The great American pickup may carry a bed wherever it goes, but it certainly isn’t known for living a life of leisure. On the contrary, trucks are endearing because they’re always ready for labor. Maybe that’s why we take such great care of our hard-working trucks in their retirement years. After decades of dependable service, we figure they deserve a little TLC. Or lots of it.
We asked our Facebook community, “What’s your all-time favorite classic truck,” and the majority of you remain loyal to the one that just happens to reside in your barn, garage, or driveway. Some of you still pine for the one that got away, or the one you hope to someday call your own.
Yes, America, we love our trucks. And sometimes a photograph is all it takes to stir up fond memories. We included an image of the “Swap to Street” 1946 Ford pickup that four of Hagerty employees cobbled together in four days at the AACA Hershey Fall Swap Meet a few years ago, and it received an immediate reaction.
“I learned to drive at the ripe-old age of 8 in a ’46 Ford pickup similar to the one in the picture,” Rick Harr wrote. “I wore a path in a hay field driving laps, pretending that I was A.J. Foyt. What I wouldn’t give to have that one back.”
Hagerty’s Brett Lirones has taken the “Swap to Street” truck for a spin, and he joined the conversation by proclaiming the ol’ Ford provided “the most smiles per gallon of any vehicle I’ve driven.” When Roy Carlson III saw the photo, he immediately thought of his grandfather, who owned a ’47 Ford pickup “that looked like the pic but had cream-colored trim.”
Others followed suit by nominating Ford F1 pickups from the same era. Christopher Haggerty (no relation) posted a photo of a red 1950 F1 and wrote, “The one in my driveway makes me happy.” Larry McLeod concurred, writing that he loves his 1950 F1, too. Lee Klein’s favorite truck is “the one that was on Sanford and Son,” referring to the beat-up ’51 F1 on the 1970s TV sitcom.
Francesco Robotti picked the 1955 Ford F-100, which he called “an absolute beast.” And after Ted Davis wrote, “1967-72 Ford pickups,” Herb Bunker countered with “any pre-67 Ford truck.” T.J. Marnell also painted with a wide brush: “Well, let’s see. I’m torn between my ’51, ’61, ’63, ’65, ’68, and ’79. Yes, all Ford trucks.”
Bill Blackman turned back the clock 85 years and nominated the 1932 Ford, “the first with a V-8,” while Leslie Foster reached across the Atlantic Ocean and nominated the 1938-57 Fordson/Thames (Ford of England) Model E83W.
Fords generated a lot of chatter, but predictably (some might say, “like a rock”), Chevy trucks were solid choices for many of you. We’re pretty sure that Alexander Reid was referencing the “Swap to Street” project when he wrote, “Pretty please fix up one of these old bad boys,” and posted an image of several 1969 Chevrolet C/10 panel trucks in need of work. Other bowtie supporters included Jacob Smith, who loves both the 1957 Chevrolet short-bed stepside and 1961 Apache; Tyrel Harper, whose favors a “big-window Cameo;” Tony Martin, who chose a ’57 Apache; and Kacy Smith, who is “a bit partial to my own 1972 C10.” When it comes to trucks, only one will do for Chris Summers, “a 1963 Chevy stepside like Mama had for so many years.”
Alan Austin and Kyle Smith didn’t fall far from the tree. Alan prefers a 1956 GMC (“Love the grille”), while Kyle picked a 1959 GMC stepside.
Steve Hedke chose the 1941-47 Studebaker M series, pointing out that “the fenders are interchangeable, front to rear.” Scott Farrington went old school, too: “Any Diamond T or Hudson pickup.” Phil Boldman agreed, sort of; his favorite trucks include the Diamond T 201 and Willys FC 150/170. Austin Moerike added, “As a Mopar guy, I like any 1948–74 Dodge/Fargo, but I have a sweet spot for the ’68 GMC long box.” Dustin Opp went international, writing that he “loves the body lines” on his 1971 Toyota Hilux.
And several of you nominated the Dodge Power Wagon. Matthew von Hobe got there, too … eventually.
It seems that once upon a time, Matthew bought a 1939 1.5-ton Ford flatbed truck that he used to deliver construction supplies—for a short period of time anyway. “It was miserable for a 6-foot-3 guy’s legs, with all that double clutching. Plus the suspension beat the heck outta me. I ended up selling it to a much shorter man.” With that out of the way (and Matthew’s legs intact), he said his favorite truck is the Power Wagon. “It just looks more like a CHRUCK, rather than merely a TRUCK.” Since that didn’t make a bit of sense to us, we turned to the Urban Dictionary for answers. We believe what Matthew is trying to say is, “Power Wagons are built like a brick sh… like a brick wall.” Which is exactly what you want in a work vehicle, right?
Keep on truckin’, America!