F-Series Reigned at 2018 Fabulous Fords Forever

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By Richard Truesdell

For more than three decades, the third Sunday each April brings the Ford faithful to Buena Park, Calif., for the annual Fabulous Fords Forever show. The 2018 version marked the 33rd year of the event and showcased more than 1,600 vehicles, many of them Ford pickup trucks. This year's event celebrated 70 years of the F-Series, the best-selling vehicle in America for more than 40 years. Since 1977 — when the half-ton F-150 was first introduced — Ford has sold more than 26 million F-Series trucks.

 

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The oldest Ford truck at the FFF was a 1929 Ford Model A roadster owned by Jim Runyon that was displayed in the inner circle as part of an extensive collection of vehicles celebrating 90 years of the legendary Model A. What's interesting about this truck was that it has been updated with a 12-volt electrical system and features an overdrive unit from a Volvo, a marquee once owned by Ford.

 

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Of course, the Ford F-Series display is of most interest to PickupTrucks.com readers. Organizers said it was difficult to locate stock, restored, original or otherwise unmolested examples of Ford pickups. From what we saw, four where quite impressive, including a 1976 F-250 Camper Special owned by Richard Drake, previously featured on PickupTrucks.com.

 

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The oldest F-Series was a 1955 Ford F-250 owned by Richard Stanley that has been in his family since it was purchased in 1955 by his father, who used it as a daily driver well into his 80s. At the other end of the F-Series spectrum was the 1994 Ford F-150 Lightning, owned by Gene and Connie Ravera. It was one of 4,007 produced that year, according to the truck's storyboard. However, even this truck featured some stealth modifications: a Vortech supercharger and it was lowered less than an inch.

 

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FFF always has a separate section dedicated to other Ford trucks, most of which were modified in some way. Most impressive were the trucks displayed by La Foringas TruckClub, a Southern California group of Latino Ford truck owners, many whom own F-Series trucks that were built at the Ford assembly plant in Mexico. One of the most impressive was a light blue retro-mod 1978 Ford F-100 Ranger owned by Rafael Garrido. Roberto Garcia displayed a big-wheeled yellow 1978 F-100 Ranger that was beautiful but not over the top.

 

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Several other classic Fords attracted our attention as well. These included the wonderfully presented 1954 F-100 six-cylinder in light aqua, displayed by the grandson of the truck's original owner, Jerry Spear. Parked next to the Spears' truck was a 1950 Ford F-1, showing the evolution of the first-generation F-Series to the second. It sported a wonderful patina in gray and red. With its wide white walls, it looked as if it could have been on the cover of Hot Rod magazine in the 1950s.

 

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As you might expect, most of the Ford truck area was dominated by Ford Lightnings. Our favorite was the red 2002 Lightning owned by George and Lisa Dias, one that is raced often in the Optima Ultimate Street Car series and the Silver State Classic Challenge. Another was the sharp 2003 Ford Lightning in black. A red 1997 Lightning, owned by Mark Rojas, showed the origins of the first-generation Lightning and high-performance Ford trucks such as like the current Ford F-150 Raptor.

 

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We also saw some lifted trucks; the most impressive was a Bright Lime later-model F-350 dubbed the "High Roller Edition." More to our taste was a white-and-red 1960 Ford F-250 4x2 owned by Nicholas Miller that looked just about perfect.

 

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On the main show field were more than a dozen car-based pickups, many without owner identification such as the yellow Torino-based yellow Ranchero GT, but one that caught our eye was the red-and-white 1965 Ford Ranchero owned by Lee Schultz. Falcon-based Rancheros continue to be quite popular, especially when they get a heart transplant of a modern high-output, fuel-injected 5.0-liter V-8 from a late-model Ford, many donated not from Fox-body Ford Mustangs but from Lincoln Mark VIIs that share the same engine.

Cars.com photos by Richard Truesdell

 

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Comments

What a collection of junk. I would like to drive my shiny 2018 RAM directly into the middle of that show, as I know that it would greatly improve it. A rose amongst many thorns.

-HR

New MoPar in a Old Ford show? Great comparison.

Gas Monkey did a Falcon Ranchero. 4 wheel drums swapped for disks & and the crème de la crème, a new Vette power plant.

It's the only car show worth seeing, I never heard of a Fabulous Dodges Forever. HAHAHAHHAHA

It's the only car show worth seeing, I never heard of a Fabulous Dodges Forever. HAHAHAHHAHA

What a collection of junk. I would like to drive my shiny 2018 RAM directly into the middle of that show, as I know that it would greatly improve it. A rose amongst many thorns.

-HR

LOLOLOLOLOL. Your Ram will be worth 1/2 what you paid for it in 5 years. Those old Fords will keep gaining in value.
Guess you're still a young'n.

