What Are The Features of the 1974 Ford F100?
The Ford sales brochure tempted potential buyers with the idea that they could have the best of both worlds in that the F-series could “work like a truck, but ride like a car.”
The 1974 Ford F100 was powered by a standard 3.9L 240 cubic-inch inline 6-cylinder that they had been using for years. (This would be the last year for its usage). Owners had the choice to upgrade to the 4.9L 300 cu in Inline six (Opt. on F-100 4x2s). The 300 would be a part of Ford’s engine lineup for the next decade or two. (It was manufactured for 31 years from 1965 - 1996).
Though there were four V8 options available for the 1974 Ford F100. Owners could choose from the 302 cubic-inch V8, 360 cubic-inch V8, 390 cu in V8, and the 460 cu in V8.
The standard transmission for the Ford F100 a three-speed manual, with a Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission optional. Ford had a 4x4 version in both the F100 and F250 with reinforced axles, off-terrain components, and power steering ideally suited for the four-wheel experience.
Even though Dodge beat Ford to the punch by offering their ClubCab first, the 1974 Ford F-Series wasn’t about to be left behind in the dust. The pickup allowed owners to choose either center-facing jump seats or a full bench seat. The SuperCab was only made with the 360 V8 and Cruise-O-Matic transmission.
One convenient feature of the model was that the back seat could be folded up to let drivers stow materials when additional passengers weren’t present. Even though the new configuration only accounted for a small percentage of sales, the SuperCab would be a part of the Ford offering for decades.
In 1974, the company kept the split front signature grille it had used since 1973. The headlights were circularly recessed inside the crew. The brand lettering was displayed as chrome letters against a pushed-in blackened top part of the grille.
Ford continued the “dentside” concave along the side of the truck, (as opposed to the “bumpside” concave of the previous generation).
Regular cab F100s came with an 8’ long bed in the Flareside. However, customers had the choice of a 6 3/4’ or 8’ bed with the Styleside which was available as 4x4s or 4x2s. The 2WD Styleside was the most popular F100 made in 1974, with over 389,000 units crossing through dealerships. (Flareside trucks accounted for less than 1% of that total).
Owners could have one of 16 different paint colors on their trucks. Many customers opted to outfit their particular vehicle with a custom two-toned color scheme. A fiberglass cover was also an option for 8’ Styleside pickups.
The 1974 F-series line was offered in three trim levels (Custom, Ranger, Ranger XLT). The Custom trim came with black rubber flooring, vinyl seating, fresh air heater/defroster, seat belts, window washers, two-speed windshield wipers, a large glove compartment with a push-button latch, an instrument panel with green back-lighting along with a host of other things.
The Ranger trim was a definite upgrade featuring pleated cloth upholstery with vinyl sectioning, vinyl coated floor mat, a cigarette lighter, instrument paneling with black accents, a bright recessed tailgate handle, drip moldings, bright hubcaps, and rear tail-light bezels.
The Ranger XLT was the most luxurious of the F100 line. It offered long-wearing cloth seats with vinyl trim, simulated wood grain moldings around the dashboard fascia, glove compartment lights, and a mirror light on the visor. The steering wheel was polished black with a faux wood insert. The whole appearance gave the impression that owners were driving passenger cars more than they were Ford pickups. (This is exactly what Ford had in mind when it encouraged men to get their wives to drive).
There was a Camper Special, which could handle slide-on camper shells. The option was allowed with a V8 engine and the Cruise-O-Matic transmission.
The frame of the F100 was increased to allow for the fuel tank to be located within the frame between the two rear wheels. The placement guaranteed additional safety for the long bed by removing the gas tank from behind the cab on early Ford models.
There were non-rusting fender wells (a Ford exclusive) and over 350 sq feet of zinc-covered metals, which also helped prevent corrosion on the body. The hood was reinforced to Ford with a rounded lip and curved bed corners to help with rainwater flow or make maintenance easier.
The Custom F100 truck interior was a durable vinyl bench seat, but cloth with vinyl accents was optional on the XLT. The SuperCab allowed additional passengers to sit in the back, on fold-down jump seats or owners could opt for a full bench seat with additional storage on the Reg. Cab.
The seat padding was enlarged for the 1974 F-Series to help provide better comfort for riders. While the back seat in the SuperCab was cramped, the configuration allows owners to use their trucks as family drivers.
The instrumentation displays were easy to read, and the faux wood trim edging on the dash was reminiscent of the work in many of Ford’s sedans. The air conditioning vents were integrated into the dash, and owners had the choice of a standard AM or optional AM/FM radio, which a lot of them preferred.