It seemed obvious when I came upon this truck, just by looking at the front end and the front-wheel bolt pattern, that it is a 1978 or 1979 Ford F-250 or F-350. But the truth is much murkier.
I did some sleuthing. Tell me if you agree with my conclusions. The dual rear wheels mark this as an F-350–as far as I can tell, no F-250 ever left a Ford factory as a dually. Regular-cab cab-chassis and stake trucks left the factory with either 137- or 161-inch wheelbases. I think this is the longer wheelbase, given how far behind the cab those rear wheels are.
This is either a homemade or aftermarket stake bed; genuine Ford stake beds rode entirely above the rear wheels. Given that this truck is parked in front of the headquarters of Indianapolis Granite and Marble, I’m sure large slabs of countertop material are routinely strapped to that A frame.
This beast packs the standard 4-speed manual transmission with an unsynchronized granny first gear. You could get your F350 with a range of engines, from the 300 six through the big 460 V8. The available V8s varied from year to year. Hard telling which one lurks behind this 1978 or 1979 grille.
But looking inside, there’s a Ranger XLT badge from 1974 or 1975. And the dashboard is red, suggesting that the body was repainted somewhere along the way. It seems more likely that the front end was replaced, probably after a wreck, than someone clipped in a dashboard from an older truck. Either way, this is clearly a Frankentruck.
The whole interior is a delightful mishmash, actually, with seating that appears to have come straight from La-Z-Boy and doors borrowed from some other Ford truck.
This truck lives in a neighborhood I visit from time to time, and I see it parked all over this street. So who cares how this truck came to be in this condition–it gets plenty of use, and that’s what matters.