As far as I can tell, there’s never been a reason for me to not have a 55-year-old Ford dump truck. It wasn’t even an abstract idea to me when I bought the thing a couple of weeks back, but my, um, more urban colleagues brought up that it’s not particularly normal, either.
That’s why I’m here to talk about my gem of an F-Series, one that’ll take me to and fro the local rock quarry as well as the occasional cruise at night.
I found it parked along a fenceline about six minutes from my home in the town of Rocky Comfort, a Missouri Ozarks flyover place just north of the Arkansas state line. It proudly wore a “for sale” sign, though there were essentially zero details listed aside from it being a ’66 model year by VIN and little else. It had sat there for a week until my grandfather mentioned he called and got a price for the two-tone beauty.
“$3,000 and not a penny less,” the seller explained. Sounded fair to me, especially after driving it the next day and finding not only did it run, and stop, but the hydraulic bed also worked in a cinch.
As I signed the title, another vintage-loving sucker rang to ask about the price. “I’m afraid you’re out of luck, buddy, because I just sold it.” That was like music to my ears, and a sign from the commercial vehicle gods that I’d made the right call.
In the time since I’ve driven it more than 200 miles, with relatively few issues.
There are a couple of things to know about my particular F600 if you’d like to become truly acquainted with it: It doesn’t have a V-8 like most others, and it’s generally a hodgepodge of Blue Oval trucks spanning from the 1960s to the ’90s. Under the hood is a 300-cubic-inch inline-six, known around the work truck world as one of Ford’s most reliable engines. It’s more than enough to push the heavy hauler to 55 mph completely unladen, and I’m hoping to see similar results with a good load of whatever in the back.
The four-speed transmission sends power to an Eaton rear end with two speeds of its own, effectively giving me a massive range of ratios to shift through to my heart’s content. That is, if the electric switch that’s supposed to be mounted to the gearshift were actually there. I’ll work on that in the meantime, but for now, it does the job just fine.