Right on the nose: 1961 Jeep ‘forward control’ pickup truck

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Jeep
The Jeep pickup is said to be restored to original spec

The Jeep “forward-control” pickup truck is a strange beast, an industrial-looking workhorse with enough distinctive style to catch every eye that sees it passing, either around town or on the most-rugged trail you can find.

The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Willys Jeep FC150 said to be restored to original and in great condition, although not so immaculate that an adventurous driver would hesitate to test its capability at boulder-hopping or other backwoods pursuits.

Jeep
The pickup bed and fenders were hand-fabricated by the restorers

With its cabin perched right at its nose, the short-wheelbase four-wheeler has its front axle directly beneath the seats, which should provide plenty of thrills when traversing treacherous terrain.  It also adds immeasurably to the Jeep’s appeal.

“This handsome late-production FC150 pickup features a high-quality restoration of a fairly solid truck … and it’s 100% ready to enjoy today,” according to the Macedonia, Ohio, dealer advertising the Jeep on ClassicCars.com. “The entire bed was re-created from scratch using a few of the original support braces to make it look right, and it has never done a day of work since completion.

Jeep
The Jeep’s unusual profile makes it an attention getter

“The olive-green finish is certainly appropriate on the cheerful little truck, although most were bright red, and we’re tempted to stick a big white star on its doors to complete the look.”

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Actually, the whole package with the olive paint looks much like a Forest Service truck.  Simple and straightforward, the Jeep and its spartan interior has a ruggedly determined attitude, as a ranger’s truck would.

“Inside, it’s definitely bare-bones,” the seller says. “Twin bucket seats are perched atop the fender wells and wrapped in textured black vinyl that helps keep you cool on warm days. The door panels were upholstered to match, which is a nice touch, and this truck is fully optioned: heater and turn signals.”

Jeep
The interior is as minimalist as possible

The 4-cylinder F-head engine nestles between the seats enclosed by a “dog house” structure with a door for engine access.  An electric fan has been added for greater engine cooling, and some hidden vents have been made to draw engine heat out of the interior, the seller says.

The truck is underpinned by Jeep’s classic 4-wheel-drive system with solid axles and low-range gearing for when the going gets more-than tough. Just don’t be in too much of a hurry when you’re on the highway.

Jeep
The engine resides in a ‘dog house’ between the seats

“The T90 3-speed manual transmission should feel familiar to Jeep fans, and it’s connected to a Spicer 18 transfer case feeding power to the Spicer 25 front axle and Dana 44 rear axle,” the dealer notes. “Gears are 5.38s, so it wasn’t built for speed, but it will cruise happily at 45-50 mph, and in low range it can climb a wall at little more than idle speed.”

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The asking price for this oddly appealing Jeep is $29,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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