Pick of the Day: A rolling billboard with 1930s style from Ford

The 1939 panel truck combines collector car fun with business opportunity

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Ford added high style to its 1939 workhorse panel truck

Panel trucks have been around for over a century, and they are relatives in many ways to the sport utility vehicles that have become so abundant on modern roadways. 

The idea behind the panel was to provide secure cargo-carrying capacity with a fully enclosed body.  Ford was an early pioneer in the movement, and one such panel truck even at 81 years old is still putting in work.

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The Pick of the Day is a black 1939 Ford panel truck advertised by a private seller in Peoria, Illinois, on ClassicCars.com

While some panel trucks served as ambulances or even hearses, this Ford has spent the past six years as a road-going advertisement for a construction company.  It’s a nicely kept example that went through a complete and professional restoration, according to the ad, and the workmanship in the body shows as “laser straight.” The truck would be ideal for pulling a trailer carrying a collector car while doubling as a business ad.


The asking price is $24,900, which would provide the next owner with the opportunity to customize the truck with a new company logo.

Some of the key items that were addressed as part of the restoration, the seller says,  as well as a few things that set this ’39 apart from others, include a rare dual-wheel configuration in back.  Double delivery doors give full and convenient access to items stored in the cargo area, and a period-correct flathead V8 gives this truck the motivation it needs to move cargo in style.  A 4-speed manual gearbox puts the power – all 85 horses of it – to the road. 

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This truck has a people-hauling capacity of just two on leatherette front seats, but the utility of the large cargo area offers abundant options for other cargo.  Plus, it’s a truck that won’t blend in with most delivery vans, and it would make a fun conversation piece with vendors or other business partners.

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

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Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

3 COMMENTS

    • But sir, this is one of the coolest old trucks ever.
      And anyone can change the lettering; what I wonder is how the Ellis Island immigration officials missed this, and allowed a family of new Americans to carry this name.
      I used to live in Amsterdam- ask me about the district!- and they’re there for sure.
      Still, this thing is flat wicked.

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