COAL#13: 2007 Ford F150 – Bold Moves

Photo taken at Depoe Bay Oregon. Photos by author.


In 2007, Ford advertising adopted the theme: Bold Moves. Their truck ads featured stories of buyers who used their new trucks to make real changes in their lives. Like rehabbing a building and then starting up a new business. They were all centered around the theme of empowerment. Owning a big, capable truck makes a lot of different things possible.

And in 2007, we bought two new vehicles, an ’07 F150 and a new Mustang coupe.

I had bought my own “hobby car” pickup truck a few years earlier, a ’66 Ford F250. It had a lot of miles on it, but it ran okay. Though it did consume massive quantities of oil. Consumption was down to fifty miles to the quart of 60 weight racing oil! It only smoked a bit during hard acceleration. Honest! There weren’t any obvious leaks, so where did all that oil go? (You’ll get to meet my old F250 in my hobby car series.)

The face of a handsome truck. These are current photos taken in February of ’24.


It was love at first sight.


A long bed work truck.


I was planning a “Bold Move,” of my own, starting up a swap meet car parts business.  I needed a good truck to drive to swap meets, many of which were in the LA area. The F250 was a cool truck, but it wouldn’t be up to the task unless it was completely rebuilt, and even then, it still wouldn’t have been my first choice.

Ford’s better idea; the access cab was standard.  The space behind the seats comes in handy.


This is where that extra space really comes in handy! You can lean the passenger seat way back.


I had been doing my homework, comparing Chevy and Ford trucks. I had been impressed by my old F250. It had a more comfortable cabin than my dad’s old ’75 Chevy Stepside. The new ’07 Ford also had some advantages in its design and chassis. It had rack and pinion steering, with four wheel disc brakes and ABS standard. It also had a very interesting, slightly extended, access cab. This had two smaller clamshell doors that allowed access to a 16 inch storage area behind the front seats. This space was handy for carrying tools, groceries, or luggage, and allowed you to have secure storage within the cab. The extra length also allowed for the seats to be reclined way back. It was possible to sleep in the passenger’s seat.

It also didn’t hurt that I found these trucks to be extremely handsome when they debuted in 2004. I told myself if I ever got a new truck, I wanted it to be one of these Fords.

I wanted my truck to be very basic, with vinyl seats, manual windows, manual seat adjustments, and rubber floor covering. The higher line XLT trucks came with carpeting, cloth seats, and usually power windows and seats. They were also equipped with a 4.6  V8, which I considered to be a very good engine, but I wanted the V6 for maximum fuel economy. I also wanted an 8 ft. bed. Most of the trucks on the lot were higher optioned crew cabs, with a 6 1/2 or even a 5 1/2 ft bed, totally unsuitable for my tasks.

An 8 ft. bed that never has to be made.


The kind of truck that I wanted was considered a “work truck” by Ford, the XL model. I kept an eye on the inventory page of the Ford Store of Morgan Hill until I saw they had gotten a new shipment in. Work trucks are usually painted white, with gray painted bumpers and silver wheels. This time, the dealer had a selection of different colors. I recall that there was even a blue and red truck in this shipment, without any extra charge for the color. What really caught my eye was there was a Forest Green truck in stock!

I immediately went down and test drove it. I loved the green color, the interior was gray vinyl. There wasn’t any fancy trim on the inside, but it was well laid out and assembled with quality. I immediately fell in love with the big circular speedometer with four smaller gauges arrayed around it. It didn’t have a tach, but really, did I need one?  It had a tilt steering column but no cruise control. There was an AM/FM stereo radio that sounded pretty good, as well as a/c. The floor covering was black rubber simulated carpet. Then, the windows and seat adjustments were all done by hand, which was exactly what I was looking for!

The 200 hp. V6 teamed up with a five speed automatic transmission provided satisfactory acceleration. It had the factory tow package with a max rating of 6,000 lbs.  I have towed a couple of cars on car carrier trailers from LA without a problem. It did slow down quite a bit as I approached the summit of Cuesta Grade, but it made it over the top at 30 mph. It was ideal for my swap meet business. I would load up the bed with car sheet metal and parts, as well as tow an enclosed U-Haul trailer full of stuff. I made numerous trips to Southern California to vend at swap meets.

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune have not spared it. There are dings and dents.


There’s lots of room under the roll-up tonneau cover.


My first addition to the truck was a frame mounted receiver hitch installed by U-Haul. I also added a rubber bed mat and a roll-up aluminium tonneau cover. I initially used an FM modulator adapter to play my CD Walkman through the original FM radio. I later replaced the original radio with a single-disc CD player.

I found the driving dynamics to be very stable, and reassuring. I gained complete confidence in the handling, and have surprised many car drivers when running through the curves. I attribute the handling to the Hankook DynaPro tires, and I’m well into my third set of replacement Hankook tires. I find the performance and economy to be more than satisfactory with the V6 engine. Unladen it accelerates quickly enough for any traffic condition I’ve encountered, and it will cruise at 85 mph. if I keep my foot in it. I’ve seen 100 mph. on the speedo, once, just out of curiosity.

