FORD vs ford
I realized lately that I've snapped plenty of trucks on my wanderings but have neglected to post them so they're stacking up. The answer is Truck Week! We'll start off with 2 Fords I discovered on the same early morning walk in Greenpoint.
First order of business is this 1956 Ford F100 in Fiesta Red.
This sweet ride was obviously restored some time ago in greaser/rat rod fashion. Due to the amount of rust showing up on the pinstriped finish I believe it was redone without a hint of irony years before the term "rat rod" was as common as it is now.
That classic V8 symbol in the middle of the grill means this is packing either the 272 or 292 Y Block engine. This was built a mere 4 years after the Sanford & Sons truck featured during the opening credits (with one of the best TV theme songs ever), but is still very similar to that 1952 model. Starting in '57 the Ford F-Series would look much more modern, with no more center bulge hood and a more integrated design overall.
From this angle the wraparound windshield is visible, confirming this as a '56. The years before had the more traditional sloped-pillar flat rectangle windshield.
That stretch of louvered vents between the front door and the hood are stock. Whoever redid this truck removed the large "F100 FORD" emblem that would normally have been on the side of the hood just in front of the vents. Also missing is a rectangular piece of chrome placed just under the middle of the door window that was purely decorative (or at least had no purpose I could figure). Those full size hubcaps are stock as well, probably part of a dress-up kit that included the chrome grill. If this was to be a work-only truck it would've come with a painted grill and small dog dish hubcaps. For that matter the passenger side mirror is an option too, as is the small antenna next to it, indicating a radio.
I love these factory stock steps attached to the running boards! Those running boards are dissolving pretty badly though so I don't know how much I'd want to try my luck standing on it.
The rear bumper is not only an option, but a relatively rare one as most of these trucks weren't ordered with them. That rear window is the basic version; a special big window option is very sought after by collectors today. Obviously the tailgate is not stock with those custom louvers and pinstriping. the original would say F O R D in huge block letters. Nice ride though, aging gracefully enough for daily use on the streets of the big city.
Now we'll move on to the smaller portion of the morning:
Here we have another Captive Import, meaning a foreign automaker-produced vehicle that was re-badged as a domestic model the moment it reached our shores to be sold new through a domestic dealership. This is a 1973 Ford Courier, otherwise known as a 1973 Mazda B-Series pickup with different emblems on it. There is one unique feature to this truck that make it definitively a Ford though; the grill with the single large headlight on each side was fashioned after the larger F-Series Ford trucks of the day (the Mazda B-Series had 4 smaller headlights, the innermost 2 placed within a smaller grill within the grill for a bizarre effect).
The color I believe is Durango Tan, but it looks pretty mustardy to me. The trucks came to the U.S. without the beds to skirt something called the Chicken Tax. Basically if the truck was complete upon arrival it would have an import duty of 25%. Attaching the beds here lowered that to just 4%.
The wording on the tailgate is the key to identifying this as a '73. This is the only year where the word COURIER is large and FORD is small. In '71 and '72 it said FORD COURIER in large letters. From '74 on it said FORD in large letters and COURIER in a smaller badge like the Ford one shown here.
This thing is just as plain as day! Look at the hinges and locking mechanism for the tailgate. Also, could the flat metal panel below the tailgate with the trimless taillights set into it be any more straightforward? Overall this looks like a childs drawing of a truck come to life. The most dynamic part of the entire design may be the 4 hexagons embossed into the front of the bed, which was likely done to get some rigidity out of extremely thin metal.
From this view we can see the monumental upside-down cross looming over the rear bumper, so I think I'll keep my insults to a minimum (The blue dog on acid staring at it is a pretty good bit of accidental placement as well). This thing is pretty damn cute actually, thrifty with the MPGs, and in totally immaculate condition, so it's hard not to smile when encountering it. Tomorrow we'll leave Ford behind as we continue our Truck Week journey through the streets of NYC.