What Makes The 1966 Ford F100 So Special?
Of the 220,306 F100s built in 1965, the overwhelming majority were Stylesides. Production numbers indicate 34,184 were Flareside. Both styles offered two different bed sizes (6.5’ and 8’). The truck retailed for around $2000 from the dealer, depending on the options the owners wanted.
By the end of 1963, Ford began to realize that their unibody integrated pickup design was a disaster. Even though the production costs were lower with the unibody, owners found the trucks challenging to work with. Complaints of the doors jamming (especially when side wall toolboxes were loaded), side panels ripping and tearing, or bed warping caused constant frustrations. In 1964, Ford reverted to the separate cab and cargo box trucks, extending the wheelbase on 8’ beds. Ford was still trying to convince the F100 and F250 were better because they proclaimed in the sales brochure that Ford had the “biggest truck news in years.”
The 1965 F100 is a straightforward truck with a rugged front end that gives an air of confidence. Turn signals were situated above the headlights, which bookended a large chrome grille. The iconic Ford letters were indented just under the lip of the hood.
The truck side had a design line that went the length of the side panel, from the front quarter panel extending through the door and back to the rear. It formed a lip over the rest of the side and matched the slightly flared fender wells. Styleside pickups with a long bed had an optional locking toolbox curbside that provided quick and easy access for storage.
The cargo box featured double box sidewall construction and additional cross-sills to increase strength and durability. The beds had curved edges to allow owners to spray out the beds after hauling manure or dirt. Flareside trucks had the option of wooden floors and curved edges to aid in hauling loads. The tailgate could be unlatched to swing free using straps rather than chains.
Ford put all their chips in on the new frame and suspension system. The twin I-beams allowed each tire to move independently from one another. The system used two separate beams, friction-free springs, and enlarged truck-type kingpins to help handle rough terrains. The new system was durable, increasing the life and capability of the truck’s new engines and C6 transmission. Early ads trumpeted that owners would feel “virtually no nose-dive when the brakes are pressed, no “mushing out” on curves, and no loss of steering control” when they needed it most.
Ford would continue using the Twin I-beam system in the F-Series trucks until retiring it in 2002. Because shocks on one side of the truck were not transferred to the wheel on the other side, the truck rode more like a large sedan than a bouncy, old truck. Ford insisted that the new unique suspension was “the strongest, most reliable foundation built under the foundation of any pickup truck.” Ford scored an instant hit with truck owners everywhere.
Engine And Transmission
Two new engines were offered for the 1965 Ford F100. Gone were the 223 six, the 262 six, and the 292 V8. In their place, the standard engine was the 4.9L 240 cu. in. inline six, with the option for the 300 cu. in. six or the much larger FE 352 cu. in. V8. (The 352 is the engine that most classic truck restorers love because it packed a healthy 208 HP @ 440 rpms and 315 ft/lbs of torque. (This was the first time horsepower had peaked over 200 for Ford). The large V8 featured aluminum alloy pistons, upgraded oil rings, and hydraulic lifters for quieter idle vibrations.
While the 352 would be replaced with the 360 V8 just three years later (1968), it was still a beast of an engine. The cast iron block made them virtually indestructible.
The standard transmission was the 3-speed direct drive manual, with an option for the 3-speed with overdrive or the 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. The 3-speed with overdrive was powered by a lever on the tree or an “on the floor” gearshift. Since it was used so much through the sixties, the transmission is easy to find parts for.
The Interior of the 1965 Ford F100 was roomier than previous models with an additional an extra inch of headroom and two inches of leg space. A large bench seat that was color-coordinated with exterior paint was big enough to comfortably seat three adults. (The standard was cloth, but durable vinyl was an option). Rubber floor mats graced the floors. The left-hand oversized mirror, curved windshield, and clear instrument panel offered customers good visibility. All trucks came with a push-buttom glove box, but air-conditioning was optional.
While few options were offered, owners could opt for a spare tire mounted inside box in front of the wheelbase if they didn’t want the standard undercarriage holder. Other options included tailgate straps and a one-hand tailgate latch. Flareside trucks had the option for hardwood flooring in the box.
Based on the configuration and style, the base MSRP for a 1965 Ford F 100 ranged from $1900 to $2100. Just to compare, it was cheaper than a ‘65 Mustang ($2,447 - hardtop).
One of the best additions to the F-Series was the option for a camper shell to come with your truck. The camper coach was available on 8-foot bed Stylesides 4x2s (it was not available for 4x4s). While most camper shells ended up on F250s, the owner could add the shell to the bed or purchase a cab/chassis to weld it directly to the frame. The Camper Special package included a heavy-duty 70 amp battery, dual mirrors, extended tailpipe, and oil gauge.
What Are The Specs For The 1965 Ford F100
How Much Are 1965 Ford F100s Worth?
According to Hagerty, a classic F100 in good condition will fetch $15,400, while excellent condition prices can fetch upwards of $26,000. The highest sale price for a 1965 Ford F100 is $165,000. To view listings of F100s for sale, check classiccars.com for regular new listings.