Classic Car Overview
Growing up in the 80s, trucks like this 1981 Ford F-150 were all over the roads, but because not many folks took care of them as prized possessions, its uncommon to see dialed-in examples today. Clean Bull Nose trucks like this slick silver shortbed are starting to earn respect in the industry again, although we have to admit its been a long time since weve seen one this cool. With a sporty exterior, racing-inspired interior, and a powerful 351 V8 drivetrain under the hood, this restored pickup feels more like a Mustang with a big trunk than an industrial-strength hauler. Ford was big on Silvers in the mid-80s. Mustang GTs in particular were often found in silver to dark gray shades, and on this sporty F-150, the bright Silver finish really work greats on the short-bed livery. Repainted very recently, its a solid driver-quality finish thats in many ways better than what you got in the early 80s from Americas Big Three manufacturers, with solid prep work underneath that set the table with a straight canvas. The modern urethane paint shines up nicely as you can see in our photos, and even with a few imperfections here and there, the curb appeal is undeniable. The square-jawed sheetmetal looks as good today as it did back then, and it is as instantly recognizable as anything this side of a VW Beetle. The light color highlights the fenders, giving it a sporty look, and if you look down the flanks, youll see this sucker really is pretty darn straight, a highlight that is punctuated by the painted-on black stripe that runs end-to-end down the profile. Theres a bit of stock chrome around the front grille, headlight surrounds, and side mirrors, but for the most part the painters decided to continue with the tough silver-and-black look - electing to black-out the grille insert and front bumper to match the side stripes. The rear bumper was deleted and subbed-out with a roll pan that really looks cool under the smooth tailgate, and inside the bed was sprayed with a bedliner material that looks clean and can be put to the test if you ever want to haul anything serious. Inside the cab, the truck went through a complete transformation thats now more race car than pickup. All remnants of a blue-collar environment are gone, starting with the two lightweight Corbeau Racing seats that anchor the cabin. Highly sculpted with extreme bolster support, the black cloth seats keep you in place when the truck flicks in-and-out of corners, and even though theyre not overly padded the seats are still all-day comfortable. Splitting the seats is a custom center console that was finished in high-end materials and houses an upgraded B&M Quicksilver shifter for the C6 automatic transmission below. Theres also a Phantom digital speedometer/odometer mounted up high in the console, and it keeps a much more accurate read-out of the motor under the hood. The original dash was also swapped-out to make way for a full-blown custom unit filled with an array of AutoMeter white-face gauges, a series of accessory switches, and a diamond-plate topper, and the hotrod inspired layout really works inside the cabin. Other custom touches include a leather-rimmed billet steering wheel at the head of the cockpit and plush black carpets on the floors, although the matching black door panels are stock units that are likely original to the truck. The changes inside were bold, but the results speak for themselves as this interior is one of the coolest weve ever seen in a vintage pickup. The real fun lives under the hood, where a thumping 351 Windsor V8 was neatly installed inside the reworked engine bay. With genetic ties directly to the famous late60s and early-70s Mustang, comparisons are inevitable, and the truth is, everything that was great about those legendary engines survives in this pickup. Topped with a Holley HP 4-barrel carburetor and Edelbrock intake, the engine is quite lively, and with a noticeable cam inside the motor the lope and deep rumble is downright intoxicating. Its torquey, smooth, and makes great V8 sounds from the long-tube headers feeding through the dual exhaust underneath. An aluminum radiator with dual electric fans keeps the whole show nice and cool, and with a modern power steering system and power 4-wheel disc brakes, the trucks road manners are superb. Backed by a more than capable C6 3-speed automatic transmission, its punchy around town and just loafs along at highway speeds thanks to a built Ford 9-inch rear end with a Detroit locker, Moser axles, and 3.70 gears. The engine bay is very clean with signs of regular care, while the chassis is very solid and has nothing to hide thanks to an easy life with only 3 careful owners. 15-inch Legend Series alloys add some flash and wear fat 275/60/15 Cooper Cobra GT radials at all four corners. With handsome good looks, plenty of practicality, and a small block Windsor thats just waiting to flex its muscles, this sporty F150 offers an inexpensive opportunity for lots of vintage fun. Call today!