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Roadside Attractions – 1988 Ford F-250

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For this installment of Roadside Attractions, I once again bring you another worthy nominee for induction into the Brown Car Appreciation Society. I was driving home after work one day, when I spotted this brown truck sitting on an empty corner, which seems to be the neighborhood used car lot. I see at least one car or truck (or RV) here every week. I decided to jump on the brakes and take a closer look.

According to the For Sale signs:

Ford F-250 351 Windsor engine
Tuned up 3/4 ton
Runs great
$2250 OBO

Just the facts, then. Short and sweet.

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Taking a look around the rig, I see that it’s got the later style wheel covers, and I wonder what’s going on with those rear wheel hubs. I see the body is in decent shape, with no significant rust or dents. I originally thought this was a 1987; however, the EFI emblem on the front of the truck would suggest this is an 88 model with the new fuel-injected version of the 5.8-liter Windsor. Also, I see that there is pinstriping one side – either the rest has come off, or this was an failed attempt to gussy up a brown truck. I tried to get a peak inside for the mileage, but I couldn’t really make it out. It has either 67,000 or 87,000 miles, if the odometer is correct.

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You can see the tiedowns for a slide-in camper, and a truck like this is perfectly suited to the task, with dual tanks, an 8-foot bed, and heavy duty leaf springs. The transmission, probably the AOD 4-speed, is well-equipped for getting big loads moving, and that 5.8-liter is strong. This truck is something of a rarity, a transitional piece, as it was the first year for the fuel-injected 5.8, but the final year for the Custom trim level.

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Growing up, I knew a man who drove a 90 F-150 Supercab in this same color. He called his truck Old Brown. Later, he bought a 97 F-150 in a similar cold; he called that one New Brown. I should have bought Old Brown when I had the chance.

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One of the things I always notice on trucks is the condition of the rear bumper. I don’t mind if it’s been well used over the years and has some dings and scratches, but if it’s bent in any way, I’m a little wary. This one looks to be good, with just some scuffs and small dings marring an otherwise nice chrome bumper. Also, I’ve always loved this old style tailgate, with the F O R D logo stamped into the steel. They stopped doing this for the 92- 96 trucks, but I’ve always wanted to get one of these on my 92.

For $2500, this long lasting, hard working machine could be yours, ready to give you years of continued service. Would you take it?

 

[Photos Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Marcal Eilenstein]

  • dropgate

    $2500 seems high to me. Last year I bought a 1995 F-250 long bed with a 351, working A/C, lumber rack and a smog cert for $1350. Great truck!

    • facelvega

      $2500 could be a very good price with such low mileage and no rust, provided everything underneath is in good working order, wear parts have been replaced, and those tires are in good shape. Just the standard exhaust, belts/water pump, brakes, and tires would more than make up for that extra $1150.

      • MVEilenstein

        Couldn't find any significant rust. Tires were in great shape. Registration expired last year, so that will probably run you $150.

    • MVEilenstein

      Sometimes I think I need to upgrade to an F-250. Then I think I should just get airbags on the back and be done with it.

    • I sold my 1988 F-150 extended cab long bed 4.9L I-6 5-speed 2WD, with non-working A/C, non-working driver's power window, crappy paint (but little to no rust), a iffy tailgate latch, torn seats, and so-so tires for $1350 two years ago. You got a great deal!

  • thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan refer the the brown one as a "flat front" while your round front we refer to as the "O.J. front."

    Both nice trucks.

    • MVEilenstein

      I like this 88 model, and the brown interior ages well in my eyes. I find myself needing the extra space behind the seats, though. The back seat folds flat, making an excellent loading area for fragile/water soluble cargo.

    • dukeisduke

      I liked my O.J. fronted F-150.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Why did we stop making real pickup trucks? This is all you ever need. Probably more than you need.

    • MVEilenstein

      We never stopped making them; people just stopped buying them. Why drive a plain old work truck, when you could fake flames and Harley-Davidson badges on the fender?

    • GTXcellent

      I think seat belt laws, car seat regulations, and general safety improvements are the reason. Growing up our family always had regular cab pickups – Dad, Mom my brother and I would cram ourselves in 4 wide. Now, I have to have a supercrew pickup just to have room for my boys' car seats. That being said, I sure feel more secure pulling a loaded 18ft trailer with my new truck than the old farm truck.

  • ptschett

    On the subject of the transmission: the thought of sending the 5.8L's power & torque through the not-exactly-durable AOD frightens me. (I've broken 2 4R70W's, the AOD's 'improved' descendant.)
    Our '88 F-250 5.8L EFI/automatic had a C6, but it was a 4×4 and an F-250HD.
    The rear hubs indicate a full-floating rear axle. Not sure if that indicates an HD model though.
    The shift pattern would help determine what transmission it has:
    PRND21 = C6
    PRND31 = AOD
    PRND21 with OD-off button on the dash = E4OD (but I don't think it was available till '89 or '90)

    • BobWellington

      My dad had either an '89 or '90 F-250 and he had to have the trans rebuilt twice in 120,000 miles (he owns a landscaping/lawn maintenance business so he tows at least half the time). Let's just say he no longer owns a Ford. He replaced it with a 2000 Tundra, which now has something like 250,000 miles with the original transmission doing the same work.

  • failboat

    nice truck. longbeds ftw. although I prefer the front end styling of the previous and next gen ford trucks, i wouldn't kick this one out of bed for eating crackers.

  • FЯeeMan

    That seems just perfect for once or twice a month duty hauling home from Lowes or to the junk yard or the scrap metal recyclers.

    • MVEilenstein

      Which is exactly what I would do with it, with the occasional camping trip thrown in.

  • GTXcellent

    I can't believe the shape that ol' girl is in. Our '88 F-150 "farm truck" looks like it spent time underwater it's so full of cancer: the rockers, the floors, the cab corners, the box corners, the fender wells, the box floor, etc all completely rusted through.

    I love my 2012 F-150 Supercrew, and there really is no comparison between the two trucks other than they were both made in Dearborn, Michigan. But, there is something very satisfying, nostalgic and almost heart warming about driving that old truck down a gravel road hauling a box full of lumber or rocks, window rolled down, tinny radio blasting out a 40 year old country song (and I really don't care for most country songs!).

    • MVEilenstein

      This truck likely spends most of its time sitting in the yard, or under or a car cover. Also, we don't really salt our roads, since there's rarely ice or snow enough to warrant it. That would explain its good condition.

      • BobWellington

        Even then it's still in surprisingly good condition.

  • 944tim

    already got a 95 F250 with 253000 miles. Somerust and needs a new tailgate, but I only paid 400$ crap mileage, needs an oxy sensor maybe.
    I only use it when I need to haul something. not a DD

    2500 is good, looks straight and tidy

  • Carter

    Perfect example of exactly what a pickup truck should be. I find myself at Auto Shows looking to see if each company brought a regular cab model with no options. That's what a pickup is to me.

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