Ready To Roll: 1968 Ford F-100 Ranger Short Bed

If a completely original and unmolested classic pickup is high on your shopping list, then this probably isn’t the one for you. However, if a classic pickup that promises to be a blast to drive is what you are craving, then this 1968 Ford F-100 Ranger Short Bed could be just what the doctor ordered. It underwent a repaint about 40-years-ago, and at that time, it was also treated to some very useful mechanical upgrades. The owner has decided that the time has come to part with it, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Woodruff, South Carolina, and with bidding now sitting at $11,000, the reserve has been met.

Before I get into the specifics of this vehicle, I have found that this F-100 throws up a bit of a mystery. The owner lists it as being a 1968 model, but the hood emblems, along with the VIN, actually indicate that it is a 1969 model. In fact, I can narrow this down to it having been built in August of 1969. This F-100 isn’t your average workhorse, but one look around inside the bed also reveals that it is no trailer queen either. The bed has all of the usual scratched paint that you would expect in a pickup that has worked for a living, but it doesn’t sport the sorts of dents and dings that would indicate careless ownership, or that might be due to heavy objects simply being dumped into the bed. The paint is the original shade of Sky View Blue, but the vehicle was treated to a repaint back in 1980. All things considered, this has held up quite well. It is beginning to show its age, but the Ranger still looks quite presentable. During the repaint process, the original rear window was replaced with a sliding window, and this, like the rest of the glass, is still in good condition. The trim and chrome are presentable, and its condition is appropriate for a driver-quality vehicle. The wheels and tires are new, and I personally think that they fit nicely with the character of the rest of the Ford. As you will see, this would make an excellent tow vehicle, and with that in mind, a quick look reveals that the F-100 is fitted with a Hayman Reese tow hitch.

I think that one of the main reasons why this F-100 appeals to me is because it is so neat, but it is still nowhere near perfect. The interior demonstrates this perfectly. It looks nice, and the new carpet provides a real boost. However, some of the plastic on the dash has discolored, the pad has a crack, and the seat has a small tear. There’s nothing horrendous on that list, but it is enough to give the interior character. Addressing these problems would be both relatively easy, and quite inexpensive. For example, replacing the pad is not difficult, and replacements can be found for around $400. Alternatively, an adventurous owner might want to try their hand at repairing the original using a product like Polyvance. It could potentially be cheaper, and if successful, it could also prove to be enormously satisfying. A replacement seat cover in vinyl will run out to around $250, but if you want to up the ante by going for a combination of vinyl and cloth, that still only pushes the price up to around the $280 mark. The pickup is also fitted with air conditioning, but this currently isn’t operational.

While it was receiving its repaint back in 1980, the owner also treated the F-100 to some rather nice mechanical upgrades. The original 302 was given the flick, and a 351ci Cleveland V8 now fills the engine bay. In addition, the owner added power steering, along with power front disc brakes. All of this should make the vehicle not only more pleasant to drive, but also safer and more potent. The 351 would provide the sort of power boost that would allow the Ranger to acquit itself well as a tow vehicle, while the disc brakes do make it a better all-round driver. The owner states that the engine pulls strongly, the transmission shift smoothly, and the whole vehicle feels really tight.

I have to say that I really like this F-100 Ranger, and I wouldn’t mind having it parked in my driveway. It is a pickup that is ready to be driven and enjoyed, and the strong bidding backs this up. It would make a great tow vehicle, but the upgrades to the steering and brakes would make it very pleasant to live with on a daily basis. It isn’t original, but I suspect that it would be fun to own. That can never be a bad thing.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Wow! You like vintage Ford pickups, like I do, it doesn’t get any sweeter than this. Sharp observers will note, the different color transmission selector column. That was a sore spot with these ( the pin would wear, and got sloppy or crack and would “pop” out of park) and the steering wheel, should be the same color as the dash. The short box was a rare option, as trucks of this vintage were meant to haul things, overloaded with things, in fact, why would you buy half a pickup?

