It only has 76,000 miles. Just wait until the miles get racked up, it won't be running so well then. Buy a Toyota before it's too late.
"I can't decide if I want to fix it up just a little bit so it looks decent, or let it show its battle scars. Both options are honorable."
My opinion is this: clean up any rust, and let the rest of the battle scars show. If the paint is scratched or chipped, leave it until it rusts.
Nothing says, "I love you" to a Ford like 200,000 hard miles or a couple of scratches. Ford trucks were meant for WORK, not SHOW. Drive that thing till it dies. You've got a real gem.
It was the golden age, at least for trucks, it's been downhill since then.
Buy a Toyota before it's too late? Hook a strap between the original posters 79 and a Tundra. That'll prove who's got the real truck.
Other than the fact that more were produced to begin with, there must be a reason you see MANY MORE old pickups out there than cars. How many Ford sedans from the 60s and 70s do you see in comparison to pickups? Those things just keep going.
I have owned all types of new trucks and cars, but after the last truck I owned (a 2007 dodge ram with the 5.7 hemi,) I sold it and went back to the first truck I ever owned a 1978 ford f-15- 4x4, love it to death it will be the last truck I ever own, it dosent lock its doors or make noises when I don't do something, its just a simple awesome truck!
I agree this was the golden year for Ford trucks. As far as for the Toyota guy on here, we are talking a 1978 Ford F150 and you're talking a Tundra. Hmmm, lets put a 1978 Toyota behind that 1978 Ford. If you don't like that, then bring your Tundra on over and hook it to my 7.3 Powerstroke.
The Ford Trucks back in the 1970's were awesome, they were reliable, simple to work on, cheap to buy parts, tough as nails, made in America, out of thick metal, they just don't make em like that anymore. It's sad to say, but if you have an old truck just hold on to it, (new trucks are just gonna be made crappier and crappier) cause these old trucks are just going to go up in value, the new ones will be lucky to last 1/2 as long as trucks from the golden age. I would suggest you fix that truck up, make it shine, make it look as good as the day it was new, we need some more beautiful old trucks on the road.
Show these new trucks how things were made back in the day...
I own a 1994 Toyota 4x4 and I love it, but I would not trade five of them for that 1978 Ford F150 4x4 it took me 15 years to talk my father in law out of.
I disagree with you... Newer trucks produce less greenhouse gases (I, myself, am not too concerned with this, but I know it's something they have up on over older rigs), newer trucks are by far safer - with crumple zones, airbags, seatbelts and many other things - and get better mileage...
And not to say, my dad's 99 Ford F-350 has 370,000 VERY VERY TOUGH miles on it. My dad is a mason, and must haul several tons of material sometimes 3 1/2 hours one way from the big city.
Also, I would say the new vehicles have mechanical advantages to the older vehicles. Rotor caps are a pain to work on if you don't know how; the brains are somewhat easier. I believe they are built better...
In some ways, Thank God they don't make them the way they used to...
NOW, before you get too defensive, the older vehicles are nice. I own a 1990 Oldsmobile, and a '88 S-15, which both have over 210,000 miles, and no real serious mechanical issues. But to say that the old vehicles are better than the new ones is just wrong.
It was the golden age of Ford trucks... and even the cars from that era get a bad rap that isn't completely deserved...
I have had 3 late 70's Ford trucks, and 2 late 70's Ford cars, and know people who've had a lot of 70's cars and trucks...
But for sake of argument, I'll stick to the ones I've had...
My first car, a 77 LTD II, nice car, it rode good, got decent mileage (20 was obtainable pretty easy) was crazy fast after 30MPH (it has a FMX 3sp auto, and wouldn't hit 3rd till 90mph), it would pull my 2 horse trailer with 2 horses in it, haul 6 people in comfort, rode like you were floating on a cloud, and was by far the easiest vehicle I've ever worked on. My only complaints about it... were small little electrical gremlins (no doubt related to age, seeing as how the car was almost 30 when I got it), and the fact it was a pain to park in tight spaces.
My second, was a 79 F150, 2wd, 351, C6. Awesome truck. Ran great, had all kinds of power, never had a lick of trouble except for the fact I couldn't get the auto choke to work, so I ran a cable, problem fixed. This truck saved my life when a drunk with a Grand Am pretty much hit me head on at 70MPH, I walked away without a scratch, as did my passenger, and the truck was totaled just cause of age, but it did no serious structural damage, If that would have been a 1980-+ truck, we would have been at least seriously hurt.
My third is a 78 F350 1 ton Dually, 400M, 4sp, 4.30 gears, etc etc. Other than small electrical gremlins, this truck has never, EVER failed to impress me with what it'll do (like pulling a stuck Edison truck out of mud up to the bumpers, and mine only being 2wd), DRAGGING a loaded 5yd dump truck up a small hill (about 200 yrds) after the air tank blew a fitting and the brakes wouldn't release, and still being able to dust Hondas light to light. With the homemade front bumper, I have rammed over small trees, pushed many a disabled vehicle, oh, and it's even towed a Tundra home after the transmission failed.
My fourth, a 79 F150 4x4, was also a good truck. But it had been a plow truck literally all its life. The frame, body, and other basic structure components held up surprisingly well, a lot better than anything remotely new would have, but the years of abuse took their toll on the engine (351M, ran good, had power, but was a crazy oil burner), and the axles were pretty well shot. It was my $200 project truck until some un-fused wiring under the dash shorted out and burnt the truck to the ground. Can't complain though, sold it for parts for 200 bucks. But it always fired up, and even in its decrepit state, it STILL did anything I asked of it (from hauling mounds of firewood, to pulling my stuck Expedition out of a muddy/slushy ditch).
So yeah, to put it bluntly, there is NO WAY a new Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and certainly not a Toyota or Nissan, could touch one of these old 73-79 Fords when it comes to pure grit.
I have a 1978 Ford F150. It has a 351m, straight pipes, headers, and a skyjacker lift.
The truck needs work, but it has hauled wood, bricks, and anything else you could think of, and hasn't given me any problems.
Just yesterday I took it through the mud, and never got stuck.
People cut those trucks down so much, but new trucks couldn't touch the old 70's Fords. Those trucks are like tanks.
In my opinion, the 1973-1979 Ford trucks are the best trucks ever made.
I like the way you think. I have a 79 250 Custom, and I would gladly hook up to a Toyota. My title against theirs, says my 4 speed 400 gets it done.