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Ford C-600 Series Truck Reference Pics & Info

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I bet the fuel mileage sucks. Neat idea, though. Didn;t Jim Etter make something like this on an old Mack B61 chassis?

Built on a dump bed? Makes it easier to get the kids out of bed in the morning!

Edited by Jim B
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  • 1 year later...

How can you tell when your product is a sucess? How about when it is on the market for nearly three and a half decades, and the last one built bears a more-than-passing resemblance to the first one built? Such is the story of Ford's first true 'cab over' truck/tractor line, the C-series. It was kind of like the Mustang of its market- from the moment it debuted for 1957, right up until the end in 1990, it was the most popular vehicle in its class, and many people wondered why Ford killed it, even though it was over three decades old. Mack and FWD also used the C-series cab in the late '50's and early '60's, and Ford's H-series heavy cabover tractor used a modified C-series cab during its brief run from 1961 to 1966.

AMT just reissued the C-600 Stake, and it's a great kit. Even box stock it can be a very nice replica. There are really only two issues I have with it,and they are-

1. The box says C-600, but the door tags seem to read C-800, though you do have to zoom right in to notice!

2. The screens covered by a segmented bezel which fed air to the carb, located just behind the door handles on either side of the cab, are AWOL on the kit- this area is featureless on the kit cab. I'm guessing AMT did it to ease molding- break out the PE screen and Plastruct here.

Aside from that, you're pretty well armed to build just about any C-cab you like using the kit as a base. Sadly, the 'bonus' tractor framerails are no longer part of the deal, but all the other tractor specific parts are, so you can still build a semi tractor if you're up for a little relocating and cutting.

Box stock, the kit builds into a '71-'74 model. But, you can backdate it or update it pretty easily, and still keep it box stock! Though the box art shows the side nameplate located above the character line on the door, it is actually molded BELOW it on the kit cab, consistent with a '71-up model. By simply foil-copying the nameplate and relocating it above the character line, you have a '68-'70 model. Want a '75-'80 model? Sand of the "Gear and Lightning Bolt" medallion from between the headlamps. This would technicallly be correct for up to 1984, but you'd need to replace the "Super Duty" gas V8 for anything newer than a 1980 model.

For a brief period (1958-60), the C-cab wore a 'four eyed' headlamp system, shown here on a 1:1 '59 model...


The custom headlamp bezels from an AMT '50 Ford convertible are good stand ins for these, though for just about any '67-older C-cab, you'll need to make up your own side emblems, as they were about the only thing that changed regularly early on. Also notice the grille mounted parking lamps- used until 1965. For 1966, these were replaced by the free-standing units on the cowl, and the 'plugs' with the four-pointed stars came into being- the grille style depicted in the AMT kit. So to do a '65 or older unit, these would need to be replaced with clear lenses (actually they were kind of grayish lenses, with an amber bulb). The Super Duty gas V8s were available during this time, as were heavy duty variants of the FE and Y-block engine. Note the mangled grille- that's what happens to the C-series grille when you try to tow it by wrapping a chain around the bumper. If you see a C-series with a grille like this, that's what happened.

The '57-66 side emblems would have to be scratchbuilt, though some years used a modified F-series unit- the part found in an AMT '63 F-100 kit could be modified for some early '60's C-cabs if you're up for the challenge.

The side badge used from 1967 onward looked like this- this one is from an '85 C- 8000-


This is the badge you'll see on the AMT kit. Here also, on the same truck, is how the missing air intake grille looks-


For a 1985-1990 model, you'd need to remove the Gear and Lightning Bolt medallion and the FORD letters, and add a Blue Oval where the medallion used to be.


Design of windsheild wipers seemed to vary over the last decade or so- some rested at the bottom of the glass, while some rested next to the windshield divider post. There were also a few changes to the interior, mainly the steering wheel, gauge bezel, and some of the switchgear.


A few other things to consider-

The kit's bumper/grille and spoke wheels are plated. I've only ever seen one C-cab with a plated bumper/grille- it was a 1990 model with a stainless milk tanker body, and also had polished Budd wheels. It's the only non-fire truck C-cab I've seen with a chrome grille and bumper. These parts are more commonly seen chromed on fire engines, so I'm not sure if it was applied by Ford or if the fire apparatus manufacturer did it. And I've NEVER seen one with plated spoke wheels, and I've been soaking up as much info and as many photos as I can get since I was six or seven years old- I think I'd have seen at least one by now, but so far, nadda.

