The Features Of The 1979 Ford F150
Production numbers indicate that 400,399 F 150 trucks rolled off the assembly line. While Ford continued to make the F100, the younger F150 outsold its older sibling almost 2 to 1. While the number of F150s was less than the previous year (422,264). Most of the F-150s were powered by V8 engines, although the inline six-cylinder was considered the standard motor. Ford pushed the lower powered engines to try and convince customers to purchase them as a way of saving on fuel expenses. Only 17% of F150s were produced with the hefty 7.5L 460 ci V8 engines.
Nearly 70% of the 1979 Ford F150s were automatics (the 3-spd manual was the standard transmission). The bulk of the production were 4 x 2s, but Ford saw their four-wheel drive numbers increase as more Americans preferred the off-road capabilities of the Ford pickups.
The truck was offered with either Regular or SuperCab configurations (the SuperCab has a bench seat in the rear, or inward facing jump seats). Ford had the “Flareside” with extended rear fenders or a “Styleside” choice with straight lines on the sides (both were built with either 6.5’ or 8’ beds). .
During the previous year (1978) Ford introduced a new Lariat trim level as the luxury version of the F150. The Ranger XLT (which had been the top tier) shifted down with less amenities, but it was better than the two lower trim levels, the Custom and the Ranger.
Ford carried over the new design look it had used for 1978. The substantial front grille provided an upfront, aggressive look. The headlights had their own housings. (The round headlights that had been standard on the Custom trim in ‘78 were changed to square ones to match all the other trims). The parking lights were moved from above the headlights to below, and a chrome bumper stuck out below in a straight-line from side to side. The iconic Ford lettering was moved from the top of the grille and incorporated as part of the hood edge.
The straight lines of previous versions of the F150 were held over and Ford retained the inwad concave (giving enthusiasts reason to label it as a “dentside.” The black and chrome accent line it had used for years, was replaced on some models by a single chrome strip running along the side. Side reflectors were unchanged with one on the front and one on the rear.
The cargo box was strong and study with a payload capacity of that varied between 2050 lbs and 2400 lbs depending on the size of the bed.
There were 17 different color tones to choose from, and owners could get a two-tone paint job on their Styleside trucks if they so chose. Owners could opt for a Free Wheeling Paint Package that included a Chromatic stripe, (bright red, orange accent on the bodyside, hood and roof). The package also included a sport steering wheel and fog lights.
Five engine choices were available for the ‘79 F150. While the standard engine was the 300 cu. inline six, the 302 V8, the 351 V8, the 400 V8 and the 460 V8 were options. While the 400 would eventually be dropped in 1981, the 7.5L 460 would remain part of the truck’s lineup until 1996).
The standard transmission was the 3-speed manual, but most owners opted for the automatic. (The automatic C4 transmission backed up the 300 ci Inline six, while the upgraded C6 handled the duties for the V8s). The NP205 was the cast iron transfer case used for 4-wheel drive models.
Ford continued to use the Twin I-beam suspension that it developed in 1965. While the independent system aided the ride comfort, most owners found that the F150 handled rough terrain better than most competitor trucks.
Owners could choose from one of four trim levels for 1979 (up from three in 73 - 77). The new Lariat trim replaced the top-tier level (Ranger XLT had been the top trim). Owners could choose plush, cloth inserts that were bordered by super-soft vinyl or durable vinyl. Map Pockets, Wood grain accents and additional sound-proof insulation made the cab feel like the inside of a sedan.
The Ranger XLT still had wall-to-wall color-coordinated carpeting with wood-grained door panels that gave an expensive look. A woodgrain horn on the steering wheel helped tie the interior together, and enlarged gauges made the instrument panel a thing of beauty. A push button glove box and overhead dome lights were standard features along with a three-point safety restraint system.
Custom and Ranger trims had vinyl seat covers, with 7 inches of padding in the seat bottoms and 5 inches in the seat back. The SuperCab offered additional rear seating for a cabin that Ford proclaimed would seat six. (Inward-facing jump seats were also available if owners preferred).
Owners opted for power steering in almost every Ford F150 made (95%), and power brakes were standard. The AM radio was a standard feature, although customers could have an AM with cassette or an AM/FM stereo with a speaker in each door.
Other options included tinted windows, a passenger visor mirror, air-conditioning, and a new tilt steering wheel. (The three spoke steering wheel was replaced with an angled single bar design).
The Specs of the 1979 Ford F 150.
The following table contains a list of some of the specifications for the F150 during the 1979 model year.
What Is A 1979 Ford F150 Worth Today?
According to Hagerty, the average price of a 1979 Ford F150 is $15,300 (the prices for 4WD units are higher). For a current listing of Ford F50s and other cars on the market, check out the listing on classiccars.com. (Values will depend on accessories and condition of the vehicle for sale). Due to the production numbers, parts for restoring these beauties are easy to find and readily available.