Lot 405

Hershey 2022

1936 Ford Model 51 1-1/2-Ton Tow Truck


$17,600 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
BB 18-3154279
US Title
  • Offered from the Estate of Bob Jones
  • An honest and appealing classic work truck
  • Benefits from Ford Flathead V-8 power and four-speed manual transmission; dual rear axle
  • Wears an older restoration in red over a black interior
  • Equipped with a vintage Manley wrecking crane

The Flathead V-8 did much to invigorate Ford’s car lineup following its introduction in 1932, and it was only natural that the 65-horsepower, 221-cubic-inch engine would find its way under the hood of the Blue Oval’s work trucks as well. The Model 51 trucks introduced for 1935 benefitted not only from eight-cylinder power, but also fresh looks; with their artfully sculpted fenders and rounded cabs, they instantly made the outgoing BB trucks feel out-of-date. Even commercial vehicles, it seemed, were learning what it meant to be stylish.

Naturally, the Model 51 was designed with versatility and adaptability in mind. Flatbeds, stake beds, and dumper mechanisms were frequently installed on the rugged truck’s rear, and Model 51s were further used to tote oil and pressed into beverage-delivery service. As seen here, they were also kitted out as wreckers in order to meet the needs of the ever-growing motoring public; as civilian vehicles grew larger and heavier, the improvised tow trucks of the prior generation—which often used the chassis of outdated luxury cars as a starting point—were destined to give way to more purpose-built vehicles such as this.

Finished in red with black wheels over a back interior, this Ford wears a serviceable older restoration and looks rather purposeful with a green-painted wrecking crane in the bed. Built by the aptly named Manley Manufacturing, hand-cranked cranes of this style were widely used prior to the advent of affordable electric or hydraulic setups, and this example is right at home onboard this pre-WWII Ford. Further details include a chromed grille, fog lamps, a chrome exterior-mounted horn, and fender-mounted flashers.

There is something honest, approachable, and fun about a vintage work truck, and they seem to fit in easily with any sort of collection. This attention-grabbing Ford would be an ideal candidate for parades or a creative means of advertising one’s business—and should any of your other classics cars act up on a trip around town, it never hurts to have a trusty a tow truck ready and waiting!