By on October 25, 2012

We saw a 1979 Ford F-series pickup in Denver a couple of months back, and now the very same yard has this ’71 as well. It’s eight years older, but appears to be from an entirely different era… which it was.
In 1971, emission-control hardware was starting to make some inroads on engine performance, but compression ratios were still reasonably high. Nobody imagined that the Arabs would jack up oil prices in just a couple of years, either.
Pickups weren’t intended for use as daily-driven, amenity-crammed suburban commuters, as they are today, but someone went to the trouble of installing seats out of a conversion van into this one.
Designer Craft!

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32 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1971 Ford F-100 Pickup...”


  • avatar
    -Nate

    These were actually pretty good trucks ~

    I’m a Generous Motors Man (Bowties ’til I die) but over the decades I’ve owned two 1959 F-1’s and driven & worked more than a few Ford Light & Medium Duty trucks .

    I see far worse rigs still working in So. Cal. daily ~ prolly this poor old Ranch Rig suffered the fate of most elderly V-8 powered American Iron these days : uness some rich old man or a kid who doesn’t know any better owns it , the fuel costs force it into the scrap yard .

    I see here an easily rebuildable never to be made again FULL SIZE Light Duty American Pickup Truck that’ll easily and cheaply outlast any thing but the dreaded tin worm .

    I’d like to see a comprehensive writeup on the Ford ‘C’ Series Medium Duty Forward Control Trucks , built from 1957 ~ 1992 they were the World’s most popular Medium Duty Truck line for _decades_ until Sterling came along and killed them outright with malice aforthought .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      I had a 74 F100 in that same yellow as a solid color. My friends called it the school bus. It had the 360 V8 and got 12 mpg on the highway and about 10 in town.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      There are some Volvo 240s and few other cars that will disagree with your “outlast anything but the dreaded tin worm” statement. :) I’d much rather have a Volvo 240 with a V8 swap than this.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        ?? So Volvos are more rust resistant ?? . what’s your point ? .

        Besides , this is a _TRUCK_ , completely different no matter how much we tried with my big brother’s ’82 Volvo 240….

        Both are very good vehicles .

        -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        As far as ‘cheaply outlast’ I think an old domestic truck has just about everything beat. Parts, both new and used galore, and easier to work on than a brick volvo in many cases (ie heater core replacement, wiring harness degradation). The truck may need an engine rebuild, but someone will pay for it because it’s easy to do, or just swap in another junkyard engine. The hardest part being hoisting the engine out, there’s not much to disconnect as far as electrics, etc.

        It’s bad gas mileage that’s does these dinosaurs in, or the aforementioned rot.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      I love the Ford C-Series. These were very popular with fire apparatus manufacturers. Where I live many small town and rural volunteer fire departments still have C-Series trucks in their fleets.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    The dreamer in me would like to see agricultural grade trucks being made again. Simple mechanicals and air conditioning would be an outrageous option. It ain’t gonna happen. Just about everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line loves their AC and power windows and power locks are thrown in with the AC in a package. Want an XL/WT/Tradesman? Most dealers will have a few on their lot. Highly optioned trucks are cash cows for dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      rmwill

      They are still being made. Any GM/Ford/Chrysler dealer can order you one. They never stock them because no retail buyers want them. I just configured a F150 XL that included auto, air, but vinyl seats and crank windows $23,665. Seems that AC and Automatic are unavoidable, but otherwise its pretty close.

      • 0 avatar
        BigMeats

        Rmwill, what were your bed-size choices?

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        Got one of those. $21,500 after much dickering. GM and Dodge are cheaper. Quite the automotive bargain even still.

        Learned to drive on a 1970 F-100. I’ll let you guys be nostalgic, because I’m not. It had the 360 CI “Oversquare” engine The bore was wider than the stroke, giving it tremendous torque, good for trailer towing. The truck had the short bed, a bad suspension, steering that was basically defective, and brakes that were always out of sinc–the truck would usually pull to one side or another. The 360 was considered to have bad mileage, even in those days, maybe 12 mpg. I have to believe the GM offering was better. The 1970 Chevys I thought were very nice looking vehicles in those days, and their looks have aged well.

        Trucks were just beginning to make their move into luxury then. Dad bought the “Ranger” model, not to be confused with the small truck recently discontinued by Ford. The Ranger was next to the top of the line XLT model. There were at least two other models between it and the basic model. Dad’s Ranger had every heavy-duty option on the check list (you would check them off one by one, alternator, radiator, three on the floor plus a granny gear, limited slip diff, you name it). In terms of amenities, the truck had no carpeting, no air conditioning, no radio. The truck had kind of a two tone two different texture vinyl bench seat which as I recall was supposed to be highline, as was the faux burled walnut dashboard. Dad paid $3,000 for it in 1970.

