Considered less stylish than their predecessors, the rugged 1942-1947 Ford half-ton pickups nonetheless offered good performance.
Light-duty Ford trucks in 1942 drifted from the car-derived stying that made the 1940-1941 blue-oval trucks among the most highly regarded in history. For 1942, the front clip was redesigned along flatter, more contemporary lines. The prow-shaped grille was replaced by a distinctive waterfall type.
Headlamps were completely faired in and mounted inboard of fender-end parking lights, while a heavy hood molding and side hood louvers were adopted. Door handles and headlight bezels started off chromed, but became painted toward the end of the abbreviated civilian model run, which ended in February 1942.
The resulting appearance was more truck-like, but the neat lines of the 1940-1941 Ford half-ton pickups was gone. Still, the workaday styling of the 1942-1947 Ford half-ton pickups was consistent with their rugged, ladder-type chassis with four cross-members, which provided greater strength and more body mounts.
Henry Ford's archaic transverse-spring suspension also was eliminated, in favor of semi-elliptic leaf springs at each corner, working against hydraulic, double-acting shock absorbers. A tubular propeller shaft and open Hotchkiss Drive also were new.
The 1942 Ford half-ton pickup engine lineup consisted of two V-8s, a six, and a four. Options included rear shocks, a heater, right-hand wiper, right-side taillamp, sliding rear window, duck-covered seats, and an oil bath air cleaner.
This basic body was revived after World War II, but changes were few through 1947. Self-centering brakes became standard in 1946 Ford half-ton models, which came only with a 239-cid V-8 or the six.
Stake and pickup bodies were built in 1945, but from 1946 a sedan delivery, and half- and one-ton panel trucks were added. Wheels were black on 1942-1947 Ford half-ton pickup models, but only the prewar trucks offered pinstriping.