Skip to main content

Were you ever want to keep a car or truck forever when you were a kid? That’s how Phil Dobson felt about his 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck. You don’t need to know Mr. Dobson himself to understand the history of this Ford pickup truck.

The story of Phil Dobson and his 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck

This 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck belongs to Phil Dobson
This 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck belongs to Phil Dobson, and it will stay that way forever. | YouTube via ABC Australia

If you don’t live in Australia, the name Phil Dobson might not ring any bells. It doesn’t need to for this story. According to an article from ABC Australia, Mr. Dobson first saw the 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck at a farm sale in Idaho. “It’s potato country, similar to here,” he told ABC. It was hiding under some other things for sale, half-covered knick-knacks. His wife insisted he return and buy the “old thing or forever regret it.” He joked that his time has been split between wife and truck ever since.

“It’s a Ford F1, 1948, built in California in the Ford factory on the second month that they made the Ford F series trucks. And they still make them new today.”

Phil Dobson | ABC News Austrailia

Dobson had an affinity for long-term things. He was gifted a welder for his 13th birthday, which helped him establish Dobmac Agricultural Machinery before he was 25. If his name sounds familiar, that’s probably why.

Even though the Ford F1 is more than 70 years old, it has no rust and barely any imperfections. It sports an American license plate that says USA 48. He paid less than $1,000 for the Ford pickup truck back in 2008.

Dobson shipped the 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck from Idaho to Tasmania

Prior to the Ford pickup truck, Dobson grew up in the rural northwest of Australia. He worked for his father, Claude, and the duo used steam-driven farm equipment to assist his father on the property. By the time he turned 13, a welder seemed like a practical gift. His parents gifted the welder and some protective gear, and that was that.

He spent most of the 1960s and 1970s welding bits on the farm, helping repair the pig pens and whatnot. At some point, Dobson realized building pig troughs would be a more reasonable and lucrative way to spend his time. After making enough money through welding, he purchased a plot of land at 16.

Fast forward to 21, he purchased the family farm. An accident with a tractor would leave him injured, which led the family to sell the farm. Another machinery company allowed Dobson to fix up a potato harvester for him at the time. That led to more potato harvester fixing, and eventually, Dobmac Agricultural Machinery found its niche.

One of the machines the Dobson family is famous for is the three-row Dobmac potato planter. Dobmac Agricultural Machinery has been exporting these to several countries for more than 30 years.

Phil and his truck are still Tasmania on the family farm

Dobson wanted to restore the truck but only to its former glory. He wanted the original paint to keep the authentic farm truck look. The engine is new and upgraded, so it has no issues on his farm. He added a V6 with 360 hp, more than the original 60 hp or so that the 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck came with.

“I just wanted it to be a farm truck, not a hot rod. I don’t think twice about hitting the gravel or heading across the paddocks.” This truck won’t go up for sale again anytime soon. Dobson and his wife put the truck in a family trust, noting that it will never be sold. After some health issues, Dobson handed the business over to his son Mark and Mark’s wife, Amanda. Mark is rumored to be the only other person allowed in the Ford pickup truck besides Phil himself.

The 1948 Ford F1 pickup truck, farm, and Phil himself are still in Tasmania. Dobmac Agricultural Machinery is still making potato harvesters, onion field equipment, and many other machines today.


Don’t Buy a Jeep Wrangler or Ford Maverick Right Now