The Features of the 1980 Ford F150
Ford introduced the F150 in 1975, and within just a couple of years, it was proving much more popular than the long-standing half-ton F100. Both trucks would continue to be made side by side for a couple more years, but the fate of the 100 had already been sealed, and in 1983, the F100 would be retired for good.
Ford had succeeded in averting some emissions restrictions with the production of the F150 in the mid-seventies, but now Federal regulations were tightening their hold on heavy-duty engines. Consumers were looking at fuel economy in ways that had never crossed their minds. The development of the new generation was half an attempt to win back buyers, but also an effort on the part of Ford to satisfy government regulators.
According to JD Power, the base price of the 1980 Ford F150 started around $5,762k and went up depending on the options. Options included air conditioning, an AM/FM radio with cassette or 8-track, and a digital clock. The truck was offered in four-wheel drive, but most units were 4 x 2s, with a new SelectShift automatic transmission.
Part of the challenge in front of Ford was how to improve fuel economy without compromising on the pickups ability to be a pickup. Designers began to look for ways to increase the aerodynamics of the truck, including ways to use lighter plastic or aluminum components. Ford made every effort to convince the public that it was a gas-consicence company.
Ford manufactured the Regular Cab and SuperCab configurations, choosing not to continue the four-door Crew Cab. Both Styleside and Flareside options were available. While customers could order a 6 ½ bed in the Flareside, the straight Styleside offered a 6 ¾ ‘ short bed or 8’ long bed. Most of the production for 1980 were 4 x 2 Styleside Regular Cabs pickups.
The seventh generation of F-Series pickup trucks featured a newly designed chassis and body with flatter side panels. The massive split grille of the previous generation was replaced by a square egg-crate grille bookended by recessed rectangular headlights. The turn signals were enlarged and moved below the lights. The Ford lettering remained where it had been displayed in the previous generation as part of the hood lip.
The windshield sloped back at a greater angle than before (again to improve aerodynamics). Wind channels were created over the fenders and at the base of the truck, to reduce resistance, improving mileage. Chrome side mirrors attached to the door panel with two rods, (instead of a single entity), so that wind could pass through.
The cargo bed was double-walled sheet metal primed with zinc polymers to resist rust and corrosion. Ford made a serious commitment to work on rust issues, by offering customers a new 36k mile anti-perforation warranty against corrosion.
Ford offered countless ways to paint the exterior color of your truck. From the 17 different colors offered to the ability to get two-wone paint schemes, owners had endless options. The Freestylin package was reintroduced, and it offered striping along the side and on the hood if customers wanted to customize their trucks. A Box cover for the 8’ Styleside bed was also an option.
One of the ways Ford achieved more fuel savings was to drop the larger V8 engines like the 6.4L 400 cu and the 7.5 L 460. These engines were heavy monsters that took up space and weighed a ton. Ford needed to convince the public that its trucks were gas-sippers (even if they weren’t). The 300 cu inline-six was standard. The V8 engine choices were the 5.0 L 302 and the 5.8 L 351 V8. Both had been part of the ‘79 lineup, so it was an easy transition to the new generation.
The seventh generation introduced a new 4-speed SelectShift automatic (which most owners opted for). With the SelectShift, the truck would shift into overdrive at about 45 mph, allowing the engine to operate at less revs. This engine design had an immediate impact of reducing the wear and tear on the V8s, meaning less maintenance and increased longevity.
The 3-speed manual transmission was standard. The 4-speed manual was also an option. For 4 x 4s, Ford used the Borg-Warner 1345 Series transfer case.
New radial ply tires became a standard feature for the 1980 Ford F150. Ford continued to use the Twin I-beam front suspension for 4 x 2 models, but replaced the mono-system on 4 x 4s with a Twin-beam suspension system with large coil springs. Ford wanted an independent front suspension that could stand up to the punishment off-roaders often inflicted on their trucks.
Interior and Trim Lines
Power steering and power brakes were standard features on every 1980 Ford F150. There were four trims offered with the Custom trim as the base. A vinyl bench seat with padded dash complimented the padded arm rests, color-coated pillars, and ceiling fabric. A black rubber floor mat covered the floor.
The Ranger trim offered a choice of vinyl seating or cloth/vinyl combination seats. Courtesy lights had a switch activated by either door. A faux woodgrain strip on the steering wheel matched the wood that trimmed the dashboard’s front and color-coordinated flooring stretched beneath the seats.
The Ranger XLT was next in line, with vinyl seats and a striped cloth insert. Color-keyed carpeting was a nice touch, complimented by the faux wood grain surrounding the main instrument panel. Extra padding was added to the floor and headliner, and upgraded windshield moldings helped quiet road noise.
The Lariat was the top-tier trim with wall-to-wall thick pile carpeting and an ungraded steering wheel, carpeted map pockets, and wood grain on the door panels. While the AM radio was standard, there were options for an AM/FM stereo with a cassette or 8-track tape player. The interior was reminiscent of many of the top-of-the-line Ford vehicles.
What Are The Specs For The 1980 Ford F 150?
What Is a 1980 Ford F150 Worth Today?
According to Hagerty, the value of a 1980 F150 in good condition is $9,900, depending on the options. While market values vary, most F150 4x4s are worth more than two-wheel drive models. For a review of free listings of 1981 F-Series trucks and other classic cars for sale, see classiccars.com