1978 Ford F100 (a/k/a Baby)
This truck makes me, one-owner Cynthia, proud. Let’s go back to 1978. I was 20 years old, didn’t have a driver’s license but had a good-paying factory job. I asked my dad if he would cosign a loan for a truck. Dad said, and I quote, “What the “H” does a girl want with a truck?” My reply, “Okay then I want a Jeep.” After much discussion, he would help me get my driver’s license. I practiced driving back and forth to work. Living in the country I told Dad he could use the truck for hauling whatever and whenever. I had my down payment saved. It took a while to get an answer about Dad cosigning. Remember in 1978 you had to be 21, even with a good credit rating to get a loan. It was time to truck shop at our Ford dealership, Rosemurgy’s. My Dad purchased all his vehicles from them and put his utmost trust in them. On the lot there was not much available in trucks, except ¾ tons, four-wheel drives and six-cylinder engines. Dad believed the bigger the engine the longer it would last. Dad also said you don’t need a four-wheel drive. The salesperson told us we could get whatever I wanted because there was a yellow and white F100 on the lot. I fell head over heels in love with it.
On June 7th, 1978, Dad and I signed on my $5,491.50 loan. The dealership added dual-guard rust proofing, a full tank of gas and congratulations all around! Finally, with dad driving and me as the passenger and the proud owner of this brand new Ford F100 Custom truck, we headed home. I named her Baby. After I got my driver’s license Baby and I put on many a miles back and forth to work, vacations, camping trips, hunting, fishing, hauling, moving people, and anything that a truck can be used for from 1978 to 1999. At that time I purchased another vehicle and Baby got collector plates. I just drove her in the spring and fall for yard waste.
Time passed. Due to financial restrictions, winter storage was tarping, pulling the battery, and allowing mice invasions as she was parked on stone pavers in the yard. We all know how much rust can accumulate EVERYWHERE! Due to city ordinances, the 1978 went into a caged area outside for four years. Then the owner of the storage facility sold the property and called me to get my truck out ASAP. I towed Baby back home. She hadn’t been started for four years and no usual maintenance had been done, so there sat my beautiful truck. The city sent a letter about their ordinance on parked vehicles.
In 2016 during lunch with a girlfriend, she and I were discussing my dilemma of my first brand new truck, the city ordinance, lack of money to fix it and so on. She told me that her neighbor belonged to a car club and was always fixing something, and asked if she could share my phone number with him. It took a couple of months for us to connect. An angel, named Rich, came over to see if this was a project he would be willing to take on. After some hesitation, he agreed to do it. What a super guy! It was a HUGE project and he accomplished it. He took pictures and kept me informed of his progress. Never in my life had I dreamt my truck would be back on the road again. Baby is still yellow and white with the original 351M motor and driveline. With the help of LMC Parts and Accessories and the endless hours and dedication of Rich, I had my 1978 Ford F100 on display downtown for the car show on Father’s Day, June 17, 2017. I was proud to show Baby off among the other beautiful cars and trucks. Wausau Events and the Wisconsin Road Knights work together to put on this car show every year.
I am grateful to this man who used his time and talents to put my Baby back on the road again as well as his dear wife, Lynn, who also got involved in the project. Baby is now stored inside for the winter months. I enjoy driving her in summer and she’s now reached 182,900 miles. My Baby now attracts a lot of attention. I consider her a “guy magnet”. It feels so good to drive my first brand new truck again!