Shortest One Built: 1953 Fageol COE

When we think of vehicles that use the descriptor of a “shorty,” it might conjure up images of a shortened VW Type 2 Bus, or a short-bed GM pickup. But there’s even a COE that might use such an adjective, as this 1953 Fageol demonstrates. According to the seller, it’s the shortest truck the somewhat obscure builders of heavy-duty rigs ever concocted, and this one is listed for sale here on craigslist for $6,000.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for the find. This Fageol looks to have been parked for some time, as stationary vehicles in dimly lit areas tend to get tagged with graffiti-like you see here. The body clearly is short by commercial van standards, and the overhang over the nose is virtually non-existent. The seller notes it sports a running Pontiac 455 engine paired to an automatic transmission.

The interior is classic COE design, with the driver sitting over the front wheels and a very upfront steering wheel that is looking to impale you at a moment’s notice. The dash is utilitarian, and there’s no luxury present. That being said, the back of the truck has been converted to a camper of sorts, with a small kitchen, sink, and stove, along with bathroom facilities.

Classic trucks have so many interesting details, like the split windshield and almost completely flat nose. The seller notes the body does have some surface rust and rust in the quarter panel on the passenger side. The vulnerable nose is in good shape, with no dents noted in the bumper or grill. With the camper conversion halfway done and the artful paint job, I’d clean up the interior and leave the rest as-is.


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  1. Cadmanls Member

    This is a Twin Coach, the brothers formed this company after they left Fageol. Lived in area these were built, they were a quite the vehicle back in their day. This one has survived quite well other than the drivetrain is gone

    Like 5
  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    This is pretty cool. The 455 is certainly an upgrade compared to the 100 horse flathead 6 the original driver had to put up with. We had a bookmobile like this when I was a kid. Sitting in front of the steer axle and a short wheelbase, will give a ride to remember, or forget. With a price like this, and several thousand more to make it right,( tubeless tires, for one) going to be a tough sell.

    Like 2
  3. BlondeUXB Member

    FOOD TRUCK !!!
    With the 455, make that a
    Fast Food Truck.

    Like 8
  4. That Guy

    I like that graffiti. It would be great to fix this thing up and still keep it somehow.

    Like 1
  5. IkeyHeyman

    Their bodies were modified Fruehauf freight trailers, were they not?

    Like 2
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      You are correct. I read, these had IH Red Diamond 6 cylinders on a Fruehauf frame. Those “wings” near the top were a Fruehauf trademark.

      Like 3
  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    There were not noted for their outstanding ride, yet some drivers sat in that seat for years. Definitely wouldn’t set any speed records but the reliability was good. A 455 Pontiac would definitely give this outfit a kick in the backside but I would hope that the brakes were top notch. Radial tires would help in both the ride and handling. It would be quite a novelty to have something like this but its uses would be limited…

    Like 4
  7. the one

    It is fun to fantasize, I don’t know about y’all, I have two projects in the works as we speak..

    • Gray Wolf

      It would make a great vehicle for Burning Man!!

  8. Mountainwoodie

    They ought to find the person who sprayed it with paint and shoot them. I mean it is Wyoming isnt it? Who sprays paints the sides of things in Wyoming?

    I hope someone spends the money to make this right again

    Beautiful design

    Like 2
  9. Little_Cars

    I can almost smell the odor of mouse urine and rotting food from the limited pics of the “camper” conversion. Picture moving into a rental apartment that was recently vacated by a family of smokers, crackheads and rats. This would need to be opened up, fumigated and upgraded to become a food truck, but a very inspired one if done correctly and with some whimsy. The ask is about all the money in this rig.

    Like 2
  10. Larry Hubbert

    I remember looking at several of these years ago (back in the 70’s) when we were racing the Pro Super Vee Series to use as an enclosed transporter for our 3 race cars. We finally did purchased one that was formerly owned by the rock band ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ and converted it with a camper affair in the front and the cars were on racks in the rear. Our unit was not the short one like this as it had the longer wheelbase and body (closer to almost 40′ OA). We put a big block chevy in and went all around the country with this European styled race transporter. Later sold it to a Cobra enthusiast to haul two 427 Cobras.

    Like 1
  11. lbpa18

    Its about the bones! Sure, like most, it’ll need to be cleaned and aired out. This one has character in spades. With much less work than most, this could be one very classy girl.

    Like 1
  12. Holly O'Brien

    As a vintage camper restorer, I love this! It would make a cool camper!

    Like 2
  13. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    These trucks are awesome!

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