Down On The Mile High Street: 1969 Ford F-100

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
down on the mile high street 1969 ford f 100

Now that my ’66 Dodge A100 is back on the street, I find it pleasing that a Ford pickup of similar vintage lives in my Denver neighborhood.

This 42-year-old truck clearly gets used for real-world truck activities, proving once again that the vintage of a Detroit truck doesn’t matter as much as its ability to start, drive, and haul stuff every day.

A new ’69 F-100 Styleside with the long wheelbase listed at $2,430 for the base model with the 150-horsepower 240-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine and 3-speed manual transmission. That’s about $14,650 in 2011 bucks, a pretty good deal when you consider that the cheapest 2011 F-150 MSRP’s at north of 23 grand. Of course, today’s full-sized Ford pickup has more power and is way more comfortable, yet gets better fuel economy, but still: you can haul that big load of pork salivary glands and lymph nodes to your sausage factory just as well in either one!

With my van, this truck, and this ’51 Chevy pickup just around the corner, my neighborhood has vintage representatives from each of the Detroit Big Three. We’ve also got this mid-60s Land Rover Station Wagon and this Toyota FJ40 work truck rounding things out; all that’s missing are the elderly Jeep, Studebaker, and International Harvester trucks.

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  • VanillaDude VanillaDude on Mar 23, 2011

    I get to write about my F-150 I had while living in small town Kansas! I loved that truck! It had a three speed manual and a simple hose-able interior. No carpeting - just a big rubber mat. The only thing I had to tend with was replacing the radiator hose. A little six cylinder engine. The truck rattled where the rust had loosened up something or other, but never rattled enough to be distracting. I lived forty miles from the nearest big box stores, hospitals and cops. I would leave the keys in it with the doors unlocked and the windows down. On beautiful sunny summer mornings when I had to go to town, I would gas up at the Co-Op, and ramble down the farm roads over the single railroad track and point that little red truck straight east. I had to wear sun glasses, a sleeveless t-shirt with the sides ripped open and wearing 501's over cowboy farm boots. The hawks would fly overhead in a lazy circle enjoying the updrafts coming off the spring green wheat fields. No trees, except for the shelter belts on the horizons planted during the Dust Bowl years. The windows were down and the wind would flood the metalic interior of that little red truck, sweeping out the cigarette smoke, tickling my skin under my shirt, yanking at my chin stubble and whipping my hair around. There is no traffic out there. You can drive however you wish, no one cares. It is just you and your little truck and the empty Kansas horizons. After growing up in Chicago and racing around Denver in that rat race, driving in Kansas is like a happy beer buzz. Complete relaxation. It felt like I had retired at 20 years of age. I didn't have much money, but I had enough to pay rent on an old farmhouse, keep the F-150 on the road, and pay for a beer run with my buddies. Then there was the truck bed. I hauled garbage in it when I had to every week or so. There would be beef jerky wrappers lodged up against the cab and empty High Life cans and an empty Marlboro pack or two. I hauled anything that fit into it. I had two horses so I used the bed to haul my tack, saddles and feed. I put whatever tires I could find on it and tossed an extra into the bed when one of the tires failed me. I washed it when I had nothing else to do, or if it started to stink from anything that leaked and rotted in the bed. In return, the little F-150 just kept running without complaints. Every man needs a truck because our society demands that men do stuff. We are supposed to lift, haul, sweat, mow, get sunburned, pull muscles, help others and satisfy the ladies too. A truck is the vehicular tool for men who do stuff. Consequently, trucks are too high, too thirsty, too big, too overpowered, too rough, too much, and often ramble around empty except for empty snack wrappers, cigarette butts, empty cans and old farts. Trucks are just like us. That is why we love them.

  • Jerseydevil Jerseydevil on Mar 23, 2011

    When trucks acturally did something other than be pampered by their owners so they can clog mall parking lots.

  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.
  • Lorenzo They may as well put a conventional key ignition in a steel box with a padlock. Anything electronic is more likely to lock out the owner than someone trying to steal the car.
  • Lorenzo Another misleading article. If they're giving away Chargers, people can drive that when they need longer range, and leave the EV for grocery runs and zipping around town. But they're not giving away Chargers, thy're giving away chargers. What a letdown. What good are chargers in California or Nashville when the power goes out?