The Features of the 1974 Ford F250
According to Ford production records, 177,229 F250s were made in 1974. The numbers represented about 20k units less than the previous year (although Ford increased the production of F350s by about the same amount). Nearly 70% of the trucks were Styleside 4x2s, although four-wheel drive units were showing signs of improvement.
The most significant change for ‘74 was the introduction of the new Extended Cab (labeled as the SuperCab). The cab configuration was a perfect addition between the two-door Regular Cab and the four-door Crew Cab. (Ford had moved the location of the gas tank from behind the rear of the cab). Dodge had just come out with their ClubCab, so Ford felt they needed to keep pace with the competition. Ford trumpeted the new cab as having room to carry the whole family, but only about two feet of space existed behind the front bench seat. Owners could choose a fold-down bench seat or dual inward-facing jump seats. Less than 11k SuperCab F250s were produced in 1974, but that number would triple the following year.
The 1974 F250 continued the design cues from the previous year with its straight, simple lines. The inner concave accent line extended from the front fender along the side and continued to the back. The inward concave coined the term “dentside” by enthusiasts. The 133-inch wheelbase put it on par with the F100 Styleside with an 8’ bed. The F250 came with only an 8’ bed. While less than 3k Flareside 250s were made, it was an option, but not many customers wanted the shorter truck (about 2 inches).
The front split grille was black with chrome accents sandwiched between two round recessed headlights. Turn signal lights were directly above the headlights, and the iconic chrome Ford letters graced the front lip of the hood. Underneath the grille, a full chrome bumper undergirded the front, extending a serious, no-nonsense, all-business look.
The cargo box was a double-walled construction with zinc polymers to help resist corrosion and rust. The bed had curved edges to help with cleaning, and the double-walled tailgate with a single pull handle could hold plenty of weight, which owners loved. Many owners also pulled a trailer with their truck and opted for a towing package as an option.
For the 1974 model year, Ford used the same engines as the previous year’s F250. The 4.9L 300 cu inline-six was the standard engine, although there were three V8 options (5.9 L 360 cu V8, 6.4 L 390 cu V8, and the 7.5 L 460 cu V8). Ford would keep the 360 and 390 for two more years before replacing them with the 351 and 400 V8s). The only engine options for the four-wheel drive model were the 300 inline-six (std) or the 360 V8. The 7.5 L 460 cu V8 had a solid state ignition, providing constant voltage for sure starting. The upgrade meant that there were no points or a condenser for owners to have to maintain.
The standard 3-speed manual came with the F250, although most owners opted for the Cruise-O-Matic. A synchronized 4-speed was also available.
Ford had used the Dana 21 t-case for 4 x 4s in the previous generation but moved to the NP203 in 1974. Ford used a divorced transfer case that had to sit farther back than competitors’ models, the four-wheel drive trucks sat about 4 inches higher. Owners referred to the 4WD trucks as “highboys.”
Collectors enjoy restoring these beautiful trucks, and the “Highboy” has a place in history as the original Monster Truck named Big Foot was a converted ‘74 F 250.
Ford continued using the Twin I-beam suspension that it had been using for nearly a decade. The dual suspension included more substantial front and rear springs in the F250 than in the lighter-duty F100. The increased springs meant that the F250 had a GVW of up to 8100 lbs.
There were three trim levels for the 1974 F250 - Custom, Ranger, and Ranger XLT.
The Custom trim level had much to offer customers: a spacious bench seat with durable vinyl, although it only came in four colors, Red, Blue, Black, and Green. Easy-to-read gauges, a heater/defroster, sun visors, seat belts, two-speed windshield wipers, windshield squirter, and a standard AM radio were just a few of the included amenities. Black rubber floor mats graced the bottom of the cab.
The Ranger trim was plush with a pleated cloth seat and a black molded instrument panel. Color Coordinated door panels with additional insulation in the doors and roof helped eliminate road noise. A cigarette lighter helped accent the large glovebox, and sturdy vinyl floor mats sat beneath riders’ feet.
The Ranger XLT was the top trim tier with cloth seat inserts with vinyl trim, wall-to-wall carpeting, and a steering wheel with a wood-grain insert. The dash had a matching faux wood molding that made the interior look like the inside of an LTD sedan. (Some of Ford’s cars didn’t have as nice of interiors). Options included air conditioning, an upgraded rAm/FM radio with speakers in the doors, and map pockets. An auxiliary 22.5-gallon gas tank could be installed, controlled by a toggle switch on the dash. Power steering and power disc brakes were optional equipment.
No discussion of the F250 in the early seventies is complete without mentioning the Camper Special package Ford offered. Owners could have a camper shell installed from the factory onto the back of their vehicle. The package included an upgraded alternator, a heavy-duty battery, an oil pressure gauge, and the installation of 6” x 10” Western mirrors on either side of the cab. Ford billed the camper trucks as their “fun fleet.”
The Specs for the 1974 Ford F250
What Is A 1974 Ford F250 Worth Today?
According to Hagerty, the value of a 1974 Ford F250 in good condition is $18,400. While the most spent on a model is $220,000, the market for classic trucks like these is relatively strong. (The price you receive will depend on the condition and engine size of the truck. Private sellers are easy to find. Prices can vary by region). For new listings of ‘73 models and other classic cars for sale, please visit classiccars.com.
About THE AUTHOR
My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane