Beast of a 4×4: 1997 Ford F-350 XLT

Some pickups are created more equal than others, and this 1997 Ford F-350 XLT is the equal of most that you will find on today’s roads. It is a rugged and purposeful-looking vehicle with room for the whole family. It comes highly equipped, and with a massive V8 under the hood, it should be capable of hauling the heaviest loads. The seller has listed the XLT for sale here on eBay on behalf of the owner. It is located in Tacoma, Washington, and the bidding has reached $8,600 in a No Reserve auction.

There’s a lot to take in with this XLT, so let’s start with the paint. Finished in Black, this Ford has a sense of purpose and presence. It is a vehicle that will turn heads because its condition appears to be first-rate. The paint has a wonderful depth of shine, and this doesn’t reveal and ripples of dents in the panels. There are no chips or marks worth noting, and the splashes of chrome help add a striking contrast to those acres of black. The trim is in good condition, with no evidence of damage or problems. The owner has fitted a plastic bedliner, and this should keep the steel and paint beneath in excellent condition. The F-350 rolls on a set of alloy wheels, and while these show no signs of physical damage, it looks like they might benefit from a polish. One practical feature is the alloy side steps. For those of us who are vertically challenged, they would make climbing aboard this giant slightly less of a chore. The glass is in good condition, and it appears to have been fitted with aftermarket tinting. There’s a heavy-duty hitch on the back, and when you see what’s under the hood, you will conclude that this Ford should be able to haul some hefty loads.

The owner pushed out the boat when he ordered the F-350 because he chose to order it with the mighty 460ci V8, an automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. That V8 should be pumping out 245hp and a massive 410 ft/lbs of torque. Drive a stake into the ground, hook on the tow hitch, and those sorts of figures should nearly allow you to change the rotational direction of the world! Well, sort of. The reality is that the potent V8 should make this an accomplished tow vehicle. When you throw in dual-range 4-wheel-drive, its F-350 should be able to take its occupants deep into the wilds. The seller says that the Ford has 128,000 miles on the clock and that it runs and drives well. There is no evidence of fluid leaks or other problems, and the general cleanliness of the engine bay is hugely encouraging.

It isn’t until we get a look inside the F-350 that we find where the vehicle is starting to show its age. There’s no question that it is serviceable and has no immediate needs, but it would need some tweaking to be pristine once again. The carpet is faded and stained, and I think that it has probably deteriorated beyond the point of needing a clean. The wheel also has significant wear, and if the buyer isn’t keen on spending the money on a replacement, they should probably fit a wrap to stop further deterioration. The upholstery on the seats has become slightly discolored and stretched, but there are no rips or tears. Otherwise, it doesn’t look bad in there. Life on the road promises to be a pleasant experience. The original owner ordered the Pickup with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a power driver’s seat, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio and cassette player.

This 1997 Ford F-350 XLT isn’t perfect, but it is a tidy 4×4 that should have plenty of life left in it. It should make a fantastic tow vehicle, and the equipment levels mean that any journey should be made in relative comfort. I would expect it to sell for somewhere around the $20,000 mark, although with values rising steeply over the past year, that figure could go higher. That doesn’t make it the cheapest secondhand pickup on today’s market, but that needs to be put into perspective. If you have the funds available, you could walk into your local Ford dealer and drive away in a shiny new version of the F-350. It would come nicely equipped, but it would also lighten your wallet by at least $50,000. That’s a lot more than you would expect to pay for this classic, and that newbie will depreciate by somewhere in the region of 10% during the first year of ownership. If recent trends are any indication, this F-350 will not depreciate but will increase in value. Hmm, buy the new one and watch that extra money trickle away, or buy this one and potentially watch the value increase? That seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me.

Fast Finds


  1. Vance

    Sold a lot of trucks when I lived in Arizona when this was new, it was right before the platform change in the Super Duty in 1999. The venerable 7.3 was the way to go, but the 460 was still a good motor. As the saying goes, you will pass everything except a gas station. You will also need a Walmart parking lot to turn this thing around. I thought Ford was smart to differentiate the light duty from the heavy duty trucks. The 3rd door allowed Mom’s to have a truck the kids could get in and out easily. This is a nice truck at a good price, but fuel is starting to creep up, and this thing will get single digit MPG empty, but will go anywhere and tow anything.

    Like 6
  2. alphasud Member

    Owned a 92 F250 with this engine. One of the best engines Ford made for a truck. Super reliable and durable. I won’t beat the fuel consumption issue to death as everyone knows about their thirst. Everyone wants a 7.3 and they are good engines for pulling and cruising but think about this by the time you factor the difference in economy and diesel maintenance, glow plugs, relays, injectors, additional fuel filters the 460 makes sense. I think this series of Ford trucks are probably the best looking of the bunch. I’m on my 3rd Ford and while the Chevy and Dodge ride nicer in a 1 ton configuration my Fords have never left me stranded and were among the most reliable of all 100+ cars I’ve owned.

    Like 4
  3. Mark C

    About 10 years ago I was shopping for a truck and found an F350 like this only in green and with the 7.3 and a stick. They wanted $7800 and it seemed fair at the time, but thought a 1 ton was more truck than I needed. Now I’m kicking myself. This is a great looking rig.

    Like 4
  4. TBAU Member

    Does anyone else hear the Canyonero song?

    Like 2
  5. Timothy Pearn

    I know this has oversize wheels and tires but is it lifted? They were pretty tall in those days

  6. David Frank David Member

    A nice used truck. Wait… this isn’t Craigslist is it?

  7. Joe Blake

    I had a 1995 but in 3/4 ton with the 351. Not the same capabilities but it made a good plow rig. The interior was the exact same color. For me the seats were the most comfortable I’ve ever had. Miss that old truck.

  8. AMXBrian

    The author must not live where there is snow. All plastic bedliners do is trap water under them and rot out the beds from underneath. Sure it protects the bed from dents and scratches, but in a few years that bedliner will be the only thing keeping stuff from falling through the bed floor.

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