63k Original Miles: 1969 Ford F250 Stepside Highboy

With classic pickups continuing to perform well in the market, finding an affordable project vehicle that isn’t going to drain your bank account can be challenging. This 1969 Ford F250 Stepside Highboy could be an ideal candidate. The paint shows its age, but it is a rust-free vehicle with its original V8 under the hood. The owner has decided to part with it, so he has listed the F250 for sale here on eBay. It is located in Eureka, Montana, and while the bidding has reached $7,499, this remains short of the reserve.

The first battle that many buyers will be facing with some of these older pickups is to tackle rust problems. These can range from the fairly innocuous to the fairly horrendous. That’s where we reach our first spot of good news with this Rangoon Red F250. The truck spent its early life in California, which gave it a head start to remain rust-free. The buyer will reap the benefits because this is a classic where the grinder and welder can stay in the cupboard. The body sports a few dings and bruises, but they appear to be the type that the buyer could address without raising a sweat. The paint has seen better days, but if the buyer wished to continue driving the vehicle as a survivor, that shouldn’t be a problem. The glass is in good order, while the aftermarket wheels add a sense of purpose to this classic.

When we turn our attention to the F250’s interior, we are once again confronted with an aspect of the vehicle that would benefit from some TLC but remains quite serviceable as-is. The most pressing need is to do something with the seat. I suspect that the slipcover probably hides some tattered upholstery, but it is the way that the cushion has collapsed on the driver’s side that is a significant concern. You would have to think that it would make life pretty uncomfortable, so spending $450 on a new cover and replacement foam should be a wise investment. The dash pad is cracked, but it might be able to be saved using a product like Polyvance. If the buyer is on a strict budget, spending $60 on a cover will hide these sins. After all; Out of sight, out of mind. The carpet looks okay, but the painted surfaces could stand a refresh. If the buyer is willing to perform most of the work themselves, this interior could look pristine again for less than $1,000.

Ford offered buyers a wide choice of engines in 1969, and this one comes outfitted with a 360ci V8. The rest of the drivetrain consists of a 4-speed manual transmission and a dual-range transfer case. That V8 should be pumping out 215hp and 327 ft/lbs of torque. Those numbers should allow it to fully utilize its tow hitch to drag some pretty hefty loads. The owner makes two claims about this truck, and both are important when considering its mechanical health. The first is that it has a genuine 63,500 miles showing on its odometer. If this can be verified, that means that it is barely broken in…in F250 terms! The second claim is that this Ford spent much of its life as a fire department vehicle. That means that it has been maintained using a “money is no object” philosophy for a considerable time. When the chips are down, vehicles like this must perform flawlessly. Invariably, emergency services maintain their plant and equipment to the highest level. A few years may have passed since it was removed from active duty, but that early attention should have set it up for a long and healthy life. My belief on this front would seem to be supported by the seller. The vehicle isn’t registered or insured, so the owner has never ventured onto the open road. However, he has a very long driveway, which has allowed him to drive it in all gears. He says that it feels as tight as a drum, with the V8 sounding crisp and everything working as it should.

If the bidding doesn’t soar too high on this 1969 Ford F250 Highboy, it could make an excellent project vehicle. It is rust-free, structurally sound, and is in mechanically good health. That ticks the three main boxes that can prove to be bottomless pits if there are problems. With tidy examples currently selling consistently for $25,000 and pristine examples topping $40,000, this could be an auction to watch. If it sells for the right price, it has the potential to be a project build that could turn a tidy profit once complete. That has to make it an interesting proposition.

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Comments

  1. Raymond

    When was there a highboy lowboy distinqusion factory?…a 4×4 with a liftkit is all of a sudden a special model?…I’m confused…was this a factory thing or dealer package, cuz Joe Bob at the corner can install a lift kit for 299…I’m confused and I’ve owned 20 pickups over the years…

    • Todd Zuercher

      No – no delineation from the factory. All 67-77.5 F250 4x4s have become known as Highboys.

      Like 8
  2. Howard A Member

    Very nice and rare as hand signals. 1st, I think the term “Highboy” seems to encompass any lifted 4×4 Ford. The 1st real Highboy, I read, was 1972. 2nd, a stepside, as discussed, was rare enough in the 60’s, much less a 4×4. A pickup was meant to load, and a stepside just wasn’t good for most applications. Okay, and last, we simply must stop going by what the odometer says. When buying something like this, mileage is of least concern. By now, most should know what 66K looks like, this isn’t it, and again, who cares? Just the fact this truck exists, is worth it alone.

    Like 10
  3. Steve R

    Many years ago a friend had a 4×4 Ford truck which he was a highboy. He explained that the position of the transfer case in relation to the transmissions tail shaft is what determines if it is or isn’t. A highboy has a divorced transfer case, which means it has a short driveshaft separating it from the tail end of the transmission. This necessitated a longer driveshaft, which often caused clearance problems that required a higher front suspension for clearance the rear also needed to be higher as a result. I thought it was BS, but after seeing this referenced in several ads on this site I did a quick Google search, there are several articles which back up my buddy’s description. It seems to be a real thing.

    Steve R

    Like 7
  4. Hoss

    I would Love to have this truck in my driveway. Love it !!!

    Like 1
  5. Dan August

    A Montana truck with no gun rack?

  6. Dave

    I just love the pictures…they reminded me of the trip to Beartooth Pass I took with my brother in law four years ago. We planned on going back when I retired. Sadly, Agent Orange changed his mailing address to the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies last November. John would have been up for a road trip to check out the truck.

    Like 6
  7. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    It’s a stepside, but it’s not a Stepside, it’s a Flareside.

    Beartooth Pass, one of the coolest roads in our great country.

    Like 2
  8. chrlsful

    hiboy Q? quickest is a frame measure as this 1 is narrower. Some claim ’50s as origin of 1st, but most end w/’77.5 as last. i like ‘Numbers Dummy’ description – a retired SoCal ford dealer’s parts man. I don’t C it here but saw his (bill wilson) as the best deffiniton:
    https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/181676-what-makes-a-highboy.html
    33.5 inches inside. This is a good’ un as every thing can B swapped out anyway…

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