Curbside Outtake: 1963 Ford F100, Or Is It A ’64? Have A Coke While You Wait For The Oregon Electric Railway Train

This bright red F100 wearing Coca Cola livery was hard to miss, sitting in the parking lot of the Oregon Electric Station restaurant, which of course is in the former Oregon Electric Railway station, a line that served the Willamette Valley back in the days when we had such things as quick and reliable regional and interurban electric railways. And Coca Cola; something to have while you’re waiting for the next train to take you to Corvallis or Portland.

Back to the F100: it’s a bit of a puzzle as the grille says “1963” but the style of the bed says “1964”. So one of those two items was changed somewhere along the line.

The ’63 used the rear beds from the previous generation, as a stop-gap until the new bed could be tooled up for ’64. This all happened because the all-new ’61 pickups had a “unibody”, where the cab and bed were one integrated unit which was cheaper to build turned out to be structurally deficient, so this was the solution. We covered this in more detail here.

But this has the bed from a ’64-up version. Looks a lot better, obviously. That’s a part of the Eugene Amtrak station in the background, by the way. The two rail lines converged here, but then the Oregon Electric Railway followed the Willamette River up the valley, via Corvallis.

The tracks were still used as a spur line for the BN until the early 1990s. The right of way would have made a better route for a higher speed passenger service, but that never happened, and now the right of way no longer exists continuously.

Speaking of Coke, when we lived in Iowa City (1960-1965), there was a graduate married student apartment building a block away.

There was a Coca Cola vending machine like this in the basement hallway; you slid the kind of soda pop you wanted to the part on the left, where there were two little arms that opened to release the bottle after you dropped the 10 cents into the machine. My older brother was a natural con, and if we were desperate, we’d go over with a bottle opener and a couple of straws, and…bend over and suck on a Coke, and hope no one came along. Which they never did.

The interior has of course been redone. Looks like its had a drive line upgrade too, as that shift lever is much more further back than the stock one for the optional 4-speed transmission.

And that’s Skinner Butte in the background, from where I’ve shot quite a few outtakes over the years.