Project Interrupted: 1936 Ford Little Giant

You never know what you’re going to find listed on eBay so this old Ford listed as a pickup should be no surprise. It’s in Campbell, California. It had a hand cranked dump body. It looks like someone started a restoration years ago. The former owner went to be with the angels some time ago and left the seat to the rodents. There’s lot of work done to the interior and to the drivetrain. It rolls, stops and the engine turns but won’t start. The transmission won’t go into gear either, so expect some work there. It’s original and mostly complete except for the dump bed of course. There’s also a pile of smaller bits included.

The inside is mostly there except for the gauges of course. Perhaps the inside was repainted.

The seller provided detailed pictures of the underside and any rust appears to be just surface rust.

The mechanism to raise the bed is still in place. That had to have been quite the task to dump the bed when it was fully loaded.

The engine appears complete and turns but will not start. The seller has not done any troubleshooting. These larger trucks are more work to restore than a pickup, take up a lot more room and are not much fun as a daily driver. Somewhere out there hopefully there is potential here for someone. It could end up just being painted and used as a sign. Perhaps with a more modern drivetrain it could be used to haul someone’s car to shows. It will be interesting to see if this sells and for what price if it does.


  1. Howard A Member

    Well, at least it has a plausible price. For now. I don’t think there were too many wimpy dump truck drivers back then. Hydraulics were still a ways off, speaking of which, no hydraulics on the brakes either, mechanical brakes here, which when properly adjusted, really were almost better than hydraulic. Apparently Henry Ford didn’t trust hydraulic brakes. I think it’s too far gone to restore to original, and most assuredly will become a resto-mod truck. This probably was a flatbed, and I found this. You can see how the bed was cranked up. Even more amazing, I remember Schwister Ford in Milwaukee.

  2. Bob

    Question……not about this truck. Does anyone else have trouble with
    ” * ” pop up ? I really enjoy visiting BF and this dang pop up just about ruins it for me. Seems to happen only on BF. Another question…..any tech experts know how to get rid of it ? Thanks in advance .

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Bob, not sure about that one, but I had a lot of trouble before becoming a member (thanks again) It eliminated a lot of ads that seemed to be causing the problem,,,and it helps BF’s too.

    • JW

      I’m not a member but an occasional commenter and I’ve had no problems with pop ups here, just every so often the edit doesn’t appear when I post but no big deal.

  3. dirtyharry

    I have been to some antique RV shows lately. It really is special to see the old RV’s. I can’t help but wonder how well these old trucks would look, with a period correct chassis mount camper or restored 5th wheel.

    Like 1
  4. Fred w

    I’ve driven two early tractors and a lightweight 1919 Chevy with mechanical brakes. I can’t imagine anything scarier than heading down a steep hill towards a busy intersection in a loaded dump truck with these brakes.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Fred, I hear ya’. I’ve had plenty of scary rides with air brakes. Perhaps the Chevy you drove only had back brakes. Either way. I read, mechanical brakes were almost safer, because no juice to leak. This truck appears to have rods going to the front wheels, as well.( I don’t get how that would work, though) One thing for sure, it took both feet to stop these things loaded, before the fade set in, that is. The only salvation is, you weren’t going that fast. Loaded, you’d be lucky to get 35 mph out of these, but back then, what’s the hurry. Down a hill out of control, a different story. I’d bail out.

      Like 1
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Back in the late 60s when I started hauling grain from the farm into town there were a lot of trucks from the 30s that were still being used. A couple of brothers farmed only about 3 miles outside of town and they used a ’35 Ford very similar to this one. only it had the luxury of a cable operated hoist. Back then a lot of farm trucks (and some gravel trucks) had that luxury. They still used that truck when they sold out in 1973. I think the truck only had 23K miles on it back then. It was well cared for and looked great. It’s interesting how I look at the larger farm trucks today and see a lot of trucks approaching 60+ years old and are still used regularly. I might add that when I worked in the dealership in the 70s and 80s we worked on a lot of trucks from the 40s….

    Like 1
  6. David Montanbeau

    Hyd has been out since the early teens.

  7. Mark S

    I’d restore the body work and go looking for an F 550 super duty that was wrecked or rolled. I’d then gut the body work and electrical off of the wreck and remount the vintage cab and fenders. From this point there’s all kinds of uses every thing from car hauler to fifth wheel to van body. Personally I’d think that a short wheel base with fifth wheel would be most versatile that way it could work during the week as a car hauler and on the week end it could be a RV hauler. But to leave it original would render it pretty useless and not worth saving. As for RV use you could always stretch the cab into a four door. Last thought I’d bet you by a new engine/ chassie right from Ford. JMHO

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