The AMT C-cab kit is every bit as versatile as the real deal, now that it's back out, I plan on doing as many as I can. That's what's great about a kit like this, you can build dozens of them and no two will be exactly the same.

Edited by Chuck Most
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Cast wheels were never chromed. To hard and expensive to do. The chrome bumper and grill were available as an option, and thru the dealers.

The cabs were actually stamped by Budd for Ford and others. Some of the stampings were used by Thibault in Canada to built their AWIT line of fire trucks.

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There was a very nice, very extensive photo etch set made for the AMT C series kits by Harald Weber of Germany. You can see pics in my Fotki albums in the "in progress" folder.


Edited by Ben
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Thanks for that info, Chuck. I too, have been a big fan of the Ford C cab since I was tiny little guy.(Yes I was once)I have never built the model but i did just start on one not to long ago. I got the stake truck and I put both frames together to make it a long wheel base for a race car hauler. I one day want to build a tractor. Your info will come in handy so thanks.

Back in 2000 I got a real treat. This place I worked for, a local trucking company, had this mechanic that had one of these trucks personally. He made it into his mobile shop. One day both him and I were at the main office and I needed to get back to the other side of town to the shop to pick up my truck.(A little Toyota pick up. I was the office runner.LOL) So I got to ride, for the first time , in a Ford C cab. I was all giddy and excited about the ride. The Mechanic looked at me like I was nuts. I told him that I have loved these trucks since I was about 5 and always wanted a ride in one. So now at 34, I was finally getting too. It was very cool.

I have had rides in just about all of the most popular of muscle cars and hot rods. Cop Car ride along. Been around Charlotte Motor Speedway in a Cup Car. Been around the road course at Phoenix International Raceway in one of the 69 Trans Am AMC Javelins pacing the entire 1995 SCCA Trans Am field. I would have to put my ride across the city of Phoenix in that Ford C cab right up there with those rides. Yea I was 5 years old that day.

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Dave- no wonder I've never seen any, then! B) The chrome bumper and grille do seem exceedingly rare on these old girls, though, but I guess I never gave the cast wheels much thought.

Ben- COUNT ON ME checking out those PE goodies!

Matt- it was my grandfathers '59 that warped me as a kid, later on I actually DROVE one of his other C-Cabs (a '60, I think).

Brian- Wheelbases varied over the years- I'll try to get back with some numbers later.

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I'm another C cab geek, I got my commercial license behind the wheel of a 1970 Ford C / L.N. Curtis fire engine so have a soft spot for them too. B)

The AMT kits are a bit of a hodgepodge (boxed as a C600 or C900, actually marked as a C800, and provided with the motor used in the C900), but it has a ton of potential. The C cab was the most successful US commercial truck ever built, 33 years of production with only minor changes.

Besides FWD and Mack, the truck was also sold badged as a Mercury truck in Canada until 1968. FWD used a licensed cab from Ford, but the Mack N only used the body panels, the cab interior was all Mack and is quite different from the interior of Ford cabs, in particular it has a large hump in the middle of the cab floor. As Dave mentioned Thibauldt also based one of their fire apparatus cabs on the C cab. Walter also used the cab for some of their trucks.

It was available with the following wheelbases 99, 111, 135, 153, 175 and 206". The tandem axle trucks were available with a 135, 153 or 161" wheelbase.

There is a huge variety of engine options for the truck. The Super Duty motor in the kit was only used on the C900+ (at one point the truck was available from C500 to C1100). The 370 and 429 was used from 1979-90.

A better choice for C-600-C800 would be the Ford FE series (300, 330, 360 and 390) which was used from 1964 through the late 70s (beefed up for truck use as the FT series in 300, 330, 361, and 391 cid). Most of these are available in kits with slight modification (air cleaner and such).

The C600 came standard with a 240 or 300 cid I-6 until 1979.

Diesels became available in 1963, but they were odd engines, a couple of small Ford of UK diesels and a short lived Cummins. In 1968 Caterpiller started supplying Ford with Diesel engines, the 3208 in the Ford Louisville kit will work in the C cab (the 3208 wasn't used until 1975, but is apparently very similar in appearance to the diesels used 1968-74). An 8.2 liter Detroit Diesel was available for the lighter trucks from 1981-87.

