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  • Writer's pictureFred Schlabach

Two is better than one, right?

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

Summer 1985. I had finished my first year at Millersville University and was home for the summer, working for a landscaper mowing lawns and weeding flower beds. This job took us all over southeastern Pennsylvania and as I rode shotgun between lawns, was given the opportunity to see the sites along the way and also what was for sale. One day we went a different way to avoid traffic and passed a pair of old Ford pickups surrounded by unmowed grass in a suburban front yard. I could tell that they'd been there for awhile by the pricing on the windshield. Something made me want to know more...

I went back after work and did the walk around. There was a lot of rust on the one, but the other one still had traces of sand blasting medium in the frame rails and everything looked solid. There was definitely potential here. The owner came home as I was looking and he told me their history. They were 1950 Ford F-1 pickups. This was the first redesign after World War II when Ford started the "F-1, F-2, F-3" designation. He'd had them for 10 years and had stalled out on the project. One was the good truck while the other was the donor of the parts that the other lacked. The flathead V8 engine had been "rebuilt", although beyond a fresh coat of Ford blue paint there was no proof. Included in the sale were a dozen boxes of various parts to sweeten the deal. He made it pretty clear that he just wanted them out of there which is always good to know when you're negotiating price. I went home to "think" about it, but I had already made up my mind that I wanted them. I'm not sure what I told my parents to convince them that I needed these trucks, but whatever it was they went along with it. The next day I offered him $400 which he accepted and I was the proud owner of not one, but two 35 year old trucks. I worked on them off and on for the next few years when time permitted, but never progressed too far. The "donor" eventually went to a scrap yard after all of the salvagable parts were taken off. The "good" truck travelled to Vermont with me, and I actually got it running, but was never able to finish it. It stayed with me until 2008 when I sold it to buy a small British convertible...

1950 F-1 "Donor" truck

1950 F-1 "The Good One"
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