A Lookback at the 1974 Ford F-100

Table of Contents

Want to know about a classic American pickup truck that grabbed the attention of millions on its arrival? Why not check out the 1974 Ford F-100 that made its appearance with a distinct squared-off exterior while standing as a symbol of rugged reliability? From its captivating, straightforward interior to smooth driving experience and boosting roars of the engine, you really need to have a look at the iconic Ford F-100.

Overview of the 1974 Ford F-100

Ford produced a whole lineup of top-notch trucks in the 90s that continued for several generations. This was called the Ford F-Series, whose sixth generation lasted from 1973 to 1979 model years. This constitutes the third yet final generation of the trucks derived from the 1965 Ford F-Series.

This generation of F-Series brought some next-level trucks to the market that stood the test of time. Among these was the 1974 Ford F-100, which was a half-ton pickup truck. This truck was available in a 2-door regular cab, 2-door extended cab, and 4-door crew cab body styles. This vehicle was available in front engine, rear-wheel / four-wheel drive.

But did this truck really prove practical in terms of carrying heavy loads? We will find that out in this article. Stick till the end.


The 1974 Ford F100 is part of the sixth generation of the Ford F-Series trucks, which started in 1948. This series was actually a replacement for the previous car lineup that was introduced in 1942. This truck had more of a squared-off appearance. When we look into the roots of the F100, it takes us back to the birth of the F-Series. It was the post-war era when there was a growing need for workhorses in the US. Ford responded to this situation by coming up with a lineup of trucks. At this point, the F-Series introduced the F1, which was of half-ton payload capacity that later became the iconic F100.

The sixth generation era of F-Series moved away from the curvier design and shifted to the modern squared appearance. The production of the F-100 continued till 1983, after which Ford decided to reorganize its truck lineup. Later, the F-150 was introduced in 1975, which was an upgrade to the F100. While the F-100 was a half-ton truck, the F-150 was its higher payload version. The decision to discontinue the F100 was part of Ford’s strategy.

As soon as the F-150 was produced, it took over the F-100’s role and became the new standard for light-duty trucks within the F-Series. It also quickly became one of the most popular trucks in the market.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Ford F-100 was available in a variety of engine options. Here’s a general overview of the engine and its performance for the F-100 model of 1974.

240 cu in (3.9 L) I6Standard engine115 hp, works well for light-duty tasks
300 cu in (4.9 L) I6Optional118 hp, suitable for moderate loads
302 cu in (4.9 L) V8Optional145 hp, ideal for towing
360 cu in (5.9 L) V8Optional145 hp, performs heavier-duty tasks
390 cu in (6.4 L) V8Optional160 hp, optimal for demanding tasks
460 cid V-8 (4V)Optional245 hp, carries heavy loads

This vehicle was available with both manual and automatic transmission options. This allows for flexibility for drivers so they can pick the best one according to their preferences. As for the performance, the engines it came with were high-performing, thus catering to every commuting and heavier-duty task.


As discussed earlier, this 1974 Ford F-100 came out with a square appearance that was quite trendy in the mid-1970s. Looking from the front, you will notice a bold design of the front grille that gives the truck its commanding presence wherever it goes. Then, there are rectangular headlights at the front, which contribute to the modern look of this truck for that time.

There were a lot of choices when it came to choosing the exterior colors for your F-100 truck. The options include:

  • Raven Black
  • Candy Apple Red
  • Wimbledon White
  • Samoa Lime
  • Pastel Lime
  • Midnight Blue Metallic
  • New Ivy Glow
  • Sequoia Brown Metallic
  • Gold Glow
  • Light Grabber Blue
  • Limestone Green Metallic
  • Village Green
  • Chrome Yellow
  • Sandpiper Yellow
  • Burnt Orange
  • Wind Blue

You will find this vehicle in many different body configurations and styleside. The wheel options were also many so consumers may customize the truck’s appearance according to their preferences. It also had many different cab styles, including regular cab and extended cab options.  Some of its common trims included the “Custom,” and the “Ranger.” Additionally, special packages like the “Explorer,” “XLT,” and “Sport Custom” allowed buyers to add unique touches and features to their trucks.

Inside the 1974 Ford F100

The seating configuration and the overall interior of the Ford F-100 was quite simple. It includes options for bench seating in the regular cab configurations. The seats were also upholstered in durable materials that make seats practical for both work and recreational use. The truck turns out to be super comfortable as it is designed considering practicality in mind. The seats and other interior features look just perfect for both longer journeys and short commutes.

Moving onto the dashboard, it features a simple layout and very easy-to-read gauges, typical of that time. The controls for essential functions were also placed at the convenient positions. The interior also features a lot of storage options, including door pockets and glove compartments that provide spaces for smaller items.

The regular cab versions of the F-100 trucks had a cargo bed at the rear that allowed it to carry heavy equipment for transport.

The Ford F-100 has become a popular collector among enthusiasts due to its low prices. Since this vehicle didn’t have a lot of aftermarket support, the prices never went really high; hence became an affordable collector. Its base trim can be purchased for as little as $3,282 today.

Driving Experience

The 1974 Ford F-100, just like its previous versions, was easy to handle and offered rugged utility. Turning the key to ignite its engine is more of a tactile experience, which is always accompanied by the roaring of the engine. The engines, ranging from the efficient Inline-6 options to the powerful V8, provide distinct auditory signs that eventually set the tone for the journey.

As you move onto the road, you will feel a super smooth driving experience. This vehicle is centered around a traditional body-on-frame construction that contributes to a solid yet stable feel on the road. The manual assistance steering also allows for a direct connection between the driver and the road.

The manual transmission of the Ford F-100 provides a distinct feel for each gear, while the automatic one contributes to a smoother ride on city roads.


When we look back, the 1974 Ford F-100 was truly a good chapter in the history of American trucks, if not the best. Though this model itself didn’t get a lot of popularity, the models released after this, like the Ford-150, did really well in making its mark in history.

Nonetheless, the F-100 was still praised for its timeless design and the all-new squared-off exterior, which was quite popular during those times. Moreover, the availability of versatile engine options ensures this vehicle meets the demands of different driving needs. As a workhorse, the F-100 excels with its utilitarian cargo bed configurations and amazing payload capacity.

Even so, the F-100 is not without its drawbacks. The stiffer ride, attributed to the leaf-spring rear suspension, might be less comfortable for those accustomed to the smoother rides of modern trucks. The interior amenities also proved quite basic, which further underscored the vintage appeal of this truck.


  • Automotive design stood the test of time
  • A practical workhorse
  • Diverse engine options


  • Stiff ride
  • less fuel efficient

 Journalist Verdict

Back in 1974, when the Ford F-100 was introduced, this truck was actually loved by most journalists and automotive experts for its practicality. It turned out as a solid and reliable American truck. We saw most people praising it for its tough design and its all-new square look that made the vehicle look pleasing even from a far distance.


What was the total payload capacity of the 1974 Ford F-100?

Though it varies among different trim levels, it generally ranges from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds.

What were some packages available for the F-100?

Trims like “Ranger” and “Custom” were available, each having some specific features. Optional packages allow for further customization.

How did the 1974 F-100 handle different driving conditions?

The design of this truck and its body-on-frame construction provide stability on the road. Its leaf-spring rear suspension leads to a slightly stiffer ride when unloaded.

Were there any infotainment features available in the 1974 F-100?

The infotainment and technology features were quite basic at that time. You might only find an AM radio as a primary infotainment feature.

Written by: Motorcardata

Your comprehensive website, your one-stop destination for a vast collection of articles and information about every car brand in existence.

More Goodreads from Motorcardata

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.