Stored For 7 Years: 1974 Ford Courier

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Introduced in 1972 in response to the success of the smaller Toyota and Nissan/Datsun offerings, the Ford Courier was a knee-jerk reaction that proved to be quite a good one. By collaborating with Mazda, Ford was able to bring a small pickup to the market far faster than if they had undertaken development of their own vehicle. While they are not a hugely common sight on our roads today, they are still a competent vehicle capable of pretty decent performance and comfort. Barn Finder Ikey H spotted this 1974 model for us, so thank you for that Ikey. This particular vehicle has generated its share of interest, and strong bidding has seen the price rise to $2,225 in what is a No Reserve auction. The Courier is located in Oakland, California, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

This little Courier has just emerged from hiding, having spent the past 7-years in storage. It really doesn’t appear to be any the worse for the experience either. The good news with the Courier is the fact that it has spent its entire life in California. The bad news is that it was coastal California, so the condition of the Courier is not quite as good as it could be. However, it isn’t the end of the world, because any corrosion that is visible in the photos is all that is present in the vehicle. The owner says that the underside of the Courier is rock solid, and the most obvious corrosion that is visible is in the bed itself, along with a spot in the bottom of the passenger side fender. It doesn’t look like the corrosion in the bed has penetrated through the steel, so a good clean and treatment, followed by a fresh coat of paint, should fix that. The bottom of the fender also doesn’t look bad, so this should be able to be patched. The Courier has a few marks and dings around the body, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be driven exactly as it is.

Under the hood are a 1.8-liter OHC engine, and a 4-speed manual transmission. The owner says that the Courier starts, runs, and drives exactly as it should and that everything on the vehicle works. The Courier is only blessed with 74hp, but those are pretty willing horses, and a Courier of this vintage rarely has any drama coping with its maximum rated load of 1,400lbs. The Courier has spent its entire life at a beach house, so it only saw use when the owners were holidaying. As a consequence, the vehicle is claimed to have only covered 21,000 original miles. Hopefully there is some documentery evidence to confirm this. Everything under the hood looks clean and promising, although I’m probably not the only person who could do without the copious use of the detailing spray that has happened here. Still, we can’t have everything now, can we?

For a vehicle of this age that hasn’t had a life as a trailer queen, the interior of the Courier is actually quite good. There is some wear on a few items like the lower door trims and the kick panels, but the dash and headliner look quite good. There is a seam separation on the seat, and some issues with the piping on the seat edge, but the interior is quite serviceable as it is. There is an aftermarket radio/cassette player fitted, with speakers mounted in the doors. However, whoever performed the installation appears to have done a pretty reasonable job of it, so I’d live with it the way that it is.

This 1974 Courier is a great little survivor, and while they were a sales success when introduced, the earlier model cars have slowly disappeared from our roads. I think that this is why bidders have been so enthusiastic about this one. If you can find one on the market now, a good one will set you back around $5,000, while an immaculate example will sell for something closer to $9,000. This is another one of those vehicles that come along every now and again that really needs little work to make it shine, and the majority of what it needs could be attended to in a home workshop. All of these factors make it an attractive proposition, and it will be interesting to see what it finally sells for.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. dmose dmose

    Part of the 300 vehicle collection in Cali! Neat little truck!

    Like 1
  2. morton

    My father had a 70/71 Hilux that looked strangely very similar.

    Like 1
    • Fred W

      In the early 80’s, my dad had a Courier just like this one, except someone had dropped in a 289. Sometimes he let me borrow the truck. For some reason, he was constantly replacing the rear tires.

      Like 5
  3. Jimmy

    When these were new in my area ( Chicago Metro ) they didn’t last 5 years before rust ate them alive from salt. We always thought Ford was competing with Toyota to see which one disintegrated first.

    Like 0
  4. JC

    Its up to 6 grand…🙄 You could buy these trucks in the early 80’s for $600.00 all day long.

    Like 1
    • Saab900Vert

      Yep and I was buying $250- $500 78-81 Camaros back then as well. Those days are loooonngone sadly.

      Like 1
  5. R Robles04

    I find not someone’s back yard a ford courier 1975 with 44,000 original miles and love it .

    Like 0
  6. Trace O'Neal

    I just had to post this, My mother’s first brand new vehicle was a 76 courier…i was 2 years old.
    F.F. nearly 15 years/350,000 miles and the little orange ford became mine…SO when I had the chance to get a 74 courier with only 62,000 miles on it ,no rust,still has the original philco am radio.. I couldn’t resist! The only real difference is my first(76) was a 5 speed manual. This (74) is a 4speed manual…i sure miss 5th gear….

    Like 0
  7. MC Johnson

    My first new vehicle was a BLUE 1974 FORD Courier, cost $2900, bought in summer of 1975. One of my friends had a Mazda the same color, same year, same truck. Another had a 1972 Courier. The ’72 said Courier on the tail gate, mine said FORD, the Mazda said MAZDA. I wish this type of vehicle could still be bought new. Of course we were working in lumber mills for $3.50 an hour then.

    Like 0

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