Curbside Outtake: 1946 Ford 698T 1 1/2 Ton Truck – New Adventures Await

As with most writers here, the personally unfamiliar subject is the subject most daunting to write about, with opportunities galore for failure and embarrassment.  However, sometimes the unfamiliar is also extremely interesting and it’s a shame to just leave pictures to gather pixeldust in a hard drive as happens all too often.  So when I drove by this truck on Saturday afternoon and quickly swung off the highway to double back and check it out in more detail I told myself that I would not let this one languish.  So here I am on Saturday evening trying to come up with some text to accompany a few pictures.  I’ll be a little light on some details, and may very well be wrong in regard to others but no doubt someone out there knows much more than I do and can fill in the blanks or correct me which is perfectly fine as well.

This is a heavier duty version of Ford’s basic post-war truck, I believe it’s a 1946 but it could be a ’47.  It looks like the 158″ wheelbase version and as such with the regular cab would be the 698T and carry a 1.5 ton designation along with the dual rear wheels although this one has the outside rear wheel dismounted currently.  The basic truck evolved into the first F-series truck, and as far as I can tell this would have been an F-5 if it was a ’48.

This is how I found it, on a trailer behind an F-350.  Parked in front of Willie’s Diesel Service off Hwy 85 just south of the Wyoming border there were several other Fords on the lot, most with For Sale signs.  I don’t know if Willie just buys, sells, and works on Ford trucks, but he seems to like them, although the only diesel I saw outside was this tow-rig.

The ’46 though was much more charming to look at.  Behind that interesting grille and peaked hood probably lies a Flathead V8 producing 100hp although it’s also possible that this was powered by a six producing 90hp.

Caked in road filth from yesterday’s storm and today’s melt it nevertheless looks pretty complete bar some trim rings and a bumper.  The grille is striking as are the decorative pieces with the Ford logotype on the hood itself.

The large diameter five-lug front wheels are so simple but look so purposeful, they’ve rotated for some 72 years now and look like they could go another 72 easy.  Nothing special, just gettin’ the job done.

The back is basically a platform or stake-bed design although the curved metal supports make it look sort of dumpbed-ish to me, I can’t think of another reason why one would need the top of the walls to flare out like that.  However based on the underside it likely isn’t and is probably just how things were done, just like today’s trucks having higher walls than in days of yore.  It does add another point of charm to this truck though and reminds me of someone splaying their hands in a “what, me worry?” type of gesture.

I wonder where the outside part of the wheel setup is, I can’t imagine it’d be easy to find replacements although perhaps it is.  This angle shows the bed wall supports a little better.

I love the little screw holding the logo on, someone obviously noticed it falling off, but the “d” seems determined to make a run for it.  Well, little d, don’t worry, it looks like the whole truck is bound for a new set of adventures and probably a lot more affection and TLC than it’s received lately and you’re already featured on a website instead of being locked up on a hard drive!