Dumpside Classic: 1952 Ford F-1 Pickup – The Owner’s First Vehicle

(first posted 3/12/2011)    I originally bought my ’66 F-100 for dump runs. We had an acre in Los Gatos then, and I paid $500 for it in 1987 to haul off brush and tree trimmings. Anyway, that was the excuse I needed to finally fulfill my desire for an old pickup after living in crowded LA. And I still use it for that purpose about as much as any other. Endless remodeling and sloppy tenants make me a fairly regular fixture at the Lane County Transfer station, where one sorts recyclables and dumps the rest into the giant pit, in the bottom of which a giant Cat lives that pushes it into big trucks that actually haul it to the dump. Anyway, I often meet kindred spirits there. And sometimes ones with a story to tell.

I backed in next to this fine veteran that is right up my alley patina-wise. I got to chatting with its owner, as owners of old Ford trucks are likely to do, as they check each other’s ride out. Or more like checking out the more interesting of the two, which his undoubtedly is.

It’s his first vehicle ever, bought 33 years ago. That would be 1978, when this long-lived truck was still almost youthful. I snapped a few shots and then we headed to do our business at the pit.

As we met up there again, our conversation continued, for quite a while. He showed me pictures of his home-built camping trailer that folds up to look like a covered wagon, with its propane tank hidden in an old wood barrel.

He told me about some of the modifications he’s made, like a limited-slip axle that he picked up for free in someone’s yard. I should have asked to look under the hood, but I know it’s the six, which would be the first year for Ford’s new OHV engine, which came in a 215 CID version that year.

I’ve always been more of a fan of the Chevy trucks of this vintage; well, in fact I called the ’51 Chevy 3100 CC “My All-Time Favorite Truck“. For some reason, it seems like the Chevys of this vintage always outnumbered the Fords by a huge margin.

Well, ugly or not, you gotta love a truck with this kind of history and patina. How many paint jobs are trying to peek through here?

After a while, he said he needed to get back to work; and as he said it, he pointed in the direction of the bottom of the pit, where the big Yellow Cat sat waiting: “I drive that thing”.