South American Rarity: 1976 Ford Dentside Carryall

While I’m sure many Barn Finds readers have heard of the Ford Carryall, it’s not a vehicle I had remembered seeing before, and it was fun doing the research and learning about the interesting history of this uncommon early SUV.  Based on the popular Dentside sixth-generation F-Series U.S. Ford truck, the Carryall featured rear body parts that were contracted to a Mexican company called Siga.  These vehicles were never offered for sale in the United States, but only in Mexico and Argentina, and from what I can gather nobody seems to really know how many of these were made.  Over the years a few of them have been driven North of the border, and if you’re in the market for a reasonably priced oddity that is sure to strike up a conversation everywhere it goes, this 1976 Ford Carryall would be a good candidate to take a look at.  Located in Prescott, Arizona, it can be seen here on Craigslist with an asking price of $13,500.  We’d like to thank Barn Finds reader craiger for the great tip on this one.

The seller claims that he purchased this Carryall from the original owner, and it still has all of the original paperwork in the glovebox.  The vehicle currently resides in and is registered in Arizona, and comes with a clean AZ title.  The vehicle is said to have some rust in the front clips, which the seller claims is typical for Dentside Fords, but judging from the photos the backside appears to be in very well preserved condition.

Power for the Carryall comes from a 302 Ford V8 engine of the Cleveland variety, and there’s also a manual transmission.  The mileage is stated to be 130,000, but no word on whether or not the engine or transmission have been rebuilt or are original to this vehicle.  The seller does say that the motor will fire right up and the buyer can drive it home, so mechanically it seems like things may very well be in good working order.

The dashboard appears to be a typical F-Series Ford truck variety, and inside the things that we can see appear to be decently preserved for a vehicle of this age.  The sliding-glass windows on the sides are all said to work properly, and from what I can tell the interior looks pretty much complete.  This Carryall is quite the people mover too, and although it only has 2 doors there are 3 rows of seats inside, so there’s plenty of room to take your friends cruising or to Cars And Coffee on Saturdays.

Considering what an oddity this vehicle is in the U.S., I’m kind of surprised that nobody has snatched it up yet in the 25 days it has been on Craigslist as of this writing.  Maybe it’s not as cool as I think it is, and perhaps the seller would be willing to consider a lower offer at this point.  What are your thoughts on this 1976 Ford Carryall?

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Comments

  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Ford Dentside? Really?
    Brought to you from the same people who came up with “Edsel” and Probe”.

    Like 3
    • Moncton(was Winnipeg)carnut Member

      It’s a colloquial reference to the generation following the “bumpside”. Defined by the character line on the side.

      Like 22
      • 370zpp 370zpp Member

        Moncton, thanks for clarifying. Admittedly, I had no idea.
        Just when I think I know a few things about the automotive industry, I learn something new – on this site. Very cool.

        Like 10
      • Mike Brown

        And followed by the “bull nose” Ford F-series trucks.

  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I saw my first of these a couple months ago. The one I saw was well-used but in decent condition. One thing that struck me was that the body fit-and-finish was fair at best, perhaps not unexpected given its pedigree.

    Like Mike says, and oddity and a conversation-starter. Kind of hard to gauge the market, I’d guess.

    Like 5
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    With only 2 doors, and the back full of seats, it doesn’t seem to make a good pickup vehicle or a people carrier either one. Take the seats out and you kinda end up with a Suburban/Econoline. “Oddity” describes it perfectly.

    Like 9
  4. Howard A Member

    Pretty classic blunder, Ford not offering this in the US. IH and GM had overwhelming success, even Jeep. Why Ford chose not to market this, when it was clearly the wave of the future, just shows how disconnected the auto makers really were when it came to what people really wanted. Even IH bowed out when things were just gearing up, they both missed the boat. We, in the States, missed out on so many neat vehicles offered elsewhere, because some bigwigs in the boardroom didn’t think it profitable.

    Like 17
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Sometimes I think the CEOs were drinking their own bath water. They approved stuff that was total crap (Pontiac Axtek) then turned an about face and used too much caution on things that were sure to succeed. Then they would introduce something good (Ford Excursion) and shut it down before it even had a chance. Then take a best seller (Chevy Avalanche) and shut it down because sales started to drop off in (1) part of the country. International was experimenting with a full-sized Scout back as early as 1965 but growing internal problems with all the divisions were rearing their ugly heads. I’m sure there are a lot of designers turning over in their graves today…

      Like 18
      • Alex

        I still have my Avalanche! The best vehicle for all occasions!

        Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        We still got ours. Very useful although the wife tends to frown whenever I want to use it to haul engine parts. She even makes suggestions that I dig out the Ford 3/4 ton and use that…

        Like 3
  5. Johnny

    I like it,but don,t care much for the color. Seems someone likes it alot. Their ride. Let,em paint it what they like. The second seat was made to step around to be able to get to the 3 rd row seat. If it was mine. I,d paint it another color .That didn,t stand out. Put a posi in it and make it a camping vehicle.

    Like 3
  6. Wayne

    302 Cleveland? Never heard of one of these engines. 351 Cleveland yes. It looks like a standard fare 302 Windsor engine to me.
    geomechs and Howard A, you are so right about the “US” marketing types. I had a 1971 F250 Crew cab, (we have seen a couple here) that Ford actually did not build. They were cobbled together by one of Fords “partners”. The Super Cab was a hit and was always behind in availability, you would have thought that a “factor” built crew cab would have come along a lot sooner than it did. Cool vehicle. I would remove the center seat and move up the rear seat to make this more user friendly. Swap out the “granny low” gear box with a nice 5 speed and swap in an aftermarket Throttle body injection system and drive the wheels off it!

    Like 10
    • Bill Bell

      Re 302 CLEVELAND….Ford certainly did build them (although this is NOT one..!!) in Australia in the early 70’s. I wonder if this Carryall ha ‘metric’ instrumentation….???

    • Rick

      That engine is definitely not a Cleveland. If it was the thermostat would be located vertically at the top of the intake, not horizontally in the lower front. The Cleveland would also have much wider valve covers. And, the Cleveland’s fuel pump would have an upper and lower mounting bolt configuration, not a side to side arrangement.

      Like 2
      • Al

        Thanks for that info! Always wondered how to spot the difference between Cleveland & Windsor. Now are either of them a big block or are they considered both small blocks?

      • Terrry

        FYI, Cleveland and Windsor 351s are two completely different engines, from the block, cranks, pistons, heads..you name it. Not only named for the cities where they were made. There were no Cleveland-produced 302s at least for the US market either.

        Like 1
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I’ve never seen one in person but I have a seen pictures of a couple of them. I admit I like the design and too bad they were never brought to the States.

    Like 4
  8. chevelle guy

    it’s just ugly enough to make it kinda cool ….. i’d drive it

    Like 3
  9. gaspumpchas

    Agree with Bob in tn- awful workmanship. Had a friend who bought a 79 f-150; he pulled back the headliner and found the inside of the roof was rusting. Lots of the trouble with quality at the Mahwah, NJ plant that eventually caused the closing plant. Too bad these were good trucks. Good luck and happy motoring.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 1
  10. Daniel

    Here in Argentina in the 70′ and 80′ Ford F series suv or unibody only was built by external body worker factory called “Igarreta”, it has never built by Ford Motor Company from Argentina

    Like 6
  11. Tony Boykin

    Saw one at the ford dealer in Guadalajara in the early 80’s. Came back and told people about it, and I don’t think anyone actually believed me.

    Like 1
  12. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking vehicle. It’s a damn shame this was never offered here in the USA.

    Like 4
  13. butchb

    I saw this very same vehicle parked a few blocks from my house a several years ago. I spoke with the owner for a few minutes and he said it had come out of Mexico. Kind of a Ford version of the Chevy Suburban?

    Like 3
  14. Bunky

    This is an interesting rig, but it would be quite a fire drill getting passengers loaded and unloaded through only two doors.
    FYI: Ford started producing factory built crew cabs in ‘59.
    I believe comment about poor workmanship was directed at the type of aftermarket-produced vehicle featured in the article- not all Ford trucks in perpetuity. Rust on the underside of a roof panel is caused by excessive condensation – not poor workmanship.

    Like 4
  15. Car Nut Tacoma

    It’s a shame that it wasn’t offered here in the USA. I can see it competing against the International Scout.

