Ford F-3 Parcel Delivery truck
Ford called its 1949 F-3 ¾ ton mail delivery truck chassis a 'Parcel Delivery' vehicle, and parcel delivery is just what the Post Office Department purchased these trucks to do. The truck body and chassis were combined by Boyertown Auto Body Works, Inc., of Boyertown, Pennsylvania. The truck carries serial number BSP50264 and 1949 Pennsylvania license plate number 7U596, expiration date March 31, 1950.
By 1949, the post-World War II boom pushed mail volumes to unprecedented heights. A large part of the increase was in parcels, as growing families looked to mail order catalogs for more and more of their household goods. The Post Office Department needed bigger and better trucks to haul all that mail. On January 16, 1948, Ford introduced a new line of trucks, numbered from one to eight according to their capacity. The Ford F-1 vehicle was a half-ton pickup and the Ford F-8 a heavy duty three ton truck. These vehicles could be matched with up to 115 body-chassis combinations, as the company worked to meet the needs of the great post-war highway expansion era.
The Ford F series trucks were the first with completely redesigned cabs since 1938. The new Ford trucks had smoother body contours in comparison to the company’s pre-World War II vehicles. The chassis cab was enlarged and a one-piece windshield and vent windows were installed. Ford referred to the trucks’ many design advances when it nicknamed the F-series trucks 'Bonus Built' vehicles. The truck’s cab was nicknamed the 'million dollar cab', reflecting the company’s design costs and concern for more comfortable seating. The new cab was 65” wide and included a seat made from individually-padded coil springs, padded with cotton batting.
The front end design included headlamps and grille mounted on single surfaces separate from the fenders. The F-3 Parcel Delivery chassis had a 104” wheelbase, measuring 82” from door pillars to rear axle. The Parcel Delivery was nominally rated a ¾-ton Heavy Duty truck. It had a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 7,800 pounds. The truck was built with a standard column-shift T87D 3-speed transmission and powered by a six-cylinder engine.
Wagner, James K. Ford Trucks Since 1905. Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International, 1994.