One Owner Barn Find – 1940 Ford Pickup

Entertaining automotive listings may not increase sales, but some creativity certainly encourages potential buyers to continue reading, especially compared to listings like “RUN GOOD WEN PARKED IN 1978 BREAKS BAD NO LOW BALL OFFERS!” Even if you’re not shopping for a 1940 Ford Pickup, this Waterville, Ohio listing by “Cathy” of Online Auctions USA here on eBay may entice you purely by the power of positive thinking and an honest effort to describe the vehicle.

My Grandma Audrey used to grab our Beagle’s snout and say gently “Oh; look at her little face! Who wouldn’t love her?” One look at the cute little face of the 1940 Ford sedan or pickup is enough to trigger puppy love in some Ford fans. This iconic front end inspired J.C. Whitney and others to sell kits in the 1970s to transform your tired Volkswagen Beetle with the styling of a ’40 Ford. Here’s one on Hemmings. Ford’s half-ton truck styling deviated from its sedan siblings after 1932, but returned to that theme with this 1940 model. The pointed grille and headlights mounted in the fenders made the ’40 Ford a modern-looking pre-war masterpiece. Some details courtesy of

The seller warns (twice) that this is not a vehicle for the “faint of heart,” and the listing details holes in the floor, locked steering, failed brakes, frame rot, and other shortcomings. We might presume by this interior shot that the truck was originally black outside as well.

The 85 HP flathead is running but the lack of brakes and steering severely limits test driving. Bring a trailer! Restoring this V8 half-ton rig may require a buyer willing to embark on a labor of love. Luckily no one will complain about sanding off the canary yellow paint to preserve its “patina.” Forty-six bids have driven the price to $3550. What do you think of this once sharp looking project truck’s potential?


WANTED 1970 Dodge Super Bee 4 speed, coupe preferred but nego., 383 or 440. Willing to pick up in lower 48. Contact

WANTED Caterpillar Any Wanted Caterpillar , in any condition running or non running for restoration project parts machine Contact

WANTED 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Looking for parts for this project. Especially seats Contact

WANTED 1922-1975 Alfa Romeo 2000, 2600, Giulia, 1900 We Buy Classic Alfa Romeo in Any Condition, Any Location Top Dollar Paid. Please call Peter Kumar Contact

WANTED 1970 or 1071 Ford Torino squire wagon Looking for nice car ready to drive. Might consider rust free car to build. Contact

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  1. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Soooo….how did they drive it – if the steering’s locked up ? My 40 Ford sedan was locked up to…..because it didn’t have the key to unlock the steering from the column lock.

    • jimbosidecar

      You had a 1940 Ford with a steering column lock?

      Like 1
  2. Mountainwoodie

    Nothing annoys me more in a car ad than a seller who doesn’t know how to spell ‘brakes’. I literally cringe. I feel better now that I have vented my picayune concerns. That said I love a ’40 front end…..always wanted a ’40 Ford Woodie…………..

    • JohnD

      Ditto. Also, “for sell” or “excellent conditions”.

  3. Warren

    Pretty good description….buyer will at least know what they are getting.

  4. whmracer99

    I was thinking S-10 frame before I saw the bottom part of the ad. Could be a whole lot of fun to do that way. Weird thought — would you do an S-10 chassis and leave the flat head?

  5. Joe Haska

    It is at $3,800 now, and I would feel sorry for anyone, who paid that much. Interesting it has an alternator ,so I would assume it was wired to 12 volts, and brags of an after market radio, 12 volts? The tires and wheels and hub caps are not early Ford, the only reason that is interesting, is because to fit a 40 Ford, they would have to be later Ford P/U wheels, but the hub caps appear to be later Ford Car, not P/U. Probably not a big deal, it just means that the bolt pattern, doesn’t match, so something has been goofed with that shouldn’t work. I doubt that any of the suspension has been modified. These are very popular trucks, but I would pass on this one , it needs everything!

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    Definitely not for the faint of heart. I like what I see. A full restoration would be the way to go. These drove very well in stock form. Actually rode nicer than the ’42 and up with the parallel leaf springs. This one would be stock; I can think of five in my neighborhood, all of which run SBCs.

  7. Howard A Member

    Clearly has a steering lock.
    These, and all the car based pickups are really neat, I think the ’40 and ’41 were the nicest ones. While I’d like to agree with geomechs on keeping it original, the frame is just too cashed. I’m sure it can be resectioned, but when done, you still have a ’40 Ford design. Certainly nothing I’d take on any modern freeway.You and I live in very rural areas, and it would be great to hum along with that flathead 8 singing at 52 mph, but for todays mayhem, I’d plop the cab on a modern chassis.

