As I climbed back in the shop GMC truck I was using for the day, after taking the following pictures of this Ford, it got me thinking:
That F100 was the top trim level for that year… and I’m sitting in a base model work truck. How far we’ve come!
This warrants a closer look, so lets see just how different these two trucks are.
Number one, Functionality-
While no one can dispute the raw power of the Sierra, there is something to be said about the trend of trucks being used to drive the family around. I can easily picture the Ford hauling a load of wood and picking up groceries, though I doubt very much that the average Sierra owner will be hauling parts for Hoover Dam every day. I think these trucks were perfectly reasonable for the era in which they were made.
Number two, Interior-
The top trim on the Ford got you such luxuries as carpet, horn ring, and Ranger badge affixed to the glove box.
The original upholstery in the F100 Ranger was vinyl, with “a soft cloth appearance”.
Meanwhile, the warehouse truck has leather bucket seats (ED: really? I suspect they’re vinyl), power windows (though not mirrors), an infotainment screen, steering wheel controls for said screen, four USB ports, and even a standard house electrical socket!
The featured Ford has a 352 V8, and is the same engine used in the Thunderbird, though tuned more for torque than speed, making 200 gross (172 net) horsepower sent through a three speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission.
The base model GMC came with a 4.3 (roughly 263 cubic inch) V6 engine as standard paired with a six speed automatic gearbox making 285 horsepower.
Number four, Driving impressions-
The owner of the Ford commented that while the truck is nice, it’s miserable to drive. These were still machines meant primarily for work, after all. Your second car (if you had one) was to be used for fun and excitement.
Driving the GMC meanwhile is a very cushy, yet bulky experience. It feels like I’m driving a big box down the road that takes up several lanes. I never feel comfortable in it, because it feels like a vehicle that’s at least twice as big as it needs to be for the jobs it does.
I’m sure the differences between these two trucks need not be stated. Of course a modern vehicle will beat out a vintage one in most categories when given a purely objective look, but we at CC know that it’s not all about numbers. Driving my step dad’s 1978 Chevy C-10 was a pretty miserable experience too, what with it’s cheap plastic dashboard, and primitive creature comforts. However, for as short a time as it was a part of my life, I will always remember the way it made me feel. Safe, like nothing could penetrate it’s faded and dented steel body. It’s dull white paint will forever remain shiny in my mind’s eye. It was an honest old work truck and did what it needed too. I hope to find one like it someday again.