Bought the Farm: Ford Courier + Parts Truck

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It’s hard not to like a listing for not one, but two vehicles of the same make and model. Finding spares for older, more unusual vehicles like this Ford Courier pickup can make restoration a challenge, but the seller of the yellow truck seen here on eBay is throwing in a spare parts truck that can be used for parts harvesting or as a second restoration project. 

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The seller claims he bought a farm and the seller of the property included the two trucks. As a gearhead, I’d likely forget to ask some important questions about the property for the chance to have some new projects thrown in! The yellow Courier is an automatic-equipped model with less than 61,000 miles, and is said to run well and have minimal rust – including the hole in the tailgate above.

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The seller mentions that both trucks feature the “utility bed” with external tie downs. I did some quick research but I couldn’t find any mention as to whether this was a factory option or if they all came this way. Regardless, it’s nice to have some added functionality in a vintage truck, and while this one looks like it was worked on a regular basis, the body is straight enough that it doesn’t appear to have been abused.

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And here’s the “twofer” in this auction for two trucks. This Courier is not currently running but since it is said to have nearly new tires, I’m guessing it was running not too long ago. In which case, you could easily have two running, driving Couriers on your hand for $4,000 if the first bid on this auction is the only bid. What do you think – is this a good deal for some compact workhorses?

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Comments

  1. Royal Ricci

    These pickups were actually built by Mazda and imported under license. They are the forerunner to the B2000 and Mazda actually produced these for a couple of years with the rotary engine in them. My Dad had one of these with a 4 speed and that coupled with the rotary would allow it to light up the tires quite easily if you wanted. Not sure about the Ford version, but the brakes were upgraded with either six or eight bolt lugs and four piston calipers and double wheel cynlinders two in back I believe. Battery box was in the right front lower corner of the bed and it had round tail lamps. I think they were concerned about the heat from the rotary melting the battery so that is why they moved it to the bed.

  2. mgnut

    I drove a 74 Courier for 185,000 miles and loved it.

    • george

      MGNUT;

      What was your diagnosis under the the Physician’s Diagnostic dictionary. Are you receiving out-patient psychiatric care, or are you confined to the looney bin as loving driving a Courier 180,000 miles would suggest.

      • John

        If he is disturbed, so am I. My 74 Courier went almost 200k. It was simple to work on and required little attention. Mine had zero options. No radio, no power steering, no A/C, and no rear bumper. It was a great little vehicle. It’s seats were horrible. I adapted the bucket seats from a a Toyota sedan – problem solved.

        It finally rusted enough that my wife was ashamed of it.

  3. Todd Zuercher

    The hooks on the outside of the bed were there on every Courier bed.

    I drove a yellow 74 Courier in college.

  4. jaygryph

    Not a bad price.

    The thing about ‘new’ tires on a vehicle like this is that ‘new’ is not really much of the time. It may have full tread and the little casting tits still on it but if it’s sat in one place the tire rubber will be dried out and possibly have flat spots, regardless of how much tread depth there is.

    My Ultravan had a great looking set of tires on it, but they were actually flat from being parked on pavement for a decade and rode like they were square, worse than a cold bias ply.

    • brakeservo

      Your comment on tires riding like they were square reminds me of the old man who said he remembered the invention of the triangular wheel – a great improvement because it removed one bump per revolution!

  5. Howard A Member

    I think the Courier was a good little truck. An experiment, it seemed, by Ford and Chevy( LUV) to see what market there was for these before building their own. Well, the rest is history, as the Ranger and S-10 were huge sellers. The reason for the hooks on the box, is ( according to Wiki) these and all other Asian trucks were shipped “cab and chassis” and no box, to escape the 25% “chicken tax”, and the boxes were added later. That’s why all these vintage Asian trucks have the same type of box ( with hooks) and usually rusted out faster than the rest of the truck, as I heard they were made of cheap(er) metal. These got super mileage, and I don’t buy the 61K mile claim either. Somebody put a lot of miles on this truck. I have to have an extra cab with pickups, but nice find.

  6. JCW Jr.

    Nice little trucks and yes they all had the tie down hooks. Why are there so many nice old cars and trucks in Washington state. So far from Pittsburgh. I am jealous of the guys and gals on and near the west coast so many cars such little time.

  7. AMCSTEVE

    Washington has rust free vehicles. I’ve bought one from there but can anybody explain why that is?

    • dan

      Washington state, as well as many other western states, do not use road salt in the winter.

    • brakeservo

      Washington has rust free vehicles?? Well, if you mean that they don’t charge extra for the rust, then yes, they are rust free!

