Pumped Up: 1979 Ford Courier Stepside

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

This Ford Courier looks a bit tougher than most examples of this classic light-duty pickup truck, thanks to a stepside bed with flared fenders. Given Couriers were not immune to a range of conversions including 4WD and commercial duty, it’s not surprising to see a Chevy-style bed on this project-grade pickup. Find this one here on eBay located in Oregon with an opening bid of $1,500 and no reserve. 

The custom touches didn’t end at the bed, with lots of body graphics, aluminum wheels, tubed rear bumper and a chrome roll hoop. Interestingly, the bed conversion wasn’t as one-off as it may seem, with a popular upgrade known as the “California Stepside Conversion” made available when the trucks were new. Supposedly, they were sold without a bed to allow for the flareside bed to be added with relative ease.

The interior has also been modified with a custom vinyl cover on the bench. The red carpet shows surprisingly well, but our guess is that is aftermarket as well. The Courier needs a clutch slave cylinder, but the owner says it will still run and drive if you pump the clutch vigorously. Other touches include custom etching on the window glass, an aftermarket grill and a tow hitch. The Courier isn’t what you’d think of as either a show truck or a  tow rig, but someone apparently thought it could fulfill both purposes.

The engine bay, meanwhile, appears relatively untouched. And while it’s not disappointing to see it hasn’t been modified, it also looks somewhat neglected given how much dust appears on the air cleaner. The seller notes there is some rust on the body, particularly on the passenger fender, and some of the non-factory paint has begun to flake off. We’re not sure what the future holds for this Courier, but it could be an intriguing show truck it the next owner fulfills the previous owner’s vision.

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  1. Steve R

    If it weren’t for the rust it would make a great period piece. It easily represents a specific point in time which often gets scrubbed clean by a succession of owners. A set of slot mags would look better than those later directional wheels.

    Steve R

  2. cliffyc

    Know these pick-ups well. Garage I helped out in as a kid sold the regular straight-bed Mazda B1800 versions (not the Ford version),here in the UK. Sold many of them as they were pretty bullet-proof. Decent to drive as I recall.

  3. Evan

    All of the early 70’s import trucks (the Courier is a Mazda, after all) were imported without beds, and beds were installed at the receiving port.

    You see, there’s this thing we call the “Chicken Tax” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax ) that slaps a 25% import tax on all imported trucks.

    But if you import a truck without a bed, it isn’t a “truck”, it’s “truck parts”, upon which there is only a 4% tariff. Once it’s in the states, a bed is added and THEN it becomes a truck.

  4. Rustytech

    Evan That is interesting, I never knew that. But still I’ve never seen one of these with a stepside bed. This in a neat truck. Unfortunately even trying to duplicate this paint job today would cost more than the truck will ever be worth. I’d just fix it up with a Maaco special and use it for what a truck is for, to haul stuff!

  5. chad

    pinto motor (2.0, 2.3?)
    if so the D shaped intake & there’s a turbo for it…


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