recommend?


  1. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    Back in the day, I used to see lots of these running around. They were used by nearly every business imaginable. And now you hardly see one. Lots of work needed with this one but I don’t think it’s as bad as your first impression. Definitely worth the effort to bring it back to as new again. I like the flathead although I sure wouldn’t turn down a six in this either. The new ohv six came out in ’52. I heard that they could do everything a V8 could do, albeit slower. Either way is good…

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Like I mentioned on the Diamond T post, they have to be nicer than this. If someone is going to do a complete restoration, it’s going to be a resto-mod, just because it’s so unusual to find. Panel vans were the low of the low on the company vehicle list. They went through a bunch of drivers, each caring less and less about the truck,( or the job) as most panel vans included some sort of loading and unloading, and few survived, save for a tool shed out back. Great find, but resto-mod here it comes, and that’s okay too.

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo IkeyHeyman

    I have a buddy who has had one of these panels in very good condition stored on blocks in his garage for over 40 years – it has nice hand-painted lettering on it from the business that originally owned it. I keep telling him to strike while the iron’s hot, at some point nobody will care about these or he’ll croak. You guessed it, he’s gonna “fix ‘er up” one of these days.

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo Mike

    I see Chevy & GMC panel vans 10 times more than Ford. Should be saved but not resto modded. And please no fake patina with faded lettering of non existent delivery or mechanic shops.

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Roy Blankenship

    I see this as an Art Morrison chassis, modern drive train, AC. I LOVE panel vans and sedan deliverys. Where is “Shag” from “Iron Resurrection”?

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Hendrie Grant

    Hey, would love to reach out to the guy. Any idea on that? I owned that van for many years and put a TON of miles on it. Origianally a 215 6 cylinder. Link to the ad would be great. Maybe Ill add it to the collection again. I did have a pair of straight rear doors that went with it when I sold it. Might even be the same guy. SOOO Fun to see it again. Blew my mind.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Phlathead Phil

    Lots of work? More like a career to get this one “Ship Shape.”

    I do like it though and the asking price is CORRECT!

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Richard Van Dyke Sr

    Get rid of the rust and make it a Camper for Hunting and Fishing

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.