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These 3 light-duty ’50s trucks broke ground on four-wheel drive

Today’s drivers seem to think they “need” four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, even if they live in a town where it snows once every five years and in which a gravel driveway qualifies as tough terrain. As for pickups, many ostensibly utilitarian examples on the market today pack as much leather and luxury as a Mercedes-Benz. That wasn’t always the case, of course. For most of their history, pickups featured barebones interiors; their owners needed them to do work, not to get to work. Even four-wheel drive was a relatively rare feature, and not until the end of the 1950s did each of the Big Three build its own light-duty 4x4.

 

By simply doing their jobs, most old-school trucks led a hard life in-period, which led to a low survival rate. This helps enhance vintage trucks' desirability, and 4x4 examples in particular are typically worth significantly more than their rear-drive counterparts. With the current popularity of all-wheel drive in new vehicles, it makes sense that early 4x4s are coming into fashion, and these late-'50s pickups are just three examples.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/valuation/these-3-light-duty-50s-trucks-broke-ground-on-four-wheel-dri...

Replies (9)

Replies (9)

What about Jeeps, and international pickup trucks?

New Driver

I have a 1957 International s120 with 4wd.  It would have been nice to see some attention paid to more than the big 3.  

New Driver

My understanding has always been that 4x4 was not common in many places until it became regionally popular in the 70s (mountainy/snowy states). Widely popular by the end of the 80s for trucks and the emerging SUV craze.

 

This article would benefit from some production numbers for context. Pretty sure Napcos are quite rare having been mostly sold to logging companies and such that worked them hard.

Detailer

Studebaker NAPCO's were in the mix, they started offering factory NAPCO's in 1958, In 1959/1960 they sold 65 NAPCO short bed, 259 CI V-8's to the Navy, real nice trucks.

New Driver

You indicated 'three' (3) trucks - my count says at least four (4) manufacturers are mentioned...

New Driver

and where are the Mercury trucks

Intermediate Driver

It'll be interesting to see where car auction prices go after the Coronavirus is history.

 

Intermediate Driver

That dodge as an export model is a Fargo. That body design runs from 1958 to 1966 with a longer wheel based after 1959-All cab parts ( door, fenders, hood, glass etc) from a D-100 to a D-900 fit and this might also include the chassis. 

New Driver

thank for your writting
Antique is now fashionable compared to the current market

New Driver