62k Mile Survivor: 1985 Ford F-150

It’s hard to believe that 1985 was 34 years ago already, and I don’t mean the famous and eerily-accurate George Orwell novel which was actually published in 1949. This 1985 Ford F-150 looks fantastic for being 34 years old and it can be found here on eBay in Monsey, New York. The seller has a $5,600 buy it now price listed or you can make an offer.

This truck looks like it just stepped out of 1985, for the most part. It’s reportedly original and has fewer than 62,000 miles on it. Ford’s seventh-generation F-Series pickups were made for the 1979 through 1986 model years. They were unusual in that they were squared off and looking back on them now, I really like this design.

This truck looks as clean as a whistle, as nobody under 50 has ever said – which is why I said it. I love the basic wheels and hubcaps and the topper, or shell and/or cap, depending on what area of the country you live in. It’s just a nice, basic, solid, beautifully-preserved truck. The seller says that it’s a great truck but they don’t have the room for it or the time to drive it anymore, I know that feeling.

The interior looks almost like a Ford brochure from 1985, beautiful. And, it’s a 4-speed manual on the floor, even better!

I believe that this engine is Ford’s 300 cubic-inch inline-six with around 122 hp, from trying to decode the VIN. They say that it’s one of the greatest engines ever built but they don’t say how this particular one runs. I’m assuming that everything works as good as the truck looks. Have any of you owned a seventh-gen Ford pickup? What’s your best price on this one?


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Cool, a basic F-150 in an attractive two-tone with the base power train in good condition. I like it. Love that curly-q shifter.

    Like 5
  2. Oregon_Guy78

    I believe this body style was new for 1980. Grandpa had a 79 and it was a different body style.

    Like 4
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      I think you’re right, Oregon_Guy78. They were produced in 1979 for the 1980 beginning model year. Thanks for catching that.

      Like 2
  3. Bakyrdhero

    My family bought this trucks twin brand new complete with the cap. We also bought a brand new Escort on the same day in late 84. They were both 85’s. I was 5 years old and I remember feeling like we had fresh, modern vehicles. This still somehow looks fresh to me even though it’s an antique. I’d love to drive this daily. Cup holders and an armrest would be missed however.

    Like 1
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

      While scrolling down on my phone I sometimes accidentally hit the reply button which quickly takes to the comment section, thus is the situation here.
      I almost bought an 81 model step side back in 82. It was a left over, but the dealer wasn’t willing to drop the price, so it never happened. I was really taken by the looks of the truck and wanted it, but not at their price.
      God bless America

      Like 1
  4. Howard A Member

    These really are dynamite trucks. I drove one like this for a city delivery job many years ago, well, 34 years, to be exact. It was a 302 and 3 on the tree, but couldn’t kill it. Day after day, it hauled the goods, in the harshest environment, stop and go traffic. Won’t find a better pickup today for this money. The only down side here, is I believe this still has a carburetor, and that will hurt fuel mileage and drivability. I think this was one of the last carb models and FI was the way to go with these. Nice truck.

    Like 7
  5. XMA0891

    Ah, remember when… 8 foot bed, Super Six, rubber floors, manual transmission and a bench seat. Everyone will laud how great this truck is [and it is!] Modern-day equivalents should be able to be optioned with these configurations… Nice find!

    Like 7
  6. Bakyrdhero

    They just don’t make a stamped tailgate like that anymore either..

    Like 3
  7. Fred W

    Plenty of them still running around in “less preserved” condition with hundreds of thousands of miles (at least in my small TN town) – a true sign of a real winner.

    Like 2
  8. Jason

    Where I grew up in the Mid-Atlantic region we called those camper tops. It seemed like everybody had ‘em in the 80s.

  9. Coventrycat

    George Orwell’s book is 1984 – maybe you’re thinking of the song “1985” by Bowling For Soup and SR-71? That was released in 2004 – go figure.

    Like 4
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha, you’re right, Coventrycat. I forgot to mention about being a year off from the book title, dang.

