Hexed Hauler: 1952 Ford F3 Pickup

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Ever have a project that just seemed like it had a hex on it?  Well, the seller of this 1952 Ford F3 pickup, found for us on craigslist in Danvers, Massachusetts by reader AMXBrian, has tried to get this cool old hauler back in circulation.  Unfortunately, it has been one thing after another keeping this truck off the road.  The final straw was the locking up of its Flathead Ford powerplant.  Are you the one to pay the $5,999 asking price and break the hex on this blue bomber?  Or would you avoid this blue devil like it was a pickup version of Christine?

The story goes something like this.  The seller purchased this truck in early 2018 with the hopes of having a cool truck to drive around.  It was registered and, we assume, in running condition.  Not soon after, the truck’s electrical system was converted to 12 volts.  Also, the truck was treated to a new water pump, a new exhaust system, and a professionally reupholstered bench seat.  All nice things done for the truck.  Then, things went to Hell very quickly.  First, the ignition switch broke.  Then, the engine ground to a screeching halt.  As in it locked up due to overheating.  Without a place to work on it or the tools to rebuild the engine, the owner is throwing in the towel.

Which is a shame because it is being advertised as a truck with just 48,000 original miles.  We are also conversely told that it has been a work truck all of its life.  Regardless, the seller claims that the truck is solid.  The few pictures we have seem to somewhat back up that claim.  It does appear to be a nice truck.  However, the fact that it is being sold out of the Boston area is cause for additional scrutiny.  The climate is just too rough there when you factor in the snow and the city’s proximity to salt water.  At least the stiff ride of the F3’s heavy duty suspension should keep all of the rust shaken out.  You won’t be going through the Starbucks drive through to get a hot cup of coffee in this truck.

At the asking price, and if the seller’s claims are true, then this truck might be worth taking a chance.  Running Flatheads are out there to be had at bargain prices.  You might also consider putting in a late model engine, but that would be sacrilegious.  A Flathead belongs under that big old hood.  After you got it running, then I guess you could just start repairing things as they break.  After taking it to a priest of course.  Maybe pay a little extra for a splash of holy water.  Better safe than sorry!

The Johnny Cash “one piece at a time” method has kept a lot of cursed vehicles on the road.  Do you think old Johnny can break the hex?

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Oh, boo-hoo, no such thing as a “hex”, especially in vehicles. It’s just nuts and bolts. Let this be a stark lesson to anyone thinking of buying a vintage truck, very rarely, especially a vehicle under 5 figures, is going to be a turn key deal. I see nothing unusual about this, and most assuredly, it’s original days are over. Someone going to resto-mod the heck out of this, it’s a very desirable truck to do so, and that’s ok, but to say it has a hex is downright silly.

    Like 14
    • Rayo

      Chevy guy here, Dad taught me how to drive in that Ford. I would have bought it for his 95th. Hoping someone would finder a home.
      She’ll run forever. I doan believe in hexed rides. I also believe,the writer at BF has a future in publishing.

      Like 2
  2. geomechs geomechsMember

    Engines break, even newer ones. Pull it, fix it, then drop it back in. I would never be afraid to tackle a project like this one although the last thing I would’ve done was convert the electrical system over to 12V. They ran just fine on 6V so why change it. This would be the last year for the T-9 transmission before the synchronized T-98 and the reduced whine (the transmission, Howard). Anyways, this would be a great truck to fix up and use while you’re at it…

    Like 11
    • HoA Howard AMember

      I agree, 6 volt always worked fine for me too. I think the conversion today is more like to be standardized with the rest of the world. 6V bulbs and headlights are almost non-existent at the local parts hut, and everybody needs a 12V “power port” these days, radios, jump starts, etc, all 12V. Besides, those 6V starters and heater fans really spin on 12V,,,for a while.

      Like 2
    • michelle randStaff

      I agree re: the switch to 12v. That can cause more problems than it solves, and could be the source of the ‘hex’. Leave it the way it was designed!

      Like 0
  3. hatofpork

    I’d get it running and then, just to be on the safe side, drive it up to Gloucester in June and ask the Monsignor to bless it along with the fishing boats-problem solved!

    Like 7
  4. grant

    “Hexed” because the ignition switch and the motor broke, in a 70 year old truck? The seller seems to have had unrealistic expectations of his project.

    Like 8
  5. KevinLee

    Hell, I would at least liked to have seen a picture of the professionally reupholstered seat!

    Like 5
  6. whmracer99

    Am seeing quite a bit of this where non-skilled purchasers of these old vehicles think they are just like the new ones and should run without issue. The old truck frenzy has bitten quite a few Barrett-Jackson wanna-be’s and will get a bunch more before it recedes back to a more normal level. Looks like a fairly solid truck but pricing seems a bit high with it being non-running and would have to lay hands on this and verify what the rust situation looks like before purchase.

    Like 6
    • healeydays

      I have no issue with someone trying their hand at getting an old classic back up and running. Worst case, they may have saved a classic from going to a crusher and have done a few minor things to save those tasks from someone that might do it true justice.

      Like 3
  7. healeydays

    That truck needs to be saved.

    Worried about all the evil guts underneath? Don’t know a flathead from a toaster? Want something that drives a little bit smoother?

    There have been many websites out there that talk of dropping the body on a S10 or a 74-79 F-250 frame and make it into a retromod.

    As for the paint? I’d just seal it. I love that evil blue…

    Like 4
  8. Big Mike

    What the heck, a “Hexed” truck, what do you expect from a 70 year old truck.
    Pull the motor over haul it and put it back in and hit the road with it. If you think it is “Hexed” take it to Church one Sunday Morning, and hang a Cross around the mirror. I would like to agree with keeping it 6V, but recently I converted my 47 GMC to 12 volt, because I got tired of the cost to rebuild or find a 6 volt starter for it. I agree finding 6V bulb and head lights are also getting hard and expensive to buy. I still have the 6V fan motor, but I use a resistor bank to reduce the voltage to it.

    Like 5
  9. mark

    He wanted an old nice looking truck to impress his friends. Of course he expected this nearly 70 year old truck to ride and drive just like a new one and be just as reliable. Has he yet learned that when this truck was made, that trucks were built to be used as trucks, drove like trucks and rode like trucks?

    Like 3
  10. AZD

    I’d be happy if my ’52 IHC had half the “hex” this thing does.

    Broken starter switch? A $20 fix.

    Locked engine? Unfortunate, but it’s not the only engine on the planet. Forget about OHV upgrades and all of the attendant adapters, etc. For less hassle – and probably less money – you could find another running flatty V8. Or, heaven forbid, a Ford I6 flathead, which was optional in this truck. Nobody wants them so they are almost free when you find one.

    This is a solid truck that deserves to drive again.

    Like 3
  11. Dean

    Literary license

    Like 1
  12. bruce Fischer

    We still sell all that 6 volt at Federated Auto parts in East T.N. That’s where I got all my 53 Buick 6 volt parts. Bruce.

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechsMember

      Out west we have no problems getting 6V parts. Auto Zone, O’Reilly’s, NAPA, just to mention a few. Local NAPA has got 6V batteries in stock….

      Like 2
  13. Howard

    I found quite a lot of 6v bulbs for my 52 Olds at my local Autozone. I pretty much had to lay on the floor and hold my bifocals at a weird angle to see them wayyyyyy on the bottom of the display. But there’s a couple of sites online where they’re not particularly cheap, but easily available, even the dual contact bulb for the overhead interior light. Converting to 12 volt usually makes them crank over better adding to reliability and aftermarket items like power window and power lock conversions are available. Makes it easy to adapt a junk yard wiper motor to replace the feeble vacuum wipers

    Like 0
  14. Rick

    On 6 volt systems; many years ago when it was -19 in Cleveland, my 53 Imperial with a 6 volt system was the only car in the parking lot that started. My mother lived in Hunting Valley where it was even colder, and her Beetle fired right up.
    I have seen many supposedly good 12 volt batteries not hold up in the -20 windchill that Cleveland is expecting. In spite of what they say, windchill affects vehicles.

    Like 1
  15. Dean

    I worked with a guy who’s wife drove a 53 Chevy 6 volt that he would jump when necessary using his 12v system. Made a hell of a spark, but he had to be very quick when doing it.

    Like 1
  16. ctmphrs

    I can’t understand why anyone would willingly keep a vehicle 6volt if they didn’t have to.

    Like 0
  17. Ken

    I tune out people who believe in hexes and curses. It’s silly, superstitious nonsense

    Like 0
    • robert semrad

      Come on, Ken…do you really think this writer actually believes in hexes, or was he just using a literary devise, or maybe tongue in cheek? I tune out people who aren’t able to separate literal from figurative verbiage.

      Like 0

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