1952 Ford Truck: The Rugged, No-Nonsense Pickup Truck

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The 1952 Ford Truck is known as a rugged pickup truck that gained a lot of popularity when it was released. This powerful truck ended the first generation of the Ford F-Series, which was the first post-war truck design released by Ford Motors Company.

1952 Ford Truck

Although it is rare, you can still find some 1952 trucks from Ford in vintage car markets or online platforms, while some families have had it for generations. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the Ford truck and even the unique backwards pickup truck made by a car enthusiast.

What Is the 1952 Ford Truck?

The 1952 Ford Truck is the 1952 Ford F-1 pickup truck that ended the first generation of the F-series released from 1948 to 1952. It is a full-sized pickup truck with a 2-door body style that was designed after World War II as Ford was moving away from military vehicles.

The pickup truck was also called the Ford Bonus Built, and this model year ended in 1952. The 1952 Ford F-1 gave way to the second generation of the F-series. The introduction of the F-series marked the entry of Ford into a car and truck design, as the carmakers built a chassis that was specifically designed for truck use. The model lineup included other cars aside from the truck, like the panel vans and bare and cowled chassis.

The first generation of the Ford F-series marked Ford’s entry into the medium and heavy-duty pickup truck segment, but the 1952 truck is more renowned because it kickstarted the best-selling and most-iconic pickup in America. The first-generation pickup trucks were workhorses because carmakers back then were not interested in luxury features and creature comforts in trucks.

It is this rugged, no-frills design that makes the truck attractive to collectors and car enthusiasts. It is a beautiful truck design although it is not as well designed as the second-generation model, which has a more polished look. One of the highlights in the design of the 1952 truck is the thick horizontal grille and V-shaped hoods with nostrils.

Features of the 1952 Ford Truck

As a final-year first-generation F-1 truck, the Ford truck was built in 1952, and anyone who owns the truck now will be driving a 71-year-old truck. But as long as it is well-maintained, it can still go back on the road. From the 1948 model, it was powered by a 145-horsepower flathead engine, but later on, it moved to a 155-horsepower Y-block V8 engine.

The Ford Truck came with two to three seats and two doors, with a pickup body type. The production started in 1952 and also ended in that year. The powertrain architecture features an internal combustion engine. It was assembled in 16 different facilities in the USA, from Pennsylvania and Texas to Virginia and Minnesota.

  • Engine Power

The Ford pickup is powered by a 215 cubic-inch 3.5 I6 inline engine with natural engine aspiration and an internal combustion engine. It has an OHV valvetrain and a carburetor fuel injection system. The fuel type is petrol or gasoline. The car gives 101 horsepower or 75 kW. It is an OHV Straight-6 engine.


Other engine types available in the 1952 F-1 truck include the 239 cubic-inch Flathead V8 100-horsepower engine.

1952 Ford Truck Engine Power

Ford also introduced a 155-horsepower Y-block V8 engine with 145 horsepower. The power by the liter for this car is 28.7 hp per liter, and the engine layout is front and longitudinal.

  • Space and Dimensions

The maximum weight of the 1952 Ford truck is 4700.26 pounds, while the trunk space is 45 cubic feet. It also has a fuel tank capacity of 20.08 US gallons. The wheelbase of the car is 114 inches, while the length, width and height of the car measures 189.09 inches, 75.94 inches and 75.63 inches, respectively.

The front track of the pickup truck is 58.07 inches, while the rear track is 60 inches. In addition, the front overhang is 35.75 inches, while the rear overhang is 39.33 inches. The ground clearance is 8.15 inches, and the wading depth is between 21.02 and 24.09 inches.

  • Drivetrain and Brakes

As for the drivetrain architecture, the classic cars made use of an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), which powers the rear wheels of the vehicle. The car is powered by rear-wheel drive, with three gears and manual transmission.

The car features a spring strut front suspension, while the rear suspension is a dependent and multi-link spring with telescopic shock absorbers. The car has drum brakes in the front and rear, while the wheel rims size is 16. All of these are the specs and features of the 1952 Ford truck.

  • Interior and Exterior Design

As for the interior of the 1952 truck, it came with a more comfortable passenger space, with wider headroom and easy accessibility. It came with wider doors and a flat one-piece windshield that offered great visibility on the window. The cab also comes with increased foot room and comfortable bench seats.

Interior Design of 1952 Ford Truck

Ford added more cushioning on the bench seats and included springs for better comfort. The front fenders are taller and wider, with a single wrap-around design and integrated headlights. It came with a three-way ventilation system for the driver and passengers and a higher steering ratio, making it easy to drive.

History of the 1952 Ford F-1 Pickup Truck

The history of the 1952 Ford F-1 pickup truck dates back to after the Second World War. Ford was no longer making jeeps, B-24 bombers, tank engines and military hardware, so they had to produce a civilian vehicle. When civilian passenger trucks and cars were being produced, Ford produced the design in 1941.

When the 1947 model year was introduced, it came with a completely new design that made it ideal for multiple uses. The point of the first generation of the Ford F-Series was easy driving, a roomy cab, and customer appreciation. It was also the only truck that featured a new post-war design rather than replicating previous designs.

Ford also stopped using the same platform for its civilian platform as the military cars. Instead, the carmakers designed a new purpose-built truck frame for the F-series. This new frame came with another cross-member, which distributed enough strength around the chassis. Ford also introduced telescopic double-acting shock absorbers into the truck for the first time.

Another important aspect of this history was the research put into the cab for the pickup truck, which was called the “Million-Dollar Cab.” Unlike other Ford trucks, the F-Series came with a 7-inch wider cab and extra headroom. There were also wider doors for better accessibility, and it was designed to protect the interior from dust, drafts and moisture.
There were 81,537 1952 Ford Trucks released in the model year. In general, there were 94,148 F-1s.

Variations of the Ford Truck Before 1952

Before the 1952 Ford truck, there were releases in the F-Series from 1948 to 1951. The first generation lasted during that time, and there were major design changes to the 1952 model, as there were multiple models. For the 1952 model, the builder’s plate was attached to the interior of the glove box door.

Aside from the F-1 pickup truck, there are also F-1 panel vans, F-2 flatbed trucks, F-4 trucks, C-6 COE flatbed trucks, B-6 bus chassis, F-6 stake trucks and F-7 Big Job. Here are the highlights of the design changes in the Ford truck before 1952.

  • 1948

The 1948 Ford Truck came with a wider, longer and taller cab. They were badged as F-1s on the model designation. There was only a heater but no defroster.

1948 Ford Truck Review

There were running boards curved under the cab and over the frame.

  • 1949

From 1949, the most noticeable change in the Ford truck was removing the red pinstripes that were on the silver-painted grille bars. The wheels were painted to go with the body color rather than black wheels on all models. Buyers could also get the defroster as an option.

The running boards on the Ford truck were trimmed at the frame so buyers could easily replace them. This model also came with a taillight and reflectors on both sides as standard.

  • 1950

The 1950 model also came with a few changes, which you will find on the 1952 truck. The standard three-sped shift was taken from the floor and installed in the steering column.

Details of 1950 Ford Truck

Also, the truck bed became smooth-sided without structural indents. The tailgate chain brackets were welded to the roll.

  • 1951

In 1951, the grille was redesigned with a large horizontal bar. This moved the headlights further, and you could choose between ivory or argent paint. The headlight trim was also either painted or chrome.

There was a V-8 emblem on the front fascia on top of the grille opening. The 1951 truck has gone through different revisions, as the cab was given a large rear window and new door panels. The tailgate was redesigned, and there was a new hardwood floor, all of which are options in the 1952 truck.

The Unique Backward 1952 Ford Truck

One 1952 Ford truck that you will find interesting is the backwards-mounted body truck which was designed by Davey Hamilton, a former race-car driver, and his father. The classic car was dramatically customized to look like it is going backwards while on the road. This is because they modified the car by rotating the truck’s body around.

Since there are no rules on how a truck looks, as long as it can pass the inspection, this car can be found on the road. Hamilton and his crew installed headlights, windshield wipers, taillights and more in the correct places so it was cleared to drive.

The conversion for this car took a while, and all of the body mounts had to be rearranged to match the reversal. In the truck’s bed, the car was fitted with a Chevy 350 engine, but it needed a larger radiator to cool this powerful unit down.

The car is relatively easy to drive despite being heavily modified, although you might get into the wrong door each time you try to enter it. The fuel tank was placed in the former trunk, and there were some leftover racing seats in the cabin. This is definitely the most unique 1952 Ford Truck.

Frequently Asked Question

– How Much Did the 1952 Ford Truck Cost?

The 1952 Ford truck cost about $1,700, but the cost depended on the style and trim that you chose. If you want to buy this truck now, it would cost more as it is a vintage car. If you’re lucky, you can find one in antique car markets.

Which Truck is More Reliable: The 1952 Ford Truck or the 1947 Chevy Truck?

When comparing reliability between the 1952 Ford Truck and the classic 1947 Chevy truck, it’s important to consider various factors. Both trucks were renowned for their robustness and durability, with the ’47 Chevy truck boasting a strong reputation. Ultimately, personal preferences, maintenance history, and individual circumstances would play a vital role in determining which truck proves to be more reliable.


With this guide on the 1952 Ford truck, you have all you need to know about this iconic pickup truck that pushed Ford to civilian success.

Here’s a rundown of what we covered:

  • The 1953 Ford F-1 is a two-door pickup truck that ended the first generation of the F-Series.
  • The truck dates back to the end of the Second World War, when Ford was focused on branching out to civilian trucks.
  • The truck is powered by a 215 cubic-inch 3.5 I6 inline engine with natural engine aspiration and an internal combustion engine.

If you’re interested in this rugged workhorse from the 1950s, this complete guide has offered all you need to know. You can get this truck from second-hand markets or vintage car marketplaces.

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