The 1951 Ford pickup was a pivotal member of Ford's "Bonus Built" line of postwar trucks. The line was announced early in 1948 and ran through 1952. it was the broadest roster in Ford truck history, spanning vehicles from half-ton pickups to three-ton commercial haulers.
Featured were a "Million Dollar Cab" (it cost $1 million to design and tool). Ford said it had "Living-Room" comfort, and it was much higher and wider than before, and better fitted. Styling was classier and cleaner, and the Ford six and V-8 engines were available.
Trucks had two wheelbases: 114 inches for the 1/2-ton F-1 series, 122 inches for the 3/4-ton F-2. By the time the 1951 Ford pickup appeared, the gearshift had moved from the floor to the steering column.
The 1951 Ford pickup also introduced a new front end. Gone was a smiling horizontal-bar grille and inboard headlamps, replaced by a single-bar grille with three massive "teeth." Along with a wraparound front bumper, this gave Ford trucks a more aggressive frontal appearance.
Fenders of the 1951 Ford pickup were revised to house this new grillework, and headlamps moved farther outboard. Being somewhat taller, those fenders allowed the hood to adopt a flatter, more modern appearance.
Ford accentuated this smoother look with a low air scoop in the lower front of the hood, replacing the high "nostrils" of the 1948-1950 design.
New "Power Pilot" vacuum advance adjusted spark and fuel mixture according to load weight, and the V-8 engine earned a number of mechanical modifications. Out back, the 1951 Ford pickup featured a "grain-tight" tailgate, meaning that it fit so snugly a load of grain wouldn't leak on the way home.
Indoors, the dashboard of the 1951 Ford pickup was restyled and two trim levels were offered: standard "Five Star" and "Five Star Extra." The latter had a foam padded seat, insulated headlining, twin sun visors, door locks, dome light, twin horns, and thicker sound deadeners. The Five Star Extra also featured chrome exterior accents and grille finish.
Colors for the1951 Ford pickup were Vermilion, Raven Black, Meadow Green, Silvertone Gray, Sheridan Blue, Alpine Blue, and Sea Island Green.
Collectible Pluses of 1951 Ford Pickup
- Rugged good looks
- Sprightly performance with V-8
- Reasonably good supply of parts
Collectible Minuses of 1951 Ford Pickup
- Minimal investment value
- Some replacement body parts are hard to find