As I have mentioned in a previous post, cars were part of my life from the day I was born. What I failed to mention is that some of my earliest memories are of my grandpa’s trucks and tractors. Grandpa is a farmer in southwest Missouri, halfway between Conway and Morgan in southwest Laclede County ($10 if you know where that is). He lives in a cozy house on 80 acres, with a few dozen head of cattle right now. When I was a kid, this was one of my favorite places in the world – I could run through the woods, ride my bike, go exploring, run from the bull, and “help” grandpa with his chores. The truck featured here has been on the farm for many, many years, and has made many a run from the barn to the fields, feeding cattle, hauling hay, etc. Let’s take a look at some pictures I took a few years ago.
The F-100 Custom Cab was more than a badge; it was a statement. It told the world that you worked hard, but wanted to do it with a little style. From chrome trim to a rearview mirror to a rear bumper, this truck helped you on the job, but was nice enough to drive to town. This particular truck likely had the 223 c.i. I-6, appropriately named the Mileage Maker.
I learned to drive a manual transmission with this truck. My brother and I fired this up one day (manual choke, btw), checked the tires, and rolled down the driveway to the road. I don’t know why a 3-speed column shift wasn’t more popular; it was just about perfect for this truck, and I only stalled it a few times on my first try!
As far as I can tell, the truck was originally a single color, although the way the paint has faded and peeled, it looks like a two-tone, with white on top. Either way, this was a great-looking truck in its day.
It’s hard for me to imagine a time when bumpers were optional, but the original buyer of this truck opted for a rear bumper. I believe the Custom Cab option also came with the large rear window. Very stylish, especially with the trim around it.
One of Ford’s selling points for the unibody trucks was the bigger bed. I have read that the bed on a unibody had a 7% greater volume than the standard pickup, since the gap between cab and bed was filled in. I can’t find a source for this, though. Can anyone confirm that figure?
Can’t say much about this shot, except that the body is still in decent shape after 50 years, and I still love that color.
I really like the simple dash layout – big speedometer in the middle, oil pressure gauge on one side, and the volt meter on the other.
That’s about it for this post. I hope you like the pictures, and I hope you enjoyed some of my stories. The unibody trucks were ahead of their time, and were discontinued after 1963. However, I think it was a good idea, and one that we would see again in other guises. Grandpa’s truck had none of the chassis issues that some reported (like doors not opening when the truck was loaded, doors flying opening on the road, cracks in the body, etc.), but maybe you know of one that has. Let me know what you think of this truck.
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