If you are to consider buying a vehicle that’s 86 years old, you’d expect to have a big restoration job on your hands. It’ll be a big pile of rusty components, tired old body panels and more than likely an engine that doesn’t run. There’s nothing wrong with that, saving a car from extinction is a worthy thing to do. However, sometimes a survivor comes along that displays its history in every panel and every bump and scrape, and still runs and drives as well as it did all those years ago. Here’s just that survivor.
By all means it would make a fabulous project for restoration but perhaps that may strip it of its undeniable character and soul. Let’s just suggest a ‘re-commissioning’ project instead perhaps? This 1937 ½ ton pickup is oozing history that really should be preserved and it is complete, original and most of all running.
The History and Paperwork
Nova import document
Originally registered in Ohio
There’s no history of ownership of this fabulous Model 77 before it was imported other than it had been stored for many years and was originally registered in the state of Ohio. It retains all of its original features and from what the vendor understands to be the original and more sought-after 85hp engine. It has received minimal attention other than general servicing since it came to our shores.
The mileage is low and there is no reason to suggest that it isn’t genuine as these vehicles were simple farm workhorses that didn’t stray far from the homestead. It is of course exempt from the need for an MOT.
Sparse utilitarian interior
Exceptional bench seat
The interior is exactly what you’d expect from a vehicle of this type and age. It is devoid of creature comforts and any luxury but it does possess a full-width bench seat that is in remarkable condition and may have been recovered or replaced at some stage. The rest of the interior is obviously original with the large pair of instruments set behind the bus size steering wheel.
There is one modern gauge that displays water temperature proving that a previous owner may not have trusted the 80-year-old factory version. The long-gear lever appears to have the original well-worn knob on top which adds to the charm of an otherwise sparse cockpit.
Thick gauge construction
Timber and metal load area
Historic dents and scratches
Some body perforation
This is where all the character of this historic vehicle lies. Every bump and scrape tells a story and is its very soul. There is little doubt that it will have had some paint at some time here and there, and there is evidence of a couple of welding repairs but the body must be described as very good despite the age.
The material of the wings is remarkably thick which would account for its longevity. There are plenty of age-related dents and surface corrosion with only the driver’s side running board having rusted through. Underneath, there is further evidence of age-related corrosion with a couple of areas that need closer attention, but on the whole and like the rest of the truck, it appears in rather good condition.
It stands on a set of factory ‘Artillery’ steel wheels complete with hubcaps and are almost certainly original. All the glass is in place and the front split screen wind-out mechanism still works well, air con 1937 style. The load bay is a timber and metal construction and may well have been adapted or renovated during its life but it does have considerable age to it.
21 stud 221ci V8 engine
3-speed manual gearbox
Original 6v power supply
Factory rod-operated brakes
The engine is almost certainly original and is the correct 21 stud variant for the year of manufacture. It bears the same kind of aged appearance as the bodywork with some surface corrosion. However, this also serves to confirm that the motor has not been apart, at least not recently. It starts and runs well and sounds wonderful.
The bonus is that it is the much-preferred 85hp version over the lesser 60hp version of the same year. The 3-speed gearbox works well and engages well considering the length of the delightful gear lever, or should I say ‘stick-shift’? Like the rest of this incredible survivor, it seems the right course of action would be to service and recommission the mechanical aspects rather than fully renovating and modernising therefore retaining its originality.
The only area that may benefit from being brought into the present day may be the electrics. At present it is a 6-volt system so things like headlamps may be improved with a 12-volt system.
This truck represents a turning point in American automotive history. It was the last of its kind as 1938 heralded the arrival of a fully redesigned version and gone was the side-opening bonnet and the 21 stud engine.
Many of the 77 models fell by the wayside as they were simply considered as tools of the trade and were discarded when they wore out resulting in them being rare and sought after in the US and a particularly rare asset if found in the UK.
This is a complete and working example and deserves to continue being a survivor with perhaps only minimal attention to retain that patina. It is also a sound basis for a full restoration if that’s the way you’d like to go but you have to agree that as it looks just like it has come straight off the set of the Waltons, it’s worth keeping that appearance. ‘Good night John Boy’.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
More about buying with us
1937 Ford Model 77 Pick Up
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