Would You Spend $40,000 On This Mint 6,000 Mile 1984 Ford F-150 Or On A Brand New F-150?

Images by Vanguard Motor Sales and Ford Motor Company. Art: Jason Torchinsky
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

Found for sale in Michigan is 1984 Ford F-150 with apparently under 6,000 miles on its odometer. It looks absolutely perfect, which is why the asking price is nearly $40,000. You can buy a new F-150 for that much, but which of the two would you rather own?

For sale at a dealership called Vanguard Motor Sales in Plymouth, Michigan is a bafflingly perfect, low mileage, 5.0-liter (302 cubic-inch) Windsor V8, column shift four-speed automatic-equipped 1984 Ford F-150. It’s amazing how minty this thing looks:

“This F-150 is a true time capsule, with only 5,953 actual miles since new. It has lived a very pampered life, always being garage kept in a climate controlled environment. It was purchased new at Rich Ford, Ford Dealership in Albuquerque, NM,” the Facebook Marketplace listing reads.

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Image: Vanguard Motor Sales
Image: Vanguard Motor Sales

“It lived in New Mexico until late 2014 when it was purchased by a gentleman in Texas and added to his private collection. Under the hood sits its numbers matching Ford 5.0L V8 that is partnered up with its original Ford AOD 4 Speed Automatic Transmission. This may be the nicest original condition, and lowest mileage ‘84 F-150 left in existence,” it continues.

Though I’d have to see the vehicle in person to say definitively, based on these photos, that last sentence doesn’t seem like hyperbole. This thing may be the nicest 1984 F-150 on earth.

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Image: Vanguard Motor Sales

The interior is especially lovely, with a beautiful pattern in the cloth seat inserts, an awesome large and thin steering wheel, wood decor, and tan as far as the eye can see. Even though there’s no bench seat up front, no clutch pedal, and no four-wheel drive lever, I’m still giving this interior an A+ grade. Look at the square-shaped speedometer; it’s too perfect!

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Here’s another look at those seats:

Image: Vanguard Motor Sales
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More importantly, this truck is in Michigan, and yet somehow it avoided the rot that embeds itself on all vehicles as soon as they cross the state line:

Image: Vanguard Motor Sales
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Image: Vanguard Motor Sales

To any Michigander, that images above are borderline pornographic (especially the second one, which shows the Twin I-Beam front suspension). Look at those floors—no holes! And that muffler—it’s silver, not brown! But of course, this lack of corrosion comes at a price—specifically, $38,900, which is what Vanguard Motors is looking to get from this “time capsule” equipped with air conditioning, electric windows, and a limited slip rear differential.

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For a little more than that, you could pick up a 2019 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCab long bed like this one:

Image: Ford
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Of course, you’d have to give up the mighty (ish) V8 and make do with a relatively tiny 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, but at least you’d get 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Plus, you’d get a 10-speed automatic and an aluminum body that will never rust. The 5.0-liter 1984 F-150, by comparison, made only about 130 horsepower and roughly 230 lb-ft, and sent that grunt through a four-speed automatic that sat below a very rust-prone steel body. Clearly the new truck offers a few advantages.

Image: Ford
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As for the interior, the new F-150 is positively boring compared to the old one. Though I have to give it to Ford for actually throwing some tan trim on the doors and lower dash for when folks choose the “Light Camel” interior color (many automakers lazily throw in some tan seats and keep everything else black), it’s hard to beat the old-school way of doing things. And that way involved making the door trim, carpeting, and dash whatever color the buyer chose.

If you wanted a blue interior, you were getting blue everywhere. If you wanted burgundy, then by golly, you were getting so much damn burgundy that a Texas A&M student sitting in the truck would be completely invisible.

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Image: Vanguard Motor Sales

Still, as boring as the new truck’s interior may be compared to the old truck’s, it’s hard to argue against all the safety features available in the new vehicle, including lots of front and side airbags (the old truck offers none), more optimized structures meant to pass more rigorous modern crash tests, electronic stability control, a backup camera, and the list goes on and on.

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And then, of course, there’s fuel economy. The new truck will do 20 MPG in the city and 26 on the highway per EPA ratings. The old truck scores 12 city and 16 highway. That’s 8 MPG better in town and 10 MPG more on the fast roads! That’s a huge difference, especially considering that the new machine makes well over twice as much power.

If I were spending this kind of money on a vehicle—and I never would—I would probably get the new one. I actually prefer the old one because it has more soul, but it’s too minty to drive everyday, and if I were going to drive an old truck regularly, I might as well get a decent-but-not-perfect one for 1/3 the price. What about you? If you had to drop nearly $40 large on one of these two trucks, which would it be?

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About the author

David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio