Parked in The 1980s: 1952 Dodge “Job Rated” Pickup

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We’ve seen a number of older pickups here at Barn Finds in recent times, with the vast majority of these being examples from Chevrolet and Ford. This 1952 Dodge Job Rated Pickup makes a refreshing change, and I really have to thank our eagle-eyed Barn Finder Ikey H for spotting it for us. The Dodge is located in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. If you would like to grab hold of this old girl as your next project vehicle, then you only have to be willing to part with $4,500, and it’s yours.

The look of this truck is just so cool, right down to the vintage sign-writing on the doors. I can’t remember the last time that I saw a business with a 2-digit telephone number, but that’s what’s on this one. The body of the Dodge generally looks quite good, with no obvious major rust issues. The front bumper looks to be original, but the rear definitely isn’t. One of the cool features that I really like is the “Job Rated” badge sitting in the middle of the grille. I don’t quite know why, but I really like that.

The interior of the Pickup is looking a bit rough around the edges, but it is complete. Having said that, there is no reason why it couldn’t be used as it is. However, with that fantastic looking dash and other painted surfaces restored, a new cover on the seat, some new vinyl on the door trims, and a rubber mat on the floor, that would be a great looking cab.

The last time this Dodge fired a shot in anger was way back in the 1980s. It has remained silent ever since, but at least the owner confirms that the 218ci flathead straight-six engine turns freely, so maybe it won’t take much to kick the Dodge back into life. It appears that the 3-speed manual transmission also shifts freely, although the vehicle currently doesn’t have brakes. The owner floats the idea of performing a diesel conversion on the vehicle, but personally, I would be hesitant to do that. I think from a potential value perspective, the new owner would be better served by getting the original engine up and running if this was at all possible.

If you’ve never seen one of these early 1950s Dodge Job Rated Pickups restored, then you should do yourself a favor and Google them. They really look great when restored, and if the job is done properly, they can be worth some pretty respectable money. This one has a way to go to reach that standard, but this 1952 Dodge really looks like it would be a solid base from which to start such a project.

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  1. Howard A. Rube GoldbergMember

    I haven’t been around here for a while, seems like a lot of cool trucks, but the prices sure seem out of kilter. I suppose you “regulars” are used to this, but I’m not. In the 80’s, I bought 2 trucks from my kids school bus driver, a ’51 Ford F5 single axle dump truck and a pickup like this, both for $200 bucks, and the dump truck ran. I sold the Dodge, which I believe had the pilot house cab, for $200 bucks. It looked exactly like this.Times sure have changed.

    Like 7
    • On and On On and OnMember

      Glad to see you back Rube, Your comments on this forum are valued and appreciated. Something however reminds me of Superman and Clark Kent. Go figure.

      Like 3
  2. Fred W

    If I didn’t want to spend the money on a full restore, I would simply color sand and buff the whole thing out. Patina looks great on old trucks, and the sign lettering (which in this case is the real thing) would really pop.

    Like 4
    • Nevadahalfrack NevadahalfrackMember

      You’re on the money there, Fred. If the paint buffs out, leave alone and appreciate it for what it is-just a good old truck that fits like a well-worn pair of old blue jeans to just sit and relax in as you smile as you drive at your own pace.

      Like 1
  3. NotSure

    No diesel “additive “ for this truck! Get it going and stopping and then enjoy! I’d try to carefully bring some life back to the paint. If working on the paint would endanger the door signage I would document the exact lettering(font?), color and placement to have it reapplied at a future point. Job Rated, indeed!

    Like 2
    • TinCanSailor

      I love the phone number “71”. That must have been a tiny town! I grew up in small-town, rural WV back in the 60s and 70s, and we only had to dial 5 numbers for local calls, but 2? Wow…

      Like 3
      • geomechs geomechsMember

        I grew up in a small town. I remember the International dealer had the number “10.” The John Deere dealer was “40.” Our home number was “169.”

        Like 1
  4. geomechs geomechsMember

    There were lots of these around when I was a kid. My uncle was a dealer and put a lot of Dodge trucks where other flags flew. My Dad had a ‘51 with Fluid Drive. He often told the story about picking up a load of lumber in town and driving out to the ranch. He had a load of 16 footers in the bottom then the shorter stuff and the plywood on top. Trouble was, when he attempted to drive away the front wheels came off the ground. He had to nudge the brakes in order to steer it. 20 miles of gravel road but he made it.

    Like 4
  5. Dusty Stalz

    I built a 48 5 window quite a few years ago. It was in pieces when I got it. It took a Volare clip very nicely and sat just right with a 340 in it. What a fun truck and wish I still had it. If I could find another near me I’d do it again.

    Like 0
  6. John B.

    My dad had a “job rated” Dodge truck very much like this when I was a boy; we always made fun of the “job rated” name. It never got too cold for it to start but if there was any dampness in the air you could run the battery down trying to start it with no success. Overall it was a great truck; thanks for the memories! For what it’s worth, trucks were cheap in price back then!

    Like 0
  7. Walter

    I believe the Dodge is a 1953 as they had motor cycle style rear fenders up to 1952 then the rear fenders changed to the style on this truck.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechsMember

      That’s something I questioned as well. I agree with you in that the full fenders on the box didn’t come out until ‘53. I actually preferred the older version with the radiused round fenders…

      Like 0
  8. TortMember

    Yes, it is a 53. This was the first year of this style of rear fender that they used I believe way up in the 80’s. I am in the process of restoring a 53 Dodge Pilothouse at the present time.

    Like 0
    • chudacko CharlesMember

      But it has the interior dash piece that’s correct for 52.

      Like 0
  9. Walter

    After looking further at the picture it appears the dodge name above the grill is in fact from a 1952 as in 1953 the letters are spaced further apart. So it could be a 1952 with a 1953 box or a 1953 with a 1952 front . You would need the serial number to date it .

    Like 0
  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    There were a lot of these around where I grew up in the 50’s. a few men kept them until their last breathe of life. Well into the 70’s and 80’s. these men worked on the construction of Shasta Dam in the 40’s into the early fifties. They made good money, bought homes in Shasta County as well as new pickups and cars. Those were good times for most of those men. There were some accidents, my father fell 50 feet breaking his back in several places. He spent 18 months in a body cast and in the hospital. My step mother was left to care for his ten children. Those were tough times indeed. Things got better as days past into weeks, months and years. By the mid 50’s dad was back at work purchased a 120 acre farm and life got better.
    God bless America

    Like 3
    • Nevadahalfrack NevadahalfrackMember

      Your dad was obviously a good man, Johnmloghry. This country could benefit from having a few more like him around today.
      BTW, my wife spent many a good weekend at Shasta on rented houseboats, so on her behalf and my friends who are/were ranchers/farmers of the nearby valleys that still benefit tremendously from your dads work this many years later, thank you.

      Like 1
      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

        Thank you. My dad was a good man. Strange thing; my mother died on January 4, 1949. My dad died exactly 29 years to the day January 4, 1978

        Like 1
  11. TimM

    These year dodges I’d always get confused with the international harvesters!! They were similar in appearance!! The flat nose and the squared off front was a good look to me!! I’ve only owed a couple of Cars from the smallest of the big three but I know there are a lot less of these that I see restored or hot rodded!! It would be a cool project!!

    Like 1
  12. Richard Gugenberger

    In 2008 I found a !950 Dodge B2B in a barn ( really) in Vermont , I bought it off the 2nd owner , He stated it says 22000 miles on the clock ,I cant prove it and you cant disprove it . I bought it hauled it back to Upstate NY where my friend owned a Dodge Chrysler dealership ( one that obamas car czars shut down ) . He put it on the lift and went thru it , found it had factory brakes , was very solid and could have been a 22k truck. The reason I bought it was to hot rod it but now that would have been a shame , so plan B polish it and service it and drive it like it is .Which I did for several years !! Then a guy and his wife came along and wanted it more than I did so end of story !!

    Like 0
  13. Del

    Cool truck but….

    Another non runner for silly dollars.

    1000 dollars…..maybe

    Like 2
  14. Vance

    My Dad always said that if a dog pissed on a fire hydrant a block away a Dodge wouldn’t start. I miss the reduction gear that gave MOPAR products that distinctive sound. Getting old stinks.

    Like 3
  15. AZguyMember

    anyone singing the Sanford and sons theme song???

    Like 2
  16. Marty Parker

    This truck has the granny gear 4 speed transmission. The 3 speeds were column shift.

    Like 0

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