@hemi rampage
Your lack of vehicular sophistication belies your verbal articulation.

It’s stories like this that truly bring out the brand ignorance. While I always drive Ford trucks, I have always appreciated the design and engineering of all brands. I’m just as happy to look at a beautiful C10 or cool Powerwagon as I am a Lightning. I truly would like one of each!

Nice collection of vehicles! That two tone blue 77 is exactly the truck my father had but all blue! The darker blue, not the Carolina blue. Biggest pile of junk EVER!!! One of the reasons I can't stand Ford!! He dumped so much money into that thing to keep it on the road while I was growing up!

Overall, I like the looks of the 97 to 2003 F150s...the lightning was a decent truck. They should have made a crew cab version.

Nice trucks!!!

Frank is awesome!!

LOVE
FORD!

LOLOLOLOLOL. Your Ram will be worth 1/2 what you paid for it in 5 years. Those old Fords will keep gaining in value.
Guess you're still a young'n.

@ Dale

He might be a young'n but those old trucks still ride like OLD TRUCKS.....lumber wagons!! Ill take any new trucks ride over that old stuff any-day!!

And if you change out the suspension for air ride or something better, well you destroy the value on them!

Nice to see that old steel. That is truckin!

These old Fords remind me of having a hot-looking girlfriend. All show and no GO.

My best girlfriends have been like my Chevy's. The looked just fine and ran GREAT. Very reliable.

the Ford?

Why aint all that trash in the scrap yard yet? Bet well over half of them are only around because of a small block chevy under the hood!

@ johnny doe

LMFAO!!! That last comment is classic!

I like the light blue 54 F-100 and the red and white 1960 F-250. I had AMT models of the 60 and a 56 Ford trucks. I always liked those and the 55 thru 59 Chevy Apaches. I also like the 67 thru 72 Chevy C-10s.

The SBC is cheap and plentiful compared to any other engines - that’s the primary reason rodders use them. Look at Summit or Jegs for HiPo motors or parts for SBC vs anyone else ALWAYS lowest cost. It’s not because they were any better than SBF (302/351)or Mopar (340)

Grnzel sounds like a neophyte.

The Small Block Chevy engine was already a race-proven powerplant several years before the first Ford Windsor motor was built. The 340 Mopar did not appear till 10 years later.

By then, everybody who made aftermarket exhausts, cams, heads, pistons/rods, intake manifolds already had a whole catalog of parts for enthusiasts. Ford and Mopar were way late to that game.

Class dismissed!

Wow, papajim dropped the hammer on Grnzl....ring that bell!!

@TNTGMC

After I smacked him he didn't even wiggle---I felt bad.

So, I didn't even mention the GM Mark IV big block engine. the 396-427-454 stunned everybody back in the 1960s.

You could go to specialty GM dealers back then in Kansas City and New Jersey and buy sleeper Novas, Impalas, even station wagons equipped with big block monster engines ready for the strip or street. Ford and Mopar fans had nothing like it. The closest thing Mopar had was the Hemi Road Runner but they were rare as hens teeth.

Cost & parts availability are the primary driver for use of SBC in various hot rod applications. I don’t care about the history lesson. More GM V8 have been made and they used to be highly interchangeable. It was this fact that made them and continue to be popular repower options. GM was first with a mass produced performance V8, therefore lower cost than anyone else. Thanks for making my point. I like the SBC but frankly its technically no greater than similar displacement V8s from anyone else in similar applications. I wasn’t arguing timelines. If you had 350, 351 and 340 in front of you they all pretty much are engineered the same, from a cost perspective the 350 is almost always the lowest cost rodding option - that is my point. Do you agree?
It’s all about the $$$.

Go to Summit Racing or Jegs and see how much GM pushrod motors are vs Ford and Mopar - my point.

@papa
So quick to pull the trigger before you understood the point I was making and I wasn’t even being negative of GM. I think it’s well understood that a GM V8 is always the lowest cost repower option and that’s a major reason why they are used in many hot rods - nothing wrong with that.

GM pulled out of NASCAR back in the mid-1960s and Pontiacs, Olds, Buicks, and Chevies still were in contention every week. Even without GM engineering support, guys like Smokey Yunick, Childress and Petty still found ways to get the power for winning cars.

MoPar and Ford/Mercury had big factory teams that received huge engineering support from Detroit but the GM teams still managed to compete.

How is this relevant to the economics of V8 engines from the big 3?

Don't listen to papajim, dumb, fake news.

The Blind trying to lead, he's an idi0t.