The pre 1964 trucks used Y block V8s from 272-332 cid, again these are similar to the engines Ford used in their passenger cars. The C500-600 came standard with a 223 or 262 cid I-6.

Edited by Aaronw
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The pre 1964 trucks used Y block V8s from 272-332 cid, again these are similar to the engines Ford used in their passenger cars. The C500-600 came standard with a 223 or 262 cid I-6.

The blue '59 in the photo has a Y-block, and I plan on getting some decent engine detail shots when I get back out to it. I also have (had?) access to a Super Duty V8 (like in the kit) and an FE, both pulled from C-cabs, I'll just have to see if the guy still has them.

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The blue '59 in the photo has a Y-block, and I plan on getting some decent engine detail shots when I get back out to it. I also have (had?) access to a Super Duty V8 (like in the kit) and an FE, both pulled from C-cabs, I'll just have to see if the guy still has them.

I'd be interested in seeing the engine shots. I've just been planing on using the Superduty air cleaner and the truck related accessories (air compressor etc) on the smaller engines to give them a truck look, but I don't know that it would be anything close to accurate. I've got some outside shots of a few junk yard C cabs one from '59 and another from the mid 60s. The owner let me wander around and take some photos, but I didn't want to push my luck asking to climb around and open stuff up, so focused on stuff like the badging, dual headlights etc.

Would people be interested in decals for the other than 1968-90 badging? I know PE would probably be preferred by most but the badging is only about 1/4" deep in 1-1 which would only be about 0.01" thick in 1/25 so it seems like decals could work and would certainly be easier to make.

The C cab was so popular with fire apparatus builders that Icongrafix has a book called Ford fire engines, all of their other titles focus on a particular builder (American LaFrance, Seagrave etc), not the chassis.

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I am wanting to build a Cat 3208T powered C8000 and I'm having some photo etch made for some other projects. Harald Weber, the guy that made all the other etch for the C series kits will be doing the art work so all he will need to do is change the numbers in that area. Is there anything else that is different, badge wise on the C8000?

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I know the diesels are supposed to be a 0000 series instead of a 000 series but I've seen lots of diesel C-cabs that had the 000 series badges, so changing the kit is very optional. I don't know for sure but I have a feeling that was something Ford did for a limited period when diesels were not so common.

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Now that's the kind of stuff guys come here for, Great info.

I have original sales brochures for the 1980/81? year. Here's an old photo I have.

If you guys want I'll dig them out and see if I can scan them to get full size ad load them up to my Fotki.

I also have brochures for the bus chassis, the F-series and the L-700-9000?



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I would like to see a GMC conversion for this truck. There was a local furniture mfg (Kroehler Mfg) that used them for local delivery back when my grandpa worked there.

I would occasionally drive one(illegally:rolleyes: ) while working nights after school for a company that made foam cushions for them! They left a truck and an old 30 foot single axle round nose drop floor trailer for us to make emergency deliveries to them!

That was my start in trucking!:angry:

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I've driven a few of these. One of my fondest memories was sitting in the driver's seat at a traffic light and straightening out one of my legs in front of me. I then leaned forward to look down through the windshield and see if I could see my leg sticking out in front of the truck. :D:lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I like these things too.Never knew why till a few years ago,when I was 3 I went on my first trip with my dad from Toronto to Ottawa in one.I don't remember,but subconsciously it must be the reason I love these.

I found that Edsel headlights are a good match for a 4 light set-up,I'm using them on my slow going mack n conversion.

A tandem is a CT800,900

900's had the larger wipers like on a mack cruiseliner or gmc general standard,these were optional on the smaller series

On the one I built I found louisville wheels swap right on for those wanting alcoa wheels

have a couple more in stock,one to back-date,and one for an FWD.

Here's a page from a 1971 ford truck owners manual showing the dash


I have a some mack n detal pic also




My local hobby shop has a couple of the tractors on sale,thinking about getting at least one of them for a late model conversion

Arron I'd be interested in those decals.how about the early super duty or jet plane shaped ones for the doors?

Edited by mistermodel
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