    Like 2
  16. Mountainwoodie

    Kind of interesting. I’d paint Carmen Miranda on the side…colors would make the baby blue pop even more :)

    As one of a few it would be quite a conversation starter and I like the standard, but with gas at almost five bucks a gallon it wouldn’t be going far on my thin wallet!

  17. Stan Partin

    Wonder why the guages are blanked out.

    Like 1
    • Doug McCausland

      And the knobs are missing for the headlights and wipers.

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        This was a “south of the border restoration”, not up to what Americans usually expect. No Instruments? Just put a panel in front of the opening. Note overspray at the bottom of dash panel. Ford embroidered emblems not centered in upholstery. From the look of it, that’s regular furniture upholstery material, not longer-wearing automotive quality

        Over the years I’ve brought several cars into the USA from the south. I’ve seen a 1934 pre-war Buick convertible sedan with saddle leather upholstery! A 1938 Ford convertible sedan that had been converted from RHD to LHD, and they left many of the RHD parts in the car during it’s restoration.

        I’ve seen paint jobs that looked like they had deliberate anti-skid grit put in the paint. There ARE a few people in south America who can do USA quality restorations, but most are done to 3rd world quality, with little attention to authenticity details, or in the use of correct parts. And I would say at least 30% of all pre-WW2 convertibles down there started out life as closed cars.

        Like 1
  18. Sam Shive

    My first truck was a 56 F-100 Panel, I’d remove the windows and replace them with sheet metal and have a 76 F-150 Panel.

    Like 1
  19. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Coyote truck from Mexico, I wonder how many illegals it brought across the border.
    God bless America

    Like 2
    • Rick

      Don’t gripe, Mister Love Thy Brother. Those illegals do the work you would consider beneath your dignity.

      Like 4
      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        Not true. I’ve worked in the same jobs during my years. The borders are there for a reason. There are legal ways to come across.

        Like 4
  20. Johnj Member

    Needs two more doors to be useful

    Like 1
  21. Wayne

    Bunky, Ford did not produce crew cabs “In their own factories” until the late ’80s and maybe the early ’90s. The previous crew cabs were modified after they left the plant. Yes, you could order one from a Ford dealer. But the cab was modified after the fact. Look at the early ones, the rear doors are cut down front doors and the “back seat” is nothing but an additional front bench. (which makes it a pain in the rear to get in and out) On my 1971 crew cab, I installed the front buckets and the first row bench from a Dodge 15 passenger van. It was now easy to get into there rear seat and then fold down the arm rests for a comfortable ride. On the inside of the rear doors it is very easy to see where they grafted the back half of the door to the cut down front. (They did not bother to hide the seam as crew cabs were considered “commercial” vehicles.) I wish I still had mine!

    Like 1
    • Richard Wilson

      Thought Ford started the Crew Cabs in late 65… Had a 60 built by Orroville Specialty Company back in the day. Wish I still had it…

  22. Car Nut Tacoma

    The only things I’d upgrade would be a 1978 USA Ford gauge cluster, showing a combination speedometer, which shows both MPH and km/h. I’d also install a Powerstroke Turbo Diesel.

  23. Al

    I like it alot! Really wish I had a use or need for it as I’d offer $11k at least. Like one suggested for the mods, after a short while, up the fuel injection add-on, go with a 5sp Tremec, a 6sp if I had planned on distance driving pulling a 23′ camper. The ideal truck for those times indeed!

    Like 1
  24. chrlsful

    the way this has been restored surprised no 400M camed. That’n a ZF 5, 4 WD would fit out there in the wide open. Such a monster would B a lill tight here back East…

  25. Wayne

    Richard Wilson, Ford SOLD crew cabs it seems like forever. BUT, they did not build them in their OWN factories. They were farmed/sublet out to companies like Sherer (sp?) Truck. Ford Factories started building their own crew cabs in about 1980-1983.

  26. Car Nut Tacoma

    I hope whoever buys this enjoys it.

  27. MitchRoss Member

    Someone stated that “south of the border” restorations are not up to US standards. That is BS. If you go to a proper restoration shop, they certainly are. Just like in the US, if you want a cheap bondo job you can get it and most workaday cars like this are not restored, just repaired so they can keep being used. The reason this hasn’t been snapped up ios that you can go a few miles south of Tucsan and buy one for half as much and import it for the cost of gas.

    Last thing. Mexico is in North America

    Like 2

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