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Old 12-09-2020, 01:10 PM   #1
60Buick
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Default 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

I wanted to share something you don't see eveyday. It is my 52 F8 Tanker. It took me 25 years to find this old girl. My first truck was a 52 F1, I also love tanker trucks. A 52 Tanker was something I have been after but didn't think existed anymore. There were not many built and even fewer left. Tankers were used until the truck wore out, they scrap the truck and put the tank and pumps on a new chassis. I have seen 50 year old tanks on modern trucks. This truck is very unusual to survive as built with the original tank.

This truck is unrestored with 19,000 miles on it. Originally it was a red Esso Aviation Fuel truck. It was ordered new by an airport in West Virginia and was used to fuel Piedmont Airlines DC3's. The airport retired it in the early 1970's, a mining company purchased it and repainted it in their company colors. It was used to fuel the Huey helicopters the mining company had as well as the owners personal helicopter. When he sold the company he retained the truck and put it in his barn to fuel his personal aircraft. When he passed away it was sold to a blue berry farm to fuel tractors. It was filled and never put in service as shortly after the acquisition the new owner passed away.

The truck is retired now and to the delight of my neighbors sits in my driveway asserting it's dominance over all the other vehicles in my neighborhood. She will be indoors in a month or so , just as soon as our new shop building is finished. The original 317 Cargo King Lincoln motor is still running like new as is the original unsyncronized 5 speed Clark transmission. The top speed is 40 mph, if you ain't moving you ain't turning and on a typical day I get 3-5 mpg. F8's came with either an OD transmission or 2 speed rear end, or both. Being ordered for an airport, it got neither. But it did get the heavy duty front axle and the ability to carry 11,000lbs of fuel. I use it for local errands and car shows. If I can make an excuse to drive it, I will.

I consider myself lucky to own it as it had a ton of interest from other buyers. They killed the ad after half a day because it was non stop messages. The owners wife said I was the only one that appreciated it as is and didn't want to make a camper, motorcycle hauler, rollback or rat rod it. So my offer was the one considered. I honestly think I stole this truck but offered everything I had short of my underwear. Her husband would have wanted it taken care of and not modified, so I got it. I have had it almost a year now and it is the jewel of my collection, I plan to take care of it as long as I am above ground and able.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Some more pictures. The car is a 1960 Plymouth Belvedere I restored 5 years ago. I still have it.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Having owned a couple of large trucks myself (a '48 Seagrave pumper and a '73 Ford F600 pumper), I can really appreciate your truck. Both of mine were "low milers" as well (the Seagrave had 2300 road miles and the Ford 11,000), and that makes trucks like this special. Alas, storage problems and old age reared their ugly heads and I no longer have them.

I envy you, my friend.

Edit : After thinking about it, I believe the '73 was a F900; anybody know? It had the 534 ci gas engine and an Allison transmission.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

It's seldom you find aircraft fuel trucks that have been well cared for over time. A lot of the airports I've worked around over the years have had some older equipment but were seldom taken care of well. Most looked like they were ready for the scrap heap.

That old set up looks like it predates the single point fueling systems that a lot of them have today. The OP would likely never need that feature anyway.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 12-10-2020 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Beautiful truck!!!..... do you need a HAZMAT license to drive it with it saying “Flamable” on the side?.... Mark
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

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Very nice, thank you for sharing.

My dad made a living driving a '48 F8 dump truck, in 1950.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:31 PM   #7
Scotty's 52 F3
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Love it! Glad you saved it.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Is that an alternate spelling for "flammable"?
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubman View Post
Having owned a couple of large trucks myself (a '48 Seagrave pumper and a '73 Ford F600 pumper), I can really appreciate your truck. Both of mine were "low milers" as well (the Seagrave had 2300 road miles and the Ford 11,000), and that makes trucks like this special. Alas, storage problems and old age reared their ugly heads and I no longer have them.

I envy you, my friend.

Thank you, those sound like nice trucks! I work in trucking so I like big trucks. I have a few now but mostly stick to cars. The 52 is my favorite. It is is the only model I was looking for, the others fell in my lap.
51 GMC army airport tanker.
WW2 CCKW 353 closed cab.
58 GMC 450 "bull frog" tow truck
53 Dodge army ambulance
64 Dodge army ambulance
68 Ford 350 tow truck
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
I'ts seldom you find aircraft fuel trucks that have been well cared for over time. A lot of the airports I've worked around over the years have had some older equipment but were seldom taken care of well. Most looked like they were ready for the scrap heap.
You are correct, I acquired a 51 GMC Tanker a few months back. It has really good bones is how I would describe it but it was neglectedfrom day 1. It is very restorable and complete. I found it on a farm not far from where the 52 came from. Its an old army tanker so I plan to do what is called a "motor pool restoration".
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leon bee View Post
Is that an alternate spelling for "flammable"?
Not many people notice that it is misspelled. The mining company painted the truck inhouse back in the 70's. The gentleman that did the painting was "a little bitty guy from South of the border". Flamable is Flammable in Spanish. He painted what looked correct to him. I plan to leave it as is.

As far as a hazmat goes as long as its empty and registered as an antique, I can drive it as is. The second it is loaded it falls under current DOT rules. When it was last filled it was registered as a farm vehicle and a special permit was issued so they could drive it on public roads. The permit was still in the glove box when I got it.
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Beautiful truck and the Plymouth looks great also. You sure have a mix of truck models.
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Old 12-09-2020, 03:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Thats one great truck, I can see why you enjoy it so much.
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Old 12-09-2020, 06:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

You got a good one. I am sure that your neighbors are thrilled. I image you attract some attention when you show up at the grocery store.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

That is a great truck and a great story. I have a 49 F-7 parts truck. Eventually I'm going to pull the 337 and associated engine compartment parts out of the truck. I have no plans on the transmission though and it is the overdrive version. The Ford truck parts catalogs show the transmissions are the same 49 to 52. I'll give you the big, heavy overdrive 5 speed if you help pull it and the engine out (not planning to do so soon, but keep it in mind). Message me if interested.
Attached is a picture of the transmission being offered.
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Old 12-10-2020, 07:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

great truck
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:24 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Just curious, does the 317 OHV engine have 'Lincoln' script on the valve covers.
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Old 12-10-2020, 01:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

That's really neat. Congrats.
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Old 12-10-2020, 01:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Could be a great movie prop. Make it pay for its' upkeep!
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Old 12-10-2020, 01:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1952 Ford F8 Tank Wagon

Thanks for the HAZMAT info. I’m always curious about the details, I’ve driven a truck for a living for 35-40 yrs. Hard to believe about everything is automatic trans now.... Mark
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