1960 Fargo Pickup – $4000

“1960 Fargo pickup for sale. Its got 15,000 km on a rebuilt 313 V8; original engine. 108,000 miles on the dash. Tranny was rebuilt August 7th, 2011. Three on the tree. No power steering. Heater works wonderfully and you can roll down the windows if you need to cool down. Built to last with a super straight frame and very clean lines. Runs awesome. Bit of a bumpy ride but it is 51 yrs old so… In the last few months I’ve rebuilt the starter and the water pump, new fuel pump, clutch master and slave cylinder, brake master cylinder, rebuilt distributor ( including plugs and original mopar wires circa 1960 ), new carb, new rear wheel cylinders, and a bunch of other stuff. needs rear axle seals. No need for aircare. This truck is my daily driver and well taken care of. the truck has never been abused. Rubber is good too. Rare truck, the only one in B.C. Hard to find parts for but it comes with a set of shop manuals and a parts catalog for the truck. Also the contact number for a guy who has or been able to find me all the parts i need for it… everyone else has failed in that department. I want $4000 obo for it. Already bought paint for it so it ain’t gonna get cheaper if i get around to puttin’ it on. Give me a call if you want some more details or you want to take it for a drive. Serious inquiries only please. Mr. James 778-240-0381”

Well, we’re already staring down the barrel of what is forecast to be one miserably precipitous winter here in Vancouver, and it might be time to start thinking about trading the sports cars and cabriolets in for slightly more appropriate transportation. And what could be more appropriate than an old pickup truck like this 1960 Fargo. A brand that’s predominantly Canadian in both market scope and manufacture, the Fargo brand gave Canadian Chrysler-Plymouth dealers a viable entry into the truck market at a time when Chrysler’s Canadian structure forced dealers to divide themselves up between Chrysler-Plymouth and DeSoto-Dodge dealers. And although the new trucks could have easily been painted with the broad brush of the Dodge truck line, Chrysler Canada preferred to give non-Dodge dealers their own brand of truck, rather than muddy the waters by making Dodge trucks available at all dealers while restricting Dodge cars to DeSoto-Dodge dealers.

So, suffice it to say that Fargo trucks aren’t exactly common, and ones of this particular era are even less so. Whilst earlier and later examples can be stumbled upon with (actually) surprising frequency, this particular era marked a low point in Fargo sales due in large part to the brand’s somewhat awkward, almost afterthought-like image. However, that image certainly doesn’t diminish from the trucks’ ability, and this 1960 is a prime example of that. Looking pretty decent indeed underneath a surprisingly committed coat of primer grey, this truck boasts no shortage of recently rebuilt parts ranging from the transmission to the engine to the starter motor; all boons on a truck running on some pretty hard-to-find parts. As a daily driver that appears to have a GVWR of over 5,000 kilograms (hereby exempting it from that cash grab otherwise known as AirCare), it’s expected to be in good shape overall, and would make for a great do-it-all classic for someone that needs a workable, practical vehicle but has a better appreciation for automotive history than a modern truck requires.

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1968 Mercury Ranger – $2000

“1968 Mercury Ranger. Always passes aircare. comes with a locking truck box, aluminum window guard and box rails. CD player, and 8 track. 2″ receiver hitch. Cool looking truck, stock hood scoops.”

Well now… believe it or not, this here is something pretty special. Fleshing out the same bones that underpinned some of the most loved Ford F-series pickups in the world, the Mercury Ranger was Ford’s answer to the unique questions posed by the heavily taxed Canadian market, at least until the Automotive Free Trade agreement was ratified in 1965. Leading to the demise of a few Mercury models, that particular document would prove the final nail in the coffin for this rare Canadian-made pickup truck in 1968, making this particular example one of the last that would ever be produced. A relatively rare and little known version of the world’s most popular vehicle, this particular Ranger model is an example of the most luxurious truck Mercury offered in 1968, coming with everything from optional (and very rare) hood scoops to an eight track to two-tone paint.

But precisely which variant of Mercury Ranger this is remains unknown. Coming in the three same GVWR designations as the F-series (F-150, F-250, and F-350), this could be either an M-150, M-250, or M-350, depending. However, the F-150 being the most common version, my money’s on this being a well-spec’ed version of that particular model, ordered by someone looking for equal measures of road going presence and work capacity. After all, while we take significant styling features such as hood scoops for granted on modern trucks, it would have taken a very special buyer to opt for such a feature in 1968, when trucks were relegated to work duties and little else. As with all Ford pickups of this era, rust in and around the cab supports in of the utmost concern, as are the wheelwells, floors, and the rear seam of the cab. Mechanically, they’re almost industructable, and the 360 is a real trooper of an engine. I’ve owned a slightly newer F-series (1974) motivated by the same powerplant, and the thing absolutely refused to bow to Death, even as the odometer rolled over half a million kilometers. As for replacement parts, although the Mercury-specific trim pieces may be more difficult to locate, the majority of the important stuff is all extremely available.

1961 Willys Jeep Pickup – $1100

“1958 Willys pick-up. Good project truck. $1100, or best offer. Contact John with any questions.”

If you prowl the local classifieds, you know there are few things that can increase your heart rate like a misclassified advertisement. All the cliché optimistic hopes automatically leap to the fore; “maybe it’s someone that doesn’t know what they have,” or “maybe it’s just been passed down and they want it gone.” Then again, maybe that’s just me. In any case, it doesn’t make finding this 1958 Willys pickup while perusing the old motorcycles section on Craigslist any less exciting. Although known primarily for designing the vehicle that would bring democracy to the world (and birth the Jeep brand), the Willys Jeep Truck, as the vehicle was formally known, demonstrated that the brand’s 4×4 engineering prowess wasn’t limited to the world of diminutive military runabouts. Being a 1958 model , this truck is one of the later 6-226 models, denoting the fitment of the six-cylinder, 226-cubic inch “Super Hurricane” engine that replaced the previously used four cylinder. A full 1-ton pickup, they were renowned and respected for their durability and build quality, but were eventually replaced by the much more tractable Gladiator. Although appealing to a much wider audience with its modern amenities and styling, farmers and other blue-collar sorts refused to trade their tough-as-nails Willys Jeep Trucks in for the newer Gladiator, and as a result, solid examples of the hard-working (and worked hard) trucks are very difficult to find.

But this particular one doesn’t look too bad; especially for the price. Although not one of the most desirable vehicles Willys produced (that honour would probably be given to the early flat-fender Jeeps, specifically those with European stamps in their passports), they provide the would-be classic car buyer with a vehicle that combines uniqueness, practicality, and approachability in about equal measure. Uniqueness because they remain relatively uncommon, and still stand out at car shows amongst the throngs of ’50s Chevys and Fords, practicality because they can still be expected to fulfill many of the tasks that would befall any modern pickup truck, from towing to commuting to hauling scrap, and approachability because a strong enthusiast community drives a thriving parts market that ensures a Willys owner won’t be left wanting for nearly anything. Which might be a good thing, given this particular one is billed as a project, and looks like it’s earned more than its keep in the 53 years since it’s creation!