Old Grape Hauler: 1946 Ford Gondola Truck

This truck started its life in the Navy and then it hauled Gondolas of grapes out of the Taddei Ranch vineyards for years. The vineyard was subdivided long ago and the truck has sat unused. It’s listed on craigslist in Turlock, California for the modest sum of $1,750. There’s no information provided except they don’t know if the engine runs, but for less than $2,000 one can’t expect much.

It would have been nice to have pictures of the inside or of the engine. All we know is the engine is said to be a V8 but they don’t know if it runs.

There are a number of possibilities for this old truck. It would be cool to get it running and find a use for it as it is. It’s much shorter than a firetruck at least! A flatbed or other body could be mounted. Or, one might also mount the cab and clip on a modern chassis and find lots of uses for it. For example, it would look great towing a classic camping trailer or even a parade float. This once, it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking this old Ford is overpriced.

Fast Finds


  1. Spridget

    Roadkill’s “Stubby Bob” comes to mind…

    • Moe

      Same here!

  2. John Lamm

    were the straps on the headlights (for protection) factory stock? or was this a dealer add on or a Navy add on ? never have seen this on a 45-47 ford


  3. stillrunners lawrence Member

    SOLD…..or should be………

  4. Nova Scotian

    Now this is something. Thanks. Very cool. Great project. Priced to sell. If I couldn’t get it to work as is, I’d mount the cab on a modern chasis. Nice barn find.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    That’s one heavy unit, although not the heaviest available. This is a full-fledged 3-ton but Ford offered a heavier duty one yet. That would be recognized by widened fenders. Just the same, it would ride like a pogo stick with no spring, unless you’ve got a good load attached to it. You might want to check for teeth marks on the steering wheel and well as bulges in the roof from heads bouncing around inside. I saw some short trucks like this jockeying oil tankers when I was a kid. Powered by a 59AB motor and quite likely a 5 spd. I sure wouldn’t care to take one of these on a trip across the country but it would be a neat truck to put a fifth wheel on and use it to retrieve new projects and transport show vehicles and tractors in style…

    • Ed P

      When I started working for the phone company, the ’62 Ford 1tons had no rear shocks and they bounce like crazy. I wonder if this truck lacks rear shocks as well.

    • Dave Wright

      With a fifth wheel and trailer in California, it would require a commercial drivers licence, you would have to go through the truck scales and inspection stations……the inspectors would tear you up. I agree that it was probably a tractor as with the short wheelbase it would be about all it is good for. The price is a good one, given the limited use. It would be a kidney killer even with a semi trailer attached.

      • Loco Mikado

        But it would be a fun “kidney killer “.

  6. Gary Fogg

    Make America Grape Again….

    • Ed P

      Orange you clever…..

      • Bill Taggart

        Olive these puns!

  7. Dave Wright

    It will probably end up at the Turlock auto swap meet (a world class affair) later in the year for sale.

  8. MR73OLDS

    What a great project truck.I love it!

  9. Mark

    Gotta find another wheel it looks like. I’d mount a flatbed and a decent repainted and…we’ll have fun with it!

  10. Howard A Member

    Research shows, a “gondola” for grape harvest, are these big bins mounted on a flatbed trailer. Being as short as it is, and no 5th wheel, it probably was shortened at some time, and used as a pull tug. As said, you couldn’t drive this on the road, way too short and choppy. Maybe a vintage tow truck body, but probably best to stretch it out, and put a flatbed on. Great find.

  11. 86 Vette Convertible

    Cute. Could be a fun vehicle.

  12. Anthony

    Bill of Sale only ???
    No registration ???
    I do not think so….

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.