In continuous production since 1948, the Ford F-Series is arguably America’s most successful pickup truck. The new haulers are selling like hotcakes, while the early generations are now desirable classics. However, the company began making pickup trucks long before the long-running nameplate debuted in the late 1940s.
Ford’s truck-making days can be traced back to the Model T, the world’s first mass-produced and affordable automobile. Launched in 1908, the Model T spawned a utility version in 1917. Called the Model TT, it had a longer wheelbase, a heavier frame, and a one-ton rating. Ford kept it in production through 1927 and sold nearly 1.5 million units.
Ford continued to build its pickup trucks on full-size car platforms, so the haulers evolved in a similar fashion. The Model TT was followed by the Model AA, which was replaced by the Model BB in 1932. The latter was the first to feature a V8 engine. The next truck, based on the Model 48, arrived in 1935 as the Model 51.
Until the F-Series came out in 1948, Ford offered two more car-based pickups with significant makeovers in 1938 and 1941. Both are more stylish than their predecessors but don’t get a lot of love nowadays. And that’s why I got excited when YouTube’s “Jennings Motor sports” rescued a 1939 truck that’s been abandoned for a whopping 65 years.
Yup, six decades is an awful amount of time for a vehicle to spend off the road. It’s enough to turn any classic into a rust bucket, especially if it’s been sitting outside. Indoor storage may be friendlier to a steel shell, but it still has plenty of drawbacks, includng rodent infestation, and a stuck engine. Well, let’s say that this 1939 truck got extremely lucky.
Despite the very long time it spent sitting in one place, the hauler is still in one piece and surprisingly clean. It doesn’t have significant rust issues on the outside, and there are still traces of the original green paint on the body. The exposed rear frame also appears to be solid. Moreover, the truck is complete, apart from the missing bed. The fact that it still has a grille, a hood ornament, and headlamps is downright amazing.