Growing up in Indiana, my parents had our “Brown Truck,” a 1978 F-150 custom 4×4. I had many fond memories of camping trips and family time going places in that truck. Over the years, life happened and the truck fell into disrepair, only to be used to haul equipment around the property. By the time I was old enough to do anything with it, the floors, doors, and wheel wells were all rusted out. I couldn’t afford to fix it and ended up selling it for scrap.
Fast forward to 2014. I was a young adult living in Texas, finally on my feet, many vehicles later, driving a brand new Camaro SS convertible. After having many “new” modern vehicles and several different trucks, I wanted something more simple, no electronics, easy to work on, and familiar. I began the search for “My Truck” and in June of 2014 found my 1977 F-150 Ranger XLT.
When I bought the truck it was drivable with routine doctoring, as pretty much every gasket and seal was dry and leaking every fluid. It required oil at least weekly with only occasional trips around town. Within the next year I had the original transmission and engine both rebuilt and also retrofitted the non-working factory A/C to a new R-134a compressor/system. Only one of the two gas tanks was functioning, so those were removed, cleaned, sealed, and reinstalled. I eventually decided to sell my Camaro and get rid of the payment, making my truck my daily driver. It’s about 9 mpg on the highway, but hey, it’s paid for!
In 2017, after doing pretty much everything imaginable, mechanically speaking, to rejuvenate the truck to “like new” condition, I decided to have the body restored. Not just a paint job, but removing dents and scratches, some minor rust, and replacing all sorts of body rubber. I even removed the bed down to the frame and painted the frame. I started with a flat black, old, used truck to a brand new two-tone metallic gray and silver daily driver.