  8. Vic

    Two, 2 much!! 😱

  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    These were quite durable trucks in their day. There were a few that wandered into our community but, like I said some time ago, you’d have thought that EVERYBODY in my town fought the Japanese in the south Pacific because it took a long time to get anything more than a Japanese motorcycle in our town. And THEY had a struggle. I had a Toyota pickup in ’71 and it was about as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool. One of the local farmers bought a Ford Courier and he was OK at first; then someone heard that they were made in Japan. Ice age renewed. By the end of the 70s, things mixed a little better but there are still some nasty comments today. Funny that the four Japanese families in our town had no trouble gaining acceptance from everyone. I might add that they drove American….

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, same in the mid-west. Took a long time for Asian vehicles to gain acceptance. My old man wasn’t the only one who wouldn’t let them in his driveway. Once, in a traffic jam, years ago, a foreign car was trying to merge, and the guy that could have let them in, didn’t, and hollered, “If you would have bought an American car, I’d have let you in, but you bought a foreign car, you can just sit and wait”. No foolin’. There was a huge anti-foreign car attitude in Milwaukee. I mean, It’s the Rambler/AMC, Harley town, what the heck are you driving? I think Ford ( and Chevy) tried to pull a fast one on the public, by putting the Ford name on a Mazda truck. I bet some never knew ( or looked the other way, hey, it’s says Ford on it, doesn’t it?)

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. You know the funny thing about Mazda, there was a connection with Ford that goes back to the 20s. I saw some old Model T parts in their original (and ragged) cardboard cartons and they had Mazda on them. I understand that Ford set up an assembly plant in Japan for its T’s and Mazda grew from there. I could be wrong though. Maybe someone here knows for sure?

  10. redwagon

    learned to drive a manual on the shop’s new courier circa 1978. self taught as a matter of fact.

    tony, where is the blue chevy pickup?
    it’s been replaced with a new red one, here are the keys.

    walk to new truck

    think to myself. really!? this small thing replaces the full size chevy? crap.
    hey, it has a manual.
    wonder if i should tell tony i dont drive a stick?
    heck, this is my chance to learn how to drive one, all i have to do is get out of the parking lot …….
    and the rest, as they say, is history.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Neat story! Trial by fire!

  11. 68 custom

    wonder how hard it would be to slap a rotary in one of them? I thought those Mazda’s with the rotary were bad ass.

  12. angliagt

    The Rotary Pickups were completely different.
    I think the name Mazda was the only thing they shared.
    When I was looking for a truck to haul my Lotus 61 FF,
    I test drove one of these.I though that it was very uncomfortable,
    but nice looking.I ended up with a ’79 Toyota SR5 Longbed.
    After towing the FF,realized that I should have bought an
    old Ford F100,as the Toyota didn’t have much towing capacity.

  13. Hotrod

    Mazda version of the courier I had one in the 80s these were much nicer than the courier used the same cab and bed tooled differently pretty rare today these can bring good money these days

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Is that truck really hiding a 3 rotor in the engine bay?

  14. Richard Allen

    I bought a 1981 Ford Courier in 1984 from a big Ford dealer in Atlanta that was selling lots of used Orkin Termite company trucks. I picked the only one with air conditioning, an under the dash unit, on the lot. It was the best driving, and I did drive a Ranger with a 2.3 liter they had. The 2 liter with a four speed manual in the Courier was a Mazda engine and had plenty of giddy up, once I removed a delaying restrictor going to the distributor vacuum advance. It would bury the 85 mph speedometer and just keep accelerating until it the needle couldn’t go any further. I found the Courier was a lot more comfortable than the late 1980’s Toyota trucks at work with a similar bench seat. The Toyota’s had a little more power, but used a lot more gas, about 20 mpg in the city compared to my truck averaging 27 mpg. The Courier’s were a tough little truck with a fully boxed frame. I did have the cylinder head go bad, but I took it off and had it repaired and had no more trouble out of it. Eventually, I sold it and never saw it again. I wish I still had it. It’s really a shame they don’t sell affordable little trucks in this country anymore.

  15. Royal Ricci
  16. Leon

    I bought a Ford courier new in 1973. Only two choices of interiors, white or black. Every one in our family drove it, two sons learned to drive stick with it. I restored it twice, owned it for about 23 years and put about 230, 000 miles on it. One head gasket, one water pump, and one timing chain and gears. With the electric fuel pump, it started quicker then any of the many vehicles I’ve owned. When I got it home, I raised the hood and had two surprises. One was a cloth package of tools,(metric) which I never owned and that made me suspicious, and low and behold, Japanese writing under the hood. I almost took it back but because the gas gauge didn’t move from driving it home, I decided to give it a try. In Japan they are rated at one ton and had very heavy everything. You could take the body off and still have a runnable chassis, which Chev. Luv couldn’t. 24 mpg, drove in and thru many states. Not a Lincoln town car ride but did a fine job. I still have the Aluminum grill put up on our garage wall for a memorial to all the fun and work it did for us.

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