Ebay Find: Truly “Like New” 1996 Ford F-150 – 3,500 Miles And Never Been Rained On

For those of you who complain that they don’t make ’em like they used to, here is your chance to put your money where your mouth is. May I present this nearly-new 1996 Ford F-150 XLT that just popped up on eBay?

1996 was the final year of this generation of F-150, which traces its bones back to the 1980 redesign. 1997 would bring an entirely new, more aerodynamic (and much less truckish looking) generation of F-150s.

I spent the better part of my high school and college years beating F-150 trucks from this vintage while cleaning job sites for my Dad’s roofing company and other construction companies, and I can attest firsthand to the stoutness of these trucks’ bones.

This F-150 is very typical of what truck buyers were purchasing in 1996. Look! An honest-to-gosh bench seat! Not even split down the middle, with a fold-down center armrest being the only modest concession to comfort.

While quad-cab pickups are now the norm and it seems as if they’ve been around forever, Ford didn’t introduce their SuperCrew until 2001. In 1996, your F-150 had just two doors and a single row of seating, unless you sprung for the SuperCab, in which case you got a very tiny bench seat in the back. If you wanted four full doors, you had to step up to either the F-250 HD Crew Cab with a 6 3/4 foot bed, or an F-350 Crew Cab with a whopping 8 foot bed – a pretty unwieldy package.

What’s that I see sprouting from the floor? A five-speed manual transmission, the only proper truck transmission as dictated from on high. The only thing that would make it better would be a three-on-the-tree, like the trucks in my Dad’s fleet had, but alas that setup was no longer available in 1996.

Still, by 1996 truck standards, this truck is equipped fairly well, including “still blows cold” air conditioning (could have used that on the job site!), 4-wheel drive (ditto), cruise control, and a tilt steering wheel. Also present is the optional EFI 5.0L V8, good for 205hp, still sporting all the tags and decals from the factory. While I occasionally drew a V8-equipped whip from the truck fleet (which made the trips to the job site far more interesting), more often than not they had the ancient (and funny sounding) 4.9L inline six, which honestly was more than adequate for most use cases that didn’t involve towing. 1996 was also the last year for the 300 cu-in I6.

No mention is made as to how this truck managed to spend almost 30 years on this Earth while covering just over 3,500 miles of it. I’m sure there’s an interesting story, but alas we are left to speculate. The seller does make the rather difficult-to-believe claim that the truck has been stored in temperature-controlled storage that entire time, and has never even been rained on.

Then again, based on the photos, there is nary a spot of rust to be seen on the underside, with the grease pencil markings from the factory still visible, so maybe there is some merit to this claim after all.

What price for this piece of automotive perfection? Well, there’s the rub. We all know truck prices are through the roof now, and apparently that applies to pristine 28-year-old models just as much as it does new ones. The seller of this rig is asking $65,495, a tidy sum indeed. That’s a lot of hay, but hey, where are you going to find another one like this? There’s always that “Make Offer” button.

Still, for that same amount of cabbage, you could get a brand-new 2023 F-150 Lariat. While that 2023 Lariat does include such niceties as a full factory warranty, acres of LCD screens, and a proper back seat, it comes with neither a bench seat, manual transmission, wing windows, nor a cassette player, so I guess it really comes down to what you value the most in a truck.