Is It Real? 1976 F-350 With 926 Original Miles!

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As much as it may be hard to believe, the seller states that this Ford F-350 truck has only 926 original miles! Read through this post, look at the pictures, and weigh in. It’s located in Southeast Iowa (I’m in the Midwest again this week, so I’m looking at local finds) and it’s listed for sale here on craigslist, where the asking price is a steep $12,900.

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You would think at this price, it would include a bed, but the seller states that they have a rust-free Arizona bed for sale at additional cost. They do state that the truck is rust-free as well, as it should be if those miles are accurate. The tires are the original ones, still with the chalk markings on them.

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The front of the truck certainly looks like it could be that nice, with no visible chips in what I can only assume is original factory paint. According to the ad, the big truck was stored for 38 years. Assuming that it’s been taken out of storage this year, that means it was only on the road for two years when new. But why the low mileage? No reason is given. One thi

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Inside, the pedal pads look mint as well, but the seat sure isn’t (unless that’s a protective cover). The discoloration on the steering wheel may be mold or mildew as well–if you are considering buying this truck it might be worth asking.

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The engine is an M code 390 V8 with a 4 barrel carburetor. It’s connected to a 4 speed transmission. The truck is also equipped with 2 wheel drive, front disc brakes, a “high output” heater and tinted glass. The reason the air cleaner housing looks a little unusual is that it’s an oil bath version. Let me ask you this: assume for a moment you buy the bed as well and mount it. Would you drive it regularly, or keep it as what is probably the lowest mileage 1976 F-350 in the world? And do you believe the mileage claim? I look forward to you comments!

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Comments

  1. Mark H

    Not sure what kind of collectible value is to be found, but how far would $12,000 take you in the used truck market? New cab & chassis must be in the $35,000 range.

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  2. Dairymen

    Why would anybody buy a 1-ton and park it? What happened to the original bed? Story sounds a little fishy at best. You couldn’t drive this truck without a trailer cause it will bounce you to the high heavens.

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    • Michael

      It’s a Cab/Chassis truck, you add your own flat bed or box. One truck out of thousands or millions? Doesn’t sound to fishy to me. Owner could’ve paid cash and died before he outfitted for whatever purpose it was purchased for.

  3. Howard A

    No way. Several giveaways. Cruddy engine compartment, while I agree, some items may rust over time, but air cleaner doesn’t look right. I thought they did away with oil-bath air cleaners by ’76, 2nd digit ( from left) on odometer has “jumped” a cog, and that usually happens when an odometer goes over 100K ( for 5 digit ones) or has been turned back, and a covered seat when selling something ( especially with a thousand miles) is a bad sign. You know, this is getting old, but if you are going to turn back an odometer, turn it back to a plausible number, like 35,000 or something. Sorry, this truck should look like brand new, especially the inside.

    • Rick

      At 926 miles the next digit may be starting to move to “1.” Possible…

  4. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Ultra low mileage in a 1976 F350 with no box isn’t worth much to me, especially from a seller with a box that he wants additional money for.

  5. MikeG

    If it indeed has such low miles, the seat covers should be taken off to show how pristine the bench seat upholstery is!

  6. Bob S

    No…not real, next.

  7. warren

    What box would fit that? Perhaps a 8 footer, but is the frame the same width as a 3/4 ton?

  8. Kevin

    A farm truck maybe. Would account for the low miles. Here in IA-IL area. You have rust. Just look at the bolts above the grill. I would think the cab has been restored. All that virgin white, but a totally dirty engine compartment.For the price they are asking. They need to pony up the truck bed too.

  9. Phil J

    I believe the milege. It’s a farm truck. Smart move with installing the oil bath air cleaner, considering the dusty enviroment. See the square pads where the heater hoses enter the cab? Those are factory.

  10. pappy2d

    Spent 55 years in the land of corn and soybeans. Never knew of a man that bought a big block, 1 ton, to not run the wheels off it.
    Where’s the box off this original truck?

  11. harleymike

    This truck was bought as a “chassis” just as you see it. A customer could put what ever “flatbed “, I.E. stack side, or shop box on it. This is a1-ton dully, no standard pick-up box was ever designed for it. All lot of these arrived from the manufacture just like this, a practice still done today. A lot of people that commented on here are under the impression that this come with a “box”. Again, this is just a “chassis” truck that was meant to have flat bed or other special bed put on it.

    • Andrew

      Yes I agree. This would make a great stake truck or for landscaping equipment. It would look great as a flatbed. It still has lot’s of potential.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Harleymike —
      You are correct. I used to work at a local Ford dealer in the early 70s, and we had several cab/chassis units ordered, then once the salesman had an order, we sent them to the local truck body supplier to have various beds installed, from utility beds with the doors in the sides, to a simple flatbed with or without removable side stake panels. Considering the area of the country it’s in, I would have expected this truck to have been equipped with a 12X8 stake bed body, if it ever had one installed.

      The seat cover is typical aftermarket cover of that period. Consider that thrifty people like farmers, who often keep their trucks for decades, would purchase a $6 seat cover as a great way to keep dirt, oil & grease off his new seat.

      Here in Maryland farm country it’s almost a given you will see flatbed farm trucks of the 60’s and 70’s, still used to haul produce or grain to the storage facilities, not uncommon the trip is under 10 miles, round trip. The most common ones parked in sheds in this area are International Transtar flatbeds, with the V6 gasser engine.

