Ford's F-series Pickup has been the best selling vehicle in America for more than two decades. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe F-100 Super Cab is evidence to that longevity, but could its price be described as the best?
Yesterday's simply red 1976 Lancia Scorpion definitely didn't ring up on the registers of the 75% of you voting Crack Pipe for its pie in the sky price tag. Sure lots of money had been claimed spent upon its restoration, but that couldn't overcome the basic fragility and drivability issues the all-dressed-up-but-nowhere-to-go Italian possessed.
Today's 1966 Ford F-100 has none of those issues, and is in fact one of the more robust candidates we've ever had had here. Representing from the fourth generation of the Blue Oval Boys' F-series of full-sized pickup trucks, this sixty-six is claimed to be mostly original and doesn't look to have been the beneficiary of the personal vision of anyone but its original designers, right down to its dog dish hubcaps.
Those stamped and Ford embossed nut-covers hug red-painted (dudes, balance them after you spray them, please) steel rims, upon which whitewall radial tires have been mounted. The red wheels compliment both the sky blue paint and red center strip of the brushed metal side trim. That paint is not claimed to be original, but a twenty six year old respray that looks to be holding up pretty well, the bed of the Styleside box being the only part to evidence significant wear.
Inside, the red white and baby blue theme continues, and appears as lightly used as the exterior. The dash is sixties simple, providing little more info than speed, fuel level and engine temp, while idiot lights let you know if anything else has gone appreciably tits-up. That dash faces a wide cloth bench that is starting to come apart on the passenger side, and more egregiously, suffers a long dark spot on the driver's side right about at ass crack position, which would demand the question as to whether this Florida truck did any time servicing one of that state's nudist colonies, thus rendering it undesirable no matter what the price.
If not, just toss a towel on the seat and fire up the 352-cid FE V8. This engine (ignore the 390 sticker on the air-cleaner) dates back to the Eisenhower administration, and was called the Interceptor when mounted in Ford's cars, and Marauder when in Mercury mode. Here it was rated at 172-bhp with the four barrel carb, and backing up that big eight is Ford's three-on-the-tree manual gearbox. Back in the swinging sixties these trucks were designed to run on valve-lubing leaded gas, something as rare today as chicken dentures, that shouldn't be too much of a problem here as if it hasn't been already, it's easy to make it unleaded-friendly.
A unique feature of the F-100 that arrived a year prior to this truck's manufacture was Ford's rugged but spastic Twin I-Beam front suspension. Eschewing leaves and beam axles for coils and a split version of the latter, the Twin I-beam provided an independently sprung front end while supposedly being more able to absorb punishment than an A-arm set up. Unfortunately the design required the suspension to describe such a wide arc so as to act like a swing axle, causing wide variability in camber - especially when unladen. The rear end of this half-ton truck is supported by the expected leaf-sprung live axle, here with a posi center.
All of the mechanical systems - engine, tranny, and that infamous funky chicken suspension are described by the seller as being in excellent condition, and he further avers that the truck has never even heard of Bondo, much less experimented with it in high school. Overall, its condition appears remarkable not only for its originality - one does wonder if that vintage A/C still works - and lack of any revisionist asshattery that could have plagued it over the years and its 94,000 miles.
Selling as many as Ford has, the F-series pickup has secured its place as part of our national backdrop, and it's arguable whether a more quintessentially American product exists today. In order for someone to wave this flag, they'll need to secure that much less common commodity in this country today - cash, $12,500 of it in fact. What do you think of that asking price? Is twelve-five a fair price for so original a classic Ford pickip? Or, does that price give this F-series a D-minus?
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