      Like 2
  10. Wayne

    If you buy one of these, the first thing you do is remove the air cleaner and grab the carburetor with both hands and see if it twists/rotates. If so, remove carb and tighten all screws and bolt it down tight. The second thing is to check the manifold nuts to make sure they are tight and the studs are not stripped. That my friends is the major flaws to one of theses. With those two items checked once a year. ( and corrected if needed) it will run for ever. ( with proper maint.) The best thing that ever happened to the 300 six is fuel injection. A newer F150 with fuel injection and a 5 speed. Will serve it’s owner with great fuel economy and reliability seldom matched by any vehicle on the planet. ( gas or diesel).

    Like 5
    • Bob C.

      Wayne, well said on both subjects. First of all, I had a 1972 Pontiac Lemans with a 250 Chevy six. I drove it for 2 years and had to do the carburetor thing twice and the manifold once during that time. I would later own a 1988 F150 with the 300 FI and a 5 speed. Drove it for 12 years and it still ran like a top when I sold it.

  11. NotSure

    Fun odometer reading….

  12. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this auction ended early – someone must have made the seller an offer that they couldn’t refuse.

  13. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    I bought one with the same drive train, and that truck was the biggest piece of crap I ever owned. The engine was fine, but the hydraulic clutch was a nightmare. The damn thing wouldn’t go in to gear, and required constant adjustment. I can’t recall how many slave cylinders I blew out. I unloaded that dog and bought a ’74 XLT with a 390 and automatic for $750. THAT was a good truck!

    • Howard A Member

      Hmm, sounds a bit negative. The 300-6 was the best motor Ford ever made, bar none. It was rated one of the top 10 engines of all time, in production over 40 years. To be clear, hydraulic clutches shouldn’t need adjustment. I rarely had a problem with them.

      Like 2
    • Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

      I forgot to mention that one evening I tried to get the thing into reverse, and it just wouldn’t go. I got mad and jammed that big shifter into reverse, and snapped the stifter off just above the floor of the truck. I used a pair of vice-grip pliers on the remaining piece coming out of the transmission to get home. The next day I epoxied the shifter on to the piece sticking up, and that worked for the remaining time I owned the truck.

      So, I don’t hate everything, just that truck.

      • Bakyrdhero

        @Rex apparently that’s what they call a “REAL TRUCK” as opposed to these new fangled “fake trucks” that operate as they should and go down the road in a straight line while hauling all your gear and not spilling your coffee all over the dashboard.

  14. Wayne

    Howard, I agree with you 100%. However, they did, after a time finally figure out that they had an issue with air getting into the system. This was after at least 2 updates on adjustable rods. (TSBs). I know as I used to sell them in the Ford parts department. Once the new line and seals came out. There were no more adjustable push rods even available.

    Like 1
  15. Mike

    Just a good ol, honest, working truck! Even though I’m a GMC fan myself, I had a 1989 F-150 4×4 years ago-I was restoring my 78 K-35, needed a truck and got a great deal on the Ford at a local used car lot. Mine, obviously had the newer styling, it also had a 351W and automatic but was still a REAL truck, lock-out hubs and all! I should’ve kept that one, and did what little work was needed, after the dually was back on the road. If I was to buy this, the first thing I’d do with it is run to the lumber yard for some plywood and 2x4s…after stopping at the local convenience store for 2 cups of REAL coffee of course! REAL trucks hold the coffee on top of the dash and don’t mess with fancy, foamy drinks. I always buy 2 cups because the trucks spill them on purpose…they need their caffeine too right? Power ports? REAL trucks only have 1 and it can also light your cigarrette if you want it to. I always LOVE watching people try to load lumber, or anything else, into their $40,000 “trucks” with 5′ beds. I hope they don’t scratch them, or, God forbid, beat up the plastic around the top of the bed rails and tailgate!

