The obsession with ‘80s automobiles isn’t relegated just to hot hatches, but that love affair carries over to all sorts of vehicles of the era – including pickup trucks. Another current trend in this truck’s favor is the call of the wild, especially during the age of COVID when retreating to nature can be viewed as a necessity. Judging by how spotless the undercarriage is on this one, we can tell it’s itching to get out there and prove its mettle. There are tons of lifted trucks currently for sale - modded to kingdom come – but why is this one special? First-off, it isn’t earrings on a pig. This build started with one of the best-looking trucks in the past 40 years, and compared to other Detroit counterparts, the Ford design has aged better, with a square-jawed masculine presence, tidy proportions, and just enough of a rounded edge to split the difference between the early ‘80s and late ‘90s offerings. Notably, in 1989, Ford sealed the deal and established the F-series pickup as the best-selling vehicle in America, and that trend has kept pace over the years, with recent sales figures reaching approximately 900,000 trucks annually! With a fairly healthy inventory of these 30-year-old pickups kicking around, prices have been relatively stable, allowing shoppers to be selective and seek out diamonds in the rough.
The ad for this beast lists a host of upgrades that complement each other nicely, from the tubular custom coated bumpers, front and rear winches (both hydraulic and electric), rear-mounted spare, off-road lighting, on-board air compressor and CB radio, as well as a long list of reliability and durability upgrades to the mechanicals. The power steering cooler, upgraded radiator, beefy axles and Bilsteins keep up with the bomb proof powertrain that lies underneath. The seller casually throws a 250 into the odometer reading field, leaving you to add the “k” yourself. We see the updated PowerStroke badges, and although no engine shots are provided, we assume it’s had a heart transplant from a truck 5 years younger - if we could all be so lucky! - but nobody buying this thing cares about matching numbers, performance being the goal here. Buyers will definitely want to get the full story about the motor and mileage to confirm these suspicions prior to purchase.
Climb on in and you’ll find the interior is spartan, but not uncomfortable, and the Lariat trim means extra cushy seats, nicer fabric, and a few other bells and whistles that are negated by all the upgrades. The seller doesn’t mention the aftermarket pioneer stereo, but without external amplification you won’t stand a chance of drowning out that PowerStroke diesel Michelin mudder combo, and to that end, it would be great if they added copious amounts of Dynamat under that new carpet kit. Whoever the builder was must’ve had an extra strip of Alcantara lying around the shop and decided to give that dash pad an effect strip - classy. Speaking of class, this example wears the coveted Eddie Bauer colorway well, and the 2-tone paint looks very much at home with the sandy bottom and Arizona desert shrub top blending into the background of the scenery in the enticing photos. The rear spare tire would be comical hanging off the back end of lesser vehicles, but here it’s more of a reminder of this machine’s capabilities, and a straightforward insurance policy in case you get unlucky. This thing is too serious to laugh at, let’s be honest.
The 24-hour news cycle is bombarding us with messages of impending doom and warning us that the apocalypse is just around the corner. Does this listing inspire you to go find an ‘80s F-Series to start a COVID lockdown project of your own? Are you trying to find a way to ditch the lease on your CUV to go off-grid for a while? Let’s face it, it would take too much time, too much money, and too much effort to build a comparable contender - this thing is turn-key, and that’s worth a lot right now.
Speaking of worth, comps are hard to triangulate on builds of this caliber, with parts lists looming large and labor costs packed into the purchase price. Hagerty’s #1 value sits at $21,500, and a solid #2 is at $14,500, while a couple of recent completed eBay auctions (HERE & HERE) show that folks are willing to spend #1 and #2 money for inferior builds. Add to that the 20-year ownership history, good attention to detail, clean (mostly) original appearing interior, and a hot market for adventure rigs, we say that with a little negotiation, the price on this one could feel very fair to the right buyer.