    • whmracer99

      Yup. I look at these through my viewpoint and I live in the metro-Atlanta area and would have to have something that you could at least occasionally drive on the interstate. Even the ’66 F100 I did had overdrive trans, power disc brakes, and 3 point belts. I was thinking maybe about leaving the flathead but using a more modern trans and rear end with the upgraded frame but don’t know if that would keep you out of harm’s way in the traffic here.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      The frame could definitely sway a lot of people toward replacing it with a more modern chassis. Thoughts like that have crossed my mind (see pistol pointed to head?). S-10 is definitely out, and I don’t know why so many try to do that because they end up looking like an S-10 chassis with an ill-fitted ’40 truck body perched on top. I’d be willing to look at a TCI or equivilent rolling chassis but still running the flattie. When you go to all the trouble to fit a modern chassis, I cannot understand why a person doesn’t spring for something that already has the mounts, suspension, steering and brakes, ready to go. I failed to notice this before but I see that the motor has already been replaced with either an 8BA or a CM. Either of those are nice, warmed over. Couple it to a C-4 auto and you’ve got a nice cruiser. And no butchering of the body! On the other hand, there are frame parts available although I’m not sure how well they fit, or how expensive they are. I guess it all comes down to how much of a purist you are.

  8. Pa Tina

    Braking Bad.


    Is this Tomater selling this?

  10. mike D

    even though I am mostly dreaming, when I see ” rusted frame” or ” bent frame” no matter how good the body looks, turn my thoughts elsewhere , don’t care for ” that yellow” it would take deep pockets and love of the truck to even start on it

  11. PhilB

    I had a ’46 Ford heavy duty 1/2T for a few years. It had the 4 speed granny low, so the speedo only went to 60 mph. Don’t remember if the V8 was 60, 80 or 100hp. It had the locking steering wheel, and I swapped my 15″ Ford PU wheels to it, depending on if I was showing it or driving it. Came with 16″ wheels IIRC. That was a long time ago.

  12. JohnD

    For the purists out there, this is an excellent candidate for a complete, thorough, just like the factory built it including numbers matching hi-tech for 1940 flathead V8. For everyone else, this is an excellent candidate for a massaged SBC, Willwood discs, and updated suspension. I can appreciate either choice, it would be a fun ride either way.

  13. Howard

    It’s def not the original flathead as 48 and earlier had the front mounted distributor. I’m from Michigan, so I’ve driven cars with rustier floorboards than that, but OOOO that frame. It would be easy to pull the box off and have easy access to the frame if all the rot is in the rear half. If I were a couple of decades younger I’d tackle it. It would take a ton of work, but look at what you’d have when done…………

    • El Chinero

      10-4 re: distr … plus 48 and earlier ’59AB’ engines had water lines to the center of the heads. This is ’49 – ’53.

  14. Ken Carney

    Now this is why I got into the old car hobby! I can still recall seeing a truck like
    this one only much better. I was in junior
    high (’67 or ’68) when I saw this great old
    truck on my way home from a friend’s house. The truck was Butter Yellow with
    a Black naugahyde interior. The outside
    of the truck was almost stock– save for
    the polished Astro mag wheels mounted
    on wide oval tires all ’round. Compared
    to other hot rods I saw, it was well sorted
    and neat as a pin. A true California truck
    and the first one I’d ever seen. I was so
    spellbound by this truck that I would ride my bike past the house where it was parked. One day, I even got to hear it run,
    and it sounded as good as it looked! That flathead V 8 had one sweet rumble
    coming from those twin pipes out back!
    I finally met the owner, who gave me the grand tour of his wonderful truck. Not long after that, both he, and his truck went back to California, and this Midwest
    boy would never be the same! After that, I ate, slept, and breathed old cars. I even forgot about girls for awhile all because of a yellow ’40 Ford pivkup truck. Boy,
    what memories this brings.

  15. Double R car

    Ah thinks this here truck needs Moore werk Than ah coud handles.

  16. Jerry Perkins

    I have a truck that had the exact same problems and I’ve had such a great time rebuilding it from patching the frame and sheet metal throughout, plus learning the flathead top to bottom, that I would do it all over if I had to. My flatty runs great at 70 mph with the stock 4 speed and an isky 400 jr cam in the motor all new brakes and rebuilt brakes I’m not afraid to drive it anywhere

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