Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1951-1952 Mercury M-1 — Ford F-1 Doppelganger

Corey Behrens found this Canadian-market Ford F1- doppelganger in Colorado, where it might raise a few eyebrows if anyone bothers to look at the script on its tailgate. More likely not; how many folks today know whether Mercury ever sold trucks in the US, or not? How many even remember Mercury at all?

David Saunders did a post on the Mercury trucks here a few years back; it gives the lowdown as to why.

I went to Wikipedia to remind myself when Ford went to this new toothy grille on these trucks. I’ve long learned to not take everything written there by amateurs as the final truth, but their page on the first generation of F-series trucks is really embarrassing. The claim is that the 1948 Ford F-Series was the only one of the three new post war pickups/light trucks by the Big Three to be “all new”, claiming that the Chevrolet/GMC Advanced design tucks rode on the pre-war GM A-Body platform. That’s absurd on several levels. First of all, the chassis for them was new. Second, GM’s Bodies were not “platforms”; quite the opposite actually; they were body families that rode on the respective (and typically unique) chassis of the various divisions. A typical Ford fanboi rant. Sad.

It’s a bit hard to tell in this shot, because the front wheels are cocked, but one of the more distinctive new aspects of these trucks was the setback front axle, more noticeable in its successors, the ’54-56 F series. This was done to improve weight distribution.

These trucks were of course available with either the venerable flathead V8 or the rather more modern and actually all-round superior 226 six. But of course the flattie V8s are the ones folks want, most of all for their distinctive exhaust sound through a pair of glass-packs.

For some reason, I’ve always preferred the GM trucks of this vintage, but then I’m a fan of inline sixes, especially the bigger GMC units.  But I’d take this, just for the name and sound alone.