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Resto or Rat Rod? 1947 Ford Pickup

This 1947 Ford Pickup came from the final year of production before the introduction of the legendary F-Series trucks. It currently cuts a forlorn figure parked in the snow, but it looks to be a solid vehicle that is worthy of a project. It is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN price for the old Ford has been set at $4,750, but you could always test your luck by making an offer.

The Ford shows all of the usual wear and tear that you would expect from a commercial vehicle of this age. There are quite a few minor dings and marks on the Pickup, while it also features a healthy coating of surface corrosion. Actual penetrating rust doesn’t seem too bad, with the worst of this is in the front floor on the driver’s side, and in the front cab corners. The worst of the body damage has been inflicted upon that iconic waterfall grille. However, all is not lost, because a search of the internet uncovered a number of sources for reproduction items that appear to be of pretty high quality, and are priced at under $600. I also noticed some of the glass is either cracked or missing, so replacement glass will also need to be sourced.

The interior of the Ford has also seen better days, but in all honesty, if you gave it a really good clean and threw a blanket over the seat, it could definitely be used as it is. On the positive side, it does appear as though the interior is complete. When you think about it though, there really isn’t a lot to go missing, as the interiors of commercial vehicles of this era weren’t exactly overflowing with luxury items. My one hope is that the gauge cluster can be restored because it is an attractive feature. Once again, a search of the internet turned up several suppliers who stock rebuilt gauge sets, and the price on these was surprisingly good.

By 1947, a 4-cylinder engine was a distant memory in a Ford ½ ton Pickup. What was standard was either a six or in this case, a 239ci flathead V8. This particular engine is missing a few parts (the radiator is sitting in the bed), but the owner says that it does turn freely. What is nice to see is that someone has had the good sense to cover the carburetor so that foreign objects can’t find their way into the engine. It isn’t clear how long it has been since the Pickup has run, so there may be a bit of work facing the next owner. Certainly, there is going to be a fair list of parts required before any attempt is made to see if the engine runs as it is, or whether a rebuild is on the cards.

There is no hiding the fact that the next owner of this Ford Pickup is going to be faced with a long list of work before this old girl sees the road again. This begs the question, is it worth it from an economic standpoint? If we are talking about it as a straight restoration prospect, then it probably isn’t. As the basis for a rat rod or custom project, this would potentially make more sense. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again now for this vehicle in particular: It pays to shop around. Doing a bit of light searching on the internet allowed me to locate this Ford advertised elsewhere, and the price there was around $750 higher than the eBay listing. If you are considering it, then that’s where I would buy it from.


  1. TimM

    Looks to me like this guy found pickup truck heaven!! A bunch of classics there!!!

    Like 1
    • Peter morris

      All owned by IRON CITY GARAGE in pittsburgh

  2. geomechs geomechs

    It’s amazing that the price of these has gone up over the years. When I bought mine I paid $90.00 and drove it home. Well, that was also 52 years ago. This looks like a good project. Lots of parts available. You can even get a replacement box for it. I’m really surprised that no one has tooled up to offer steel rear fenders. Like those fenders are virtually the same from ’38 to ’47 and those fenders are not available–unless someone has started stamping them out in the past year. The instrument cluster can be rebuilt by a lot of different outfits. I’ve always done my own and have had reasonable luck. I don’t use the laminated paper insulators for the terminals; I use old computer cards. And I just duplicate the gauge faces on the computer. I might add that this one appears to have the wrong speedo in it. It’s hazy but it looks like a 60 mph one that was on the Tonner and up. The one on the pickup should go to 100. It is nearly identical to the ’40/’41 edition with the exception of the fonts…

    Like 1
    • Marty Parker

      My Dad had a ’46 1/2 ton similar to this with the 4 speed granny gear transmission. It also had the 60MPH speedo, which it would do in 2nd gear, (really 3rd) if you count granny gear as 1st.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs

        I always wondered who figured out the shift speeds that were put on the 60 mph speedo. I’ll have to look at the ones I’ve got but I’m sure that you were expected to shift out of granny at 5 mph. Get a two-ton with a two-speed rear axle and you’ve really got a challenge…

        Like 1
  3. Doug B

    Rot Rod

  4. T C

    Could be a great creepy truck extra in the 1st “Jeepers Creepers” movie

  5. Del

    Price to high for condition

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