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.
or maybe the seats from a hideous van conversion! lol
Those seats have the look of an old Olds 98 Regency, to me.
I’m seeing ’80s Mopar, M-body Fifth Avenue most likely.
I will admit to a bit of a thing for Ford trucks of this generation. Quite a few years ago, my BIL had one of these on his farm, an F250 with that 4 speed stick that was used for pulling trailers of various sorts. It was a stout truck that served for a long time.
The good thing about these was a lot of parts availability. It looks like maybe doors and doghouse replaced rusty or smashed pieces, and the whole thing was then painted white, possibly to match the new pieces.
The first vehicle I remember riding in was my parent’s 1979 F-100 Custom. I can still see that filler spot on the dash where the radio wasn’t. 300-I6 in a cream colour. I remember it had clearance lights and was an automatic, even though it was a stripper truck. My mother sold it in 1985 after the divorce. I saw it driving around my hometown for years after that.
I’ve been looking for one like it for a few years now, but honestly, the rust monster has taken the majority of them away.
I’ve loved Ford trucks since then, and drive one now.
What a beautiful F RD. Those seats look comfy as hell.
I learned how to drive a manual transmission on a truck of this vintage. It was very forgiving of a new learner – and actually had a very nice feel to it.
I’ve only ever driven such things as U-Haul rentals (before all their trucks had automatics), but I also found them to be remarkably easy to deal with. You could pop the clutch and the truck didn’t even shudder, it just lumbered on.
Holy isht! I love those rich dark blue velour seats there! And I really thought the front end looked like a mid 1980’s Dodge truck.
I’d say those seats came from an M-body Chrysler Fifth Avenue.
U Haul seemed to continue to use this vintage of F-350 for ions after Ford moved to the new F Series shell in 1980.
When I saw it, my first thought was “former cube van”.
This clearly started life as a F-350 long wheelbase chassis cab in Ranger XLT trim. A rare bird, indeed. Unlike today, few people drove duallies back then, and most were in base model Custom trim, especially a chassis cab model, as this had to be, due to the long wheelbase. The front suspension is clearly a 1-ton, not a 3/4 ton (F-250); also the extended wheelbase was not available on 3/4 tons. This truck started life out as a tu-tone, with red as primary; secondary was probably white, but not necessarily. The model and trim badging is missing from the side of the cowl, but a chrome molding still remains at the base of the roof, used to delineate colors. The premium body side moldings with rubber insert indicate an optioned truck. However, the bottom of the fenders show evidence of another molding, used pretty much only for tu-tones and standard with XLT trim (used only ’77-’79). The bottom of the doors don’t have those molding fasteners because they’ve been replaced, for whatever reason, evidenced by the white paint inside (and lack of molding fasteners). The truck also has bumper guards, another XLT giveaway. The truck has been repainted, obviously. I can’t tell if it’s a ’78 or ’79; all ’78 and ’79 models had square headlights, except the ’78 Custom (base model). The only engine displacements were, 300-I6, 302-V8, 351-V8, 400-V8, and 460-V8. And… The bed is aftermarket, likely homemade; as all beds were. I’m not aware of FoMoCo manufacturing any beds except styleside or stepside pickup beds, none of which would fit this wheelbase. Not too much of a “Frankentruck”, just a old truck someone won’t let die!
Great analysis, but how do you account for a non-78/79 Ranger XLT badge on the glove box?
Those appear to be genuine ’78-’79 insignia on the glove box. The trims that year were, Custom, Explorer (a Custom option package), Ranger, Ranger XLT, and the mack-daddy , Ranger XLT Lariat.
This is the Ranger XLT badge I’m used to seeing on ’78-9 Fords. The one on this truck looks like the badge Ford used earlier in the 70s.
You got an excellent point! Perhaps I’m way off, and this truck is carrying a whole different cab than it rolled out of the factory with; a very real possibility. As i mentioned earlier, it was very rare for a F-350 chassis cab to be optioned as an XLT. But those fenders were only available ’77-’79; so considering the fenders, doors, cab, and homemade bed, this could be the ultimate “Frankentruck”!
I know this is already two years old, but thought I’d chime in anyways. I have a ’74 F250 Camper Special in a Ranger XLT package (not sure if CS are always that way or if XLT is always that way, etc., just what I have). The interior door panels on this truck are identical to mine (other than color), as is the glove box door. I really like the texture of these door panels compared to others Ford used. They have a fine vertical striation in the upholstery vinyl in the door cards at the upper part of the panel that is unique. The same vinyl is used for the top panel of upholstery running across the upper 6 inches of the seat back.
In my opinion, odds are that the doors were from a ’74 which was probably the source for the glove box door. I haven’t found that same upper door panel section on many years other than ’73 or ’74 and usually suspect they were transplanted in the few instances I have seen it on newer models.
Since the doors have mismatched paint and similar era door panels to the glove box door, it seems to me that they must have come from the same truck, which is clearly not the same truck as the cab. The cab is likely the ’78/’79 and would have had the newer (and uglier) XLT badge you show below. I owned a ’78 F150 4×4 a few years ago and really despised that glove box door. All the plastic trim on these dashes rattle, and that was the most obnoxious offender. If the owner of this truck has had a few other Fords of this era, he may have felt the same and swapped them out just for looks and piece/quiet. Plus, it’s hard to beat the red/white/blue XLT logo!
Not sure if they came in the 1 ton, but my ’78 F150 4×4 had the 390, and it was original. They are a pain to update (carburator, etc.) due to the way the intake manifold sits on them, but in my opinion they are the best engine Ford put in these trucks. I now only look for those with the 390 when I am in the market for one.
Ford did make flat beds (or had them made for them), the have either the Ford oval logo or the later block style F O R D as pictured below stamped in them. They did offer them at least until the early 70’s
It also had factory air-conditioning! I think the windshield should have chrome trim, but it probably was replaced at one time.
If you look in the background, there’s also another classic Ford truck. I can’t tell what year but it’s also white.
Oh hey, wow, yeah. In that driveway. Didn’t even notice it.
Looks like a 73-75 or so.
Had a 70 model that looked like that but was much lighter duty. 302 had been replaced with an older 289. Shift linkage on column was gone so floor kit was installed – backwards. If manuals make good theft prevention, this was sterling. Love old Fords. Wound up selling it to a neighbor who beat me up with money.
It looks like its had a rebuild or two these used to rust pretty bad to the point Ford OZ tried galvanising cabs to try making them last longer so finding one that doesnt match factory spec is no surprise it should have callouts on the front guards announcing engine size or at least V8 if its so equipped.
Nice truck and amazing it has not rusted away yet. I see three F-Series trucks in these photos which took a bit of sleuthing.
I bought a 78 ford f-350 several years ago (still have it), and had trouble identifying which motor it has. To my understanding, from info gathered from ford enthusiast sites, ford made a HD330ci. motor until 76, but continued to use them till 78-79 in u-haul trucks. They are identified as XD330ci. motors. When I order parts for my f-350 i refer to the 76-78 ford f-500 which also came with the HD or XD330ci..