It's not often you see old work horses in great-looking near-stock condition -- let alone with the same stock paint job it had from the factory.
I spotted this 1971 classic Ford F-250 Sport Custom Cab traveling on the I-10-west in Los Angles this morning. Like a diamond in the rough, this F-250 stood out from the sea of modern vehicles.
The F-250's predecessor, the "F-2", was Ford's first post-World War II in 1948 and had a very bubbly look. The F-250 first made its mark in history in 1953 with a name change to "F-250" and sleeker, more modern design with a slightly rounded, boxier body line. For the 1971 F-250, it got its shape from the 1967 redesign. Over the next few years, Ford played with numerous front grille variations and minor styling tweaks, but retained the even-more-boxy body style it came to become. And Ford continued to play with new grille designs well after 1971.
For '71 the front grille was another one of those redesigns that started with a two-piece look with two rows of three large horizontal rectangle slots on each side. The F-250 hosted the same basic features of its smaller brother, the F-100. They shared the same grille design, Deluxe Air Heater with three-speed fans, Hi-Dri ventilation, ashtray, right-hand coat rack, Wedge-type vent windows, deluxe instrument cluster bezel, and vinyl seats, to name a few. In addition, the F-250 featured power brakes and Flex-O-Matic rear suspension to handle heavier pay-loads.
The F-250 was available with 4x4 suspension. The 4x4 front suspension consisted of resilient long leaf springs with lubrication-free shackles along with a standard two-speed transfer case and three-speed transmission. The rear suspension was built with a Flex-O-Matic system with heavy-duty shocks and springs. The F-250 was also available with the basic 4x2 suspension.
Exterior styling cues included bright body side moldings, western-type mirrors, rear step bumper or a chrome contour rear bumper for the Stylsides, bright hub caps or bright wheel covers, sliding rear window, and tinted windshield. The truck had the option of Styleside or Flareside exterior bed cargo boxes. The standard colors in '71 was a long list that included Raven Black, Wimbledon White, Calypso Coral, Candy-Apple Red, and the truck I spotted happened to be Seafoam Green. Paint style was all so available in two-tone combinations that used the belt line molding as a dividing line for the color combinations that were offered.
Another cue to this truck's features was found on the rear exterior of the bed. I noticed a badge that read "Custom." This rear badge indicated that this truck had some extra features when it was built. The "Sport Custom Cab" features included Deep-foam seat cushions, pleated-basket-weaved vinyl seat trim inserts with grained vinyl bolsters, color-coordinated floormats and horn ring, cigarette lighter, bright rocker panels, wheel lip, windshield moldings, and taillight bezels.
The F-250 had an OHV six-cylinder with a displacement of 240 cid that put out 140 horses with a one-barrel carburetor. It shared the same engine in the F-100 and F-350.
Ford delivered a record of 735,370 trucks in 1971 under the lead of J.B. Naughton, the vice president and general manager of Ford's truck division of the time.