Temperate Truck: 1952 Ford F-1 Pickup – Sold?

by | Jun 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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July 12, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

June 23, 2022 Update – The private seller reduced their asking price by $5,500 from $34,500 to $29,000. We’ll see whether resetting the asking price to just under thirty large will help motivate some buyers.

Before World War II, Ford’s truck and passenger car designs were heavily intertwined, with the two sharing many chassis and body components. When Ford launched its first-generation F-series pickups in 1948, not only was it the company’s first post-war design, it was also the company’s first truck line featuring its own purpose-built chassis.

This restored 1952 Ford F-1 pickup, once listed in June 2022 on Craigslist in Plaistow, New Hampshire, is said to be a low mileage barn find benefitting from a full restoration twenty-five years ago. This F-1 features its original Flathead V8 and enjoys being stored in a temperature-controlled garage.

Currently offered for $29,000 (the original ask was $34,500), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for first-generation Ford F-1 pickups produced between 1948 and 1952.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $33,400 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $50,700.

Ford produced its first generation of F-Series trucks, also known as the Bonus-Built line, from 1948 through 1952.  The introduction of the F-Series marked the divergence of Ford car and truck design, developing a chassis intended specifically for truck use. Alongside pickup trucks, the model line included also panel vans, bare and cowled chassis, and marked the entry of Ford into the medium and heavy-duty truck segment.

The development objective included making the driving easier, with comfortable and roomier cab, and a great customer appreciation. When introduced, Ford’s new truck would be the only truck featuring an all-new post-war design. GM’s Advance Design trucks featured an all-new body but was based on a pre-war A platform which were at the time shared with other GM passenger cars.  Dodge B series, although fully redesigned, retained an outdated semicircular rear wheel well design. Ford departed from sharing a common platform with its passenger lineup and developed a purpose-built truck frame specifically for the F-Series. The new frame included a third cross-member which enabled extra strength enough to be shared with its medium-duty lineup. Also, Ford was the only company to offer V8 engines for both Pickup trucks and medium-duty trucks until 1954. To better absorb rough uneven roads, and to reduce maintenance costs, Ford was also first to introduce telescopic double-acting shock absorbers to the Pickup truck market in place of the lever shocks and were advertised as the “Aircraft Type Shocks”.

Ford additionally invested one million dollars into research and tooling for the new cab dubbed as the “Million-Dollar Cab”. Compared to the previous model of Ford trucks, the new cab was 7 inches wider and provided extra headroom. It also included wider doors that were moved 3 inches forward and extending beneath the cab’s floor for better accessibility and interior protection from dust, moisture, and drafts. A new flat one-piece windshield was 2 inches higher than the previous generation combined with the larger rear window offering a better all-around visibility. The new cab also featured increased foot room, and bench seats with adjustable fore, aft, and rake. To improve comfort, the cab was isolated from the frame using bushing at the front and lever-action torsion links in the rear in order to insulate vibration and noise. Additionally, Ford added more cushioning to the bench seat which was wrapped with springs for improved comfort. The front fenders were also wider and taller and featured single piece like wrap-around design that included integrated headlamps. Five-bar horizontal grille had integrated turn signals in the top grille bar. Rear fenders no longer had the teardrop shape, instead had more rounded and had continuous side body lines. Two openings were added over bold “FORD” lettering at the nose which left opening acted as a hood release handle.

A new three-way ventilation system consisted of two vent windows (driver and passenger) with one additional vent located in the cowl. Ford increased the steering ratio to make the F-1 easier to turn. Heavier-duty construction with a new channeled steel front bumper attached directly to the extended frame rails which provided increased rigidity and a smooth ride.

In 1952, the builder’s plate was attached to the inside of the glove box door. While predating a VIN, the information identified the series, model year, assembly plant, and production sequence as well as paint code and rear axle gearing.

The Karen Mason YouTube Channel features this video giving the perspective of what it’s like to drive a flathead-powered, 1952 Ford F-1 Pickup:

This 1952 Ford F-1 Pickup appears to be a nicely restored low mileage survivor that has held up well.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1952 F1 Ford Pickup truck. 25-year-old full restoration. Was a barn find with low miles. Still only 56,000 original miles. Runs and drives great. Always been kept in a temperature-controlled garage. There are a few paint chips and scratches but overall paint looks great! Small blister on the fender. Hasn’t changed in 25 years. I have the copy of the original title.

Show or go: What would you do with this restored 1952 Ford F-1 pickup?  Please comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Ernest Valtri

    This truck starts out badass and with a few custom touches, would be even badasser..


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