Ford hit the market with its light duty 1942 pickup models as America geared up for World War II, which all but ended the commercial car industry until 1946 as automotive production shifted to military production. Ford went to work on manufacturing bombers, jeeps, tank engines and other military vehicles. But good designs last. The 1942 line was retooled and re-released to the public at the war’s end in 1946 and managed to keep a bit of its military tint since it was only initially only available in one color: green. Future colors included including black, navy blue, botsford blue, modern blue, dynamic maroon, dark slate gray, silver sand, willow green and light moonstone gray.
The 1946 half-ton pickup’s improvements from its pre-war brother included the introduction of aluminum pistons and silver alloy bearings to its 100-horsepower engine, an enlarged oil pump, new frame, suspension and a pressurized cooling system. The three-speed, V-8 was the only power plant available at the start of post-war production but a six-cylinder, 90 horsepower was later made available for a savings of $15 over the V-8 model. The truck came with other options such as rear shocks, an interior heater, passenger-side windshield wiper, passenger-side taillight, a sliding rear window and an oil bath air cleaner. The truck sold for a base price of $961 and now costs collectors about $17,500, or even up to $40,000 on the market today. It was made for about 18 months, until it was replaced by the 1948 line.