My Project

The Wartime Truck

[my 1947 Ford Pickup Truck closeup of hood & fender]

[my 1947 Ford Pickup Truck front view]

[my 1947 Ford Pickup Truck rear view]


The truck pictured above rolled off Ford of Canada's Windsor, Ontario assembly line in 1947. This model was first built in 1942, however due to the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, production quickly came to a halt. All efforts were put towards winning the war. Popular belief has it that no civilian vehicles were built during the war, but in fact Ford (and other manufacturers) were permitted to build trucks.

To get a truck, the buyer had to prove a need. So all production went to produce heavy trucks, and school busses.

It is impossible to find a civilian 1943 Ford truck of any sort as none were made. Limited production did not resume until 1944. Production picked up in 1945 and with the war's end in sight, Ford started gearing up to get back to civilian production. Ford was the first to resume postwar production and presented the first postwar automobile to President Truman in 1945.

The 1944 through 1947 trucks were simply the 1942 model with very minor production differences. There was no time for an annual update as demand outstripped supply.

The 1942 - '47 Ford trucks are very plain. There is virtually no chrome trim on them due to wartime shortages of that material. What would normally be chrome on these trucks was painted "Tacoma Cream." There is no provision for creature comfort in these units. These trucks are all work, no play. The heater was dealer installed, the ashtray looks like an afterthought although the lighter is properly installed in the dash. There is no place to mount a radio in the dash so it has to be hung underneath, and there are no seals around the doors to keep the elements out.

My project truck is a 1947 Express "Tonner." It was one of 1,797 built by The Ford Motor Company of Canada in 1947 at their Windsor, Ontario facility and was sold to a farmer near Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. This farmer did like some extras and must have ordered them as the truck does have options, such as dual windshield wipers (standard trucks only had one), sliding rear glass for extra ventilation, and sun visors. The visors match the interior trim precisely which leads me to believe they were a Canadian option. They were not available from Ford in the USA. The engine was a 1946 leftover unit also built at Windsor.

I have not yet had the pleasure of actually driving my truck as it doesn't run. The engine is currently on the stand slowly being rebuilt.

Here's a few shots of the engine before and during rebuild (not yet done)

Engine in truck before rebuild

During rebuild:

Left side of engine Timing gearsClutch installed

A commonly asked question answered

I'm regularly asked where the engine number appears. Here it is. Note that it is just above the clutch and is cast into the housing. This one reads C69A which means it is a Canadian engine, Model year 1946, Engine type 9A.

Engine id location


Truck Specifications:

This truck is mostly complete, but I am in need for a couple of rear fenders. If you know of a source of these parts either NOS (New Old Stock) or rust free used, I'd be pleased to hear from you. You can reach me by e-mail at: