25K Original Miles: 1985 Ford F-150 Lariat

This 1985 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat is a low-mileage survivor with the desirable short-bed configuration. A few years ago, a truck like this may not have grabbed your attention, but seeing one today in this sort of condition with under 30,000 original miles is definitely a rare find. The truck is equipped with the hearty 5.8L 351 V8 paired with an automatic transmission. It also comes equipped with working air conditioning, power windows and door locks, and excellent chrome trim. The bidding is quite strong for the truck here on eBay, where it has eclipsed $21,000 with the reserve unmet.

There’s just something about a short bed pickup in outstanding condition. They are seriously handsome machines, no matter the make or model. The F150 is obviously in stiff competition with the short-bed Chevy C10 in terms of “who wore it better”, and I’m sure you can get downright testy with a fellow enthusiast who claims one versus the other is the superior design. The 351 under the hood may settle the argument, however, given how well-loved that engine is. Though the temptation is strong to install a modified exhaust, it’s encouraging to see this F150 retains its factory mufflers.

Red on red was a very common color combination when this truck was new, and while I haven’t done the official math yet, I am willing to bet more than 50 percent of trucks from this era had maroon cloth or vinyl inside (with matching door panels and carpets, of course). The seller’s truck features the Lariat trim, which I believe it was got you the fake wood trim on the dash and steering wheel. Everything looks tidy on this Ford, even down to the weather stripping inside the door jambs. The seller doesn’t tell us much about the truck’s maintenance or ownership histories, but the pictures really do the talking for a low-mileage survivor like this.

The seller does claim the truck has been “…well maintained,” with “…no mechanical issues whatsoever.” Perhaps the best selling point for buying a truck like this is that they are dirt cheap to maintain and buy parts for while having an excellent track record for steadily increasing sale prices and holding their value over the long haul. The low mileage and the short bed will definitely drive bidder interest in this truck, along with the options list and color scheme. While I’m a bit surprised the reserve hasn’t been met, I don’t blame the seller for holding out for more given how difficult it will be to find another F150 this clean.


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice truck. I too am partial to short wheelbase models, Flaresides included. Looks to be in good shape. A previous owner must have liked exterior “bling” of its day, as this truck has quite a bit of it.

    Like Jeff notes, I too remember lots of red interiors. A Marti Report could be configured to provide this data.

    Like 5
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    For what could be a clean, uncluttered truck,this one
    keeps your eyes busy,with all the added accessories cluttering
    it up,plus the clearance lights on top of the cab.Otherwise,it looks
    like a nice truck.

    Like 4
  3. Todd Zuercher

    This thing would really scoot with the 5.8 HO engine – all 210 hp of it! I still remember when it was introduced – I was in high school and it was more evidence that the malaise era had ended and good things were ahead.’

    That said – I’d personally prefer the 5.0 EFI/AOD combination for this truck. ’85 was the first year for the multi-port EFI on these trucks and it aided a great deal to the driveability/reliability of the trucks. The AOD, while not the world’s most awesome transmission, at least allowed the them to cruise at more comfortable highway speeds than the C4s or the C6 in this truck.

    Like 6
    • Tbone

      My uncle had a 1988 version of this truck and thought it was not such a great combo. The engine was on the smaller side for towing and the mileage wasn’t so great because the size of the truck.

      Like 1
  4. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    Mexico had a lot of regular cab short beds but almost no 4X4 trucks even though the roads are terrible and a lot of still not paved roads.

    To this day Toyota is the only company that offers a small SUV 4X4.

    Like 1
  5. Morley Member

    I bought mine in 1980 with very few options 300 six, three in the tree, 10 hole wheels, front and rear sway bars and tinted windows –all- power steering and no rrear bumper. Manual brakes disc on the front and drum on the rear. It is a Custom 100 , rubber floor mat and has a guage package. Still have it , never winter driven, and some summers not driven at all. I eventually bought a rear bumper–not a step bumper –but I can not find the bumper brackets any suggestions —-

    Like 7
    • RexFox Member

      A straight 6, manual transmission and hand crank windows would be the perfect setup for me. Sorry I can’t help with the bumper bracket question, but I agree that rear bumpers are essential.

      Like 1
      • RexFox Member

        Oh yeah, nice truck Morley!

        Like 1
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      I believe you have to drill hole into the frame.
      Best way to check is look at another one that does
      have a bumper.

      Like 1
  6. TomP

    This red truck didn’t sell, go figure.. He should have taken the $2000 that it’s worth and ran. I find it very suspect how I can’t even give away my classic Porsche’s and Ferrari’s but people are selling old F150’s and Broncos for up to $400,000… Oh wait, theyre not…. A quick Ebay search of completed listings (which includes the sold and unsold vehicles) shows that NO Broncos or F150’s have sold for anything near that in the last three months. Two were listed as being sold for $68000 but surprisingly are still for sale on the dealers websites…. And the ones that did sell have sold in the vicinity of about $2400.. The large majority of completed listings is for unsold vehicles in which the sellers were blinded by big dollar signs inflicted by whatever tv show is glamorizing overpriced clunkers.. I know that Ebay is not the definitive place to sell a vehicle, but also in the real world, I have yet to see a $70,000 1980’s F150 driving down the road, or at a car show… So in the end, if anything, seeing people take the reality TV show bait and attempt to sell their $2000 truck for $30, $50, $70k is amusing…. At least Ebay is making alot of money on them when they list, relist, relist, relist……

    Like 1
  7. Ian McColl

    This is somewhat of an interesting truck. All of the “bling” as one commenter described were all either factory or dealer installed options on this truck. The only thing that may be aftermarket is the bed cover and the receiver hitch.

    Interestingly it was ordered with the tow mirrors which may have come with a trailer package and the 351. This probably explains the factory roof clearance lamps as well. It probably has sway bars and perhaps even factor helper springs.

    What I find very interesting is the vinyl seat. The lariat package would have come with quite a plush cloth seat. The seat does appear to be factory correct so perhaps this was a special order?

  8. Brad460 Member

    My brother had an 86 version of this, though it was 2 tone red, and had the more luxurious 2 tone red. He was owner 2. Owner 1 yanked the 351 and put in a mild 460.

    Sold it several years ago, which was his biggest mistake. This truck featured should be in that 15 to 17k range.

    Like 1

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