1957 Jeep Forward Control

In 1956 Jeep introduced its first Forward Control line of pickups. The Forward Control was offered either as a pickup or a chassis-cab unit for an after-market body. The FC-150 rode on the same chassis as the Jeep CJ-5. It had an 81-inch wheelbase. Jeep approved some specialized bodies from outside suppliers that included everything from simple flatbeds to complete tow trucks, dump trucks and fire trucks. The FC-170 models were introduced in 1957 and had a 108-inch bed with a 103" wheelbase.

Power came from a Willys' Hurricane F-head and L-head in-line four. It had 134.2 cubic inch displacement that produced 70 horsepower. The Forward Control was not as well received by the military but fire departments and rescue teams bought them to use in rough country operations. Farmers liked them because they could haul a lot of hay with minimal fuel usage. The design was grabbed up by Ford with their cab over Econoline pickups (1961-67) and Chevrolet introduced their Corvair pickup with a more conventional truck layout.

Forward Control Jeeps were exhibited to Jeep dealers in a closed-circuit telecast on November 29, 1956 and were displayed for the public at the December 1956 National Automobile Show in New York City and went on sale at dealer showrooms December 12, 1956. Their best sales year came in 1957 when 9,738 trucks were sold. After the FC-170 was introduced in 1957 sales of the FC-150 had dropped to 1,546 units in 1959 and 4,925 in 1960. Neither model resulted in the sales Jeep had anticipated and the line was discontinued in 1964 after a total nine year production of just over 30,000 units.

We didn't restore the truck but we did get it mechanically sound and recovered the seats. It was actually a very low mileage truck that had been a farm truck in Oklahoma. It could climb a nearly vertical hill and would be great for driving around off road.