        As bad as it was, Dad kept the thing for over 25 years, with the truck going from his car, to hunting vehicle/occasional kid’s car, to weekend only hardware store runner, to dump-run vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Lemmy-powered

      My family has a 2003 Silverado ordered with nothing in it except an AM/FM radio. No AC, no power windows — just a work truck.

      We often joke that this truck precipitated GM’s bankruptcy, as they probably had to pause the entire factory, and supply chain, to build a half-ton with nothing in it.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      It’s not that hard to buy a lightly optioned truck as long as you don’t mind refrigerator white enamel paint. Just find a dealer with a fleet sales division that sells trucks to business. I helped my dad find a regular cab long bed Silverado work truck with air conditioning, automatic, and V8, but rubber floor and crank windows.

  • avatar

    Assuming the grill is original, this is a 1970. The ’71’s grill had a huge egg-crate grid, which was only mildly changed for ’72.

    BTW that bed could bring some $$ back East!

  • avatar
    Boff

    The last 2 Junkyard Finds have had photos with people in them. It’s creeping me out.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      As long as they aren’t dead people…I worked at a large salvage yard in the midwest during college, and when spring came, we discovered a dead body inside one of the cars out back. Apparently a homeless guy had decided to sleep in the back seat of a 1958 Chevy and died in it. Due to the winter cold, no one noticed until months later. Not a pretty sight…

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        Last month I was at a yard in my hometown and saw a Ford Taurus with the word Homocide written on the windshield. All of the other adjacent Taurai had been picked over, but nobody had removed anyhting from this one.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    You just described my 2002 Ford Ranger. First year for the Mazda based 2.3 DOHC, 5 speed, rubber floor and seats, and the only option is A/C. I love being able to clean the interior with Windex or a damp cloth.

  • avatar
    Ex Radio Operator

    My 2006 GMC Sierra W/T cloth seats, rubber floored, crank windowed, long bed, appliance white, a/c and auto, tow package, was about 12 grand out the door. Not much more than I paid for the 1995 Ford F-150 it replaced. Nearly all dealers down here keep these in stock because of the industries on the ship channel requiring trucks like mine.

  • avatar
    nikita

    The dash on this thing is far more “carlike” than GM trucks of the same vintage. For folks pining for a “stripper”, this one is Custom with V-8, 4-speed and lots of chrome.

    My 1971 C-10 was originally a fleet special, no radio, no rear bumper, no spare tire/wheel, 250ci I-6, non-power disc/drum brakes, three on the tree and basic heater/defroster.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      A beast. Throw in a Kraco radio and 2 cheap speakers and a 4X4 for a bumper, if your state requires it, and you’re good to go. I had a C-10 three on the tree and the linkage would lock up if you went from 1st to 3rd too quickly. Get out, raise hood, fiddle with linkage using screwdriver or hammer as needed, fix it, close hood, go down the road. Great call on the Custom trim.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        My brother’s C10 with the 3 on the tree and 250 six would do the same thing with the linkage. Not too often, but when it did, a little wiggle under the dash or under the truck and all was well.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    That’s a nice grille guard. Think it’s too wide for the Dodge van?

  • avatar

    I could almost see Steve McQueen driving one of these…

    http://www.mpag.co.uk/images/steve3.jpg

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Great rugged truck. But what did these in was the box frame in back of the front wheels would rot, sag and even separate causing the doors and hood to misalign. JC Whitney even sold replacement repair kits.

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      T-bird, it wasn’t the frame that rusted on these trucks, it was the front cab mounts. The 61-66 trucks had the same problem, and it was an easy fix. My dad had a 64 F100 and the cab mounts rotted out. He jacked the cab up and welded angle iron in place and it was fine.

  • avatar
    mx6er2587

    my buddy still owns one of these. A 71 with the 302. Its a beater for sure but it still keeps going. I used it last weekend to move some furniture. The manual steering gives you a good workout. At least he upgraded to power brakes.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I like the styling of the dash, it looks better than their later two-cluster thing that they applied to EVERY ford product from 74-88.

    Just look at the imprinted FORD on the chrome strip, and how it tapers at either end, surrounded by the nice oval. Looks cool!

  • avatar
    ICARFAN

    Own a 73 F-250 Ranger XLT Camper Special, Texas truck originally, so very little rust and factory paint is still in remarkable condition. Great truck that will haul a real load, only complaint is the 10-12 MPG from the 390 that keeps it from being my DD. Still a suprising number of these old Ford trucks on the road from this era.

    • 0 avatar
      Moparman426W

      A dual plane manifold like an edelbrock performer, edelbrock 600- 650 or holley 600-650 carb with vacuum secondaries, open element air cleaner, timing advanced a few degrees and a set of headers with dual exhausts would put your mileage into the high teens. An RV cam will also add power and around 1 MPG


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