By on November 6, 2014

18 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAfter the ’79 Chevy LUV Junkyard Find we saw yesterday, it seems appropriate to follow up with another Malaise Era Japanese small pickup with Detroit badging. I found this Ford-badged Mazda B1800 just a couple of rows away from the LUV. It’s three years older and much rougher than the Chevy (Isuzu).

17 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinVehicles mostly don’t rust much in the Denver area, thanks to the single-digit humidity, but this one appears to have spent some time in the Midwest.
01 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAs is often the case with junked vehicles, all sorts of stuff belonging to the previous owner was still inside. Here’s a notebook with records of fuel and oil purchases stretching back to the mid-1980s. Check out the sub-dollar-per-gallon prices of February 1986; while this era’s crash in oil prices was a boon for me as I delivered pizzas in my 351W-powered Mercury Cyclone, it was also the primary cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as the sales death of little trucks like this one.
03 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinReally cheap new-vehicle buyers in the 1970s didn’t want to spend several hundred bucks for a factory AM radio— yes, audio gear was expensive back then, even before the vehicle manufacturers’ markups— so they got the “radio delete” package and then added a relatively cheap aftermarket rig like this Philco.

Imagine Johnnie Taylor buzzing tinnily out of that dash-mounted whizzer cone!
06 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe driver’s door is hanging by a thread. This truck gave its all.
11 - 1976 Ford Courier Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe hubcaps stayed with it to the end, though.

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33 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1976 Ford Courier...”

  • avatar

    Looks like somebody reeled this thing in from the bottom of a lake.

    Get them dog dishes!!!! There’s a lonely F100 still in service somewhere which really wants them.

    • 0 avatar

      I really like the simple, industrial style font they used on those dishes.

      • 0 avatar

        How do you feel about the swirly, intricate patterns they used on late 70’s Ford LTD’s? For example: pinstripes, interior seats/dash, et cetera?

        You know, the kind of design detail you would see on a saloon sign in the Old West? That good ol 1900’s era design, lol

        That’s my fav. Thumbs up.

        • 0 avatar

          I liked the wood and Brougham logos, but not necessarily the horrible fake nature of the wood, nor the paisley seat fabrics. A good balance between gauche and simple was struck in the early 70s, but by mid-late it was far overblown.

          See here (Lincoln):


          The Chryslers went gauche earlier, and were more offensive.

          • 0 avatar

            Check this out man:

            late 70’s LTD restomod.

            Keep the awkward, horribly outdated old world design touches, but upgrade brakes, suspension, wheels (think muscle not anything with the d-word (“dub”)).

            Throw in a large FI motor with digital ignition.

            Oh yeah!! A muscle barge. Tastefully enhanced, paisley patterns and all.

          • 0 avatar

            By the way, love that whore red trim on the beige cloth in that 78, lol.

            Good God.

            Hearing Aid Beige made quite the splash.

            My 89 Town Car was that Butter Cream Yellow, lol (Fawn Beige was the proper name, IIRC). *WITH* a chocolate brown canvas top. (“Prestige Roadster” FTW!)

            Call it Grandpa’s Car if you will, but the ladies back in high school loved it. We’d pile three across in the front and four across in the back and ditch class.

            Those were the days, man.

          • 0 avatar

            Your restomod link isn’t showing!

            I can’t get past the “luggage straps” style seat trimming, which Mazda and Toyota also did for a while on large cars like the 929 or the Cressida.

            IMO the paisley in things like ElDorados was even more offensive. It looked okay in something with other more understated touches, like a large Ninety-Eight.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ve answered you, my reply will show up soon I must have said a bad word.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s probably where they came from in the first place. That, or an Econoline. The Courier had dog dishes as standard also, but they were more of a “flying saucer” style that fit flush with the original rims. The wheels on this truck are definitely something salvaged from an American truck.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford used this hubcap on almost everything in the mid-70s from Torinos to pickups. I grabbed a pair with trim rings from a Maverick Grabber in our local junkyard some years ago. They now reside on my utility trailer.

  • avatar

    If I had to guess I’d say the Philco radio was the “factory” radio. Weren’t a lot of Ford radios branded Philco-Ford? Its slapdash look is probably due to it being installed at the dealer or at the port rather than the factory. I found a picture of a ’74 Courier at Bring A Trailer and it appears to have the same AM radio:

    • 0 avatar

      That looks like a dealer install to me.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, RPM is probably correct. Philco was part of FoMoCo, and even the radio knobs are very similar to those used on 1970’s Gran Torino’s and other American Fords. Very likely that the radio came from the dealer parts department. IIRC during my time with Chevrolet, the first LUV trucks(1972) I believe came standard with a Japanese radio brand named ‘Ten’, and that name appeared on the tuner dial plate.

      • 0 avatar

        We sold Mazda trucks in the late 70’s through the mid 80’s, and they generally came radioless. If you asked the distributor, you could get them installed at the port, but you could get better radios for leas than what the distributor charged.

        Two things our mechanics liked to do were to install air conditioners and radios, it paid well and was easy. We did our own installs as a favor to our mechanics, to make up for some of the warranty jobs they did that were a little skinny on the hours.

      • 0 avatar

        And an AM radio was hardly “several hundred dollars”, it was more in the $80 range. AFAIK the “TEN” brand was Fujitsu, who were known for making decent car stereo gear back in the day.

