Antique Ford Truck Prices: Insane or In the Right Ballpark?

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Antique Ford Truck Pre-Restore

What’s the most you would pay for a project truck?

It is not unusual to watch a collector’s auction on television and see an antique Ford truck bring big money, but those are all clean trucks that have usually been restored. However, the rise in prices of restored trucks has driven up the price people are asking for rust buckets, leading one member to question whether the seller smoked crack before placing the advertisements in this Ford Truck Enthusiasts thread.

Early 50s Ford Trucks for Sale

This discussion began when “bobj49f2” shared the four classified ads shown below of 1950 through 1952 Ford trucks for sale. As you can see in the pictures, these trucks are “restoration ready”, but the prices range from $2,000 to $18,000 – all of which seems outrageous to the OP.

While perusing Craiglist posts I used Google and found numerous ads for ’48-51 Fords. I only looked at the first two pages that came up before I started wondering if the rampant drug problem is worse than most suspect. Just from looking at a few of the ads I can’t believe this guys are on something. Here are four sample I found with their prices and short descriptions. Most of the trucks I found I wouldn’t offer much more than scrap price for, the few I found that were drivable but needed a lot of work to get into nice condition were only a few thousand dollar less than some of the really nice looking finished trucks. There are some really nice trucks listed for the $25K to $50K range. $50K is a lot for an old truck, IMO, no matter how nice it is but the $25~ range seems pretty reasonable if you consider how much it costs to restore a truck.

I know these are asking prices, probably no where near what they’d get for them but to list them for these prices seems nuts to me.

The first person to reply was “FortyNiner”, who had an interesting take on the situation:

It isn’t drugs, Bob, these sellers are just believers in the ‘Greater Fool’ theory of valuation. Basically, while they may very well be nuts, the sellers only need one party even more disconnected from reality to make the deal.

Thus, while I’m a fool, a greater fool exists to reward me.

We’ve seen the evidence at most any swap meet of any size. Stuff that seemingly wasn’t worth hauling to the sale finds a new owner for a price that cause many to simply shake their collective heads. Greater fools all.

Comparative Pricing

Forum member “49f3dls” posted next, explaining that he sold his F3 for just $5,500 in much better shape than the vehicles in the first post:

And I sold my F3 for $5500. All body work was done, 5.0 EFI with a 5 speed trans, Jag front end, F250 rear end, Jeep bucket seats, 4 wheel disk brakes and black walnut bed boards. It needed to be painted. It had 4 new tires on American Racing Mags. I was happy with that price now maybe I’m thinking I was nuts!

He also included this picture of his truck.

Sold Ford Truck

3twinridges” chimed in, pointing out auction pricing:

People are paying big bucks for these trucks now. A 51 sold on Mecum the other day for $46k. It didn’t even have the correct air cleaner.
Sone of those trucks you posted looked pretty good. No one has gotten to them to cut them up and molest them yet.

Mr Ed” also shared his own truck. He didn’t mention pricing, but he had some encouraging input for those on the hunt for a antique Ford truck on a budget:

Ah, the wonders of the televised auctions. Everybody thinks they have a #1 trailer queen when in reality they have a solid #4 that isn’t worth looking at. Just keep your eyes open and one will come along. I waited for close to a year until I scored Henry. 351W with C4, immaculate interior and all steel with original metal from the factory. Hang in there.


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