Short Box: 1974 Ford Ranger XLT

The sixth generation of the Ford F-series was the truck that earned Ford the title of “best-selling trucks in America,” a title it has yet to give up to date. That honor would start in 1976, two years after this 1974 Ford F-100 Ranger XLT  short box rolled off the assembly line. The seller of this rig, found here on craigslist in Worcester, Massachusetts, claims it has only covered 71,000 miles, and if it’s original in condition, I wouldn’t doubt it. The $7,900 ask seems a bit high when many running and driving F-100s of this era can be found for under $5K, but this truck does have a great look, and fairly clean to boot.

That blue still pops from under the hood. I am guessing the 360 V8  has been cleaned up for selling, but I don’t think it’s a repaint. This truck is equipped with an automatic transmission, although the seller fails to mention if this car runs, shifts or drives in any manner. They do mention all new brakes and tires have been installed, so that gives me hope it does. The photos of it on the trailer, however, cause me to lean the other way.

This picture really got my heart going, as the interior looks to be quite clean. If the factory AC blows cold I could see this being a great summer cruiser and a perfect weekend work truck in the condition it is in. The seller says this was a barn find out of Georgia, a climate that left it with little rust. They state the tailgate has a few spots, but the bed, cab, rockers and frame are all solid. If anyone does call on this Ford be sure to let us know about the condition of the powertrain. So, is this truck the perfect mix of work and play for you?


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  1. RoughDiamond

    Already gone!

  2. Metoo

    Hands down mid-70’s Ford pickups were the best.

  3. CanuckCarGuy

    F100s are definitely gaining in popularity and their prices are moving up…a nice alternative to the all too common GMs. Nice to see an FE big block in this example.

    • Hoos Member

      Why is it that Ford trucks were the best selling trucks in America, but GMs are “far too common”? It seems to me it should be the other way around.

      • Cameron

        C10s and their siblings have always maintained a certain level of collectability. Just look at roadkill’s facebook page. They just posted a photo two weeks ago of all the C10s that belonged to the staff. Outside certain model years (1948-1955) fords of any era have for years struggled to find a strong nich. It’s not that the trucks weren’t produced, it’s that they were beat into the ground as work trucks and haven’t been collectable enough to restore.

      • Big Mike

        The main reason Fords are the best selling trucks, is simply because they fall apart or break down so much that the owners go out and buy another one to replace the POS they owned!!!!


    • Jochim Stroesner

      Had a 74 with 360.Went 100 mph first week.Rode like an Ltd.

  4. Sanity Factor

    360 v8????….

    • Steve R

      The 360 was an FE truck only engine.

      Short bed fleetside trucks are in high demand. If it ran well and the rust was as described in this sites description then the price is reasonable.

      Steve R

      • 63Comet

        I’d agree hard to find one in this shape. I have a long box with only 43k on it and no rust issues and have had too many people a little too interested. I’ve got the same 360 V8 too. Good engine.

      • ROAR

        the 360 was also in the Edsel

  5. half cab

    Nicely kept. Would love to own it.

  6. Rick A. Loera Member

    My dad had a California spec 1976 F100 Custom. 390 V-8, Auto, A/C, two tone, long bed. Ran on regular gas and could smoke the tires big time. Unfortunately an engine fire in November 1979 ended its short life. He got the brand new for 1980 model with the smogged out 351 V-8. Loved it except the fact that this thing couldn’t get out of its own way. When that one got T boned in 1991, he got a new 1992 with a 302 V-8. Even with the smaller engine, this truck was a really good performer. Repaired the 80 which hung around till 2011. Still have the 92.

  7. MorganW Morgan Winter

    360 was a great Ford truck motor, ’68 through ’76, give or take a year or two…plenty of torque and fun to drive.

    • Jay

      Know it is gone now about 352 on the motor?

  8. jw454

    Around 1987 I bought a 1976 F100 that only had 19K miles on it. I soon found out why it had such low miles. 8 MPG is the best I ever got out of it. It was in perfect shape and I very much liked the colors etc. I just couldn’t afford to drive it 60 miles round trip to work and back everyday. I added 2~3K miles and passed it on to the next happy owner.

    • Nova Scotian

      …right, which is why it’s on a trailer! Of course it runs! Right to the next fuel station. Gas is always an issue with this little beast. It’s time has passed. But, this little jem is in terrific shape. Looks like the bench seat is a redo. If I could afford to constantly feed it fuel, I would. Just sayin’.

  9. JW

    Bought a new 76 F-150 with 351W and a 4 speed, loved it but wife wanted a automatic so she could use it. I then traded for a 78 F-150 with a 400 automatic, I was looking at one next to it with a 360 v8 and the salesman told me take the 400 it’s cheaper to drive so I did and loved that truck. I loved the 70’s Ford trucks styling and hated the 80’s boxy styling.

    • KKW

      You bought a new 76 with a 351W? I don’t think so. 82 was the first year for a 351W in a truck. Nor was there a 360 in 1978.

  10. Danny Cannon

    70 and 80 Ford trucks were awesome. I had a 79 lwb 302 auto 2wd best truck I ever had in a full size. Could pull a house if you could hook to it

  11. David Banner

    The early short beds are bringing top dollar especially low mileage examples. I had a 74 short bed I swapped a 429 cobra jet out if a t-bird in it not only would it smoke the tires at will it got really good gas mileage as well. Here’s a pic of my 95 ext cab short bed that was a garage queen that I recently sold. It was an awesome truck but it just loved gasoline a little too much.

  12. Allan

    Learned to drive in my fathers ’78 F250 with a stick way back in ’80-82 on the farm, long before eligible for a drivers license. Low 1st gear and 4Lo and that truck would creep along at an idle, while feeding cattle out of the bed. Currently looking for 67-79 F Series truck to play with. Prices are going up quickly, though.

  13. Todd F

    Damn that was right down the road from me and it’s already gone.

  14. Jay

    Know it is gone now how about a 352 on the motor?

    • KKW

      1967 was the last year for the 352. What are you wanting to know?

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