V.I.S.I.T. – Older & Slower Edition

A few weeks ago, I was wending my way down the sidewalk, minding my own business, I came across this old F-150 in a great shade of brown/red that I haven’t seen in a long time. Check it out.
I will say this with all the respect and admiration I can muster. One of the perks about working where I do is that many of our patients are older, and often from rural areas. That combination often means something old and rural is parked outside, and as a lover of old and slow, I reap the benefits. The first thing that struck me is how small it looks compared to the Suburban and the Silverado on either side. It’s just as capable, possibly more economical (if it’s the straight-6), and certainly stands out. But I’m biased.
With the help of the interwebs, I can hazard a guess and say that the color on this F-150 is Ford M5857 Medium Mulberry, and I definitely have not seen it in a long time, if ever. Have you? It’s sort of a mix between brown and red, almost like cinnamon. It’s fading and peeling like all good F-series pickups used to do, and the rest of it is cracked from the lacquer in the paint. By the way, did you know that you could get one of these with a hand throttle? Too cool.
I want a stamped tailgate like this on my F-150.
This is an XL, a very popular trim level through the years, even today. Note the single gas tank and (real) hub caps. Running boards are a nice touch, too. This large step bumper, probably a dealer-installed option at the time, works well on this working truck. This is one of those trucks that, anymore, probably spends more time sitting in the driveway than it does on the road or in the field working, but that’s ok. It’s earned a little rest.
[Photos Copyright 2016 Hooniverse/Marcal Eilenstein]

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  1. dukeisduke Avatar

    AFAIK, one of those stamped tailgates will swap right over to everything up through the ’96 models. And the up to ’98 F-250 and F-350 (before the Super Duty came out).

  2. CruisinTime Avatar

    Color of the Suburban on the right is real a real close match.

  3. boxdin Avatar

    Hand throttles are available on heavier trucks like F700 etc but are not an option on F150.
    I’m looking for a vehicle for my son and there’s nothing better than these trucks. I’m looking for a 86 or 87 ford step side, the last of the real step side beds.

  4. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar

    I had an ’80 F-100 for a number of years.
    My male parental unit bought it new. We hated that truck. I swear it wanted to kill me, ’cause some really strange things happened. Bolt dropped out of the steering coupler, underhood, surprise no steering! Another time, the transmission locked solid while I was on the freeway, going about 65 MPH (still the 55 MPH days), and that was enjoyable. The truck had 135K miles on it when I was T-boned by a Mercury Topaz in the rain. Only reverse could be engaged at that point, but I was only about a half mile from home…asked the cops if I could just back it home, they were cool with it.
    Literally, no options. Dad knew the salesman, did his taxes…and his family’s’ taxes…for many years, so we got a plain Jane rear bumper and a passenger’s door mirror. The mirrors were smaller than 3×5 index cards.
    No radio, rubber floor, vinyl bench seat, no A/C, no nothing. While it was our sole vehicle (single parent), it was also our work truck.
    By the time I was done with it, it literally did not have one undamaged body panel. The I-6 was smooth but gutless. I don’t think it put out but 115 HP, and MPG was mid-teens, at best.
    BTW, converting a three-on-the-tree to three-on-the-floor results in an odd shift pattern.
    1 3
    R 2
    Even after a few years, I still tagged reverse on the 1-2 shift.
    There is something to be said for old beater trucks. Never have to lock them, or even roll up the windows unless it’s going to rain (mine had a broken driver’s door window for about six months, just carried a towel on the passenger’s side in case it rained), and you don’t care what happens to them, really.

  5. babyivan Avatar

    I’m not into anything aftermarket usually, but I love how that bumper looks on there, it’s a good fit for that body style

  6. RealDonn Avatar

    Notice how much bigger the Suburban and Dodge are. Not because they carry any more than the old Ford, but to appeal to the modern mucho-macho truck buyer.