1946 Ford Pickup
This truck was assembled in 100 hours at the AACA’s 2015 Fall National Meet in Hershey. After World War II, when Ford resumed production of civilian vehicles, they were simply warmed-over versions of the 1942 models that had experienced such a short model run. The most obvious of the minor changes was the new grille with vertical slats.
The truck was available in two versions, the 6GC model came with a 226cid L-head six that produced 95 horsepower at 3,300rpm and the 69C was fitted with he 239cid Flat-head V-8 that made 100 hp at a slightly higher 3,800rpm. Either engine came paired with a three-speed manual transmission with a floor shifter. The conventional ladder frame chassis was fitted with solid rear-axles front and rear and featured hydraulic drum brakes at all four corners.
The six-cylinder series 6GC pick-up cost $961 and the V-8 powered 69C sold for $1,022. The modest prices and pent-up demand from the war years allowed Ford to sell more than 75,000 of the ½ ton pickups.
This truck is known as the “Swap to Street” pick up, because Hagerty arrived at the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Hershey Fall swap meet with a chassis and cab of a 1946 Ford ½ ton farm truck that had been sitting outside for decades. It was minus an engine, but in nod to safety, the Hagerty team had rebuilt the steering, brakes and axles in advance. Everything else needed to be sourced from vendors at the flea market.
Roving parts finders found a correct 1946 Ford bench seat, a 1952 pickup donated the bed and rear bumper. They also found fenders, leaf springs, a battery box, engine and transmission mounts, door handles, taillights and more. The V-8 engine and transmission from a 1953 Ford passenger car came from a contact they made at Hershey but required a late-night dash to Virginia.
Working against the clock, the team completed the truck in 100 hours and were able to drive it off the field and home. This truck may be a Frankenstein-like mix of parts, but it shows what can happen with a lot of energy and relatively little cash.