Sun-Maid Raisin Hauler: 1947 Ford 1-Ton

Real, true barn finds are always fun, especially when they’re in good shape and have a story. This one has apparently been stored for 55 years after being used to haul grapes to the Sun-Maid plant in California to be turned into raisins. Now, it’s ready to be pulled out of the barn and get a new lease on life. If you’ve ever wanted a 1947 Ford 1-ton flatbed, now’s your chance! It’s up for sale here on craigslist in Fresno, with an asking price of $8,995. Thank you Barn Finds fan Rex M. for the tip!

This was the last year before Ford started to use the F-series designation. This is a 1-ton truck as far as I can tell (or is this a 1-1/2 ton truck?  There is no specific info in the listing). This one is equipped with a flatbed that actually doesn’t look too bad. We can often expect that wood going on 75 years old would be all rotted out, but thankfully it looks like it was kept dry in storage and the bed appears to be solid. The dry storage, plus the dry California climate, also means the rest of the truck’s body and frame aren’t filled with rust either. In fact, other than some cosmetic damage (scratches) in the paint, there really isn’t anything to worry about. I bet that with a wash, the patina on this truck would look pretty cool. You’ll notice in the first photo of this post that a unique feature on this Ford is the flip-up turn signals, also called semaphores. These were popular also on VW Beetles, but here you can see one on the top corner of the frame of the flatbed. This would have been extremely helpful for people behind to see what the driver’s intent was, since the truck is large and they wouldn’t be able to see any hand gestures coming from the cab.

The interior is simple, and immediately we can see that the seat has seen better days. The glass looks to be free of cracks though. It appears that since most of the interior is painted metal, and there is just a simple gauge cluster (we don’t know if it works or not), there really isn’t much to repair. It does look like the headliner is made of some sort of cardboard that is starting to fall apart, but I might just remove it completely without installing a new one. And same as outside, with a thorough cleaning I’m sure this interior would look very nice.

The engine is claimed to be an 85 hp Flathead V8 with a 4-speed manual transmission. A brief search online pulled up inconsistent and somewhat conflicting info. Can any Ford fans confirm what engine is actually in this truck? The seller says is ran when it was parked 55 years ago, and only has 42,000 miles on it. The engine looks to be complete without any amateur DIY repairs over the years, so assuming it’s not rusted and stuck, I bet someone could get this running again with minimal work. I think it would be cool to see this fixed and kept in its current condition. What would you do with it?

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Comments

  1. Connecticut Mark

    I bet that bronco top is almost worth as much as this old truck

    Like 7
    • Mike Morgan

      I was thinking the same thing; a fiend is in the middle of modifying one for it’s 6’6″ owner so he can be more comfortable behind the wheel.

    • Lance

      Sadly……

      Like 1
  2. João Antonio Pionto dde Carvalho

    EU ACREDITO QUE ESTE FORD 1947, ERA PARA 6 TONELADAS.
    João Antonio Pionto dde Carvalho, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

    Like 1
  3. Will Coyle

    Worked as an engineer at Sun-Maid for 33 years, beginning in the fall of 1976. In the early days saw a lot of beautiful classic trucks delivering raisins in the fall. All the drivers (usually growers) wanted an 11:30 delivery time so they could eat in the office cafeteria. Our cook, Bea was a beloved figure and I always thought she was more highly regarded than our president, at least at lunch time.

    Like 7
  4. Howard A Member

    Well, let’s see. Got “as found” dust and crap, check,,, inoperable, check,,, California outlandish price, double check. You see, what’s happening here, and it doesn’t take Sherlock to figure out, this stuff is getting extremely hard to find. Original owners , even their families sometimes, long gone, someone purchases the property, and something like this is uncovered, and because it’s so unusual to see, the seller sees dollar signs to recoup their outrageous investment on the property,,,I bet. Running, driving, okay, doesn’t have to look good, but a little elbow grease( what’s that, grandpa?) it might be worth half that. As is, regardless of the sellers high hopes, fewer and fewer people want, or would know what to do with it.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Too many people watch the Barrett Jackson auctions these days…

  5. Gregory Smith

    I can’t read the gvw on tag. Could you provide that information? Thanks

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    That would be a 1 1/2 ton truck. It would be powered by a 100 hp 59AB engine. A Warner T-9 crashbox and I cannot tell if it has a 2-speed axle or not. Need a better view of the pumpkin. These trucks made their presence known back in the day. That old crashbox howled like a session of congress until you got it into top gear. Interesting that if you put that exact same transmission behind a six-cylinder engine the transmission was a lot quieter. I cut my teeth on manual transmission driving skills with a ’49 F-3. I was quite proud of myself. As an 8-year old kid who needed a wooden crate on the seat so I could reach the pedals, I could shift up and down and load grain on the go beside the combine…

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