Unfinished Project: 1956 Ford C-750 COE

Well, here is something you don’t see parked on the street every day. Or even here on Barn Finds. I believe this is the first 1956 Ford C-750 COE. (cab over engine) truck we’ve featured. There’s not a lot of history shared about this truck, but the seller who purchased it out-of-state a couple of months ago “as is,” planned to restore it in his spare time. But the seller sadly shares, “I’m 70 years old and recently experienced health issues that are not going to allow me to proceed with this project as I originally intended and, unfortunately, must sell this truck with the dream of what I wanted this project to be.” Hopefully, there’s somebody out there who can finish the restoration and get this solid-looking C-750 back on the road. You can find this Flatbed Ford not in Winslow, Arizona (please excuse the cheeky “Take It Easy” reference), but for sale here on Barn Finds Classified  in Sacramento, California. The owner has set a price of $15,000 or best offer.

I’ve always found these early-to-mid 50s Ford C Series trucks cool looking (you can see why they’re popular as customs). They’ve been described as “helmet-shaped” or called “snubnosed” and were basically modified Ford F-Series trucks and even shared some of the same components. 1956 would be the last year of this approach, though. In 1957, the first tilting cab Ford was introduced and its squared-off styling was all new and not based on the F Series. The seller shares that the engine cranks, but when he attempted to start it, he found the fuel pump not working and issues with the carburetor and distributor, so it’s described as “non-operational.” The seller also claims “you will find only minimal surface rust. The cab is in perfect condition with a strong chassis and suspension; the drive train is completely intact and original.”

One can guess that the previous owner started the restoration and based on the few photos, the cab looks solid and its Code R Torch Red paint (one of nine standard Ford colors available) looks shiny and presentable. The front bumper has lived up to its name and will need attention and the seller adds that he received several items and components when he bought the truck that are not attached. These are listed as hood latches, wiper blade arms, and large side mirrors with adjustable support brackets (but nothing about the missing front turn signal housings). Unfortunately, no interior photos are supplied, but the seller shares that a solid headliner, door and window handles, a new driver’s side window and all the interior floor panels that cover the drive train area are included.

There’s only one photo of a clean-looking, engine bay and a very blue V8 minus its air breather. The seller describes it as a Y-Block V8, although he doesn’t know the cubic inch displacement. It’s most likely a 302 V8 that generates 186 horsepower. The transmission is listed as a 5-speed standard with a 2-speed electronic operated differential. Lastly the seller shares that the truck has a California registration, new license plates, and a new, clean title. Sure, there are still lots of questions about this C-750 and we’d like to see more photos, but we’d also like to see the owner’s dream come true of having this truck back on the road, looking tall and proud, and hauling stuff. Wouldn’t you agree?



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  1. Big_Fun Member

    The best part about this write up is the hope both Howard an Geomechs will reply with cool anecdotes!
    …and I’m not being sarcastic.

    Like 11
  2. Howard A Member

    Cheeky? No song by one of the greatest bands in history is cheeky, The Eagles. It’s a great find, minus the California inflation, of course. Truck like this, even in it’s remarkable condition, will never bring 5 figures, in the world I live in, anyway. I’d say half, is more in order. The motor is probably a 292, Y block, with it’s telltale “upside down” carburetor, a 302 was not a Y block. I also read, ’56 was the 1st year for the Lincoln 368 Y block. Geo would know.
    Again, it’s a 1956 cabover, a show of hands, how many have actually driven a truck like this? Let’s see,,,1, 2, 3,,,,4,,,Mmm-hmm, I thought so, it’s crude, by most standards and modern driving will give you no experience in driving one. Now, updated with say a Dod,,oops, I mean, a RAM dually chassis? A different story, but as is, well, might want to bring an extra pair of underpants and wear a crash helmet. Why? When it happens, you’ll know. Heck, I bet the 2 speed rear axle would baffle many today, just made for a different time. Be like Rip Van Winkle waking up in the 21st century,,still a fun find and a very accurate description by the author, except, Ron failed to mention, these were the “Big Job” trucks from Ford. A name tacked on the heavy duty models, F7( F750) and up, I think, and ran through 1959.

    Like 14
    • TouringFordor

      We had a 1955 F-600 that had a 317 Y-Block, 4 and 2. Learned to split shift at age 16.

      Like 8
    • egads

      This truck has a Lincoln y-block, It could very well be a 302 cu in.

      Like 3
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. I’m a little late to this party; I somehow missed this post. Blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other I guess. I’m going to say that this is a 292 engine unless someone dropped in a 312 (which I’ve seen many times). I seriously doubt that it would be a 368 Lincoln engine. To get the larger engine you had to go to the Super Duty (above 750) and I think that you were limited to the 317 for ’56 but could get the 401/477 (534 came a few years later) in ’57. But I’ve seen a lot of swaps in trucks. I sure hope that this truck keeps heading the way it is and doesn’t end up sacrificing its cab to drop on another “belly button” chassis swap. But that’s me…

      Like 2
      • egads

        geomechs, No disrespect, Look at the valve covers, timing cover, intake manifold, this is definitely a Lincoln y-block! 302-317 in 1956, 368 in 1957.

        Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi egads. I guess I should be looking at pics during the day and not when I’m dog tired but can’t sleep. You are right; that IS a Lincoln engine, a 279 or 317. I guess I should study my information more often. The ‘Big Job’ trucks morphed into the 700 and 750, 800 and 900 Super Duty series. They used the Lincoln engines and left the Ford powerplants to the smaller trucks. Ok, thanks for the correction…

        Like 1
    • Dennis Merri

      Hey Howard,

      Dennis here, owner of the Ford c-750 and with all due respect, maybe $15k is a little high, who’s to say? However, the planet I’m currently living on, $7k will get you a bucket of rusty bolts.

      Dennis Merri

      Like 3
  3. Bam Bam

    Much luck to the seller for a full recovery and happy healthy life.

    Peace to all.

    Like 21
  4. Rick Gaskill

    A ’56 Y Block would be a 292 or 312. In 1962, the Ford Windsor engine – which began at 221 cu in (3.6 L) would fully replace the Y-Block and grow to 351 cu in (5.8 L).
    The 302 wasn’t available until 1968.

    Like 3
    • egads

      Lincoln y-block was 302 – 317 in 1956 trucks. This is a Lincoln Y in this truck.(Never say never)

      Like 5
  5. Ford Fixer Member

    I believe that up to F600, would be the 292-312. The bigger F 750 and up ran the bigger Lincoln blocks, plus had 5 speed options rather than 4 speeds. This was also true, in my experience, with earlier Flatheads. I had a 51 750 with 317 flathead, a 5 speed, and a 3 speed Brownie.
    Beautiful truck, but I, like the owner, am a little old ( 78 ) and broke, to add it to my collection. I’ll just just keep chipping away at my F 6 COE, flathead in the slow lane.

    Like 5
    • egads

      Ford did not put the 312 in truck’s, big one’s or pick-up’s.

      Like 1
      • Rick Gaskill

        They put 312s in Rancheros. I have seen a few E Codes.(312 with dual quads). I have seen a couple of supercharged ’57 Rancheros but I know one was dealer installed.

  6. jose Enciso Member

    would u plz call me 206-595-5845///email is me best communiction
    i’m very interested

    Like 2
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Always loved COE’s for car haulers. There is something about them that just seems right. I like this one but wonder if it wouldn’t be better with a more modern drive train under it. Something that can handle the needed speed and distance this one would require to be usable.

    Like 1
  8. Tinkertoy Member

    This is not aCOE. These were called Cab Forward. 🥴🥴😎😎

    Like 2
  9. Tinkertoy Member

    That’s not a COE. It’s a Cab Forward

    Like 1
    • Rick Gaskill

      Put ’56 Ford COE in Google and this is what you’ll see. I guess you’re right and the world is wrong. The C series you think of as a COE wasn’t introduced until 1957.

      Like 1
      • Wayne from Oz

        Rick Gaskill, you can type in whatever you want into Google, that doesn’t make the answer correct. If it was a COE the cab would be over the engine (hence COE). This is clearly not. As has been stated these were called, cab forward, or pug nose or semi forward control.

    • Rick Gaskill

      Yes, although many refer to them as COEs Ford did call them the cab forward model.

      Like 1
  10. Steven

    I have a lot of sympathy for the seller. Repairing or restoring a big truck is a different task even for someone younger and in good health. Obviously alot of things are bigger, heavier and in some cases more expensive. Try changing the rear tires, a two speed rear end, or even the brake drums. And forget working on one in the standard guarge. These are things a potential buyer needs to keep in mind when considering buying a large truck
    All that being said as the owner of a 1936 1.5 ton truck it’s great to own, work on and drive one!

    Like 3
  11. Jenkins Leon

    I had a 1956 F-8, 5 speed O.D. & 2 speed rear axel. Road tractor, Saddle tanks and loved it. It would run with the “Pack on the flats” but with the O.D. It just looked at a hill coming up and your went down to 4 gear and sat back and enjoyed the scenery. Down hill I could get 93 MPH. And yes, coming off Mont Eagle, Tenn. in “Angle gear”, could easily top 100. I could remove the engine cover and while driving, could reach down and turn the distributor to fine tune it on the go.

  12. Dennis Merri

    Hi to Everyone,
    This is Dennis, owner of the Ford C-750
    Just wanted to drop off a little info on the engine.

    Following information is from the 1956 Ford Factory Shop Manual…

    a. 272 Cubic Inch Engine.
    The ECW-Y-R 272 cubic inch engines (fig. 1) have
    a bore of 3.62 inches and a stroke of 3.30 inches.

    b. 302 Cubic Inch Engine.
    The ECS 302 cubic inch engine (fig 2) has a bore
    of 3.62 inches and a stroke of 3.66 inches.

    c. 332 Cubic Inch Engine.
    The ECT 332 cubic inch engine (fig 2) has a bore
    of 3.80 inches and a stroke of 3.66 inches

    Engine Models…

    272 ECW-Y 8.0:1 2-Venturi

    272 ECR 7.6:1 2-Venturi
    ET60-1A 7.6:1 4-Venturi

    302 ECS 7.6:1 2-Venturi
    ET60-2A 7.6:1 4-Venturi

    332 ECT 7.6:1 2-Venturi
    ET60-3A 7.6:1 4-Venturi

    Needless to say but I’ll say it anyway, who know’s
    what’s happened with this truck in the last 65 Years?

    I’m going to go out and crawl around underneath
    Big Red and write down whatever casting numbers
    I come across and let everyone know. Just for sake
    of argument…

    Dennis Merri

    Like 3
    • AMXBrian

      What motor did you find?

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