Super Short: 1979 Ford Ranger F-150

In 1979, Ford made just over 400,000 F-150 pick up trucks in all configurations. Not too many were short bed Supercab models; in fact only 35,889 Supercabs of all bed sizes were built in two wheel drive form. This one is for sale on Craigslist in Tucson, Arizona, where is has been sitting in the owner’s carport since 2006.

(photo credit

Like this truck’s bed, the ad for this truck is fairly short and there is only one picture. This truck at least appears to be rust free and solid. It features a V-8, an automatic transmission and air conditioning, though Ranger is the base trim line for this truck. This Supercab does not run, and will need some wiring work, as it appears the local packrats have had at it (in Arizona, packrats are known to make nests in engine compartments and love to chew on wires to build with). And it will need all the usual work a vehicle that was not properly stored will require. Still, those of us who live in rust zones will look longingly at the body and frame of this roomy truck. Some backyard mechanic ought to be able to get this one back on the road again soon. The main problem for me is the asking price of $4,500, which seems a bit high for a non-runner. On the other hand, what is a rust-free pick up truck worth these days? Is this worth the effort for someone out there?

Fast Finds


  1. Darrun

    If it was 1500 miles closer, I would be seriously interested. But…it’s just over 2000 miles, and I’m not up to that long of a road trip.
    The asking price may sound a little high, but I’ve been watching these short bed extended cab trucks,and they definately bring a premium to Ford Fans.

  2. JW

    Rust free stirs me being in the Midwest and wiring is not a big deal anymore with the painless wiring kits available today. I had a 78 Ford and the only difference that I know of they went to square headlights over the round 78’s. Great trucks IMHO.

  3. Nate

    I have a 79 supercab, but longbed. I wish it were a shorty, but I’ll probably just cut down the frame, and bed.

    I live in Tucson, but that seems a bit much for a non runner. I just picked up a rust free 76 Super Camper Special for almost a grand less, in very good condition.

  4. angliagt

    Square headlights were optional in ’78,
    standard in ’79.
    If this were 4WD,I’d be thinking about it,
    but it’s been sitting for 11 years!

    • Bob

      Here is one I built in 1979

    • Rocco in Florida

      You are correct about the headlights. I’m glad someone remembered that.

  5. JW454

    The ,79 has always been one of my favorites in the Ford line up. To date, I’ve had a ,1977, 1978, 1990, & a 1995. They were all good trucks and I’ve had no complaints with any of them. I still have my 1995. I told my sister that when I die they can put my box in the back and haul me to my plot in it.
    I’d rather have a rust free truck that doesn’t run than a rusty one that does. Mechanical and electrical is way easier to fix than rust.

  6. racer99

    Almost 40 year old rust free truck that’s should be optioned out well (a/c, pw, pdl, abs, etc.) should be a cheap way to get into a drive-able truck that’s probably on the low point of the value curve now. I had a friend who took a truck around this year and plopped a 5.0 out of a Mustang GT into it and used it for years. If it’s solid (as it seems) and damage free then I don’t think the pricing is out of line.

  7. irocrob

    I had a regular cab 1978. Great truck but awful on gas and I think mine was only a 302. You sure do not see many around here in the rust belt even with the quantity made. If the body is real good not a bad buy.

    • racer99

      Yup, the friend that put the 90’s vintage 5.0 Mustang motor in it was much happier with the truck after the motor transplant. I had one with a 351 and it struggled to pull a racecar trailer (about 3500 lbs car and trailer) and get 10mpg at the same time.

      • Rocco in Florida

        That’s exactly what happened to me. I ordered my first new vehicle(’91 F-150 extended cab, 351W, E4OD, towing package, etc.), and it couldn’t get out of it’s own way, let alone pull my Mustang race car on an open trailer. The ’89 302(that I traded in) drove circles around it. Then I found out why. The 302 had a 3.55 rear axle. The 351 had a 3.08 so it would pass some mileage expectations. The best it ever got was 17mpg on a trip straight up the Interstate(around town 13-14). I was so disappointed. I kept it for 2 years until some guy wanted it more than me. I took the money and bought a new ’93 F-150 Lightning, that I still have today, that runs like new with 120K. The Lightning gets 12mpg, but it’s fun. I learned to get a dedicated tow vehicle for towing race cars. Love my Fords.

  8. Jeff K.

    I guess “Running” is worth 2 Grand??

    New ad revision states:

    “Clean title. Short bed 2wd
    Straight body. Nice interior
    A\C from the factory.
    Runs good
    Arizona title in my name
    Might trade for a 4×4
    Please call”

    • Nate

      I’m guessing they saw this post, or maybe the sudden influx of interest got them to go out and spend $50 for plug wires and some gas to flush the tank…

  9. Smittydog

    Now $6500.

  10. Scat Pack

    Not for a 2wd

  11. David Moore

    This is my truck. Current condition is running and driving after a new carb new fuel pump New fuel lines New plug wires. Flushed the tank. It is worth $2000 more because now I know the engine and trans are in great shape. All the lights work. The brakes work etc… Without that knoledge it IS worth $2000 less. Tires have less than 100 miles on them. Great body and interior. Original paint. As I continue to bring this truck back after being left outside for over 10 years the price will go up. If the price is to high for you that does not matter to me. Nice rare truck.

  12. Jim

    Here in the northeast, it would sell in a minute for his asking price. Rust free trucks like this almost don’t exist here anymore. $4,500 for a clean body and chassis is cheap compared to $2,000 in replacement sheet metal and a few hundred hours in the garage plus paint ect. Someone is going to get a great truck.

    • Rocco in Florida

      You are so right.

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