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428 Cobra Jet! 1975 Ford F250 Highboy

This 1975 Ford F250 Highboy is a tough-looking truck, and it doesn’t flatter to deceive. Below the rugged exterior beats a stout heart that should make this an accomplished tow vehicle. It is also a vehicle that would command respect and attention if you pointed it at the nearest drag strip because it has received an engine transplant of epic proportions. The owner has decided to part with the F250 that is located in Boise, Idaho, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. When you consider the overall package on offer here, I’m not surprised to see that this vehicle has generated plenty of interest. There have already been 32 bids, and these have pushed the price to $8,500 in a No Reserve auction.

The presentation of the F250 isn’t perfect, but it is still pretty good for what is admittedly a 46-year-old workhorse. The combination of Ginger Glow Metallic and Wimbledon White paint shows its age, but it hasn’t deteriorated to the point where I would be ashamed to be seen in public in this truck. A cosmetic refresh wouldn’t go astray, but it isn’t something that would need to be tackled immediately. The panels wear a few minor dings and marks, but these indicate that this is no trailer queen and has worked to earn a living. Rust is not a concern here because the panels look clean, while the frame and underside seem spotless. The big wheels and chunky tires don’t just make this Ford look tough, but they would enhance its off-road abilities. The tinted glass appears to be in good order, and that massive front bumper houses a winch that would come in mighty handy if the next owner ever managed to find terrain that defeated this beast.

When it was shiny and new, the engine bay of this F250 would have been occupied by a 360ci V8 that was backed by an automatic transmission. With power steering and power brakes, it would have been an effortless beast to drive. With 143hp on tap, it also would have towed or carried some heavy loads without raising a sweat. However, if you are less interested in towing a trailer and had your eye set on something about the size and weight of your average house, the owner of this Highboy has you covered. The 360 has been consigned to the pages of history, and in its place is a genuine 428 Cobra Jet V8. With 335hp and 440 ft/lbs of torque available under the right foot, this monster makes the original V8 look like a wimp. When you combine all of the torque with the big wheels and tires and the 4×4 drivetrain, the F250 should be able to crawl into some pretty inaccessible locations easily. The engine bay presents well, but this truck is about more than good looks. The owner says that it runs and drives exceptionally well while it turns and stops perfectly. With a tow hitch on the back, you would have to think that this could be a pretty accomplished tow vehicle.

I would class the interior of the F250 as being serviceable but not spectacular. It shows its share of wear-and-tear, but nothing inside this classic demands immediate attention. How the buyer tackles this will depend on what their vision is for the vehicle. There is a substantial rip on the outer edge of the seat on the driver’s side. This could be repaired, but some nice replacement covers in vinyl and cloth are available for under $300. The carpet is also worn and stained, but if you add $120 to your budget, that will bring fresh carpet to the party. The only other item that the buyer might need to replace is the door trims. The lower edges of both are looking quite rough, although a close inspection might reveal them to be repairable. However, it isn’t hard to find these for $300 for a pair, and with all of these items replaced, and the rest of the interior treated to a deep clean, it would present pretty nicely. The owner has equipped the Highboy with some aftermarket gauges and a column-mounted tach to monitor the monster under the hood. There is also a radio/cassette player to help relieve boredom on those longer journeys.

While this 1975 Ford F250 Highboy might look tough, there is nothing visible to indicate what an animal this truck must be. It would have the power to burn, and I believe it would surprise a few people if you pointed it at a ¼-mile ribbon of tarmac. Classic pickups remain a desirable commodity in the market, and the bidding on this one graphically demonstrates this fact. How high the bidding will go is hard to determine, but I wouldn’t rule out $20,000. It might not be an original and spotless example, but that engine would make it an attractive proposition for many potential buyers. This is an auction that should be worth watching, although you might be tempted to take it further by joining the bidding party. If you do, I wish you good luck and hope that you come out a winner.


  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    One of my favorite Ford’s. This looks like a nice driver, not sure what it would be like to live with everyday. I’ve never before noticed that little cubby in the right side quarter panel.

    Like 3
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    I’ll bet this is one thirsty truck. Is it worth it? Can you say Cobra Jet? OH, YEAH!!!

    Like 0
  3. Dave

    Love the motor. Hate the truck.

    Like 3
  4. Motoman

    Fuel consumption calculated in GPM, not MPG lol

    Like 6
    • Bmac777

      I bet it gets the same and probably better mileage than the 360.
      Those 360’s power didn’t match how much they drank gas and almost always had an exhaust manifold leak

      Like 0
  5. Rustytech Rustytech Member

    Nice truck, though I have no use for a high boy. That cubby in the bed side was optional, and usually found on the Camper Special. I’d like to know what happened to the front bumper, was the winch too heavy? Or did someone try to tie the truck down by the winch?

    Like 0
  6. Piros1

    I have a 67 that I took the 352 out and replaced with a 428 CJ that I will tell you got better fuel mileage than the 352, about a third more and it definitely made going up hill when towing my camper seem like flat ground. Great all around package for a daily driver and work truck back in its day. I added an Dana HD70 with a Detroit locker and A True-Trac in the front. Throw on a set of tire chains and it became almost unstoppable. Also added power brakes. Great truck in its day. I will restore it one day if I live long enough.

    Like 9
  7. Mountainwoodie

    Que es mas macho? Este camioneta o una Prius?

    Like 2
  8. Steve

    I would put a snow plow on it and when the body rotted away to nothing I would keep the engine and dump the body.

    Like 1
  9. markp

    The 428CJ exhaust manifolds are not present. Also I would check to see if it has real CJ heads. Its not making 335HP without those.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      Those numbers never made sense way back when. Think about it…during the horsepower wars of the 60s a 428 made the same power as a 383?
      So, today who cares what it actually makes? Car cams in truck motors are usually a lousy combination if you want to tow or haul with it. If it’s a genuine CJ sell it to a Mustang fan and drop a new Godzilla crate motor in the truck…or a cheap, junkyard 460.

      Like 0
  10. AMCFAN

    If a real deal CJ pretty sure someone somewhere is looking for one to complete their resto. The legit ones I have seen are pretty expensive. Be that as it may. It wouldn’t be out of the question for someone to buy this just for the motor and then loosing the truck. Depending on the selling price there should be no loss of money.

    Like 1
  11. Bhowe Member

    A mildly built 460 would be a better option for a pickup. Better yet take that 460 block, add a stroke crank and get yourself a 521 or 545 inch engine with massive torque. My 545 in my 79 f150 cleared 600 ft/lbs of torque at only 2000 rpm and climbed from there.

    Like 0

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