For those of you who are tired of leather-lined, four door, $50K pickups, how about something a bit simpler from the not-so-distant past? We know you’re out there, as Lee Wilcox’s and Jack Lord’s recent truck posts have made clear.
Ford pickups have been the top selling full size truck for years, starting in the late 1970s. For 1980, all F-Series pickups were redesigned and very modern-looking, considering the Dodge D-Series dated to ’72 (albeit with a couple of refreshes) and the Chevy/GMC pickups were last redesigned in 1973, although a more square-rigged facelift was only a year away for the GM trucks.
Today’s flossier pickups are not a new idea, as these F150s could be loaded up with all sorts of stuff. The difference was you didn’t need a step built in to the tailgate to get into the bed and you could reach over the side to place items into it without a boost. And why do even 2WD 2012 trucks sit so high off the ground? But I digress…
Perhaps the biggest change was inside, where a much more car-like instrument panel was prominent. In flossier Ranger models, it was awfully nice for a pickup, almost LTD-like. Remember, at this time, most trucks were still used as trucks, not as daily drivers or commuters.
F150s came standard with the 300 CID (4.9L) straight six, but the usual range of V8s were available. The Twin I-Beam front suspension was still in place, and would remain through 1996 on F150s. F150 pickups were (and still are) highly customizable, much like the original 1965 Mustang. You could get it as plain or as fancy as you wanted. Regular cab, SuperCab, single- or two-tone, six- or eight-cylinder power, single or dual rear wheels, power everything – it was all available.
1980-81 F150s could be identified by their unadorned eggcrate grille and chrome F-O-R-D lettering on the leading edge of the hood. Our featured CC is at least an ’82, when the blue oval Ford logo was reintroduced on most every grille in the Ford lineup, from F150 to Escort to LTD.
While this particular truck (found on the same lot and on the same evening as the ’89 Ramcharger LE) is rather basic, it is somewhat dressed up with a sport stripe, aluminum running boards, and a red interior. It is remarkably rust-free and clean. As long as the tin worm is kept at bay, this F150 would be a great work truck for somebody.