    Like 1
  16. Stevieg Member

    I’ve mentioned before my love of Arizona even though I live in Milwaukee. I’ve also mentioned in the past my love of motorcycles. This here is what I am looking for. Gas mileage (I love my gas mileage), kinda fun to drive, vintage style & reliability. Too bad I am scrounging to pay off the ’51 Pontiac convertible. I am in the middle of a lawsuit now afyet my motorcycle accident last month. I gotta wait until that is done. Truth be known, besides some scars I am back to how I was before the accident. I just want my lost wages, damages to my bike, and a new pair of jeans. I’m a lucky guy.

  17. Billy

    Had an ‘85 in this trim, but w/ 4WD and those silver spoke rims w the double red stripe beauty rings – one of the best looking 15” wheels (remember when that was the norm) Ford ever made. It was my daily driver for ten years when I ran a small construction company. The straight six was a hard engine to kill and mine got less than special treatment (along with the rest of the truck) and never missed a beat all the way to 300k when I sold it. Oil changes were done when time allowed, but usually not more than three or four times a year – 8 or 10k between each. Never had a problem with the loose carb, manifold studs or even the clutch as others mentioned. I did however have to replace the tie rods and other twin beam suspension bits more than once apiece as I remember. As well, the tailgates tended to split at the side seams and buckle in the middle around the handle after a while, but the next generation (‘87+) I used as a second replacement fit fine and seemed to last longer. When the beaten and rusting bed really needed replacement I bought a front end wrecked ‘85 2WD XLT with a good running 302 and C6 in the same two tone combo, but clean with no rust or dents anywhere. Not only did I get a new bed and rear bumper, but there were a bunch of other goodies that were used to upgrade my plainjane F150. I swapped over pretty much everything that could be easily transferred to my truck as they sat side by side in the garage. The dual tank setup was an easy grab with both beds off! Then I grabbed the upgraded cloth seat, the tachometer, the wiper delay, the carpet, the passenger side switch for the overhead cab light (as it turns out the wring was already there), the headliner, the sliding rear window, the bed light (took a bit of drilling and careful use of a jigsaw to install) and the lower carpeted door panels. I’m sure there were other things as well, but it all got done in a single weekend. Then I advertised the 302 and C6 in the Pennysaver (remember what you used before Craigslist?) with the caveat that the wrecked and now stripped carcass with my bashed and rusted bed sitting loose on the frame went with them for more than I’d paid for the the wrecked truck to start with. Only other mods I made to mine over the years was to install the smaller diameter steering wheel and better feeling window cranks out of an ‘87+ truck. After I finally did sell it around 1995, I used to see it on the road for another 5 years or so. The new owner seamed to be a fan of diamond plate, but he never removed the stickers in the rear window so I knew it was mine when I saw it on the road. I’ve owned a couple of stripper Toyota trucks since, but never felt the same attachment.

    Like 1
  18. Billy

    One more thing I remember about my F-150 with the 300cid straight 6. I had to pull the distributor out once when the gear came off at the bottom. Used a coat hanger to fish it out through the hole. This was accomplished while sitting on the left fender with my legs between the motor and fender liner. As I remember the same angle of attack worked when changing out spark plugs. Try that with today’s motors and all their hoses and wiring completely filling the engine compartment!

  19. Bill

    I still drive my ’85 F150 4WD and it’s more reliable than my 79 Mercedes 240D and they are supposed to be unstoppable. Mine is a country road high-altitude beast. Current Odometer reading is 33283.1. At 35 miles a day averaged over 34 years, puts the mileage over 434,000. Weak metal in the Bed was beaten up loading firewood so I changed out the bed. The 4.9L I6 300 engine is still remarkably strong…4″ pistons with 4″ stroke is likened to torque of a tractor engine…and the granny gear is for parking. I continue to marvel at the average 12.5 MPG. The worst mileage was incurred when the carburetor began to fail, when it dropped to 10.4 MPG. Replacing it with a new aftermarket unit was cheaper than rebuilding it. Not fond of the electronics bolted to the Distributor nor the MAP sensor, but I guess that’s progress. If either fail, you’re parked where ever it happens thus I carry spares. Biggest issue continues to be the front end bushings…they wear out way to fast and are always a difficult change out. She’s not pretty any more, but as a utility vehicle I’d rate her a 9+ on a 10 Scale.

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