Ford truck brochures for 1940 proclaimed: “A touch of elegance — properly applied to your delivery units — can do worlds toward building the prestige of your business.”
A little over a year ago, I have taken delivery on my 1/18 scale model shown above. I will admit that I made a mistake in 2021 on the price when I said it was $15.99. I’m guessing that was a 1/24 scale model because the actual price of the 1/18 scale Motormax version was, and still is, $39.99, plus tax, delivery and dealer prep. But considering the level of accuracy and detail, that’s still a bargain in a field where many of that scale are priced at $100 or more.
As for the real trucks, the 1940 Fords were available in half, three-quarter and 1 ton chassis. This was pre-F Series and the 1940 Ford pickup was dubbed just that, a “Ford pickup.” All models (the real ones) were priced below $1,000. The popular F-series would not come along until eight model years later.
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The 1940 model Ford light-duty trucks were styled after the 1939 Ford passenger cars, having the same front grille and fenders, plus the headlights with their teardrop bezels, mounted into the fender, unlike the previous years for which the headlights were mounted on pedestals atop the front fenders.
Ford ad men liked to tout the brand’s use of V-8 engines, available in horsepower ratings of 60 “for low gasoline consumption” or 85 “for unusual performance combined with economy.” Other pickup brands would not offer V-8 power until several model years later — Dodge for 1954 and Chevrolet for 1955.
Considered by many to be the most beautiful pickup ever created, the newly styled 1940 models proved to be very popular back in their day. Sales were on the rise due in no small part to the available flathead V-8 engine, which had proved itself in Ford automobiles since 1932. Few were equipped with the red “artillery” wheels, chrome caps and beauty rings like mine has.
While I’ll most likely never own the real thing, this one will not give me the problems that come along with the cars and trucks of today with their complex mechanical and electronic features. Of course, it won’t take me to the neighborhood Schnucks to pick up groceries either!
I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Look for The Fin Man and company at one of the upcoming winter field trips we will be attending. These include the Gateway Mid-America Toy Show and live auction at the Sheraton Chalet Hotel in Westport Plaza, Friday, Feb. 3, through Sunday, Feb. 5. Then on Saturday, Feb. 28, we will be at the It’s A Gas petroleum collectibles show at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon, Missouri, which starts at 8 a.m. and runs until about noon. For more information, contact Mike and Nancy Russell at 573.864.1336, or email them via firstname.lastname@example.org. You won’t be sorry you took this nostalgic drive down Route 66 to Lebanon.