This Stubborn, Hard-Working Ford F-1 Needs a Better Retirement Plan and a New Owner

Every car nameplate has a beginning, and this is where the F-Series from Ford started, in 1948, with the F-1 pickup, a vehicle that made history by becoming the best-selling car in the world.
1948 Ford F-1 Pickup 11 photos
Photo: Sabtaj1/Bring a Trailer
1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup1948 Ford F-1 Pickup
Just three years after WWII, Ford introduced the F-1 pickup on the market. The vehicle sparked a debate within the carmaker since it was not a truck nor a passenger vehicle. But it was exactly what the customers needed: a light utility vehicle that could take the average Joe to work and back. Soon, this vehicle became the most preferred vehicle by contractors, farmers, and self-employed workers.

While this F-1 pickup is far from what the F-Series became today, it reveals its true nature right from the start. It is definitely not a pampered vehicle. Despite the refreshed red paint, it sports the wear and tear of a working vehicle. It has some scars on the bodywork like it is still employed and works to bring food to the table for the entire family. The bed, although, was refreshed with new planks.

Inside, it is the same story. It's the kind of cabin that shows boot-prints and worn plastic pieces. But, at first glance, the vinyl upholstery on the bench looks fine. There are some missing parts around, but nothing to worry about. Yet, I would ditch that plastic cup holder, even though it matches the car's red color.

Under the hood, this red pickup sports the famous 239 ci (3.9-liter) flathead V8 that provided a mere 100 ponies. Maybe they weren't that many, but for a half-ton pickup, it was just enough. It features a four-on-the-floor manual gearbox that sends the power to the rear wheels. Unfortunately, the carburetor has some leaks, and the clutch components require servicing, as the Sabtaj1 seller says. But whoever will buy this lovely piece of history should come with a trailer to take it home, even though this pickup refuses to die, and it is still in running order. But better safe than sorry.

Even though the odometer shows a mere 20k miles (32,200 km), the car's interior says another story. As for the bad parts, both side windows are cracked and need to be replaced and if you want to take this baby home, start looking for a right rear-view mirror as well. Also, all the seals around the windows are cracked and look original. Yet, they should be refreshed if you want to make it spotless again.

We don't know if it's a numbers-matching vehicle, but it might be. That should be checked in person in East Moline, Illinois, where the car is parked. The auction for it will end on February 18 on Bring a Trailer website, and there is no reserve for it.
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About the author: Tudor Serban
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Tudor started his automotive career in 1996, writing for a magazine while working on his journalism degree. From Pikes Peaks to the Moroccan desert to the Laguna Seca, he's seen and done it all.
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