Short Bed Survivor: 1971 Ford F-100 Ranger

I travel a lot, something like 150-200 days a year all over the US. I’ll be heading up to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma tomorrow from southern Texas and that happens to be where this survivor 1971 Ford F-100 short bed pickup is located. This small project truck can be found here on eBay with no reserve and the current bid price is $4,350. A stealth Barn Finds reader sent in this tip and didn’t leave their name but I’d like to thank them, whoever they are.

I’m partial to fifth-generation Ford pickups, probably because a 1969 Ford F-250 was the only new vehicle that my parents ever bought. For me, a 1/2-ton Raven Black short bed Ford F-100 Ranger with a red interior would be even better than the 3/4-ton orange (Cordova Copper) Ranger Camper Special that we had. I know that a lot of people don’t like short bed trucks, they shrug their shoulders and wonder why anyone would buy one with a short bed having less room to haul things. This size is perfect for me and a lot of others who like the look and don’t need to haul 8-foot sheets of drywall or plywood around.

The seller says that this truck has been garaged for most of its life, 95% of it in fact. It sure looks good but it also needs a little work. The body is “excellent” according to the seller, but there is some rust underneath as with most vehicles of this vintage. The inside of the bed, which shows some heavy surface rust, shouldn’t be too hard to bring back again.

We would have loved a fabric seat in our ’69 F-250, that black vinyl got HOT in the summer, even with factory AC. I’m assuming that the dash pad is cracked but, like everything on this truck, there will be replacement parts available in the aftermarket world. The seller doesn’t mention the interior at all and the above photo is the only interior photo. That’s a little unusual since there are duplicates of some exterior photos. It’s always nice to have an overabundance of photos rather than wanting more.

They also don’t give a VIN to check what engine size this is. Is it a 360 V8? A 390? Maybe a 302 Windsor? Whatever it is, it has had its fuel tank, fuel lines, and carburetor removed but they all come with the sale. Hopefully, it won’t be too hard to get it running again. Hagerty is at $6,200 for a truck in #4 fair condition with a 302 V8 and $6,600 for a truck with a 390 V8 so there isn’t a lot of difference in value given the engine size. This looks like an easy restoration or just get it running and drive it as it looks now and tinker with it when you can. Are any of you fans of short bed pickups or do you need to have a truck with a full-sized bed for serious hauling duties?


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  1. Chas358 Chasman358

    Doesn’t look like an FE.

    Like 1
    • Thomas Reed

      I’ve had many FE’s, this is one, you just need to see the vin to figure out what size it is

  2. KSwheatfarmer

    I’m betting 360 or 390 from what I can see of the intake manifold,cool old F-100 no matter which engine.

    Like 1
  3. Dan

    That’s an FE

    Like 5
  4. Chris M.


  5. CycloneJeff jeff brammer Member

    Definitely a FE

    Like 1
  6. Gaspumpchas

    Wonder why the seller wouldn’t install the carb and have it runnable? Really looks nice in the pics, but pretty obvious he just washed it. No pics of the underneath especially the dreaded front cab mount disease. IIRC, ford discontinued the 390 around this time; the 360 would be anemic in comparison but would still haul this baby around nicely, and pass everything but a gas station. Sorry about the negativity but I have seen so much fraud on ebay lately. Guy looks like a flipper. Nothing wrong with that, either, but caveat Emptor.

    Like 5
    • Fitz

      390 discontinued in passenger cars around that time, available in pickups until ‘76

      Like 3
  7. TimM

    Well it’s definitely a big block weather it’s a 360 or 390!! And putting anything else in there might be an easy swap if the motors junk!! The body is straight and pretty rust free!!

    Like 2
  8. Bob C.

    Seems to be a lot of this generation Ford F100s popping up lately. I have noticed most of them having 360s under the hood.

  9. Howard A. Member

    The carb is off because I bet it needs more than a carburetor. At least it has power steering. ( those PS oil coolers were highly sought after for other projects, like Harley’s) A short box Ford of this era is pretty unusual, like I’ve said before, you show up with this, farmers would say, “Where’s the rest of it?” Most bought the biggest pickup they could get. Being the owner of a short box, I think there is an appeal today, but it’s not like they are lining up to buy mine, I don’t think. This is a great find too, and for once, I think the pricing is spot on.

    Like 1
  10. Chebby

    Right now short-bed Chevys bring all the money, so much so that there is a small industry of guys cutting and bobbing the long bed trucks to make short beds. Which seems ridiculous to me, but when money gets into this hobby, common sense goes out the window.

    Like 2
  11. Rascals Rods

    Does it have 3 On the tree
    My first truck was a 70 f100 with a 360 I want this one

  12. Stevieg Member

    Nifty little truck. I am a long bed guy, but for different reasons than normal. I think they look so cool when lowered (yup, I can be one of “them”, depending on the vehicle) and they will fit a full size Harley. That being said, I could learn to drive with the tailgate down while hauling my Harley across country if the short bed truck is this nice.
    Great color combo, big block, vintage style…what is not to like?

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