Do You Remember the Jeep FC?

Jeep FC
(Above photo by Bill Vance)

Some of you may recognize the name Bill Vance as a premiere pickup truck historian. For those of you that like to wander the tight aisles of a good bookstore, you'll find many of his selections in the Automotive section. We came across this piece recently and thought we'd share. We've got a short except below on the late 50s, early 60 Forward Control Jeep pickup truck and a small photo gallery we found below. You can read more on the Jeep FC by clicking here. Hope you enjoy.

"The cab-over cabin design had been used in big trucks since the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it was applied to pickups. The rear-engined Volkswagen did pioneering work with this driver position in its snub-nosed Transporter line.

Willys Motors Inc., of Toledo, Ohio, manufacturer of the famous Jeep, led the North American industry to the flat-nosed pickup (it could also be fitted with a stake truck platform). Its 1957 FC (forward control) models beat the compact Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Corvair 95 and Dodge A-100 pickups to market by several years.

The goal with the FC was to keep the rugged versatility of the small four-wheel drive Jeep CJ while providing more cargo space than the CJ’s minuscule box. Willys also built conventional long-nose pickups but felt there was a market for a more compact model with all of the traditional Jeep qualities."--Bill Vance 



Jeep FC 5

Jeep FC rear


We've come a long way

Its spiritual successor the Unimog, with its 60,000lb towing capacity and off road ability.

Very true Robert Ryan reading this all I could think was its an American uni

"Do You Remember the Jeep FC?"

I do. 35 years ago I used to plow the driveway at the garage/ dealership where I worked with an FC. That and sometimes short local hops were its duty ..... not sure I'd want to take offcross country in one, then or now. It was a pretty capable little bugger and forward visibility was great which really helped plowing. My only real beef was not with the FC but with the plow setup. Changing the plow angle required you to get out, pull a pin and physically move the plow. Worse was the "hydraulic" lift which wasn't run off the motor- you actually had a lever in the cab you had to pump up and down to raise the plow and open a valve to lower. Combined with a manual transmission, it sometimes got interesting. Wouldn't mind having an FC today as a second vehicle.

Thanks for the memories, Mark.

I had always thought I wanted one of these until I drove one. Like rustbucket mentioned would not want to drive it cross country. I drive by one lthe time, the guy just uses it during the winter. The long bed drives better then the short bed for obvious reasons.

cute truck, looks very toy like compared to now-a-days modern trucks. just seems like it would tip forward if u slam on the brakes. like the bumpers, the days when a bumper is as strong as it looks.

I don't recall ever seeing one. Cool little truck.

There was a time when I would have been happy with a little truck like this. Until 1988 I drove a variety of pickup trucks that had a 6-cylinder engine and a manual shifter on the steering column.

In 1988 I bought my very first new V8, automatic Silverado pickup truck and I kept it along with my newer trucks, until this year.

This year I retired my 2006 F150 and that old Silverado and broke down, bought myself a 2011 Tundra 5.7 DC LB and I have to say I no longer miss the days of yore.

I can't imagine ever going back to the pickup trucks of the past, and that includes this little Jeepster pickup. What was utilitarian and quaint back then is downright repulsive today.

For some perspective, I bought my wife a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit V6 4X4 last week to replace her 2008 Highlander and Jeep really has come a long way, baby. It's hard to believe that the FC and the JGC share the same heritage.

Yes I do remember. Those are some neat old trucks. We have come a long way and I would not want to drive this across country but I do appreciate these being restored as anyone who restores an old truck or car. I wish I would have kept my '63 IH 1000 series, that was a sweet truck.

Thanks Mark for maintaining this tradition that Mike Levine did on covering older trucks of interest. Thanks for listening.

Bet the journelists of today wouldnt complain about a plastic interior,as it is all metal..but they would all complain about no "soft touch" interior panels,people have gotten soft these days !! Men are closer and closer to being all Nancies !!! This was from when men were men and used trucks for hard work !! And didnt care if it had a soft interior,as they need it today because without a soft interior it would harm their pedicure !!!!

I love my new 2012 Dodge Ram Big Horn,but I bought it for its tough look,HEMI V-8 and didnt buy it and couldnt care if it has soft interior panels or soft touch leather,people talk so weird today !! F.Y.I I chose the column shift and cloth interior,no soft touch leather ,plus my 2004 Ram's interior was perfect for myself,couldnt figure out why these people are obsessed with soft touch interiors !!!!Heck,my service loaner Sebring I had when my 04 was smashed up I thought had a great interior,people are very,very strange today,soft touch interiors,feminine Lord no wonder nobody like Americans anymore !!!

My friend picked up an 1960 FC170 from a first aid squad about 20 years ago. Cost about $300. I tuned it up for him, rebuild the carb and such. We tooled around with it for a few months. I could adjust the timeing while driving around in the passenger seat. It was a nice truck. Tippy with nothing in the back. You needed 4wd to back up a gravel driveway cause there was no weight on the back tires. It had a big Warn winch that ran direct off a PTO on the engine. No electric or hydraulics in between. I tried to get a part for the winch. I the serial nmber on the winch was something like 16.

He got tired of it and sold it off when I moved away. Dumb move, cause it was in decent shape. Some rust, but not a basket case. It was well maintained and pretty complete.

Goofy looking but makes for a nice conversation piece. Gotta love the classic original Willys-Overland & A.M.C. jeeps/Jeeps.

@Real Man!!

Ditto we need manual transmissions ! Even my wife prefers her vehicles as 5 spds.

Looks nose heavy with no weight in the bed...

It needs a front bumper design to prevent the nose from digging in like the Toyota's have down in Antaractica or else this thing with an empty bed will flip on its nose off-road...

This was a work truck Oxi, not a rock crawler. Please try again

Handy back in the day. Spooky to drive. They had a 1 ton dually version too, the FC-170.

SOMEONE please do a FULL TEST of the new 2012 POWER WAGON! I keep reading all these reviews of the Jeep and RAPTOR ------- Do a Power Wagon test for peat sake! I'm looking at buying a truck that can WORK! Not a mall crawler with no Pay-Load Capacity or a mini 4X4 that can tow --- well --- NOTHING!


OK, Rant over.......


Real man! :

Lol, I agree with ya (but ya gotta be careful discriminating against the average full size truck buyer these days, tehy are a touchy group to say the least). Men are a strange group now. Pedicures, fancy cell phones, Posh clothing, Ed hardy/Tapout clothing, .... using their "infotainment" systems in their "trucks".

I will never understand it myself. The infatuation with more gears in automatic trans, smooth ride 4x4's, soft touch materials, Sync systems, Navigations, etc. And to top it off, people will pay top COIN for these materials! I personally don't see any "work" trucks anymore, just a bunch of "lifestyle" vehicles with the owners posing as workhorses.

How many trucks have you seen with "truck nutz" or the "Monster drink" M on the back window? Posers! Nothing but trendy posers caring what everyone thinks of them, THAT is more than likely the reason they care so much for how fancy their truck is inside, whether they admit it or not.

@Red 4 X 4 it is not limited to NA. Like all "diseases" these days it has become a pandemic.

My dad had a 1957 FC150 that I learned to drive. I remember once when my sister was driving down a hill and going to fast for the gear she was in, so my dad janked on the emergency brake and the rear end came up off the ground several feet. Luckly we didn't go over on the nose before the rear end came back down. We layed it over on its side once when we were pulling a trailer that wasn't loaded properly and the pickup started fishtailing and finally layed over on the right side. I couple of guys helped us lift it up and we drove off.

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