Sometimes in life the stars align perfectly and Lady Fortune smiles at you. Like when you find a rare old pickup truck that would be a great project to restore and drive. However on rare occasions, she will find somebody and do much more for them than just smile! That’s what’s happened to Dave Hill when he sold his beloved 1947 Ford ½ ton pickup to the Ford Motor Company for the price of $800,000 and a brand-new F-350 dually!
Are they nuts? We definitely don’t think so! This truck happens to be one of the rarest and advanced vehicles built for its time…that’s right, we said it, a truck! According to Ford records, this truck is one of only 35 units ordered and built in 1947 equipped with a McCullough water-cooled supercharger and special carburetor. Edmunds finned aluminum heads, Fenton cast iron headers and factory dual exhaust are also part of this engine package. it also includes the original factory air cleaner that Ford designed specifically for this configuration to cope with hood clearance issues.
However, the engine options are just the tip of the iceberg. Other original options include a sliding rear window, an exterior sun visor, vacuum powered dash fan and a built-in factory compass. It also has a smoker’s kit (which understandably includes a cigarette lighter and additional ashtrays), locking steering column, interior dome light, interior sun visors, bumper mounted fog lights, and an early version of factory cruise control which is a mechanical throttle lock that is controlled by a knob and wire mounted to the dash. That is quite an options list even by today’s standards!
The kicker to all this is that this may be the only one of its kind left, making it all the more rare. The experts at the Ford Museum have verified that this truck may be the only original numbers matching examples of this vehicle anywhere let alone being in this kind of condition. There are rumored to be a couple others that are in pieces but that has not been confirmed.
Dave Hill and his father Len bought the truck from the original owner who special ordered it in 1947. During the restoration Dave added some nice custom touches of his own including an early luggage rack, a storage box in the truck’s bed and a metal spare tire cover. They look great in the photos but I doubt they’ll be included when the truck goes on display in the museum. However I don’t think Dave will mind too much while he’s cruising in his new dually and counting his cash!