Silent Hauler: 1937 Ford EV Pickup

This is a vehicle that I never expected to see and I bet that most of you never thought that you would see a 1937 Ford EV pickup. What?! Yes, a battery-powered ’37 Ford pickup. This unusual hauler can be found here on eBay in gorgeous Bozeman, Montana. There is one bid of $2,950 so far with four days left on the auction.

I can think of several uses for a truck like this. I think that most of us are fans of 1930s pickups and maybe a few of you are fans or fanatics of the ’37 Ford pickup. But, one powered silently by batteries, that’s something that is just so unusual that I couldn’t pass this one up when I ran across it on eBay.

I would personally rather have a regular pickup box/bed on the back but a wood flatbed isn’t the end of the world. This is a stylish truck at least in the cab half. Chevy and Ford were battling it out even in the 1930s and the stylized pickups were starting to get pretty fancy. If they only would have known then what they have evolved into now; yikes. I’m most likely one of the very few here who would rather have this truck and a fresh set of batteries than a 2019 Ford pickup.

I’d want a shift knob but I have a thing against gaping stab wounds on my right palm. The missing gauge is interesting, I don’t know if they were going to put in some sort of meter showing the remaining power or range left on the batteries or what’s going on there. The rest of the interior looks pretty nice, actually. They have provided underside photos and it looks great under there, too! This is one nice truck no matter what’s powering it.

Here’s where it gets funky for you gas engine lovers. And, for the record, I’m also a gas engine lover but I’m also a fan of unusual vehicles of any type. The engine compartment is missing what may have been a great looking flathead V8 and in its place is a 25-hp electric motor and space for a few of the 24 six-volt batteries that this truck needs. It reportedly runs so once 24 new batteries are installed ($2,500ish?), you’ll be ready to silently turn more heads than a $400,000 Lamborghini would. I would love to have this truck, would any of you drive a battery-powered ’37 Ford pickup?

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Far more reasonably priced than the aforementioned EV Fairmont…

  2. KevinLee

    I bet the inherit rattles from this old truck are all I would focus on while driving this, being there’s no V/8 to cover some of the cacophony. I’d rather have the bed too, what with those elegantly shaped fenders.

  3. Howard A Member

    Oh, please, to me, this doesn’t make a lick of sense. An electric vehicle, in all places, the wide open Montana, where there isn’t a plug outlet within the range of 200 batteries, and 24 batteries,(800 lbs) what, do you fill the bed with batteries? Not being a fan of electric cars, and being a fan of old trucks, ESPECIALLY something like this that’s unheard of to begin with, and being a half baked attempt at electric power, just a lose/lose situation.

    16
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      I couldn’t agree more Howard, what waist of a nice old truck. Just another wet dream. The good news is its not to far gone that you couldn’t gut that electric garbage out of there and find a flattie for it.

      • Rod444

        Tut tut. You boys obviously haven’t drunk deeply enough from the Climate Change Catastrophe dogma pool that we are force fed up here in Canada! We now have an extra tax on every dino fuel that is going to magically clean up the worlds emissions.

        But I digress…

        This vehicle is perfect for someone like a local pizza delivery/courier guy. Unique enough to be notable and cheap to run once all those batteries are in place. Just be sure to source them at Costco so you can return the inevitable bad one of the batch in 3 years with no hassle.

        (And I’m sure the batteries go under the deck so you’ve got acres of room for pizza boxes)

    • Robert White

      Howard, any ingenious farmer can make electricity from cowpies & rotting fruit or fermentation of barley hops for brewskies. Heck sour mash would generate enough electricity to reenergize the batters almost overnight if you had the right setup.

      Heck, farmers could take horse piss & cow urine to make ammonia powered generators run to power up your EV-Truck batteries overnight too.

      Think Walter White on Breaking Bad when it comes to generating electricity in a pinch, eh.

      Science!

      Bob

      • Robert White

        This is my 1937 De Forest Crosly Superheterodyne 9-tube AM/SW Console edition Laurentian.

        Bob

      • Robert White

        This is what farmers powered their AM/SW farm radios with in 1937, Howard. ;)

        cheers, Bob

      • geomechs Member

        That’s a little elaborate to the one we had…

  4. Camaro Joe

    For a buy in of $3K you might be able to put in a Flathead and three speed back in it and have a decent truck for not a ton of money. That’s not a “few thousand dollar cheap date,” but doesn’t happen a lot these days.

  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    Grinch.

  6. jcs

    Sorry but the first thing I would do would be to sell off the EV components and reinstall the flathead and components. After that, I’d locate a pickup bed, reinstall the missing multi gauge and reinstall stock, exterior door mirrors. Then I would drive the wheels off of it.

  7. geomechs Member

    I had a dream years ago where I had a ‘37 and a ‘38 Ford pickup. Well, that dream came close, with a ‘35 and a ‘47, but I’ll still take the cigar. Let me just say that if this was to head in my direction, the rumbling sound of a flathead V8 would be coming from that engine bay once again. I would also put a regular pickup box on it. Flatbeds, unless they’re an ultra rare factory offering, don’t turn me on. I might add that Bozeman isn’t that far away. See what happens…

    • JimmyinTEXAS

      If something happens, drop a note here and let us know.

    • Howard A Member

      No foolin’. My dreams consist of scantily clad lingerie models handing me a lottery check,,that hasn’t come true either,, :)

      • geomechs Member

        Ha. I had a dream where I bought a blue HD motorcycle, and it came true. I had another where I got into trouble with the Treasury Department. And it came true too. I had yet another where I won a sizeable sum in the lottery but it hasn’t come true…

  8. Kenneth Carney

    Now That’s one cool EV! Face it folks, this is what our beloved hobby could morph into if the tree huggers in DC have their way. Yeah, I know the issues
    that come with electric vehicles as my stepfather was involved with the Henney
    Kilowatt in 1960. Here it is 2019, and we’re still faced with the same issues they
    fought with back then. I’ll grant you, there has been some small improvement
    made over the last 60 years, but more will need to be done to make the EV a
    viable alternative to gasoline powered vehicles. And if any strides are made
    along these lines, it’ll be backyard builders like us to make that big breakthrough
    happen though. Look at the kid in the late ’90’s who converted his VW Rabbit
    diesel to bio diesel just by using some good old Yankee ingenuity and a few
    common hand tools. Are we that dumbed down that we can’t solve a simple
    problem like this? Anyway, whoever solves the problem will be one wealthy
    SOB for Sure! For now, it’s just a novelty that I’d like to try.

    • JimH

      It’s weird to see a classic converted to an EV, but honestly I’m all for it. I’m a fan of the history and of the body styles (everything’s starting to look the same) and always a fan of the ingenuity that goes into keeping the oldies in service. People can faithfully restore, or retromod, or chop, or rat rod, or LS-swap everything…. why not Teslify a classic? It’s just another branch on the tinkerer’s tree.

      I’m curious to see where this line of thought goes.

  9. bobhess Member

    A second to jcs comment. Between cars, motorhome, phones, receivers, lights, remotes, clocks, etc. got way more batteries than I want.

  10. Kenneth Carney

    Jim, electric vehicles are viable provided you can solve the problem of charging the vehicle as you drive it. Onboard alternators would be the logical choice, but at this time, there hasn’t been one built that would even come close to meeting the demands these vehicles have for power. And if you use them, where would you mount them for their best possible use? And just how much parasitic drag would there be on the power plant you choose? The most common answer would be to raise the horsepower of the electric motor, but with this choice, you once again fall into the same vicious cycle of how much power will you take from the motor to provide for charging the batteries while you drive the car. Also, there must be some sort of transformer needed to amplify the raw voltage that at least 2 alternators would provide to provide an adequate charge to give you any real range at all. Solar panels? Great idea provided you have a steel roof large enough to hold them and a way to combine that extra current with the alternators to reach your charging goals. Of course, this is just theory–at least until I have the cash to build a small scale working model to prove my point. Until then, I’ll keep honing my theory ’till all the pieces fit.

    • canadainmarkseh Member

      What your talking about hear is a car with a self perpetuating circle of energy generation and energy use that is equal to each other. Ain’t going to happen. The laws of physics dictate that there is alway X amount of energy need to move X amount of mass. So choose your poison gas engine or a coal fired power plant. Either way there’s going to be fossil fuels involved. Unless you want to go nuclear and that comes with its own set of problems. How about hydro electric generation, lets tip the Eco system over in an entire region to accomplish that. The bottom line is there will always be a need for some form of energy.

    • Howard A Member

      You know, Kenneth, you are probably right, this is the future, and us old farts will kick and scream until we have to give in. I still say, it’s a ways off and we, meaning 50 or older probably won’t see it, and by most accounts, there should be enough gas until most of us are ” a pushing daisies”. Even if electric cars become widespread, by then there will so little interest in these types of vehicles, it will probably rot somewhere. That’s why, vehicles like this should be left the way we remember them, as long as we’re alive anyway. I once thought of an air powered car, with the other 3 wheels turning air compressors, but you’d need a air compressor in a 40 foot semi trailer to do that.

