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Monday, March 28, 2016

This 1951 Ford F1 Ranger Marmon-Herrington is Classic Adventuremobile Perfection

Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.




What you’re looking at is not normal. It is not just a vintage Ford “carry-all” style truck, it is a grand piece of automotive history. This is a 1951 Ford F1 Ranger Marmon-Herrington, and it is art on wheels.
At a time when Ford didn’t offer four-wheel drive, the market for such vehicles was growing. So they enlisted the masterful folks at Marmon-Herrington for drivetrain conversions.

 Between 1949 and 1952, roughly 54 of these F1 Ranger 4x4s were built, only eleven are known to currently exist, and of those eleven, just two have been restored. This truck is every bit as rare as it is beautiful, and you can bet the selling price will reflect that.

This particular example has been painstakingly restored, with over 400 hours invested in getting the Ford Sheridan Blue paint just right. The amount of love and effort that went into restoring this tank of a truck is evident from the first glance, but when you take a look inside it’s clear the parties involved went above and beyond on this job.
J&L Fabricating in Puyallup, Washington, handled getting the vehicle back to 100% original condition. Byers Custom in Auburn, Washington, took care of the paint, and bodywork.

 Together these two companies completed an incredible restoration, one that would take home second place in the “Working Guy’s” category at the Pacific Northwest Concours d’Elegance in 2015.

 If this truck was only good enough for second, I’d sure like to see what took home first place. Actually, it was this 1931 AA Express Truck. Cool, but it doesn’t come close to the classiness of this F1 Ranger.

While pouring over the photos of this truck I couldn’t help but think what an absolute blast it would be to take it on adventures around the Western United States.

 I know collectors would have a heart attack if it was subjected to rambling down dusty desert roads, or climbing salt ridden mountain passes, but that’s the vibe this truck puts out. It was built to haul people and their luggage around on great adventures. This was a boundary pushing vehicle for the time, equally well suited for taking loggers up to giant stands of pine trees, as it was for shuttling a family from the city out to the wilderness for a weekend getaway.

Unfortunately, it will probably end up in a climate controlled storage unit of a deep pocketed individual who will trot it out for various concours, and not a whole lot else. I know it’s one of two restored examples in existence, but does that mean it should be damned to a stagnant life? It might be art, but it’s interactive art, and should be enjoyed as the artists originally intended. End rant.