Running Flathead: 1950 Ford F-47 Pickup

The “F-47” badges that this 1950 Ford Pickup wears signify that this is a vehicle that wasn’t produced in the USA but rolled off Ford’s production line in Canada. It is identical to the American F1 Pickup in every way except for those badges. This is a solid old Pickup, and it seems to be ripe for restoration. If you ever needed an indication of just how desirable these classic pickups are, you only need to check out the listing on this one. Not only has the bidding been strong, but at the time of writing, there are 173 people watching that listing. Located in Sweet Grass, Montana, the Ford has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now pushed up to $2,500 in what is a No Reserve auction.

When it comes to solid old pickups, this Ford looks like it is a real beauty. The only rust that the owner identifies is some in the floors, the lower edges of the front fenders, and the running boards. All of these spots are easily repairable, with patches for the fenders now readily available. The running boards are quite serviceable as they are, and repairing and restoring them should be a pretty straightforward task. The notoriously rust-prone spots such as the lower doors and cab corners appear to be as clean as a whistle. The original Vermillion paint is now pretty faded, but one of the really notable things about the vehicle is just how straight it is for a workhorse. Dings and dents are quite limited in both size and number, and what there are should be pretty easy to address. One area that will require attention is the glass, because much of this is badly cracked, and it will require replacement.

Occupying the engine bay of the Ford is a 239ci V8, producing 100hp. The transmission is a manual unit, but it isn’t clear whether it is a 3 or a 4-speed. If the Pickup was built in early 1950 then it could be either, because it was in the second half of 1950 that the shifter for the 3-speed was moved from the floor to the column. That means that if this vehicle is a late 1950 model, then it would definitely be a 4-speed. Otherwise, it would be a case of asking the owner about that one. A real positive comes in the form of news confirming that the 239 in this vehicle runs. It has had some new ignition components fitted, and the owner has had it running off an external fuel source. He says that the fuel system will need a full clean and a new fuel pump, but that not only does the engine run, but the transmission and clutch operate okay. The Pickup rolls and steers freely, but the brakes will require attention.

I like project vehicles that are willing to spring a pleasant surprise, and this is just such a vehicle. The interior is actually quite good, and the restoration looks like it might be really easy. Before I got too excited about pulling things apart, I would be very inclined to spend some time with some quality polish on the interior’s painted surfaces. They seem to be in pretty decent condition, and I think that a little polish and elbow grease could produce some really positive results. The seat will require a new cover, while the wheel is pretty badly cracked, and should probably be replaced. The owner identifies the radio delete plate as being broken, and if the next owner isn’t keen on the idea of fitting a radio, reproduction plates can easily be found for around the $30 mark. All up, it looks like reviving the interior of the Pickup might take more physical effort than cash, which is never a bad thing when tackling a restoration.

As I said previously, this 1950 Ford Pickup is a vehicle with a lot of potential as a project. The big question would be exactly what path the next owner might choose to take. Me? I’d probably be inclined to restore it to its former glory, but that’s only one opinion. If you bought it, what would you do?


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  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice pickup for sure! This would go very well at my place. Full stock restoration, right down to the Warner T-9 crashbox. That IS a four-speed; I can tell by the large-diameter shift lever; the 3-speed had a much thinner lever. Have to get used to the whine from the gearbox because it’s going to accompany you wherever you go with that truck. You can quiet the transmissions down considerably by replacing ALL the bearings, including the needle bearings on the countershaft, and running a full synthetic gear lube. It’s still going to sound like the presidential impeachment hearings, only not quite as loud. It appears to have a slightly newer engine. The ‘EAB’ cast onto the heads is more typical for late ’51-’53 Ford cars. Slightly higher compression than a typical truck engine. Most trucks of this vintage will have an ‘8RT’ cast onto the heads. I would run it with what’s already there. Lots of fun.

    Like 18
    • Bill Member

      Great political comment imbedded in an incredibly detailed and knowledgeable comment. Nice piece as always, Geo

      Like 4
      • Dave

        The political comment provides context for those whose grandfathers didn’t own one of these. I’m fighting tears now because after nearly 60 years I can still hear that gear whine, and see our dog Lady running down the road to greet my grandparents every time they came to visit. They would stop the truck and Lady would get in with my grandmother.

        We will all be a family again someday…

        Like 17
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Dave. Some vehicles can surely provide a host of memories. No doubt your grandparents left a deep void in your life too. As did your dog. I hope you find solace in your loss and that your dreams come true.

        I used to stay with a family about ten miles away. They were like a second family to me. They had a ‘38 Ford pickup and a ‘49 Ford F3 longbox. I learned to take grain away from the combine. They’re all gone now, even the two girls who became my adopted sisters. Maybe one day we’ll both be able to see those special people in our lives again…

        Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Got them Canadian cab lights again,,,and for the record, I realize the “member” tag doesn’t come up, I’m not boycotting BF’s again, there’s a snafu and Jesse is working on it.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        It’s interesting how certain accessories are predominate in certain areas. I saw Mickey Mouse signals all over the Chinook Belt from Great Falls well into Canada. One thing I also saw was the little reflector bar that was hung on the side of the cab. You pulled the chain halfway to indicate a left turn then pulled it all the way for a right.

  2. Gaspumpchas

    Another beauty from sweetgrass!!!!

    Like 1
  3. Todd Zuercher

    This is in better condition than many of the Sweet Grass trucks – I like it!

    Like 1
  4. Chuckster

    So many of these showing up in Sweet Grass makes me wonder if somebody up there isn’t still making them

    Like 6
  5. David Fowler

    I think I have the 4 speed in the barn. As far as putting synthetic gear box grease in anything forget that. Local rear gear builder here cannot get caught up from doing OEM warranty work. Seems that the pinion bearings in the rear require something the synthetics just do not have and burn out. He has a pile of them in his shop all makes not just one. Bearing goes taking gear with it.
    I sold the 1950 panel truck I had to guy in Tenn to build. It had a 1957 tag on it had sat that long.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Funny that I never saw one of those old crashboxes fail. I guess it might depend on who’s supplying the gear lube. I know several guys running T-9s with multigrade synthetic from companies like Amsoil and they’re happy. I know of some real old transmissions that require special grease that won’t last very long if you use anything else…

  6. Del

    Another nice unit from the Cross Border guys.

    And it runs.

    Love that Short Box !!!

    Like 1
  7. Jim

    First look at that truck the Sanford and Son theme music started playing in my head

    Like 3
  8. TimM

    Great truck and again great commentary from Geomechs!!! I’m still holding out for a 52!!! (My favorite grill) but this is a really nice example and it runs and drives!!! I don’t know if I’d restore this it’s earned its battle scars!! I think I would fix the seat and drive it!!!

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