Sport Custom Short Bed: 1971 Ford F-100 4X4


Here’s one for you fans of orange vehicles, a very cool 1971 Ford F-100 4×4 Sport Custom and it’s a short bed! This short, Sport high boy is listed on eBay as a classified ad with a price of $11,990 or you can make an offer. This California pickup is located in Columbus, Ohio.


This fifth-generation F-Series Ford pickup wears the Sport Custom name which in 1970 replaced the Custom Cab level. It was one step below the Ranger XLT. The odometer shows 33,751 miles and the seller states that the title verifies that those are original miles. This photo shows the area on these trucks where our orange, 1969 Ford F-250 rusted within the first few years, even though we paid a lot to have it Ziebarted. This is a California truck so it should be solid and the photos show it to be. The short bed has been lined which is good and bad. Good in that it should be able to take a beating without showing many scratches, but bad in that it isn’t original.


The F-100, as most of you know, is a 1/2-ton pickup. What you may not know is that the 4×4 model had a GVWR of 5,600 compared to 5,500 for the 2-wheel-drive F-100. Ok, it’s not that big of a deal but obscure trivia like that could win you a bar bet or two. This pickup looks solid from the top side, the corners of the doors are rust-free; pretty amazing for a 45-year old pickup! But, underneath it shows four+ decades of use with surface rust and a few leaks to take care of.


The interior doesn’t seem to be in the same nice shape as the exterior is in, but it’s not bad. It’s just a little chipped and worn. And, no AC on a California truck? We had AC in ours and it was a Minnesota truck! But, there’s a 4-speed so all is right with the world again! You can see what looks like may be replacement seat material on the bench seat is cracked. I think that this vinyl would have had a pattern in it if I’m not mistaken? The seller says that a new dash pad comes with the sale, this one is cracked.


There’s no mention of the engine at all but this has to be Ford’s 360 V8 with 215 hp. It looks pretty clean in there, possibly from a pressure wash and “spray detail”, but other than some leakage that shows up underneath it looks tidy. I’d want to source a factory air cleaner housing, but that’s just me. Hagerty lists a #3 “good” 1971 Ford F-100 4×4 short bed as being valued at $13,400 so this one could be a heck of a bargain, especially seeing how rust-free the body is. What’s a fair price for this good-looking short bed Sport Custom?


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  1. Todd Zuercher

    Beautiful looking rig but it’s not a High Boy – that name is reserved for the F250s.

    I’d add power steering and swap in a Dana 20 from an Early Bronco to replace the silly single speed Dana 21 transfer case.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Very true, just a bit of poetic license there, Todd. This is more of a medium-boy anyway..

  2. boxdin

    This truck also has coil front springs, much nicer ride than leaf spgs.

  3. Howard A Member

    I’m done with the “mileage claim game”, you can make your own determinations on that from now on. These were nice trucks. Incredibly thirsty (in 4wd, you can watch the needle drop) And not the best to drive. This isn’t a 2016 F-150. These were all over the road, funky brakes,( that rusty brake booster indicates a leak at one time, and the underside looks horrid) rode like a lumber wagon( although, I’m not really sure how lumber wagons rode) and you WILL bump your head on the roof. Quite frankly, nothing fancy here,( unlike the Chevy the other day) certainly that would warrant a price like this. Just a pretty good redone example of this kind of truck.

    • Barzini

      I hope that you don’t hold back when you question whether the mileage or seller’s description is accurate. It’s often educational and it may make sellers think twice as they write their ads. This is one of things that I like best about BAT and BF.

  4. JW

    This is my kind of truck, all business and not much for frills. I like the orange color and vinyl floor as my 76 had the vinyl floor and was easy to keep clean. I would be all in on this truck for no more than $7500 for the work that needs to be done. Speaking of vinyl floors the wife just purchased a set of those weather tech floor coverings for our 2016 F-150 quad cab at $218.00, I told her in the old days we just had basic vinyl floors and you paid extra for carpet now you have to shell out extra for vinyl floor covering to protect the carpet you will not see . Crazy world we live in. Have a nice day !!!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi JW, more than once I took a hose to these interiors. Try that today. :)

      • JW

        Same here Howard, have a good one !!!

        Like 1
  5. Boss351

    I had one of these for many many years except it wasn’t a 4 speed or 4WD. It was candy apple red. This was a great reliable truck that was pressed into daily service for 3 years of commuting in city traffic. I only had to replace a front brake cylinder over a three year period. As Howard A mentioned the brakes were funky but after a while you learned how to stop fairly straight. The steering was a different issue. It was all all over the road so you were always paying attention to the holes and bumps in the road. I assume the steering issues finally killed off the twin I beam concept.

    I had the Ranger XLT model so there was carpet standard. I also averaged 12 miles per gallon and it didn’t seem to matter if it was highway or city miles.

    The 360 and 390 motors look identical so you really can’t tell. The VIN on the door has a Y so it was originally a 360. An H in the 4th position would be the 390.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    We had an F250 4×4 on the farm. It served us well for a few years and continues to serve the next in line today. I came across an article in one of the Petersen books about making those FE motors perform a lot better for very little money. A Holley 500 2bbl, dual exhausts and re-curve the ignition, and they really came alive. We had a synchrograph at work and I made those mods to my own pickup. I was so impressed that I persuaded my dad to let me modify our F250. It really worked. Through the next few years I must have done 10 more in the region. It made a good truck even better.

  7. 68 custom

    nice truck and the 360 4 speed is a good combo, didn’t all ford trucks from this era wander on the road and need constant corrections? I know in the rust belt the salt would rot out the cab mounts which adversely effected the steering. this one looks pretty nice but needs a two speed transfer case!

  8. Rob S

    Here is a f250 4 door version. These are great trucks! Hard working and tough as a tank! Good looking daily driver! Love the color! Price is on the high end but makes for good bartering

  9. Martin Sparkes

    I still have my 1970 f100 4×4. It was my daily driver for over 10 years and I finally parked it to fix the rust. Its currently undergoing a frame off restore. Contrary to opinions above, there are an extremely nice riding and comfortable truck. Most older ones have vague steering because there is a ton of rubber in the suspension and that translates to a lot of play as the rubber components deteriorate. Add in a worn steering box and its white knuckle time. But don’t slam the design for a lack of maintenance.

    I did add power steering to mine because the 4 wheel drives did not come with power until a few years later and that was a huge drawback. Personally I would never again look at an older 4×4 without power steering because they are no fun at all.

    Brakes are wonky because these trucks came with front drums which would wear unevenly from side to side. And that would be a minor issue unless you add in all that slop from the worn out suspension…….

    • Randall

      My 71 F250 has disc brakes (which I replaced) on front. I added power steering, new tires and new shocks. Pretty steady on the highway now. Of course not as good as my 2012Ram but hey it’s a 71!

  10. Keith

    What’s funny is the interior could be completely redone for about $500 (ask me how I know). Funny that the seller wouldn’t invest a small amount of money and a weekend at most to freshen up that interior and justify the asking price.

  11. Patty

    I had a plain jane 74 ford pickup similar to this but not a 4X4. Mine had the long bed and it was in bad shape (body wise) when I bought it but the price was right and it was drivable and I was a lot younger. It was easy to repair, good on gas from what I remember and got me where I needed to go. Lol, back in the day my legs were in good shape and at one point I used to keep an air compressor in the bed of the truck because of a leaky tire that I had. That was back when one could keep things in the bed and it wouldnt get stolen. I’d pull over on the side of the road, get the compressor running and air up the tire and be on my way. I miss those carefree days.Peace!

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