North Dakota Survivor: 1946 Ford One Ton Truck

There are some beautiful pickup trucks out there, but some of the my all time favorite truck designs came out in the 1940s. There is just something about the curves and lines of trucks from this era that just looks right. This 1946 Ford One Ton has a great look to it, although it might look a little better with some new paint and a new bed. It’s being offered without a reserve though, so you might be able to buy it and have money left over in the budget to refurbish it a bit! Find it here on eBay in Cavalier, North Dakota with a current bid of $2,500.

Whether your a fan of this design or not, there’s no denying that these trucks were well built! This truck is over 70 years old, yet the body looks to be in solid shape even after who knows how many years of hard work on the farm. It’s condition is even more impressive when you consider the harsh winters of North Dakota!

The seller doesn’t say whether the original flathead V8 turns or not, but hopefully it does. These are great engines and as long as it isn’t seized, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get it up and running again. It looks a bit rusty, so I would want to have the seller check and make sure it at least turns by hand.

What a great old truck! Yes, it needs some work and could definitely use some new paint, but it sure would be a fun project. Whether you fully restore it or just get it to the point of being a safe driver, you would have a classic equally comfortable at the lumber yard and at car shows!

Fast Finds


  1. Howard A Member

    It appears the owner, during it’s running days, didn’t care for the smell of burning oil out the breather, so redirected it down and out via flex tube. Motor fried anyway, just update and be done with it. Does anybody know what that square thing on the left side of the motor with 2 wires going to it is? Great find. They’re apparently still out there. It has a “coal chute” in the tail gate, some of these had a dumping box, although, I don’t see any evidence of that here.

    • KEN TILLY Member

      Howzit Howard A?

      Although I am not a motor vehicle electrician I seem to remember from back in the day that the square box that you are referring to appears to be what’s known on British vehicles as a regulator. It cuts out the input from the generator to the battery once the battery is fully charged. When the lights are switched on points open/close to allow the generator to again send the current to the battery thereby keeping it fully charged.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. If you’re talking about that thing just to the left side of the generator, it’s the coil. Up to ’46 (maybe early ’47) Ford used a squarish looking coil. Starting in ’47 the coil was more typical. Don’t know if it worked any better.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi geomechs, I KNEW you’d know!!! Folks, this guy is sharp!! He should have his own column, “Say, geomechs”. :)

        Like 1
  2. Cherokee Bill

    Luv those old Ford and Chevy trucks. After 70 years it’s no Cherry but looks sexy. I hope I look that good when I hit senventy.

  3. Show73 Ron Jellum Member

    Howard, it looks like a starter relay.

    • Show73 Ron Jellum Member

      Ken is right, I was looking at the wrong side.

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks, I see the regulator on the firewall, this thing is next to the generator, and has 4 screws on top and 2 have wires going to them, right below the right radiator hose.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Still talking about the coil?

  4. Don H

    You are 100 % right Josh it needs a paint job ,I hope this rusty old banged up patina stuff is about over . I’m sorry 🙁 not really 👹

  5. Touring Fordor

    The item on the left side of the generator is the ignition coil. We had a 2 ton truck like this back on the farm. It was titled as a ’45 as it was one of the few civilian trucks produced during the war. It was sold new to coal company, a vital need in the 40’s.

  6. John H from CT

    Relatively lots of these in this condition, because for much of the year salt doesn’t work up there or these were farm trucks.

    Unnless you are from North Dakota or can haul this yourself, figure well over $1,000 to have it shipped. The reason is that there is very little car transport traffic up there. Last year a family gave me a ’53 Chevy 5 window in similar condition. By the time I shipped it to East Coast anf got it running I was in over $2K, and that was for a truck that cost me $1.00. The point of caution is, do your homework. It could easilt cost you $5K or more on top of the purchase price to make this thing roll again under its own power.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Love this truck. I well remember the days when these trucks were numerous. I’ll never forget the whine of that Warner T-9 crashbox, always whined the loudest behind a flathead V8. You could fix it up and use/enjoy it, or you could strip it right down and restore it. Either way you could have a lot of fun with it. Resto-mod? Not for me. I’ll take what’s there any day.

  8. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Hasn’t this been listed before…..and before that….and……?

    • David

      I think you’re thinking of this one:

      Which, to anyone with at least one eyeball, is obviously a different truck.

      You see Lawrence, in some bizarre money-making scheme, Ford decided to make more than one of these trucks. Makes for better business…

  9. Eric H

    As soon as I saw an old pickup from North Dakota I figured that it was the guy from Cavalier, he always has a couple old farm trucks for sale. If anyone is thinking about bidding John H from CT is correct, Cavalier is about 20 miles from Minnesota, and probably closer to Canada.

  10. Loco Mikado

    Looks to be in a lot better shape than the ’48 Chev 3100 listed, which is not a ’48.

  11. Cherokee Bill

    I’m impressed.

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