      Now as to the speedo being reset, Starting in 1968 ALL speedometers in the USA had a special design to prevent “knockin’ the clock back”. There are small metal separators between each of the number wheels. One side of the wheel’s EDGE is black, the other white. Turning the numbers backwards would cause the white part to rotate too, and the white lines could be seen very easily. Speedos starting in 1968 became almost impossible to turn back, or even remove the wheel assemblies. Now it’s possible that a replacement speedo was installed, but not likely.

      And a side note: Until it was declared illegal starting 1 Jan 1968, it was routine for new & used car dealers to turn the speedo back to 0000.0, and declare the car was “reconditioned”. I knew the guy at the local Oldsmobile/Cadillac dealership that was responsible for speedo resets, and it was done to ALL the used cars on the lot.

      I watched his small body lying across the front floor of many a car, his hands working up under the dash with tools he mostly made himself [or so he claimed], and it often took only a couple of minutes to reset a speedo, and he said the hard ones were cars with air conditioning.

      As a court recognized expert in forensic mechanics for 30+ years, I look at things like the area where the front license plate would mount to the bumper. Iowa is a 2 tag state, so it would be expected to have an accumulated crud between the plate & bumper. However the bumper is mint in that area. And yes, that is mildew in the soft plastic part of the steering wheel, this is common on Ford products that sit for long periods. Even well-used Fords of that period have “sticky” steering wheels due to the porosity of the soft plastic, and no amount of cleaning will get rid of that feel.

      We will never really know why it’s such low mileage, but possibilities include death of the original owner, or it was part of a large farming co-operative, and just never got used, or the owner had planned to build a custom bed, but just never got around to it, etc.

      Perhaps a specialized body [like a fertilizer sprayer] had been attached, and used once a year for a couple of days spraying, and after 20+ years the sprayer was removed after it stopped working, and junked for the scrap value. As for the rust on the frame, rear axle, suspension, and under the hood, I have vivid memories of these trucks sitting on the dealer’s lot as brand new units, already graced with rust on the aforementioned parts, As it might take a year or more to sell them, the dealer wasn’t about to put a specialized bed on the back until they had a buyer.

      It’s my opinion, based on the photographs, that this is probably a real 900+ mile vehicle.

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  12. stillrunners

    The right profile shot just looks wrong with all the aliments of door fender hood…my high mileage F250/F350’s look a lot better there…

  13. Loco Mikado

    Farmers are the tightest people with a dollar I know, my BIL is one. No way they are going to let any truck with value sit without it paying it’s way. If not needed it is off to the auction with equipment with any value. Now if it is rusty worn out 30-40 year old equipment on it’s last legs it finds it’s way into the farm boneyard with every other bit of clapped out machinery for the last 90-100 years. It is amazing what you can find in them, a less than 1,000 mile truck I call foul. I saw a late 30’s Chevrolet PU cab that had been re purposed into a chicken coop. It was more rust free than similar rust buckets I see online that they want thousands of dollars for.

  14. Bus Plunge

    Maybe it was a fire truck? Nah, no holes in roof or hood for sirens.

    Bill McCoskey… I read what you wrote and agree with most of it, esp that part about the sticky residue on ford steering wheels…. I hated that. The seat cover— my grandfather did that, put a seat cover on all his trucks and cars. My Dad used to say, some what sarcastically, that he was saving his seat for the next buyer. A sentiment that I follow with people who buy bed-liners.

    The odometer… I have personal experience with that. We owned a 1973 Mobilux Land Cruiser motorhome. P30 Chevy chassis. Transmission went out at about 40,000 miles. AAMCO transmission put a rebuilt transmission in the motorhome, cost me $1,000 –big money back in that day. As we were heading out from the shop, hurrying the next job, my wife got on the cb and told me to slow down, I was going too fast. Apparently the shop had put a transmission from a Cadillac in the motorhome and didn’t change the speedometer gear. When going 50, the Mobilux showed 80. We ran it all summer like that until we got back to Shreveport. They said they were sorry and would make it right. Yeah, they put a different gear in there and rolled the odometer back…. uneven numbers and black and white lines…. the numbers were never even after that.

    The other thing maybe…. and I know guys who did this. We were in a business where we ran a lot of miles once a week. We were also truck snobs with chrome and polish, keeping our work trucks clean…heck, I’ve washed many a frame in my day and waxed it. We’d buy trucks with tachometers and cruisecontrol– auto or 4speed was personal choice. After a while, these guys would open the hood and disconnect the speedometer cable going into the cruise control box and wrap a ziplock bag around the cable end. They’d learned what rpm was what speed in what gear before they disconnected the cruise control. I’m not saying that’s what happened to this truck, but I know people who did it to their trucks. This was 30-35 years ago before I got out.

    • Bob

      Nice truck

  15. Don

    i had a 1978 f350 camper special, 460 motor, it was like a 747 on the freeway road like a dream, not sure what the bounce you around comments were about but the only issue Is the horrendous MPG – literally plan your trips from gas station to gas station, so the 390 motor is more appealing. I am looking at purchasing a 1976 f350 super cab ranger xlt camper special for pennies compared to that price.

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