This week Davin tackles upgrading our 1946 Ford truck’s transmission. This was a truck assembled in 4 days on the grounds of the Hershey Swap meet in 2015 and ever since the plan has been to upgrade to a T5. Well, six years later Davin finally found the time. Watch along as we take you through the process. We’ll show you what it takes to do an upgrade like this, and worse case you might learn what not to do..
When U.S. automobile production resumed after World War II, eager buyers scooped up warmed-over prewar models while advertising agencies cleverly avoided the phrase, “all new.”
Take Mercury, for instance. The division’s pitch for 1946 was “Step out with Mercury.” It was simple enough, and the mid-priced branch of Ford Motor Company promptly sold 86,603 cars. A year later, “More of everything you want” became the company’s slogan. Sure, the instrument panel dials had been updated, interior hardware was now finished in chrome (as was the grille surround), hub caps had been revised, and there was a new nameplate on the hood, but there was nothing “more” to Mercury. With little effort at the factory and the swipe of an artist’s brush, another 86,383 units were built during the model year.
By then, Mercury’s boardroom was aware that its vastly redesigned cars would be ready for production in late summer 1948. Thus, the ’48 Mercurys, like this Model 76 Club Convertible, entered showrooms with little fanfare.
The Club Convertible was now one of four body styles offered by Mercury, the others being a two-door Sedan Coupe, four-door Town Sedan, and a Station Wagon. In a calculated move, the exceptionally poor-selling two-door Coupe had been dropped in anticipation of the forthcoming redesign. Not unexpectedly, each retained the same grille design from the previous year, topped by running lamps flanking the pronounced hood. Front and rear fender trim was identical to that used a year prior, and a split windshield remained. The Club Convertible’s top was available in either “natural” or black-tinted fabric.
The 1948 line of Mercurys continued to utilize the division’s 239.4-cu.in. flathead V-8 engine, which had been upgraded a year prior with the use of lightweight, four-ring aluminum pistons, and carried a factory rating of 100 hp. Likewise, a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission was standard equipment. A full set of 12-inch hydraulic drum brakes managed stopping force, while passenger comfort was handled by “slow-acting springs” and shocks
Ford and pickup trucks have gone hand in hand since times immemorial. Starting with the first one the Blue Oval made way back in 1917 (the infamous Model TT) and ending with today’s segment leader that comes in the form of the F-150, trucks have pulled Ford through hell and high water
The modern-day love affair of the public with Ford pickup trucks did not start with the TT, though, but rather with the vehicles the company started making from 1941. We’re talking about the multi-role Ford machine that was offered until 1948 in a multitude of body styles, from 2-door coupe to station wagon. In between, of course, was the pickup truck.
Playing just like the modern-day F-150 in the half-ton segment, that age’s pickup had a number of things going for it, and that made it quite successful in its time. Some people found the trucks worthy enough to have them preserved to this day when they get another shot at life on the custom market.
The one we have here is currently for sale on Bring a Trailer as the perfect re-incarnation of the F-150’s ancestor. Sporting a red body over a gray cloth interior, it looks more alive today than it ever did, thanks to the addition of hardware like steel bumpers, dual side mirrors, and a step-side bed with a wood plank floor.
Alan and Jen Mortlock are getting ready to move back to the UK, and I’ll be sad to see them go. I met Alan and Jen over 10 years ago when they first acquired their Glasspar G2 sports car and I was impressed with the quality of their work and the speed of which they were able to do their restoration. I had a chance to personally see the car and Alan’s work when I stopped by in August, 2009 on my way to Bonneville with the 1946 Bill Burke Belly Tank Streamliner – but that’s a different story. Check out the photos below from August, 2009.
Alan and Jen Mortlock at their home in Sikeston, Missouri – August, 2009. I picked up Alan and off we went to Bonneville Speedweek with the Burke Belly Tank. What an adventure that was for both of us.