CC Capsule: 1973 Ford Courier – Far From F’d

There are cars that get much-deserved love and fame for being outstanding, unique, or just different. A good number also get by, just servicing, never being more than appliances. Then there are those that get much love from their owners, developing a loyal following, but never appearing in the spotlight. A category where I believe old Japanese light trucks belong.

I think most would agree that these trucks performed their duties well. And understandably, their owners developed a great appreciation and attachment to them. Indeed, most loath the idea of parting with them, 40-plus years later, as this sample shows. This one still serves active duty and, somehow still looks fairly well put together. Quite unlike many of my other finds in San Salvador’s streets.

These early Mazda-sourced Fords were some of the first vehicles to expose me to the concept of badge engineering, and to the idea that not all Fords were created equal. There were some Cortinas and Taunus too adding to that confusion, as they looked quite different from the Fairlanes I knew about in Puerto Rico.

Lacking internet and car magazines (neither easy for a 5-year-old to access back in 1976), it took me years to discover the story behind such Fords. But regardless, in the case of the Courier, I thought it was a cute “Ford,” and enjoyed seeing them around the city.

So it was quite a nice surprise to find this one. It had been ages since I had come across an old Courier looking fairly intact, and the ’70s-correct mustard shade just brought back a lot of sensations from those long-gone days.

The paper debris around it is from this past Christmas Eve, and result of intense firecracker use by local kids. The Courier doesn’t seem to have one bruise from that whole ordeal. Talk about an unusual endurance test. Did Mazda technicians ever foresee such a situation?

The blackened trim is not a factory-approved item, but I believe the owner is covering some damaged bits. What better color than black to do it cheaply?

And as usual, there is some missing trim. In this case, none other than the O and R from the hood, creating an unintended F’d to passersby. Good thing we’re Spanish speakers over here. And to be honest, I’ve seen far more F’d-up vehicles in this city than this one.

Talking about local peculiarities, the rather common -and obnoxious- ‘Decepticon’ sticker (from Transformers) graces the tailgate. It’s a dumb tradition, but as I said in previous posts, the locals just love their stinking badges, stickers, and whatnot.

The ’72-’77 Ford Courier has its dedicated entry from a while back. It’s been a few years since one appeared at CC, as most of these have vanished. As sturdy as these were, everything passes. So you can be certain I was glad to come across this one, in period-correct color, looking far from F’d.


Further reading:

Curbside Classic: 1976 Ford Courier – The Second Toughest Old Mini-Pickup?