1952 Ford F1 pickup (first gen)

Vendor supplied images


  • 4-litre inline-six powertrain
  • Manual transmission
  • Comprehensively restored
  • Handsome specification
  • Interior trimmed to a high standard
  • Professionally finished wooden load bed

The Appeal

First put into production in the late 1940s, Ford’s F-series marked the beginning of the company’s dedicated commercial endeavours, becoming the basis for a range of trucks and panel vans. Of course, it has since gone on to become the best selling vehicle in the USA, but this first generation holds a wonderful character and charm all of its own.

Relatively few have made it to this side of the Atlantic, which makes them real collector’s pieces. However, they remain genuinely usable machines, even as daily classics, and are welcomed with open arms and admiring glances at any show you care to mention.

This example has been meticulously restored by the vendor and is now reluctantly offered for sale as they are no longer using it as much as it deserves. Beautifully finished inside and out, with a bold and striking all red exterior twinned with a red-and-cream interior, it’s certainly a vehicle capable of stopping traffic and getting you noticed. If y’all hanker (Stop that – Editor) after a slice of classic 50s Americana, then well pardner (I mean it – Editor) this smart pickup should make you happier than a tornado in a trailer park (That’s it, you’re fired – Editor).

Well dang.

The History and Paperwork

  • 1952MY – very late first generation F1 pickup
  • Imported from California in April 2009
  • Four registered owners
  • Current owner since August 2011
  • Restored by the vendor over three years from 2011 to 2014
  • Kept dry-stored in a private garage
  • Historic vehicle status: tax and MOT exempt
  • 53,650 miles indicated (five-figure odometer)
  • Complete with: California Title, DVLA numberplate authorisation, previous MOT certificates, pictures prior to restoration and current V5c

The Interior

  • Very well finished cabin upholstery
  • High quality carpeting
  • Modern sound system with Aux cable

The first you notice in the cabin is how well finished the upholstery is. Red and cream leather adorns the tuck-and-roll bench and door cards, and it looks to be very well done. There’s hardly any evidence of wear and tear, and certainly no damage or tearing we could see.

Complementing this is deep, red, high quality carpeting – which the vendor tells us is “Rolls-Royce style”. Again, it shows no staining, threading or real wear at all. Meanwhile, the headlining is a light cream to match the upholstery and looks nice and taut, with no sagging, staining or damage in evidence.

As this was originally a commercial vehicle, the cabin is quite spartan. But what trim and controls there are preserved in fine order, with no significant damage we can discern. In fact, everything looks incredibly well for the age of the vehicle.

The vendor tells us that everything in the cabin works as it should.

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The Exterior

  • Smart red paintwork
  • Handsomely finished wooden load bed
  • Lots of wonderful chrome embellishments
  • Period correct red steel wheels
  • Rare full chrome grill and three pronged bright work on the sides of the bonnet

There’s certainly no missing this fantastically red pickup truck. The bold colour scheme really suits the vehicle’s lines and detailing – we can well believe this is just how it looked when new. It shows very well too, with a fine gloss and no major marks or blemishes apparent. The vendor notes some minor cracking to the finish on the front wings and some rubbing where the tailgate meets the rear bumper, but otherwise we’re very impressed with the finish on this truck.

Similarly, the body looks to be in good condition, with no damage or corrosion we could discern. The panels all look smooth and neat, and there doesn't appear to be any misalignment we could see.

Neatly contrasting with the red paint are the lashing of chrome brightwork, from the wide front grille to the bumpers and fender detailing. The vendor tells us that it was all stripped and rechromed during the restoration and, other than some localised and very light pitting, it remains in very good order with an attractive lustre and deep shine.

The load bed itself has been refinished with high quality wood with metal trims between each board. It looks to be in very fine fettle and the vendor informs us that they commissioned a professional carpenter to complete the work on their behalf.

Adding a wonderful finishing touch, the 15-inch steel wheels are painted in red to match the bodywork and are garnished with polished hubcaps, for that perfect period look.

The Mechanics

  • 239ci (4-litre) inline-six
  • Manual transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive

With a hearty 4-litre inline-six up front, the vendor tells us that the truck has no problem keeping up with modern traffic – and it sounds fantastic while doing so. The valve-seats in the head have been replaced with hardened units, ensuring the truck can run on unleaded fuel too. 

It’s also noted that the wiring has all been updated, while the lights have been converted to full UK specification. 

We’re assured by the vendor that the truck starts and runs very well, driving nicely and turning heads wherever it goes.

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We love a pickup truck. Especially a classic American F-Series. And this must be one of the nicest examples we’ve seen – updated and refined without losing its quintessential character. Beautifully finished and presented in very good order, we can’t think of many better ways to haul our kinfolk about. (Get out – Editor)

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.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1952
  • Make Ford
  • Model F1
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 53,650 Miles
  • Engine size 4000
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Watford
  • Location Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 8 bidders
  • joshua.•••• £17,350 30/05/23
  • Peter.L £17,050 29/05/23
  • graceen•••• £16,800 29/05/23
  • Peter.L £16,000 29/05/23
  • joshua.•••• £15,750 29/05/23
  • Peter.L £15,500 29/05/23
  • debby-s•••• £15,250 29/05/23
  • retrosp•••• £15,000 28/05/23
  • graceen•••• £12,900 25/05/23
  • joshua.•••• £11,700 25/05/23

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