1995 Ford F150 Eddie Bauer 5.0 302 from North America
Best thing I ever bought.
Got her for $1500 with 112 on the clock, not in bad shape, save for a bad dent in the bed from a collision. I subsequently put my own matching dent on the opposite side.
Previous owner (who was 2nd, I'm 3rd) had to have the brake master cylinder replaced @ 60,000 miles, and for myself this is all I've had to do:
Basic tune up.
Oil changes every 3K miles.
New radiator (oversized, 2" now instead of 1")/water pump; I mean she's pushing 20 years!
Tie rod ends and U-joints (again, just needed doing when I got her).
I love her. I overloaded her, and drove her 3,000 miles from Philadelphia to LA, sleeping in her, and she didn't leave me stranded.
Same month I drove back to Philadelphia with a massive coolant leak all the way, and she never over heated.
Replaced radiator, only to find there was a leak in the transmission cooler line -- so I threw epoxy on it and prayed, and she made it all the way back to LA leaking tranny fluid, basically empty tranny, through a horrible blizzard without a complaint. As soon as I got back, she started slipping, but a quick trip over to a mechanic and a new fitting, and she was right as rain.
Reasonable gas mileage for a 1995 truck; about 12 city and 15-19 on the highway, depending how much film gear I have in her.
All the power options work, sans the cigarette lighter, but I just installed a second one.
All in all, I got her for 1500, put some work into her, and I see no signs of her quitting. And I came to realize, one night, freezing in the snow, leaking transmission, praying to make it to the next rest stop, that I'd rather rebuild her on and on until the body rusts away if needed, than get any other truck.
Now, the 302 V-8 with the 4r70w transmission isn't the best of them (the I-6 is much better), but I can't complain too much. She may not have all the torque of the others, but she gets her job done, and has never complained -- even with a full loaded u-haul 12' trailer, and fully loaded bed all through the Appalachia, and the Southern Rockies on I-40 with two adults and a bunch of fish (I had to move my fish too).
Granted, living in LA kills me for gas, but I can't think of any other truck I could trust to load to the brim with equipment, which would get any better mileage.
Best truck I've ever had the joy of owning. And I trust her to drive 9000 miles in a month -- I'd trust her to drive 20,000 miles a month.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th March, 2013
Yes, these trucks are very good and can last forever if taken decent care of. The 302 will run forever if you keep it in decent shape. Definitely some of the best trucks ever made.
If you want bulletproof reliability, low maintenance, low purchase cost, cheap parts and repairs, classic styling, good cargo and towing capacity, then you have the right truck.
Or you could go drop 40-50 grand on a new Tacoma or Ridgeline, which may get slightly better gas mileage, but is basically a soccer mom SUV with a small useless box in the back. Don't even think of towing anything; you will break something. Maintenance and parts will cost you at least 5 times more, and your warranty is voided if you do not opt for ridiculously overpriced dealer servicing Unless of course you are a pretentious, status obsessed, urban yuppie with money to burn, then yeah, get the Ridgeline or Tacoma.
I would even avoid the new F-150's and any non diesel Dodge pickups; they are just not as reliable and tough as the older pickups.
A lot of my friends and co-workers have older F-150s/F-250s, and they are all still running strong with over 300k on them.
The inline 6 especially is impossible to kill, but the 302 and 351 are really durable too.
I would buy 20 older pickups before I bought one newer one!
I have to agree. The new trucks are too soft and over-priced. I have the 5.0 in my 95 and it runs great with 128K on it. I had the 4.9 with a 4 speed granny on my 89, and wish I had never gotten rid of it. Bullet proof trucks.