Wes Rinella

1929 Fargo Packet 1/2 ton Pick Up

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Hello,  I have a 1929 Fargo truck that I have owned for over 55 years.  I started restoring it when I was 12 years old.  I recently refinished the truck and am getting it ready to, sadly sell.  Over the years I have only put 600 miles on it and just finished refreshing the electrical, brakes and misc.  In general working out the details for a new owner.  Before I sell it I would like to get a few opinions as to how it came to be a pick up with a wooden cab and bed side panel style.  It looks like it started life as a panel truck but the tailgate is unique.  It looks like a El Camino of its time.   I have been told that Fargo built several custom trucks at the factory.  It has always been built as seen in the photos.  I replaced all the rotten wood in the 60's just as it was.  All workmanship on the original wood and body appeared to be of the highest quality  as if done by the manufacture.   It was purchased by a Chinese contractor for use in China Town in San Francisco.  He wanted a pick up with hydraulic brakes and a larger 6 cyl engine for the hills of San Francisco.  It was built for James Cheng   It has a Desoto K 6 engine and drive train.  Plymouth/Dodge fenders and hood.  Nothing has been changed by me during the restoration other than the seat, which is not original, just comfortable!  If anyone can help me with any information I would greatly appreciate it.  I should have done this a long time ago but never got around to it.  I've never seen another one like it, mostly panel trucks in 1/2 ton.  

 

Thanks Wes Rinella

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Hello, new to the forum I loaded two photos and got maxed out.  I can send more or post more if I can get around the limit?  The truck is for sale, I just haven't pulled the trigger.  I've owned it so long it's like a body part.  I've bought, restored and sold lots of cars, but having owned this one since I was 12......well it's like a part of me.  Sadly I think it's time to get rid of a few things (projects) to free up some time and space.  I would give it to my son but he has his hands full restoring a 190SL my father gave him a few years back.  I will take some smaller photos and see if I can load them.  The truck has a noisy throwout bearing   I'm trying to find one before pulling the tranny.  If anyone knows where to get one, let me know.  I'm going to try to locate the tranny number, i think it is a T2C having a 6 cyl Desoto K engine but need to check.  Like I said, I'm just now doing the research.   Wes

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If you want, you can send the photos to me and I will post them here. I don't seem to have a "limit" on photos.

keiser 31 @ charter .net (no spaces). Be sure to put "Fargo" in the subject title.

John

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Here are a few more photos of the Fargo as she sits.  Sorry for the foggy lens on a few photos.  Original car is a Stromberg U-1, which I have but they can be leakers, so I use a Carter XIP-FIT with adjustable main jet which works perfect.   

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I promised myself that I would get the truck back together, work out all the bugs to make it reliable and safe before starting the assembly of another old car I had painted but is still not back together after two years.  With the truck done I want to drive it a little before I sell it.  I was hoping to get more input from members before listing it. It has been quite.  I was thinking about E Bay.  I sold a old MG TD with excellent results, but I notice not as many are cars listed there.  Maybe the fees are too high.  I guess I'll list it with Hemmings Motor News but may try Craigslist for local action.  I live in a small town near San Jose, CA.  and we have two car shows this summer.  Maybe I'll wait til then and see if it moves anybody.   I'm not sure what it's worth.  It's not perfect but nice enough.  I've seen stake beds listed for $45K  I don't think any Fargo is worth that much.  Most people don't know they exist except as Canadian Dodges, which this is not.  I've read that less than 900 were made with this being the only one I've seen that's built into a pick up.  Even the Dodge truck of the same year looks completely different.  It has a typical truck bed on it.   It has a Desoto K engine and drive train. All comments welcome!

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There is '31 Dodge UF-10 on craigslist Conn. now been there months price now 16.5k . Nice unit unrestored . I think you right about yours being converted from panel truck . Most '29 s Dodge had standard shape boxes of metal over wood . By 31 they where using OEM components from Willis for box and still had Plymouth 4 and Desoto 6 engines with Plymouth , Desoto chassis and. Delco electrics . My avatar is my '31 .

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Great looking Fargo   very intersted  if selling   I have a 1937 fargo  it would be a good mate for it

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It is for sale.  I'm just cleaning up a few things that bug me.  I don't want to sell it until everything is right mechanically.  I sent out the carb for rebuilding. sould be back soon.  Like most people, I have a lot of money and time in it.  Feel free to make me a offer. I will be listing it in  a few weeks.  I was planing on starting at $38.   Mechanically everything has been rebuilt, lots of new wood.  A California car all it's life car, never had any rust to repair. I am the second owner.  Just tuned it up, new brake hoses, master and wheel cylinders.  Cooling system hoses, thermostat  oil changed and all point grease job.  Trans fluid and rear end fluid changed.  New tubes nice tires.  Very driveable.   It is not perfect, just very nice.  Professionally painted 4 years ago has a few touch ups here and there.  The light and throttle levers on the steering column are broken off but useable.  Gas gauge needs repair.  Pot metal and I could never find replacements.  Could easily be recast now that things like lost wax, 3D printing etc is available.  

