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Rust-Free Survivor: 1940 Ford Pickup

This 1940 Ford Pickup has spent the majority of its life in the drier climes of Arizona. This has allowed it to remain a rust-free survivor with bags of character. The current owner has left this classic largely unchanged, although it has received an engine upgrade. If the buyer wants to maintain its survivor status, the healthy original engine is also included in the sale. Located in Norton, Massachusetts, the Ford has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN has been set at $27,000, although the owner will entertain sensible offers.

Below that baked exterior rests panels that originally wore Acadia Green paint. The Arizona sun has baked this away, leaving dry surface corrosion. I’ll avoid using the “p” word when describing this Ford’s appearance, but it has plenty of it. What it doesn’t have plenty of is rust. There is a small spot in the inner fender below the battery, but that seems to be it. I think the thing that impresses me about this Pickup is how straight the panels appear to be. These were predominantly used as workhorses and could become battered and bruised over time. This is an 80-year-old vehicle, and the panels are remarkably straight. There are no dings and dents beyond a small rub mark that the owner identifies on one front fender. We don’t see a photo of this, so we need to take his word on it. The trim and chrome are in good condition, and there are no visible problems with the glass. It seems that returning the Ford to its former glory could be a straightforward proposition.

The interior of the Pickup presents well for a survivor of this age and could be used as it stands. The seat received a new cover many years ago, and this looks like it would respond well to a deep clean. The painted surfaces show some deterioration, but they are by no means in horrendous condition. That is one of the great attractions of these old Pickups as project vehicles. Interior restorations can be pretty easy if you have a modicum of patience and some painting skills. The dash and door assemblies are easy to dismantle. Then it is merely a matter of preparing the surfaces and applying paint, and the interior will present in as-new condition. The banjo wheel was added by the current owner, as was the heater box. With the colder weather just around the corner, that last item would be a welcome addition.

Occupying the engine bay is an updated Ford flathead V8. This is an engine of 1953 vintage and is said to have received plenty of upgrades. The Offenhauser heads are an obvious addition, as is the dual carburetor setup. It isn’t clear what modifications are hiding inside this flathead, but the owner reportedly purchased the engine from the estate of the gentleman who built it in the first place. That would suggest that its secrets might have gone to the grave, and the V8 would need to be dismantled to reveal the truth. The engine doesn’t currently run because the installation isn’t complete. What remains is all of those little detail items like connecting the exhaust and the fuel lines. The wiring will require some attention, and then this beauty should roar into life. It appears that the rest of the drivetrain is untouched, which means that the Pickup would feature a 3-speed manual transmission and drum brakes.

If originality is an essential consideration for you in a classic, then you aren’t left out with this vehicle. Sitting on a stand is the original 221ci flathead V8, and this is in good health. The owner removed one of the cylinder heads to check, and everything is said to look sweet. He believes that it might have received a rebuild at some point, which means that it could also sit in waiting if the upgraded V8 gave up the ghost.

The buyer of this 1940 Ford Pickup is going to face some choices. Do they treat the vehicle to a cosmetic refresh, or retain its current appearance? Does that upgraded flathead stay under the hood, or does the original get slotted back in? The answers will come down to a matter of personal preference, and the reality is that there is no right or wrong answer for us. The new owner will make those choices, and the answers will be the right ones for them. After all, if they lay down the cash, that is their right. It is the same for all of us when we tackle a project car. So it is always worth remembering that if you pay good money to create the classic of your dreams, what other people think doesn’t matter. It’s your money, so it is what you think that is all that matters. Would you hand over your money for this one?


  1. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    Great truck but not heavy enough to haul 27K.

    Like 11
  2. Avatar photo Mark P

    Whew! Early on in the read when you said an engine upgrade I thought you might have meant a SBC. Nice truck.

    Like 11
  3. Avatar photo Little_Cars

    Appropriate upgrade under the hood. Acadia Green would have been nice to have over the entire exterior…that one photo showing the spare makes it clear someone has taken a rattle can to the rear fender which I suppose adds to the “patina” but I’d rather see faded Acadia Green! I have the Monogram model of this in a slightly more 1950s color…highlight of my kit collection.

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo Little_Cars

    As it appears in my man-cave.

    Like 14
  5. Avatar photo fordguy

    That tailgate is a work of art…except for the holes, just beautiful!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo MattR


      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Johnmloghry

    I expect they’ll get their price.
    God bless America

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Phlathead Phil

      Well, maybe, but not from Uncle Phlathead!

      Like 0
  7. Avatar photo A.J.

    I’ve always wanted a 40 Ford since I built that first model when I was a kid. If I could scrape up the dough I could “find” this in my barn every damn morning! Just get it running and driving and enjoy the heck out of it.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Steve Rose

    Whenever a vehicle isn’t running, what it will take in parts and labor is a great unknown. Price is too high for a non-runner, though I really like it.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Doug Styers

    Very Nice truck. But if the Owner wants this kind of money for it, he should have had all those little things you mentioned attended to and offer a running and drive off truck….Then it would be worth asking price.

    Like 11
  10. Avatar photo Barry Lorance

    This is totally the coolest 40 Ford I have seen in a long time. I had a 40 Ford back in 1969. Found it in a coral with weeds taller than the cab. Knocked on the door , a man comes to answer. I ask him if he would sell the pickup. He replied what you give. I said I have $75.00 cash in my pocket. Deal done. Told him I would be back in the morning to load it. He says, bring a battery , gas and a air tank you can drive it home. Coolest find ever. I started restoration immediately. Stripped and primed ready for paint. Sadly that never happened. The US Army need me. Ended up selling. I have kicked myself since.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo John Cialini

    Nice truck but slightly over priced. Not sure why he says the heater box is not original, I had a 40 Ford coupe and found that heater box for it as it didn’t come with any but pictures showed that the one he has pictured is correct for 1940.

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo charlie Member

    I also bought a ’40 Ford (woody) for $75, in a field, with trees (small) growing through it, it had an add on heater which said “Mercury”. It did not run because it had no engine, but, I figured that would be the easy part. It did have all the wood, some in good shape, some not, except for most of the roof slats, and the sheet metal was that Ford green, and not rusted out. Spent a little time, and about $100 on it, and sold it for $250 when it was clear I would not get around to restoring it.

    Like 0

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