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Wine Country Find: 1985 Ford F-150 4-Speed

Located in dry Sacramento, California for the last 38 years, where I should have moved after high school over 38 years ago, this rust-free, short-bed 1985 Ford F-150 looks like a great truck. That’s dangerously close to one of the great wine regions in the U.S. It’s hard to argue with a tan over red short bed pickup with a four-speed transmission from this generation of the F-Series and this one can be found here on eBay. The seller has posted an $8,400 buy-it-now price or you can make an offer.

People who use their trucks for work will sometimes make fun of city slickers and their short-bed trucks. I wonder if they make fun of people driving four-door trucks? (insert chin-scratching emoji here) This is just a good look, in my opinion, at least for those of us who don’t need to haul a full load in the back/bed/box. This truck looks almost like new and the seller says that it’s rust-free on top and underneath. The seller has it priced right between Hagerty’s #3 good-condition value and their #4 fair-condition value.

The bed and tailgate look almost like they’re from a different truck, or before this one was painted if it would have been repainted, but the seller says that it’s original, as far as I can tell from their description. The paint on the body looks almost like new, but there are some unusual spots, like zooming in on this area. It sure looks like it’s been repainted, what are your thoughts? It doesn’t matter, of course, it’s a great-looking truck other than the back end.

Sacramento is close to a significant chunk of California wine country and this red interior is perfect. I mean, not that a lot of folks who drive pickups think of red wine while choosing an interior color, I guess maybe that was a stretch. Still, red is my personal favorite interior color and this one appears to be in fantastic condition. The four-speed manual is perfect here, and this truck has power steering and power brakes, making it fun and easy to drive for those folks who can or like to shift on their own.

You don’t see air-conditioning here, unfortunately, but you do see Ford’s 300-cu.in. OHV inline-six, which would have been factory-rated at 115 horsepower when new. The seller says that it was last driven in 2017 but has been moved periodically when needed. Any thoughts on this tan over red short bed?


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice to see a simple, basic Ford pickup. Vinyl seat, no carpeting, old school straight six, manual transmission, AM radio. At least it has power steering and brakes to make it easier to drive. It is even beige, though it has Scotty’s favorite red interior. About the only nod to style and sportiness is that someone has swapped out the steering wheel.

    Reminds me of how the low-budget ma-and-pa oil company my dad worked for ordered their trucks. Something to be said for simplicity. Enjoy it for what it is.

    Good job Scotty.

    Like 11
  2. Driveinstile Member

    Im pretty sure thats the 4 speed overdrive trans. It probably got decent gas mileage back in the day too. Even if someone did paint it, or touched it up they did a really nice job. Id litterally just leave it the way it is and enjoy it. The 300 straight six is a bullet proof engine with plenty of low end torque. Perfect for a pickup.

    Like 6
  3. Howard A Member

    In the early 90s, I sold my semi, and settled in for a more stable(?) job, I thought would save my marriage,,,not so, I took a job at a Case trencher dealer, as a delivery driver, what else? They had 3 salesmen that all had trucks exactly like this, short box, 6, 4 speed( that was an O/D) same color. I tend to think, this was offered by Ford for just that purpose. Basic trucks, highly under spec’d for what they pulled, and were replaced by dually diesel pickups. These all had HUNDREDS of thousands of miles and a testament to their existence. A neighbor has a similar vintage 2wd Ranger, he wouldn’t trade for ANY newer truck, and the same goes for this. Be the last freakin’ truck you’ll ever need to buy. Great find.

    Like 11
  4. Bud Lee

    This can be made into anything. Keep original, sleeper, hotrod, lowrider, you name it. An alternative to the squarebody Chevy (which I am a proud owner of). These are just as cool as those in my opinion.

    Like 3
  5. Big C

    And now the Bullnose Fords come out of garages and barns everyehere across America. This is the third or fourth that’s appeared on here in the last week! Where were these rust free beauties 6 years ago, when I was in the market?

    Like 2
    • Scrapyard John

      6 years ago, no one much wanted them and they were selling for less than $5k. Hence, they’re coming out of the woodwork now. We missed our chance, Big C!

      In all seriousness, I’ve personally seen people scrap trucks almost as nice as this one 20 years ago…sometimes driving them into the yard. I remember an 84 or so Dodge truck with a 318 that needed a freeze plug getting driven in and scrapped. I also remember a long bed square body Chevy with a 305 getting driven in and scrapped. The AC worked in that one! I should’ve taken it home with me.

      I did save a very abused 94 z71 Chevy and a very ugly 99 Tacoma from the crusher, at least. Those were fun trucks to own. You don’t have a lot of stress when you’re driving something that cost you less than a single car payment.

      Like 2
  6. Greenhorn

    This is EXACTLY what I like about a Ford truck, and I’m not a Ford guy… Straight six, manual, and no power windows. I had a friend with one of these, but it was a long bed 4×4. That would be my preference, but I really like this one. Now I hear you can get turbos and other goodies for these as well…

    Like 2
  7. Boatman Member

    I think these pics were taken in stages. Unpainted tailgate, stripe on one side….

    Like 0
  8. Randy B.

    My 81 long bed is equipped exactly like this. It’s finally getting noticed after all these years. They will never make trucks like this again.

    Like 0

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