      • Rod444

        Someone’s way ahead of you on an air powered car. Probably not going to a hot seller in North America but looks like it could be fine for limited range uses in some countries

        https://youtu.be/uRpxhlX4Ga0

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        You guys are still missing the key problem where you getting the compressed air with out using an energy source. It’s still going to come to down energy vs mass. I think it’s not that the human race is using fossil fuel its that there just to dam many of us using fossil fuels. It’s predicted that by 2050 there will be 10 billion of us on the planet. That’s the real problem that no one wants to talk about. And fossil fuels are what have made that possible.

  11. ed knapp

    its great to see no one has chopped /channeled it. u could find a pu bed.

  12. TimM

    I agree with most of you rip out the electric crap and put a gas powered I don’t really care what as long as it’s not a Prius pickup!!!! Sorry I can’t be nice about someone doing this to such a sweet old truck!!!

  13. MDCustom

    I am interested in the electric conversion if it was done right.
    Where I am , all of our electricity is produced from hydro (run or river/ dams/etc)
    No coal burning here.
    I would find a proper bed for the truck, fill it with batteries and a solar panelled tonneau cover to help with the charging.
    Maybe even custom make a emblem similar to the old V8 script emblems of the time but with V12(squared) which would be 144Volts- the total of the 24 batteries.
    Flat heads and modern engine conversions are a dime a dozen. Do this one right and you will have something!

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, MDCustom. I was getting worried that there wouldn’t be anyone on board with something unusual. I wonder if there would have been as many negative remarks against a restomod with an airbag suspension and a modern Chevrolet drivetrain in this beautiful truck? There will just be no way that battery-powered vehicles will ever be accepted by a majority of the population, even if the power comes from air molecules or solar as they drive. Folks just want to hear a gas engine.

      And, that’s ok, this is not an EV site, I know that. Most folks here don’t care for them at all. I was just hoping that a few folks would be interested in seeing a few unusual conversions and chatting about it in good fun, but it’s almost like I’m dredging up some underlying anger in folks and that’s not my intention at all. I’m all about having fun and seeing unusual cars. I’ll keep trying every now and then to show a crazy battery-powered vehicle just because if we all drove the same Chevys and Fords it would be an incredibly boring world.

      • Howard A Member

        Now hold on, you know we love your submissions, quite frankly, it’s what keeps me being a member, it helps pay the great writer’s this site has, salary. Asking if a resto-mod would have gotten as much negative comments isn’t really a fair comparison, as resto-mods still do what this truck did originally. History has shown, people likes what they likes, look how long the automatic transmission took,( manual column shifts lasted into the ’80’s) or reliable climate control, even power steering, all changed driving dramatically, but it just takes a while. As long as gas is still somewhat plentiful and still relatively cheap, people will go with gas. Until electrics, or some other form proves to be on par with the gas jobs, it will never be popular. Now zoom ahead “x” amount of years, gas is all but gone and $100/gallon, you be surprised how fast a new transportation mode will catch on. But for now, all this electric stuff just hasn’t proved itself and still just a pipe dream. I still say, it’s going to take something like a “Krypton” chunk that you change twice a year, and some ion engine, (which probably already exists in a warehouse in Phoenix somewhere, the creators patiently waiting for gas to run out) to solve the transportation crisis, not 100 year old electric technology with a cargo hold full of batteries. My 2 cents, thanks, and keep them oddballs a’ comin’!!

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        All you’ve done Scotty is stir up our passions which will lead to an interesting conversation. Not the usual well there’s a dent in that fender type of conversation. No apologies needed.

      • Robert White

        The EV-Truck is great stuff, Scotty. I, for one, am likeminded and appreciate the possibilities in retrofits so that fossil fuel vehicles can still be viable sources of transportation long into a future where we are smart enough to avoid burning carbon needlessly. Sure I like gas engines just like everyone here but I also very much enjoy seeing the prototypes for electric vehicle retrofits.

        Keep up the good work, Scotty.

        cheers, Bob

  14. Mountainwoodie

    So I fall halfway between the haters and the homespun alchemists. But then I live in Cali where the moronic population voted down a grass roots initiative to lower the gas tax and vehicle registration. Add to that 4 buck gas and I’ve had it with this stupidity.

