Jeep FC-150 Rock Hauler
This year (2016) is all about heritage for the Jeep brand. It’s a banner celebration of all makes and models, including some of the more unique models. In fact, at Easter Jeep Safari (EJS), Jeep debuted an impressive Forward Control (FC-150) farm-ready throwback mounted on a TJ frame with the classic 4.0L underneath. There’s a lot of style packed in this concept. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s worth spending a few more minutes on the Four Wheeler Network.
We recently uncovered another noteworthy FC that is well known among the FC community, but it’s a bit of a hidden gem. “Marvin’s Jeep,” as it is fondly called among friends, is an FC with a story to tell. Marvin Lehman took this little truck home “brand new” to his wife, Bunny, in 1960. The two would adventure together down service roads just outside of the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. They would also have picnics, hunt, and explore trails together. Eventually this maneuverable workhorse was purposed to gather boulders for Marvin and Bunny’s cabin near Oak Creek Canyon. Together Marvin, Bunny, and the vehicle raised a family, built a home, and grew old together.
That romantic image of wandering the woods together in a work truck made just big enough for two is just part of what deems this particularly a cut above the numerous FCs on the road today. Completely unrestored, but rather preserved, Marvin’s FC-150 is essentially a national treasure. The original factory equipment is in rare form, and better yet, most of the features, including the motor, are fully functional. The pictures here do little to show the pristine form and period items outfitted throughout this FC-150, but see if you can spot the original gun rack among more of Marvin’s retro items.
Good, Bad, and What It’s For
Maximum cargo space, exceptional maneuverability and visibility, and more payload per pound of vehicle, it was marketed as “more bang for your buck.” Although sometimes a bit “tippy” because of all the weight forward of the front axle, the FC design featured a “Safety View” cab. How is that for a sales tactic?
Why I Wrote This Feature
During the eight years the FC-150 Jeep truck was produced, a reported 16,251 came off the assembly line by the close of 1964. Marvin Lehman (and now Andrea Ybarra) are preserving the history of this FC-150 like it’s a rare dinosaur. The Ybarras told us that they were not going to “enhance” anything; the truck is perfect as it is.” I couldn’t agree more!
Vehicle: ’60 Willys Jeep Forward Control FC-150
Engine: Hurricane F-134
Transmission: Three-speed manual (BW T-90A)
Transfer Case: Spicer Model 18 with a 2.43:1 low ratio
Axles: Front Dana 44 front and rear
Drivetrain: standard “Hi-Lo” shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive
Chassis: Available as a pickup, stake side, or cab-and-chassis