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Military Vehicle Spotlight: 1942 Ford 21C Pickup

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photo by John Norris

photo by John Norris

Ford Model 21C Pickup, 1/2-ton 4x2

  • Weight: 3,290 lbs
  • Engine: Ford 21A V-8
  • Displacement: 221 cu. in.
  • Horsepower: 90 @ 3,800 rpm
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Fuel Capacity: 19 gallons
  • Maximum speed: 65 mph
  • Maximum range: 190 miles


Through the years, the military has relied on civilian vehicles to supplement its tactical fleet. The modifications made to civilian models for military usage usually involved minor cosmetic changes.

Introduced as a new truck to the civilian population in 1941, the Ford 4x2 pickups were rapidly absorbed into Army and Navy inventories. Equipped with either the flat-head six or V-8 engine, the trucks were a favorite around established military posts because they provided the necessary hauling without the expense of a purpose-built truck. The pickup wouldn’t be available for civilian purchase again until after 1945.

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