I never thought the day would come when I would actually be excited about owning a late-model Ford truck. I don't claim any brand loyalty since I've owned/built and enjoyed too many old cars to have my feet firmly planted in one camp, but I've never had that warm, fuzzy feeling toward Ford trucks starting with the F-100 up. That's not to say I can't enjoy and appreciate a well-built example of the models in question, I just didn't expect to have my name on one's pink slip.
Since joining/doubling the staff here at CLASSIC TRUCKS, I was stumped as far as what to get for a project truck. Many of the more popular hay haulers occupy the garages of not only Rob, but a few of the others around the office, so I needed to venture beyond the comfort zone of Chevys and the overpopulation of Effies in order to be a viable source of tech articles and interest to you, the reader. I didn't want a rusted-out F-1 or another Dodge after finding out the hard way how tough it was to find basic parts for the '59 D-100 I had, so what now? After flipping through the August '05 issue of CLASSIC TRUCKS, something stuck with me after doing a second-take at Jimmy Smith's renditions of the '67-72 F-100. Hoping osmosis would help, I left the issue open to those pages in my office for inspiration, where it remains, and so the slow search began.
Soon it seemed like most later F-100s were one of the following: a 4x4 monster; rusted out; a longbed; in the East; or, most commonly, all of the above. Maybe that's why nobody builds 'em. I persevered onward.
Poking around on eBay one day, I found a '68 shortbed Stepside F-100 that was only 30 miles away from me. I promptly bid on it and remained the high bidder at $156, which was in my price range, but the reserve was never met. Luckily, we made a deal afterward that wasn't too far above what I had bid, and I hauled home a truck I never liked, and couldn't be more excited about it!
The old green Ford had been sitting for the better part of two decades after the owner kinked a fuel line. The last few years it hibernated in the back of a repo man's lot in Rancho Cucamonga, California, where the lien sale papers were signed over to me. I don't even want to know the position one must be in to have had this truck repossessed, but I'm glad to have it. After a few days working on the brakes, new gas, and a fuel line, it literally started right up, and I took it out for an interesting trip around the neighborhood ridding the area of any mosquitoes while it burnt out whatever called the engine home.
The rust-free beaut runs and drives now, but not for long. This short stint on the street will have to suffice for a while. The stock 360 and three on the tree might need more work than it would take to pull them out and toss 'em.