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Hi Wes,

 

very nice truck and piece of Chrysler history. Thanks for sharing with us.

 

About a week or so ago I was in contact with another Dodge Brother/Friend via email. He had come across a Dodge Brothers Merchant Express version with this same custom bed in a Craigslist ad. The only difference was the other one had two shortened metal back doors (like a panel truck) so the driver could exit the cab into the bed directly for unloading (newspapers, fruit … ?), it did not look homemade.  We did not save any photos unfortunately and the ad has since vanished but the truck was listed in a Hartford CT Craigslist section if I recall correctly. The bed rails were wood and the tailgate looked exact to what is shown. At the time, I looked through all the factory literature and sales information that I have but had found no match. Very unique design to say the least. 

 

As my friend said to me recently when I shared this thread with him showing your truck : "what are the chances that two trucks have this same exact bed design" ? 

I believe yours to be an original custom design. 

 

If we find the link or photos of it again I'll post them here for comparison. 

 

Worth every penny of your asking price in my view. Very, very rare bird.

Regards

Dave

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)

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That is a pretty rare truck, but it isn't a high demand item as very few people know the early Fargo trucks exist. The only thing they share with the later Fargo trucks is the name as these were designed based on car parts available prior to the acquisition of Dodge Brothers by Chrysler.

 

Neat thing to see. Thanks for sharing pictures. I think you'll have to just guess on value as you won't find many if any others that have sold in that condition recently. The best bet to me would be eBay as you'll reach a larger audience. That's important with an oddball brand like this.

 

Good luck!

Eric

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Found photos of the other truck I was referring to earlier with the same bed design. 

 

It's advertised as a 1920's 1/2 ton so owner has bill of sale on it/no title. It's rough but you get the idea. More than likely a 1931-32 F-10 since no visor and it has a 6 cyl in it. Radiator emblem and oval hole for cap is another indicator of 1931-32

 

Edit: 
I've added a factory photo showing the rear interior of a 1/2 ton Fargo Packet showing the horizontal ribbed lines in the bed of the truck and the three hinge doors. Learned that there was evidently also an option for a fold down back bench seat too btw. 

 

Now I'm curious Wes, do you recall this horizontal ribbed design in the metal sides ( under the wood ) when you restored it ? If so, it would be encouraging to see old photos if you have them. 

 

 

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Fargo ad 2 (2).jpg

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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They would have opened out into the bed so the driver/passenger can duck down and into the bed for quick delivery. 

 

Talking to the owner just now, he said he'll send more pics. The owner stating that he's in body work and is insisting this is not a factory or custom job but more of a homemade type job. Back doors do NOT go all the way to the floor so the driver or passenger would have to climb over and duck at the same time (barbed wire fence memories) over the bottom half in order to get into the bed for frequent deliveries. 

 

Sorry Wes, not trying to hijack, just trying to get a better understanding and yours is the only one that matches...

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)

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Wow, just arrived on this forum, I am currently working on a 1929 Fargo Express pickup and have been wondering if anyone had ever another one!!!!  Mine has the more common pickup box and tailgate, wood construction with metal covering.  It"s been a bugger finding parts, but the drive train is done and the motor rebuilt and running.  Still looking for a U1 carb that doesn't leak like crazy.  

Will post some Pix when I get a chance.

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1 hour ago, slipperysteve29 said:

Wow, just arrived on this forum, I am currently working on a 1929 Fargo Express pickup and have been wondering if anyone had ever another one!!!!  Mine has the more common pickup box and tailgate, wood construction with metal covering.  It"s been a bugger finding parts, but the drive train is done and the motor rebuilt and running.  Still looking for a U1 carb that doesn't leak like crazy.  

Will post some Pix when I get a chance.

Welcome to the forum. You may want to start a post of your own so you don't disappear in this one. We would love to see some photos of your truck.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Recently saw a picture of a 28 Chev roadster pickup from Canada that had a fleetside bed and a smooth finished tailgate.  The owner said there was not many made in this pattern.  There were a lot of body builders at that time.  Hercules pickups had smooth sided metal over wood pickup beds. 

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On 2/13/2019 at 4:16 PM, slipperysteve29 said:

Wow, just arrived on this forum, I am currently working on a 1929 Fargo Express pickup and have been wondering if anyone had ever another one!!!!  Mine has the more common pickup box and tailgate, wood construction with metal covering.  It"s been a bugger finding parts, but the drive train is done and the motor rebuilt and running.  Still looking for a U1 carb that doesn't leak like crazy.  

Will post some Pix when I get a chance.

 

Would love to see it 

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1 hour ago, 30DodgePanel said:

 

Would love to see it 

Hasn't been back since April 5. Too bad.

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Hi, I'm the owner's son and can verify that this Fargo is for sale, and is in its best shape as of today. Running solid, and everything functions perfectly. As of today, my Dad would like offers to start at $40k. He has been busy lately settling into a retired lifestyle...I'll ask him to give us an update on how the truck is doing.

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