1951 Ford F5
The feeling of power you get behind the wheel is something you’ll definitely savor.
Big trucks like this 1951 Ford F5 remind us today that life was very, very different even as recently as the 1950s. High-speed travel on superhighways was just beginning, and to move freight long distances was usually a train’s job. Most of the heavy lifting around town, however, was handled by trucks very much like this one, designed to carry immense loads at modest speeds over questionable terrain. And at that, the Ford F-series excelled. The fact that they were also handsome doesn’t hurt, and today they remain perhaps the fastest-growing segment of the antique vehicle hobby.
Perhaps you recall the 1950 Ford truck we had a few months ago, which had a waiting list of eager suitors and sold in near record time. This awesome F5 is every bit as nice, shows a lot of smart upgrades that make it a far more practical vehicle if you actually want to, you know, use your truck as a truck, and it’s ready to go today. Ford’s trucks were heavily revised in 1951, creating what is now the most highly-sought front end of the period, with a bold single-element grille with integrated headlights. This one shows what we believe to be 34,724 original miles (although a typo at the title bureau means the title says 54,000 miles), since these trucks were always used for local deliveries, not long-distance hauling. It is entirely rust-free, with a solid cab, fenders, doors, and hood, as well as that sparkling new aluminum bed, which was installed at a reported cost of over $5000. The paint is a modern interpretation of the classic Meadow Green with a bit of metallic in it, but it looks right on the big rig’s classic shape. Fit and finish is appropriate to an original heavy-duty truck, with doors that open and close easily, a hood that latches tight, and a very attention-grabbing overall look that makes people smile. Notable details include the cab running lights, heavy-duty tow hooks up front, and that proud V8 emblem on the nose. The aluminum stake bed is in like-new condition, with a pair of weather-tight storage boxes and heavy-duty mud flaps—there simply isn’t anything this truck can’t carry. You’ll also note the current owner has spent a good deal of money on custom logos for the doors, which give the truck a purposeful look. They always seem naked without someone’s colors on the door, don’t you think?
The interior is nattily trimmed with a red vinyl bench seat and painted metal surfaces everywhere else. Remember, it was designed to work hard, not be pretty, but Ford stylists knew that good looks sold trucks just as well as they sold cars. So the instruments are in separate round gauges that keep an eye on all the vitals, and they’re all fully functional except the ammeter, which, due to a 12-volt alternator, is probably no longer necessary. The dash, doors, and ceiling have all been painted to match the body, and the contrast between the red seat and green paint is pleasing and rakish, showing a bit of style that’s right at home in the handsome truck. There is no radio, but both the heater and defroster are fully functional thanks to new blower motors that are happy with the 12-volt electrical system. Manual steering and brakes are easy enough to manage, but this is still a big vehicle so it’ll take some getting used to the commanding driving position. And brush-up on your shifting, since the 4-speed manual gearbox is heavy-duty and requires a firm hand on the shift lever.
The F5 was available with both an inline-six and the famous flathead V8, which displaces 239 cubic inches in this truck and makes a nice, round 100 horsepower. With just over 34,000 original miles, this one is a long way from needing any major surgery, and starts quickly with 12 volts spinning the starter. Like all flatheads, it is happy to idle quietly and pulls well thanks to tall gearing. A newer exhaust system has been fitted with a tailpipe that reaches all the way back for comfort inside the cab. The engine bay is a bit grungy, being almost completely original, but it runs well and needs nothing. With a massive radiator, it was happy to idle in the 80-degree heat during our photo shoot, and remains a tribute to the reliability of these massive workhorses. Shifting takes some practice, but you certainly won’t hurt the big guy while you learn, and the brakes are remarkably effective given the truck’s mass. Performance is leisurely, as you’d expect, but there’s simply nothing you can’t move with something like this. The feeling of power you get behind the wheel is something you’ll definitely savor. The original wheels have been painted to match the bodywork, and wear relatively new 8.25-20 Firestone heavy-duty truck tires.
Documentation includes some original brochures featuring the Ford F-series.
If you were admiring the last one, I will encourage you not to wait on this one. It is a beefy, heavy-duty truck, but the way it attracts attention is more akin to a bright red Ferrari. For business promotion, there are few better mediums, and if moving big stuff around is part of your daily routine, you’ll probably enjoy it twice as much from behind the wheel of this F5. An awful lot of truck for not a lot of money. Call today!