Junkyard Gem: 1974 Ford F-250 Custom

The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States since 1977, with well over 40 million sold since the first one rolled off the assembly line as a 1948 model. The sixth generation of F-Series truck was built from the 1973 through 1979 model years, and junkyard examples of these trucks have become quite rare in recent years. Today’s Junkyard Gem is a 1974 3/4- ton

from the generation that put the F-Series on top of the sales charts, found in a Denver-area self-service yard

The build tag says that it was built at San Jose Assembly in California, where the Great Mall now stands, and sold via the Denver sales office.

The engine is some member of the Ford FE V8 big-block family; if it’s the original plant (possible but not likely, given how often engine swaps took place in these trucks), it’s a 360 or 390.

The transmission is a good old four-speed manual, driving the rear wheels.

The base trim level was the Custom, and that’s what this truck has.

There’s an ancient camper shell perched on the bed.

The shell’s rear window has been replaced with plywood and secured with a hasp-and-padlock rig.

It appears that it was sold within a few miles of its final parking spot, just south of Denver.

The camper shell came from Flint, Michigan, home of GM’s Buick Division.

Judging from the decayed snow tires and ample rodent nesting material, it appears that this truck sat outdoors for decades before coming to this place.

The keys were still in it when it got here. Maybe it was still a runner.

Beaver Liquors in Avon is still around.

The silent film era was about 50 years before this truck was new, or about as far in the past then as 1974 is today.