    Like 8
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      Howard A, I also like vintage Ford trucks, and this one is in a good niche between rusty mess and highly restored. Will make a nice truck for someone.

      Short box: my dad worked the low-budget, ma-and-pa oil fields of southeastern Ohio. The roads and well locations were typically tight and poorly maintained. He always had short-wheelbase trucks. When I asked him why, he said “because I have to turn around a hundred times a day, and I rarely have to haul anything lengthy.”

      Like 8
      • GuernseyPagoda Member

        Bob, where in SE Ohio? I am from Cambridge.

        Like 3
      • john wilson

        I am from Cambridge also.

        Like 2
  2. Jack M.

    My company sells thousands of Reese hitches, balls, pins and bike carriers from coast to coast in Canada every year. I’ve been receiving this product and signing the freight bills for over 20 years. Adam, you had me stumped on the Hayman Reese reference and I had to Google it. It seems they dropped the Hayman part in North America.

    Like 5
  3. Joe Haska

    WOW! I also love pick-ups and this one checks all the boxes. Its a short box the up-grades ,disc brakes, P.S., and more engine just adds to everything. I would love to make this truck my own and everyday driver. I am sure many will disagree but the price is right and I am sure it is still going to go up. My opinion buy the best, it cost way less in the long run to make a POS this nice. My last 3 trucks have been real projects, I would love this truck, as it would be so much fun to make it even nicer and its not a frame off, you can drive it and work on it!

  4. art

    For the uninitiated, reupholstering a vehicle seat means more than buying a set of replacement covers.
    Factor in new seat foam, burlap fabric to cover the springs, hog rings, hog ring pliers, replacement seat springs and/or reworking the sagging existing springs, repairing or refurbishing the seat track mechanisms, painting the visible seat hinges and tracks, $hipping costs from each vendor and usually needing several helping hands and a steamer when fitting the covers. Not as easy nor as inexpensive as claimed. Trust me on this…it is like pulling a string on a sweater…it never seems to end. The work and cost is considerable but the reward is worth it.

    Like 13
    • Little_Cars

      You got that right! And a true upholsterer will tell you these things up front to secure your business for eternity. On very few American bench seats can one get away with just slapping a set of seat covers on. While a little British sports car may only have the hog rings, shaped foam, and a cover. I like the look of the dash on this truck! I don’t mind the mismatched column, but I would have sent the plastic nacelle around the instruments out to the chrome shop to make this resto pop! Even if the original was stark plastic like this example.

  5. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    GuernseyPagoda, I grew up in Fairfield County, he (and I) worked the oil fields in Hocking and Perry Counties. Good times.

    Like 4
  6. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Even as a Dodge truck fan, I’d drive this in a heartbeat (wait, that’s Chevy’s line isn’t it?)! Great mods on a decently maintained machine, and a good one to drive to work/wherever. Love those (I think) American Racing mags!
    GLWTS

    Like 3
  7. dogwater

    Well Art I have had many bench seats restored over years it will cost about $500.00 parts and labor

    Like 2
  8. Stevieg

    This is a real sweetheart! I think this will bring close to $20,000 when all said and done.
    I would prefer a long bed, but since I don’t haul stuff every day I could live with this. And yes, I would use it to haul stuff lol.

  9. Gary

    Nice truck for daily driver. I would change a few things like the mirrors and put the smaller original mirrors, the exhaust and put air on it and just drive and maintain. But then as you say the seat and the dash trim, if price goes as he predicts you will be way upside down in it. I know me and there is no stopping. I think you can shop and find a better deal on a nice truck especially if the bids go as he says. I have done this all my life it’s a sickness some people say!!

    Like 1
  10. TimM

    Great looking truck and with a 351 Cleveland I would bet it hauls a$$!!! This could definitely be a cowboy Cadillac for me!!!

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