Click for Coverage
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler
Subscribe to the Free

1958 Jeep FC-170 Shines at 2016 KMC Summer Jeep Bash

Posted in Features on November 1, 2016 Comment (0)
Share this

The Forward Control (FC) Jeep was born in a post-war America and was designed as a workhorse vehicle. The regular pick-up bed was standard, though a large number of bed options were available, including stake beds, tow rigs, and dump beds. The FC-150 was roughly based on the same year CJ-5 when it came out in 1956. The following year, the FC-170 was introduced with a longer chassis and bed.

The FC-170 sports a 108-inch-long bed that is great for all types of use. Bader doesn’t know who made the rear bumper, but FC purists are likely cringing at the sight of it.
Some of the best parts of vintage American vehicles are the badges. Both side badges on this FC-170 are original and in great shape.

FCs are fairly out of place on the roads today. The only things like them on most roads are from Mitsubishi and other commercial light-duty truck manufacturers. However, at the 2016 KMC Summer Jeep Bash, Chris Bader’s ’58 FC-170 stood out like a shining star among the nearly countless JKs all around.

Being a cabover design, entry takes a little getting used to. Driving while you are sitting above the steering tires is also a feeling that seems unnatural at first.
Keeping the all-original theme, Bader installed a fresh set of Firestone military-style non-directional-tread tires.

Bader had a thing for FCs and spent quite a while scouring Craigslist and other sites to find the right one. Finally, he happened up the one you see here. It had not been running since 1990, all the wiring was ripped out in the midst of a 12V wiring conversion and there were no vacuum lines anywhere to be seen. The price was right and Bader was now the proud owner of an original piece of Americana.

The original closed-knuckle Dana 44 with a 5.38 ring-and-pinion gear set provides front pulling power.
Under the backend is the original Dana 53. The factory fuel tank was rusted out and replaced with a tank from a Willys pickup.

The first step was to put some fresh gasoline in and get it running. Vacuum lines were run and wiring completed. Bader planned on leaving the vehicle stock and using it as the workhorse it was intended to be. He replaced all the fluids, fixed up various safety bits in the steering and brakes, and now uses it on his property in Tehachapi, California, to move rocks, dirt, plants and anything else for which he needs some good solid grunt. Bader expects to get many more years of solid service out of the old Jeep.

An original Koenig Iron Works PTO unit handles winching duties. The grille was cut out sometime before Bader purchased the vehicle, presumably for better airflow to the radiator.

Hard Facts

Vehicle: ’58 Jeep FC-170
Engine: 226ci Super Hurricane Inline 6
Transmission: Borg-Warner T-90 3-speed manual
Transfer Case: Model 18
Axles: (Front) Dana 44 with 5.38 ring and pinion; (Rear) Dana 53 with 5.38 ring and pinion
Suspension: Factory leaf springs front and rear
Wheels: Factory Steel
Tires: Firestone Military NDT 7.50x16 8-Ply
Built For: Work Duty


Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results