History of the F-260
The 1973-1979 Ford F-series was the sixth generation of the Ford light duty pickup truck. The 1974 Ford pickup was available in three models, the ½ ton F-100, the ¾ ton F-250, and the 1-ton F-350. The 4x4 version of the F250 was labeled the F-260. In 1977, the Ford F-Series became the best-selling truck in the United States, a position it has held ever since.
"Black Beauty "
Features & Performance
Ford V8 Power
The frame of the sixth generation F-series was the same as the previous generation. The fuel tank was moved from behind the rear seat to under the bed body giving some behind-the-seat storage. The F-series came standard with a 240 CID inline six, but offered several engine options, a 300 CID straight six and six V-8 options. Black Beauty had one of the larger V-8 engine options, I don't know which.
Our 1974 F-260
Ford;s "all-business" dashboard
I jokingly call this truck Black Beauty because it was anything but beautiful. I never owned Black Beauty, yet I have good memories of my time with her. Ironically, the memories of this truck are beautiful. My affection is probably more due to that period of life rather than the truck itself. I had just finished my college degree, was newly married, and had signed on with the Air Force. I was waiting for a school date to leave for basic training, and was taking care of my father's farm and cattle. It was more of a hobby farm for my dad rather than a way of life. Since we didn't rely on the farm to make a living, I was free to enjoy the peace and beauty of country life. I worked the farm from September of 1987 to July of 1988. I used Black Beauty to roam steep hills and navigate rocky woodland in search of stray cattle and to haul hay from the barn to the field. In any other situation, the truck would have been frustrating and deplorable.
Dad bought Black Beauty used in 1986 to use on the farm. She was certainly nothing to look at. She had a huge dent behind the driver's side cab, the bed and body were riddled with rust, and the grill had seen better days. As bad as the cosmetics were, the operation was worse. First, whenever the truck was on sideways grade, the engine would cut off. To continue on, I would disconnect the fuel line from the firewall, and stuff it down inside a ½ gallon plastic jug of gasoline strapped to the inside front fender.
The steering had a full quarter-turn of play in it. The brakes were bad, too. Not bad in the sense that they didn't work, but that they worked too well. The slightest touch of the brake pedal and the unaccustomed driver would be kissing the inside of the windshield. One time, my wife was driving and I was throwing hay out of the bed. She was going a little too fast, so I knocked on the cab to get her attention. She hit the brakes, the truck took a nose dive, and I rolled over the cab and down onto the hood.
Where Is It Today?
When I joined thee military in 1988, I left the farm life and Black Beauty behind.