Tuesday, July 7, 2009

1977 Ford F-Series Pickup; American Classic

1977 Ford F100 Pickup Truck with Ray - copyright 2009 Jeffery Blackwell

This particular red pickup truck may be the quintessential internal-combustion powered American vehicle of all time. It is a 1977 vintage Ford F100 owned by Ray, the gentleman in the picture. I loved this truck so much when I saw Ray driving it that I followed him for almost 10 miles so I could make these photos.

I was a couple hundred yards behind Ray in traffic when I spotted the white painted bumper and the really skinny tires on Ray's truck. When I pulled up next to him at a light and rolled past the camper/cap with brown embossed vinyl panels on the sides and wood paneled interior, I recognized it as a classic example of the American pickup truck. Ray's truck is in beautiful, original condition.

1977 Ford F100 Pickup Truck Side View Front - copyright 2009 Jeffery Blackwell

Introduced in 1948, the F series was born a cash cow for the Ford Motor Company and remains so to this day. It was the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 23 years, and has been the best-selling truck for 31 years. Ford has sold some 32,000,000 instances of the F-Series pickups.

I say that this might just be the quintessential vehicle because Ray has used his pickup for nothing more than personal transportation and hauling that proverbial 4x8 sheet of plywood. The bed is even wood-paneled and carpeted – just like my family’s rec room.

1977 Ford F100 Pickup Truck door panel - copyright 2009 Jeffery Blackwell

1977 Ford F100 Pickup Truck front fender view - copyright 2009 Jeffery Blackwell

In this way, Ray was astride the wave of Americans who discovered that the high riding position of a pickup gave one a feeling of security and power which they absolutely loved. They were even willing to trade passenger capacity (2-3 vs. 5-6 for a “family” car”) for the experience. The 8’ bed was seldom used, but eminently useful when it was.

Of course the "pickup" truck now commonly seats four (at the expense of the 8’ bed) and it wasn’t until 1984 that the Jeep Cherokee mutated into what we now call an SUV – a “family truck”.

1977 Ford F100 Pickup Truck grille - copyright 2009 Jeffery Blackwell

A few years back, I hired a contractor to finish off my basement. One day he and I were chatting and he was bemoaning the loss of the basic pickup. “You know, us guys in the trades used to walk in and order a truck with nothing on it. Vinyl bench seat, manual transmission, no radio. You want hub caps to keep the lugs from rusting, but you could even delete those if you wanted to. Now, pickups come “standard” with air, leather, alloy wheels, audiophile systems (this was prior to GPSs and DVDs,)…. It cost me $35,000 for a truck! I’m afraid to get a scratch on the dang thing”

1977 Ford F100 Pickup Truck bed - copyright 2009 Jeffery Blackwell

As you can see, Ray’s truck is quite free of scratches, and it hibernates away the long Wisconsin winters in Ray’s garage.

Ray bought his truck in 1978, when it had less than 10,000 miles on it. He has driven it just about 100,000 miles since then, and does all his own maintenance, which he describes as “not much”.

Ray’s F100 has a “three-in-the-tree” (three speed stick shift on the steering column), crank windows, a vinyl bench seat, no power brakes or steering and no air conditioning.

The way a truck should be.

1977 Ford F100 Pickup Truck rear view - copyright 2009 Jeffery Blackwell


  1. The truck and the pics are a true inspiration to me. It is a beutiful truck. My dad bought a 77 back about 5 years ago and since then has given it to me. It is a good looking truck, but needs some work. I hope to restore it to the condition of Ray's truck. This is the first site I went to and found this wonderful truck. So thank you for the pics and helping me see what an original looks like. James Taylor Lou. ky

  2. James, thanks for your comment. That's cool that your dad gave you the truck, and have fun restoring it!

    I love Ford trucks, and I just came across what I think is about a '55,(haven't had time to look it up yet) with the wrap-around glass in the back. I'll be posting some pictures of that in the next week or so, so come on back.


  3. my first ford truck is a 1976 f100 i buy this truck abaut 20 years ago drove to mexico and give to my dad he drive this truck every day to this date ,then i buy a 1978 14years ago fixitup drovet for 6 years and sold et naow i a own 1977 f150 with 302 and c6 new paint job i love this trucks

  4. I just bought a 1977 ford f150 and I love this truck,I can only say it's the best.

  5. Felicidades por la camioneta, esta muy bien conservada, espero colocar unas imagenes de la mia y las compartire con usted...


  6. ¡Gracias mucho , ...::NEKTO::...! Agradezco su comentario, y lo quisiera ver sus fotos. ¡Por favor envíeme un acoplamiento!

  7. Excelente camioneta, yo tengo una 1975 std.a la columna motor 390, trato de traerla lo mejor posible, felicidades

  8. Disculpa por la demora, aqui esta la foto pendiente...
    La camioneta era de mi abuelo paterno, el la compro hace 33 años y desde entonces esta en la familia, la tengo bajo mi cargo desde hace 10 aproximadamente y trato de mantenerla lo mejor que puedo...




  9. ..::NEKTO::..

    It's a beautiful truck, It's amazing that it has been in your family for 33 years! What a great story! Thanks for pointing us to the photo.

    - Jeff


Thanks for commenting! Double clutch!!