        • 0 avatar

          Not related to this truck at all but speaking of TEN radios by Fujitsu, my mum’s 1996 Toyota Corolla has a Ten Radio but the badge says “Fujitsu Ten” instead of just Ten. As for these trucks, in Melbourne, there’s a few running around with the original Mazda badging and that’s about it. Not common in Melbourne anymore.

  • avatar

    Philco was an OEM supplier of radios for many years and they were owned by Ford from 1961-1974. My wife’s 1976 Mustang had one, branded Philco just like the one in the truck.

    • 0 avatar

      And an aftermarket AM/FM set would only cost a few bucks more. If you were installing the radio yourself, you’d spring for FM at least, maybe even a tape deck….though that could run into money.

  • avatar

    I saw one of these in my building’s lot last year and I had no idea what it was.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    I learned to drive in my Father’s 1976 Mazda B1600.

    Dad drove this truck to work every day for years. He also used it to tow his mullet boat. In Florida these trucks rusted badly. They were also underpowered and slow. I can still recall the tinny sound the doors made when they closed.

  • avatar

    Still surprisingly intact for a Courier, in the rust belt it would have looked like this by 1979.

    The first time I read this through I thought MM’s 351W powered Mercury Cyclone was the primary cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Someone should write their political science Phd dissertation on that.

  • avatar

    Seriously guys I’m seeing stuff post in the article and then refreshing to see it gone. Roll back your WordPress version prior to 1.5 at least in staging and test.

  • avatar

    Bud was a stone.

    “You don’t accept Master Card?”, asked the man at the counter, laughingly surprised. Bud looked up from the records of steel stock that littered his desk without moving his head. He then raised it slowly, glaring at the customer the whole way. He took the time to gently place his pencil down to make this wise-guy as uncomfortable as possible before simply replying, “No.” The customer buying the sheet of 10# grating quickly generated his checkbook from his back pocket. If he would have said anything, it would have been “Geeez.”, but he refrained from doing so. Clearly, this man had no sense of humor whatsoever. Bud took the check, sharpened his pencil, and jotted down a bevy of adjustments to his books. He ripped back the handle of the calculator like a shifter, then keyed the 50’s era microphone. “Grating, ten pound, four by eight, single”. Bud walked over to the man to hand him receipt. “That’s made from ten gauge right?”, said the man. Bud’s face was stone cold, intensely annoyed. “Nevermind.”, said the man, taking the receipt.

    Bud locked up the bars over the front door of the office. Then he stepped into his mildly rusty pickup. He slammed the door shut heartily, while pulling up at the engagement point so that it would latch. “92,000 miles.”, he thought to himself, impressed. He started the Toyo Kogyo four. Eventually, it began to idle smoothly. Talk radio eminated from the Philco.
    “Have you heard about this Jerry? Some guy, one of these, they call it “punk”, kids… You know that punk music? Yeah. Anyway, this…punk went over to the Y108 station here in Denver with a rifle, and demanded they play this band called The Smiths. That’s scary John. Yeah, that music’s pretty bad. (laughter)”
    “Damn punks.”, said Bud to himself. He pulled out of the gravel lot, and in doing so, the Philco lost reception and crackled to death. Bud switched it off.

    Noisy, stiffly sprung, rattly, stinky, words best to describe Bud’s ’76 Ford Courier. He bounced on the canvas wrapped bench. “Need to get some fuel.”, Bud thought to himself factually. He made a sharp right to beat the light. The sound of a sliding object behind his seat caught his attention. It suddenly silenced itself as it dropped through the rust hole and exited the cab. The noise was replaced by the sound of the socket wrench case exploding on the pavement, and scattering sockets. The man was intensely perturbed, but said nothing. Bud pulled to the side, and picked up the tools one by one off the street.

    The Ford clattered into the Texaco for fuel. Bud took the reading. He collated and calculated. By outward appearance, he calmly closed the tablet, and started the truck. However, there was a discrepancy! You could have grilled an egg on the man’s bald scalp, which calmly heated like an induction stove. The parity of three gallons of gasoline was missing.

    Bud passed his mailbox, and ripped down the adjoining driveway. The door of the Courier was forcibly flung open. By the time he had hopped out of the running truck and made it to the front door, there was no need to knock. His neighbor was already aroused and standing there to address the ruckus. “Where is that…punk kid of yours!!”, Bud boomed. Little Steven emerged as his mother engaged Bud in a shouting duel. “I didn’t steal your gas you crazy old bastard. My car doesn’t even run.” The shouting paused. Bud leered at the battered pea green Vega next to the shed. It’s hood was open, various parts and a dirty rag lay on top of the fenders. Bud calculated that there was a 5% chance that the boy was telling the truth. Anyway, his point had been made clear yet again. “Stay off my property.”

    When Bud returned to the Ford, it was just as hot as he was. It barely made it next to his house before seizing up. His old dress shirt was smeared with black smudges while he disassembled the motor. Bud tabulated the parts necessary to effect repair with uncertainty.
    “This isn’t fiscally reasonable.”

  • avatar

    Those Colorado people are soft and spoiled. I’d bolt a bedpan on for a head, then get another 10 years out of this. If I only I lived closer.

  • avatar

    Top speed on these things was about 90 mph. Do not ask my parents how I know this.

  • avatar

    Can anyone give me the name of the junkyard this truck is sitting at?

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