1951 Ford Vanette
1951 Ford Vanette "Senior". This is the smallest of the 4 models offered from 48-56. The senior is on a 122" wheelbase and is based on a 3/4 ton Ford F4 chassis and driveline. Single rear wheel. The rims are 16" 8 lug and they are NOT split rims even tho the bead on the outside appears split. The motor is a straight six flathead with an updraft intake and carb. Mr. Rouster Jr. and I pulled the truck out of the barn on the apple farm where it had always been parked. Mr. Rouster Sr. bought it new in 1951. They drove it in for the last time in early 83. The motor was not stuck, and with a new 6volt battery it cranked. It did have a few stuck valves, so I pulled the head and intake and exhaust. I freed up the valves, blasted and painted all the pieces and put the motor back together. The exhaust manifold was cracked in three spots so I had that fixed at the same time. I sent the carb out to be rebuilt. Put new points, condenser, cap rotor and plugs in and it fired right up and idled with 30 pounds oil pressure. Later I added a simple exhaust that dumps in front of the rear axle so I could try to drive it without annoying the neighbors. Just in the last few days I have deleted the heater hoses, and put on new upper and lower radiator hoses. I flushed out the radiator with a hose and filled with new coolant and it seems to stay cool. Temp gauge works and it idled in front of my shop for 30 minutes without getting too warm. In order to test drive down the road I got the front brakes ONLY working. They are exactly like early Ford juice brakes but huge. I replaced the master cylinder, both front wheel cylinders and brake hoses. I deleted the rear lines from the master and have fluid going to both fronts only. It bled nicely and has a great firm pedal. I adjusted both of them and it stops OK. The gas tank in this truck was FULL of sludge/rust/varnish. I dropped the tank and it is laying out behind my shop. It's nasty and probably not much more than a pattern. The original straps are still in tact under the truck. I have a 4gallon tractor tank and a 6 volt electric fuel pump feeding the truck to drive it as it is. You can see the little tank behind the drivers seat. I have driven the truck around the neighborhood a few times, it has good power, revs up correctly, but does have an annoying miss when under a load at higher RPM. First gear is pretty low, and whines like an old truck (sounds cool) at the top end of first the motor misses. When the motor starts missing I shift to 2nd and it goes fine. Does not like a certain rpm range. I have only had it in 3rd once but it works. Tires are VERY NOT ROUND. starts to get kinda bumpy in 3rd gear! All the tires were flat when I got the truck and they all pumped up and have been holding air, but they are very cracked and old. ALL glass in the truck is in perfect shape. No chips or cracks. The sliding drivers and passenger doors both work and latch. The outside locks and handles have been deleted with a flat patch of stainless covering them. Mr. Rouster said people used to open it up when it was parked at the fair for the week and steal his apple cider. So they did that as security. The body of the truck has quite a few "fixes" by Mr. Rouster senior. He was a very thrifty guy. He cut off most of the lower portion of the body, about 2" or so and remade it out of galvanized sheet metal. It is rolled, braked and lapped and riveted and then sealed, And he did a damn good job. His son said it was starting to rust so his dad did that to keep it looking OK for the fair. The driver side has been backed into something. Around the wheel opening in the rear it is crushed and slightly dented in. I can try to get more detail pics of that if needed. That is the worst part of the body. Both steps into the truck are rotted where the back of the front tires kicked rain and mud onto them. I have pics of that. The graphics are COOL. I was told by his son that Mr.Rouster senior was the artist that did the big apple, and his buddy did the painted sign lettering. The truck has been resprayed a few times to keep it looking presentable for the fair, once re-sprayed they added the yellow lettering back over the fresh black, but the stripe down the side and the big apple were masked off making them the original paintings to the truck. That's also the reason why they are the most flakey and falling off. The truck is still VERY original, still has old cloth wiring, it is 6 volt positive ground. Headlights both work. No tail or brake light at the moment. I have been trying to tune the carb a little better to remove the "miss" but I have not had too much time to mess with it lately. PLEASE know that the truck is a running project, NOT A DRIVER yet. It is being sold as-is, where-is. I can assist with loading once paid in full. I reserved the right to end the bidding early as I do have the truck for sale locally. I will add that I hauled this on a standard flat car hauler trailer and it BARELY squeezed between the trailer fenders, and my trailer was pretty wide. The track width is normal, but the Vanette body is wider. I am available to answer any questions, just email me.