1951 Ford F1 Ranger Marmon-Harrington
In 1951, Ford did not produce a "carry-all" type vehicle or four-wheel drive. They looked to specialty maker Marmon Harrington for assistance in creating these rare vehicles. A truck such as this would have started life as a Ford panel delivery truck sent directly from the factory to Marmon-Harrington. The body was then modified by a company called Seibert and the drivetrain converted to 4X4 by Marmon-Harrington. It is believed that only 54 of these vehicles were built between 1949 and 1952, with only 11 known to exist and only 2 restored. These would the first vehicles ever to receive the "Ranger" designation from Ford.
Purchased by its last owner in Oct 2008, this rare first generation F-Series truck was professionally restored to original specification by J&L Fabricating in Puyallup, WA from 2009 -2010. They would have Byers Custom in Auburn, WA take care of the paint and bodywork, who would invest over 400 hours on the Ford Sheridan Blue paint alone. Every detail is exact down to Ford embossed glass.
Its exceptional restoration and incredible rarity garnered the truck a spot in the special Ford F1 display at America's Car Museum for 2015, and it would go on to take the second place trophy in the "Working Guy's" category of the Pacific Northwest Concours d'Elegance of that year.
The original company bearing the Marmon name was formed in 1851 as the Nordyke and Marmon Machine Company, specializing in the manufacture of flour mill machinery. As a top engineering house, the company entered the emerging auto industry around 1900.
For the next three decades, The Marmon Car Company produced some of the world's finest cars. The Marmon Wasp won the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911, and the Marmon Sixteen was the height of luxury in touring sedans.
The Great Depression drastically reduced the luxury car market, so the Marmon Car Company joined forces with Arthur (Colonel) Herrington, an ex-military engineer, to design all-wheel drive vehicles.
The new company, Marmon-Herrington, procured contracts for military aircraft refueling trucks, 4x4 chassis for towing light weaponry, and from the Iraqi Pipeline Company for what were the largest trucks ever built at the time.
In addition to large commercial and military vehicles, they recognized a growing market for moderately priced all-wheel drive vehicles. This demand gave birth to the Marmon-Herrington Ford.
Their first light duty vehicles came in 1937, and by 1939 there were some 56 different models of Marmon-Herrington Ford conversions. They were offered not only as pickups and station wagons, but also in chassis, stake truck, panel truck, coupe, sedan and sedan delivery form, though only with 85 hp V8 engines. At $1,805, the station wagons sold for more than twice the price of a two-wheel drive wagon. Wider tires added $175 to $230 to that figure.
No production records are known to survive for Marmon-Herrington Fords. Since they were essentially hand-built, assembly rate was necessarily slow and output small, even when demand surged during World War II. Marmon-Herrington aficionados report that only ten or a dozen of each year are known to exist.