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Truck eye candy, 1978 F-250 Lariat with 139mi. They don't build'em like they used to.

1587 Views 21 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Borderland
They really don't build'em like they used to, and this video is proof that's a mixed bag. The fit/finish on this truck and paint quality ... is pretty bad. Because it has fewer miles on it than some cars sold as new do when buyers take delivery, and it sat indoors and untouched for 42 years, it's a rare time capsule look at exactly what a loaded 1978 F-250 was like right from the factory. Beautiful from across the room, but crude and fragile to deterioration on closer inspection.

Unfortunately the video plays a little like a commercial for the car care products made by the company that posted it. But I just watched for the eye candy and the nostalgia. They don't build 'em like this anymore, which is a shame. And a good thing.


edit: corrected to F-250. I originally titled thread as F-150. Not that it matters a lot, but for the sake of being correct.
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I bought my first truck at 19 years old and paid cash for it . I ordered it special for me in the summer of 1978 . 4-wheel drive , shortbed , 2 tone paint , chrome step bumper , 4 speed manual transmission with granny gear , rubber floor mats , 351 motor , Ranger XL F150 badge . I almost didn’t take it when it came in , because it came in as a 79 model and that was the year that they started putting catalytic converters on the F150 trucks . When I ordered it I told them if it came as a 79 , to cancel my order . They must have liked what I ordered and didn’t cancel it and when it came in they called me . They told me to come and test drive it and keep it overnight . Can you imagine now letting a 19 year old do that ? Well they had me after driving it . They did know my dad and me . My dad owned a Texaco just a mile up the road from them and I worked for him . We did state inspections and repairs on their used cars for them and bought Ford parts from them . The sales people said it cost them to much for their shop to repair them . I was one of the ground breakers , with the high lift kit and tall tires . I wish that I still had that truck . I sold it after I got married at 22 years old and bought a house . I don’t have the wife anymore . We only lasted 3 years and 1 child . I just sold the house 2 years ago and moved to the country after retiring .
 

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I bought my first truck at 19 years old and paid cash for it . I ordered it special for me in the summer of 1978 . 4-wheel drive , shortbed , 2 tone paint , chrome step bumper , 4 speed manual transmission with granny gear , rubber floor mats , 351 motor , Ranger XL F150 badge . I almost didn’t take it when it came in , because it came in as a 79 model and that was the year that they started putting catalytic converters on the F150 trucks . When I ordered it I told them if it came as a 79 , to cancel my order . They must have liked what I ordered and didn’t cancel it and when it came in they called me . They told me to come and test drive it and keep it overnight . Can you imagine now letting a 19 year old do that ? Well they had me after driving it . They did know my dad and me . My dad owned a Texaco just a mile up the road from them and I worked for him . We did state inspections and repairs on their used cars for them and bought Ford parts from them . The sales people said it cost them to much for their shop to repair them . I was one of the ground breakers , with the high lift kit and tall tires . I wish that I still had that truck . I sold it after I got married at 22 years old and bought a house . I don’t have the wife anymore . We only lasted 3 years and 1 child . I just sold the house 2 years ago and moved to the country after retiring .
Ah to be 19 again.
A Chevy dealer let me test drive a new 1972 Chevy Malibu over a weekend. He just asked me not to drive it on gravel roads. Bought it on Monday. I was 21.
 

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Sitting for 42 years is not good for a vehicle, seals dry rot from a lack of oil, any sitting oil becomes sludge, parts seize/corrode/rust. Should have driven it and gotten some enjoyment/use out of it.
 

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Paint quality is bad? That's ridiculous. Truck still looks pretty damn good. I had a 73 F150 Lariat. Had almost 175000 on it with only usual upkeep ever needed. Interior still looking great, no paint problems. I also once had a 71 Chev. Cheyene that was getting ragged at half the mileage. Let a niece have the Ford and in 6 months it was a pile of junk. You take care of something it lasts if the quality was good. Take care of something and it still rags out, that is poor quality.
 

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Nice!
 

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My Dad ordered a 79 F150. It was a Lariat, 4x4, factory cap, 400 engine, and pretty much everything you could get on a F150. Interestingly, even with the top trim level, it had crank windows and manual locks. Dad said it would be his last new truck, and it was. Paint quality on that truck was terrible! It was dark blue with white inset on the sides. There were places where the blue was a very light coat that didnt really cover the basr. The engine always had a ticking noise that the dealer couldn't/ wouldn't address. The interior was pretty nice, and I always liked the factory fiberglass cap. Overall though, not a great truck.
 

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mid '70s to mid '80s is when a lot of American vehicles were pretty darn poor quality wise. I had a 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis (massive 4 door sedan, black with red leather interior - we called it the mafia car) for a couple years that I got from my Dad. Loved that car. The luxury ride of that car made modern luxury cars feel like trucks. Road feel? We don't need no stinkin' road feel!

Never knew when you went to start it if it actually would start. Was in the shop constantly. All the "new" pollution stuff they just bolted onto the engine, without redesigning the engine for it.

Rust? No problem! Was great at rusting! You planned on buying a new car anyways when they hit 50,000 miles back then, so no need to worry about rust years down the road!

Back then, on Saturdays all the dads were out in the driveway tinkering with the cars to, well, keep them running!

I love the huge vehicles from back then, but nostalgia is always seen through rose colored glasses.
 

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I have never had the quality problems with my 70’s or my dad’s 83 Ford trucks , only rusting in the 70 models , but I wasn’t working on them all the time because they broke and back then I 4-wheeled them hunting and playing . I had two 79 150’s and a 77 100 . I just sold the 100 in 2004 . It was a very reliable truck . I just sold my dad’s 83 F150 five years ago , after he died . He was the original owner . It still didn’t have any rust on it . My brother still has his 67 shortbed .
 

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Great truck, that was a tough era though as all the car makers were struggling with emission regulations that really caused them to compromise a alot of performance and reliability on carbureted engines.
 

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i remember when my wife's oldest brother bought a new Ford 4wheel drive in 1980. it was for his Construction Business, including plowing. he was so disappointed, a tin can compared to his old pickup it was replacing.
 
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