I've never heard of:

Fabulous Chevy's Forever.........HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Nobody cares for Chevy's

@ Frank

This guy gets an article thats something nice about Ford instead of a RECALL and he gloats over nothing... Its a bunch of older trucks..that drive like old trucks...I'd rather ride in a new truck that rides like a car, instead of a covered wagon....but u are older than Alabama clay so go figure

I've never heard of:


Fabulous Chevy's Forever.........HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Nobody cares for Chevy's
Posted by: Frank | May 4, 2018 3:27:49 PM

That's because Chevy's last, they don't have to say fabulous, as there are still millions of old Chevys around being drove on the streets every day! Unless like that S^%t called Ford!

@Grnzel --Agree and replacement parts are plentiful and affordable. The small block GM motors are very durable as well. I have owned a couple of Chevies with 350s and a few 305s both good motors but I prefer the 350s.

I'd rather ride in a new truck that rides like a car,

Posted by: TNTGMC | May 4, 2018 4:51:11 PM


My job is done here.


@ frank

U are truly hopeless... U wouldn't know what a smooth riding truck feels like. My new sierra ride s like a car BC its silky smooth. Your 02 covered wagon f250 is terrible!!! U don't even have to chew gum while driving down the road fearing it will start on fire!!!!

I think it’s well understood that a GM V8 is always the lowest cost repower option and that’s a major reason why they are used in many hot rods - nothing wrong with that.
Posted by: Grnzel | May 4, 2018 9:21:34 AM

GM's LS V8's are the lowest cost V8 option because they're simple and extremely popular. They had a lot more aftermarket support much earlier, which helped build up economy of scale that other V8's couldn't match. Plus GM has always kept interchangeability between generations much easier. Even the electrical/computer systems are easily adapted (which saves a TON of work when swapping engines). The LS is also helped by the fact that it doesn't need 4 times as many cams, twice as many valves, several timing chains, 4 cam phasers, massive heads, etc. All those extra parts make DOHC engine rebuilds/swaps/power upgrades way more expensive.

A new Ford Coyote or Mopar crate engine can be had for a similar price as a new GM V8 crate engine, but the aftermarket support for the Coyote/Mod engines is much smaller and MUCH more expensive. Mopar V8's have even less aftermarket support than the Coyote/Mod engines and the official Mopar parts are always way overpriced for what you get.

This would be a great show to go to. I like old cars and truck regardless of brand. Some get so hung up on brands they cannot appreciate an old car or truck for what it is. I use to have a 63 IH 1000 step side bed truck and every where I went people would ask me about it. Had a few older guys tell me they owned one at one time or some who just had fond memories of IH trucks. I enjoy Jay Leno's Garage especially the older cars that he owns himself. He just has a 66 Lincoln Continental convertible that he just bought from an original owner which is a beauty. I like the original non customized cars and trucks especially the survivors that have not been restored.

Ford!

@ frank

U are truly hopeless... U wouldn't know what a smooth riding truck feels like. My new sierra ride s like a car BC its silky smooth. Your 02 covered wagon f250 is terrible!!! U don't even have to chew gum while driving down the road fearing it will start on fire!!!!


Posted by: TNTGMC | May 4, 2018 7:39:44 PM

If I want something smooth, I'd buy a car, in addition, hard working trucks will ride terrible as they are built to work, not to assist with your groceries.

To each their own, enjoy your day sunshine.

@ Frank

Again, you wouldn't know bc you drive a 16 year old truck!!!!!! My 420 HP/460TQ will out work your F250 anyday of the week buttercup!!!!! Class dismissed!!

@ TNT

Frank's mechanic stocks a crate of helicoil kits just for the spark plug spitting Triton engine in Frank's Sooper Dooty.

-HR

@ HR

Its crazy the "JUNK" Frank spouts off....u would have to be an UBER clown not to want a Truck to drive like a car and work like a truck....but he does drive a Ford that is known to catch fire and blow out spark plugs, cam phasers, ect..ect..so go figure!!

Guys I figured it out...I know why Frank struggles...its bc he owns that covered wagon of a truck called Ford F250, and after 16 years of bouncing around like a bobble head, its affected his brain. Poor guy...I offered to buy you a helmet?? Or better yet, you still owe me $100 awhile ago on a bet, you can just use that yourself there Franky boy!!

I've never heard of Fabulous GMC's Forever, because nobody cares.

Hey, I don't need a new truck, it fits what I do in my outdoor activities. I didn't need to contact Ford to do a buyback on a new truck, for issue they couldn't figure out.

The spark plug issue is all you got, FYI, I tighten my plugs to spec and have no issue.

I'm sorry you paid cash for that truck, that is possibly the most idiotic thing a person can do, is pay cash for truck, even if you do have the money, you're a friggin idiot to do so, thanks for gloating your idiocracy.

You make me feel good when you post stuff like that.

Keep the up the good work.



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