The 1955 Ford F100 was a work truck that came in 4 flavors. The standard 6.5 foot pickup truck, a stake and post, the cab and chassis, and a 8 foot panel delivery box. The truck was classified as a 1/2 ton pickup, but its carry capacity , when ordered with the heavy duty springs, was closer to 1 ton, with a maximum vehicle weight of 5000 lbs.
The F-100 could be ordered in 8 colors, with a roof top “showshoe white” two tone roof available as an option. The cab body was beautifully rounded curves with flowing fenders, and an accent white V bar grille, or chrome accent grille. The box on the pick up was a nicely tied to the cab by running boards between the front fenders and the rear fender flares.
The step side out board fenders and wheels of the box gave more space in the cargo area without tubs in the way. The cargo box measured 78 inches long by 49 inches wide by 20.3 inches high, giving 45 cubic feet of space. Heavy gauge steel walls of the box made for tough sides, and a the box floor was seasoned wood with steel skid strips to protect the floor. A low 24 inch load height made for easy cargo loading.
The F-100 panel boasted having an 8 foot cargo box, 53.2 inches high, and 48.2 inches between the rear wheel wells. The rear double doors allowed easy access and were 50.8″ wide by 45.4 inches high. No problem to slip a sheet of plywood into this van.
Power was provided by Ford’s “Cost Clipper Six” 223 cid 6 cylinder engine making 118HP@3800 rpm and 195 ft-lbs@1200-2400 rpm torque. A good, solid well tested engine that moved the relatively light truck (2800lbs) easily. An optional V-8 overhead valve 239 cid engine known as the “Power King V-8”. It made 132HP@4200 rpm and torque was rated at 215ft-lbs@1800-2200 rpm. With the V-8 you also got nice V-8 emblems announcing the fact to all on the front grille. Front and rear leaf springs made up the suspension for all models.
The base transmission was a 3 speed “Syncro-Silent” column shift manual type. A heavy duty version of the same 3 speed optional as well as a 3 speed with overdrive manual. A 4 speed manual with floor shift was also available or the “Ford-o-matic” 3 speed automatic transmission could be chosen. The standard clutch was 10″ diameter, but an heavy duty 11″ clutch could be ordered.
High rear end gears could be chosen for the hypoid-semi-floating axle. Standard gears were 3.92:1, and optional gears were 4.27:1. 11″x2″ front brakes and 11″x1.75″ rear brakes manual brakes were standard. Vacuum booster assist power brakes were available. Both the pickups and panel trucks sat on a 110 inch wheel base.
Interiors were two tone bench seat with vinyl and cloth and the bench could seat three in the pickup, and a single driver seat for the panel van but a second seat was optional. Standard gauges were water temperature, oil pressure, fuel,and charge indicator. Options were plentiful to customize your F-100. Rear bumper for the pickup, spare tire carrier side mounted, directional turn signals, heater and defroster, heavy duty radiator, stop lamp, tinted glass, tow hooks, windshield washer, radio, and heavy duty springs to name a few.
The Ford F-100 was a popular pickup truck choice, selling 124,842 units. The panel truck sold 11,198 units. Survivors today are still being found in “barn” finds and these trucks are popular hot rodding trucks. Keeping them original is possible due to many re-manufactured parts out there to replace rusted panels.
If you do keep it original, and do a full restoration, you can expect to get between $28,000 to a high of $51,700 as seen by recent auction sites for these trucks. Customized versions with items such as high performance V-8, disc brake conversion, 12 volt conversion, etc fetch $50,000 or even higher depending on the extent of the customizing.
At the lower end, you can find good condition trucks for $4,000 to $10,000 or so that are good starting points for full restoration. Panel trucks are rare, and mildly customized panel trucks can sell for as much as $36,000.
As mentioned above, plenty of parts are available for these old trucks, so it can be fun to own and operate one of Fords best built trucks of the 1950’s. Go out and get truckin’. Happy hunting
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