Fuel economy really suffers at those speeds, dropping to 15-16 mpg. Driving at 60-65 mph. it will return 20-21 mpg. But I am a feather foot. I’ve towed up to 6,000 lbs. That was the weight of my Jaguar XJS plus the trailer. Stability is great, and it can pull the load fine on level ground.  I keep it close to the legal limit of 55-60 mph. Steep grades take their toll, and I fall in line behind the loaded big rigs.

Though I’ve had faster and quicker cars, this truck makes me question why I think that I need them. Like my ’07 V6 Mustang, it has enough performance to satisfy my needs. It’s easy to drive and fairly easy to park. My wife and I have taken many long trips in it. We took a multiple-state vacation through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. Plus numerous trips to Los Angeles and Southern California and a couple to the Oregon Coast.

It was used for my swap meet business, with numerous trips to the LA area. It is very comfortable and quiet. As quiet and smooth as a Lincoln, I like to say. Its only real failing is its lack of cruise control. I would combat leg and ankle fatigue by moving the seat closer, or further back from the steering wheel, which changes the angle of my leg and ankle. This has worked out okay, and I’ve driven over 400 miles in a day. It’s been pretty reliable, but it did suffer a serious problem… once.

Good advice.


The A/C compressor seized up while we were returning home from Las Vegas. This occurred just after the warranty lapsed. We were on the home stretch, coming north on US 101 north of Santa Barbara. I kept hearing an occasional odd chirp from under the hood. I looked, but couldn’t see anything wrong; I figured that it might be a worn belt, or the engine fan.

We made a stop at an antique store in Nipomo, north of Santa Maria. When I started the engine I heard a horrible screeching sound, so I shut it down. I checked under the hood and found the serpentine belt sliding over the stationary A/C compressor pulley. Back in the old days before serpentine belts, I would have been able to remove just the A/C belt which would isolate the problem. With the serpentine belt, there’s no easy way to isolate that pulley and keep powering the water and power steering pumps and alternator. Luckily I have Triple A.

The maximum towing distance at this time was 100 miles. San Jose was still almost two hundred miles away. I called and they towed us the maximum distance, dropping us off at a shopping center parking lot at SR152 and US101. Then I called for another tow, which brought us the rest of the way home. I now have Premier coverage that provides one 200 mile tow per year, as well as three 100 mile tows.

The repair required replacing not only the compressor, evaporator and condenser, but also the pipes and hoses. These components had been fouled by metal particles. It was expensive, but the A/C has worked fine since.

As quiet as a Lincoln, and as comfortable as a Cadillac. But it has to sing for its supper.


The truck now has a bit over 174,000 miles. My ’07 Mustang had a transmission failure at 160K so I’m thinking that a problem might present itself soon. A year and a half ago, my wife and I drove down to Sylmar, in southern California, to check out and potentially buy a ’06 Mustang convertible. We had made arrangements to pick up a car carrier trailer at a local U-Haul down there, in the event that we bought the car. I did end up buying it, and we loaded the Mustang onto the trailer. We left town late in the afternoon to return home.

Most of the trip would be made in darkness – Would this be the moment that the transmission chose to go bad? If worse came to worse, we could leave the truck, call U Haul to pick up their trailer, unload the Mustang and drive home. To make matters worse, parts of the main highway were closed due to a big crash, and then later, a wildfire! Our telephone navigation directed us off the freeway and into the vast acres of fields and unfamiliar country roads.

Driving through the dark, I was on pins and needles listening for any strange sounds and trying to detect any unusual vibrations.  Luckily there weren’t any, and the trip home was uneventful. I’ve put another several thousand miles on the truck since then, with no problems. But I’m sure that “the day” will come eventually.

“Git Er done!”


Nothing but 2x4s, metal brackets, and lottsa’  wood screws.


The roll-up tonneau cover broke years ago; it was fixed by the dealer, but it still doesn’t work quite right. This may have happened because I used to load up the bed in a way that placed pressure against the rolled-up cover. I have made a crude workaround that keeps the cover locked in place. I later built a removable 2×4 frame and rails setup that solved the loading problem. Jeff Foxworthy would approve of this setup! I have never wanted to put a camper shell on this truck. It is an Old Man’s truck, but I don’t want it to look like an Old Man’s truck!

I now usually only put between 250 to 300 miles a month on the truck. I’ve been completely retired now for several years, and I have alternate vehicles that I can use. It could take another 7-8 years just to reach 200,000 miles.

The F150 is one of the few vehicles that I have bought new. I’ve now owned it for 18 years and I don’t have any plans to replace it. I wanted and needed a basic long bed truck, and that’s what I bought. I have resisted the urge to dress it up with custom wheels or a billet grille, I think that it is a very handsome truck, and I love the Forest green color. I keep it as clean as I can and wax it once a year, but it lives outside, so it has to deal with the environment. I am far from a “truck guy” but I will admit to loving this truck. It’s a keeper!

Image source: Street Rodder magazine.January ’96 Dave Bell artist


A man and his truck, it’s a beautiful thing!