Curbside Classic Capsule: 1964 Ford F100 – Patina Royale

Yes, patina is cool, and has been for some time now. And yes, I’m quite fond of it, and have been for a very long time. An old vehicle that shows the effects of 50 some years of UV radiation as well as wear and tear has become a historical object. It wears its age honestly and proudly, rather than a coat of shiny resale red and chrome mags. But then I can’t stand the look that Botox and fillers have given so many faces these days either. Why do folks want to hide behind masks that have no more expression?

Fortunately, the trend towards appreciating old cars and trucks in their honest state took root some years back, and now true classics and exotics often command higher prices if their in decently preserved original condition than if restored. Obviously, fake patina is just as bad (or worse) than not, but this old F100 isn’t faking anything.

I encountered it at the dump transfer station just a week or so earlier, and got a shot of these two dump-runners together. If my truck hadn’t been repainted at some point before I bought it in 1987, it might be further along in its patina-making.

And then we saw again it the other night downtown, as we were heading home on our evening urban hike. This truck has seen a bit of sunlight in its day, as well as our endless winter rains.

Somebody has rescued it, and put it back in service. And added some new clearance lights, which are a bit of a hot thing too these days, I gather, although strictly speaking, it doesn’t need them and there are not enough and not spaced properly. But you get the point.

It’s a bit fascinating to see how patine develops asymmetrically on different body panels. `

This is a ’64, which means the last year of the old type chassis, with the solid beam axle in front, leaf springs, and a narrower track. In 1965, the whole frame and suspension, with the Twin-beam ifs on the front, was drastically revised, even though the body wasn’t, and the ’65 an d’66s are really more like the ’67 and up generation under the the skin. Jim Cavanaugh will tell us how rough-riding his was; my ’66 actually rides quite well.

1964 was also the last year for the 223 ohv six, which only dated back to the new 215 in 1952.  The new six cylinder engines that arrived in 1965, the 240 and 300 ‘Big Six’ were completely new, and would of course become somewhat legendary. But the 223 was a fine engine in its time.

The steering column in theses older versions had a significantly different angle than the ’65 and up, due to the new front end. These older ones are more vertical. This one is sporting the four speed manual, which has a “granny low” first gear, so that it’s really effectively a three-speed for regular driving. No overdrive available on these.

The plywood in the bed means we can’t see the condition of the steel bed floor, but I have to assume it’s still solid and straight, or mostly so. Mine sure is, despite all the abuse and rain.

It appears this truck was last sold by Gene Cutts in Cottage Grove, 20 miles south of Eugene. A real local.