    But……..if you could buy this truck for next to nothing, and thats not three grand, you could play with converting the power source just for the hell of it……..as long as you had a factory flattie and drive train to pop back in when you’re done…………playing that is

  15. PDXBryan

    Scotty
    Have no fear! There are some of us out here that dig what you’re doing! I bet ICON could turn this into a killer EV “derelict” classic….for a couple hundred $K! ;^)
    I do disagree with your statement that there’s “no way that battery-powered vehicles will ever be accepted by the majority of the population”. Maybe you meant – “there’s no way they’ll be accepted by the majority of aging motor heads”!
    But I guess ya just got to let the FOX fans rant and I understand their lizard brain frustration. I know cause I just watched an hour of vintage racing just to hear the sounds of V-8s and flat 12s going through the gears, but to call the findings of the majority of the world’s scientists “dogma” is….oh never effing mind.
    I wonder why it’s so hard for folks to hold two things in their head at once, like: 1) Gas engines were fun while they lasted and 2) To keep living on this planet things will eventually need to change. Instead of smacking their maga hats on the table in frustration over EVs, they ought to be calling their legislators in protest over the onslaught of self driving cars. Now that’s something we should march in the streets to stop!

    • Mountainwoodie

      Not all of us who think EV’s are a long way from being useful wear clowny red hats,,,,,,,,,,,,jess sayin :)

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        No worries Bryan I’m just trying to get people to understand that things arnt as dire as we are being led to believe and it ticks me of how up here in Canada they want to drain my bank account to pay for nothing but a tax grab in the name of saving the planet

    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Well this lizard brain has spent a lot of his time studying this whole green lie. Little know fact if we keep on mining lithium for cell phones and cordless drills there is about 300 years worth of known supplies. If we ev all our cars too then there is about a 30 year known supply. In Bolivia they strip mine the salt flats to get the lithium then they ruin ground water at about a ratio of 40 gallons of water to 1 pound of pure lithium. As you well know when you pump out ground water you cause the ground to sink. Just look at Florida or California. People in Florida think that sea level is rising. I think the land is sinking from ground water extraction on a large scale. Do your home work and you will find that that the green solution is worse than the problem. Carbon is not the real problem over population is the real problem. But like rats in an over populated cage that problem will solve itself in time we’re just not at the breaking point yet.

      • PDXBryan

        canadainmarkseh
        Notice I included myself as a “lizard” when it comes to cars ;^) and I didn’t say that the current EV battery tech is the final solution. I meant to say that science tells us we’ll have to do things (actually) way cleaner pretty soon.
        Also, you seem to attach the “green” label to one particular technology. I tend to think that moniker just belongs on truly sustainable answers. Greenwashing is an issue but not (IMHO) as big as not changing our ways. Bottom line, if folks are going to continue using personal transportation, reusing/repurposing old machinery is probably the “greenest” solution of all!
        Thanks for that ground water idea, I’ll look in to that. Water politics will eventually make the oil issue look like child’s play.
        Thanks for the discussion (you and Mountainwoodie).

  16. hearsetrax

    All noise and petty bickering about gas vs alternative fuel vs EVs aside, this could be a unique project for one with the proper mind set

  17. Stevieg Member

    I am all about preserving history but I also appreciate new technology, so therefore I was not sure which way to lean on this one…until I read the post again. It has a 25 horsepower motor. I highly doubt it is good for much besides running around town.
    It would be terrible for pizza delivery. Plenty of room on the flatbed for the products but they would slide off when the driver turns, and if they didn’t slide off, they would show up at their destinations cold. No tip for that driver lol! No room in the cab for more than a pie or two either. Most pizza delivery personnel leave the restaurant with 4-6 orders at a time, usually multiple pizzas per order. Nope, not good for that either.
    I had a friend, now deceased, who LOVED electricity. He had a farmhouse in rural Racine county Wisconsin. Everything was electric. He drove a Prius (I know), followed by a Chevy Volt. He actually tore apart the Volt to try to figure out how it worked & had to get it towed back to the dealer for some reassembly lol. Prior to that, he converted a Chevy S10 Blazer (his property plow truck) to electric. He also had an electric ElCamino, his “hotrod”. It really was quick! He built his own windmill to produce electricity to charge his vehicles & for his residence. He actually used to receive a monthly check from the local energy company (so he said, never saw that myself). Smart guy! He would have LOVED this truck!

  18. Robert White

    My favorite EV-Bicycle in classic race format.

    Bob

    • PDXBryan

      Nice! Keep the bike in the back of the truck just in case the Chevy runs outta juice.

    • PDXBryan

      Oops
      I meant the FORD.

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