1966 Chevrolet Stepside Pickup – $3200

“I have an old 1966 Chevrolet stepside truck for sale. It is a straight 6, 4-speed manual truck. It runs and drives great. It has a good body on it. No issues, just cosmetic. Doesn’t leak… Its a great runner. Drove all the way to Hope and back last week no problem. Good on gas too! Everything works on the truck including the horn, signals, headlights, wipers, tail lights, brake lights, gauges, original am radio, interior dome light. It has nice oak fencing on the box which is fairly new. Professionally done to haul firewood and whatever. it has a plywood sheet for the bed and the original wood for the bed is bad so the plywood sheet does the trick. It gets looks where ever I go. Has a bit of rust on rocker and cab corners, but patch work or replacing doesn’t cost much. Dont want to bother painting it because it is a great work truck that gets a lot of attention. I have extra parts. If you buy this truck, you drive it away. AGAIN NO LEAKS AND SUPER EASY TO WORK ON. It truly is a great driver. $3200 bucks …. call 604-725-8449.”

Well, as anyone that’s up into the wee hours can tell you, Vancouver’s evenings have recently taken on that cold bite of moist air that’s been the harbinger of Fall in this region for eons. Rolling in on the building evening fog each night, Autumn signifies shorter days and colder weather ahead and is sure to be accompanied by an ever present threat of precipitation, be it either of the liquid or solid variety. And so too shall it come to pass that car enthusiasts and collectors all over the lower mainland will nestle their prized possessions away for another year. But that doesn’t mean you need to consign yourself to the crappy taupe Corolla in the driveway, at least not so long as there are vehicles like this available. Representing the first year of the Chevrolet C/K pickup truck, this 1966 Chevrolet stepside is the perfect companion for the terrible weather we’ll soon be facing down, and hails from an era in which Chevrolet pickup trucks saw success on a scale that they’d never known before. Recognizing that custom tailoring was a surefire way to win sales, Chevrolet significantly upped their options list for the ’62 model year, offering a whopping 203 different varieties and combinations of pickup truck. Subsequently, sales rose… a lot. In fact, for the three years of ’64, ’65, and ’66, the Chevrolet pickup truck set all-time sales records for Chevrolet, due in large part to that simple fact that buyers could have it any way they wanted it.

This of course means that now, many decades removed from their heyday, you’re pretty much guaranteed never to see another one just like this. The combination of a straight six, manual gearbox, and stepside box means it was probably ordered as a basic work truck, which in turn makes its good condition all the more appreciable. Of course, there are some issues: there are some dents to be found along the hood and what looks to be some wrinkling along the leading edge of the driver’s door, but if the ad is to be believed, it’s at least mechanically sound.  And should any of those dinged or dented parts prove simply too irksome to withstand, there are all manner of online and mail order companies prepared to sell both reproduction and NOS parts for these particular trucks, and the aftermarket support seems to grow by the day for these early C/K pickups. Rapidly gaining merit as a legitimate collector’s truck (as opposed to the frequently hot-rodded ’67 through ’72 models), more and more of these are being bought up by collectors and restorers. This in turn is making them harder and harder to find in workable condition such as this, which is precisely what landed this particular truck a feature here on CYSB: you wouldn’t feel bad tossing a set of skis, a mountain bike, or a beer keg in the back and heading out for some fun. However, any potential buyer would be well served to address the rust the seller has mentioned before winter truly hits, and would be even better served to spend a few days underneath the truck with a paintbrush and some POR-15 to prevent further rot from taking hold. But, overall, a great old truck that’d really be easy for a first time classic car buyer to hop into and enjoy, without the headaches something rarer or more complex might bring.

1965 Ford F-250 – $3000

For sale is a 65 Ford three quarter ton camper special pick up truck. Has a 79 351 windsor V8 with an auto 3 speed. runs and drives strong, brakes are good, new tires. Asking $3000.00 obo. Call or email. 778-554-7805.

Although summer might have finally deigned those of us relegated to the lower mainland with it’s warm and dry disposition at long last, that doesn’t necessarily translate to drop-top season for everyone. In fact, for a great many people, it’s the time of the year when the automobile takes on its most tool-like properties. Flocking to the outdoors like sunburned lemmings off a heat baked cliff, people rapidly find their automobiles filling up with everything from bikes to boards to boxes of beer, and if you’re driving a Pontiac Firefly of VW Beetle, that can be worrisome. But fear not, because should you find yourself getting a little cramped in amongst the Pabst and single speed bikes, there is respite: this 1965 Ford F-250.

Looking every bit the hipster’s dream, this ’65 Ford F-250 demonstrates everything that was awesome about the mid-sixties: friendly, PlaySkool colours, simple styling, and rugged engineering. Of course, that translates into long stopping distances, questionable fuel economy, and quite possibly some of the heaviest steering ever encountered by man (I learned to drive in a ’73, and it took nearly my entire body mass to spin the tiller whilst stopped). However, what it undoubtedly lacks in capability compared to a modern truck, it more than makes up for in character and reliability. Having beaten my old truck around Richmond, New West, Vancouver, and Port Coquitlam for years after it served as my family’s camper-hauling vacation mobile (accruing something north of 450,000 kms on the way), the big black beast proved incapable of quitting, and served as my daily driver until it was finally traded in for a newer, and nowhere near as reliable truck. Why? Because well modern trucks may stop quicker, go faster, sip gas, and roll their own windows down, they’re also extremely complex. These old Ford pickups having roughly 3.4 moving parts, making them only slightly more complicated than your bottle opener… and how often does that fail? Looking in especially good shape, it’s nearly a guarantee that the paint is new, so do yourself a favour and either bring a trained ear or a magnet to check for fiberglass and bondo beneath. Rust is extremely common on these old trucks, with the worst offenders being the rear of the cab and the cab supports, but replacement parts are readily available from the absolutely mammoth and especially rabid support network that’s cropped up for these old truck. I truly miss my old one, as these old Ford’s represent what I hold to be the golden era in automotive design and manufacture, and it’s the one vehicle of the hundreds I’ve driven that I wish I could have back again… so if this one looks good to you, go ahead and click on the Craigslist ad up top, before I do.

1973 Land Rover Forward Control – $25000

“1973 Land Rover 101 Forward Control, 1.5L 3B diesel with AXT turbocharger; 5 speed gearbox. ARB diff lockers front and rear; electric 10,000 lb. winch; custom free-wheeling hubs. Six Michelin tires. Very low mileage for its age. Comes with brand new canvas (not shown). For appointment to view, contact Jay 604-760-5350. Currently in storage.”

When it comes to awesome vehicles, the Land Rover 101″ Forward Control is right near the top of the list. A little known variant of the brand’s all-conquering Series IIA and Series III trucks, the forward control fulfilled the British military’s need for an air-transportable 1-tonne utility truck, and did so in much the same manner as did Volvo’s Laplander and Steyr-Puch’s Pinzgauer. Produced in a variety of formats for the military alone (there were no civilian forward controls manufactured), the forward control could be had in radio car, ambulance, and truck layouts, with varying body styles and widths befitting their specific roles; radio trucks typically possess an enclosed shell that is no wider than the front end, while ambulances bulge outward to allow additional room for stretchers and medical equipment. Trucks, such as the one pictured here, feature your standard issue, military-style folding bed sides and typically benefit from the fitment of a hoop set and canvas roof.

Although this blog may be called “Cars You Should Buy,” I fear this first entry after the holiday season breaks with tradition and brings you a car you most certainly should not, regardless of how cool it may appear. Having had the unfortunate fortune of undergoing an engine and transmission swap at some point, the truck has lost one of its best features; the ability to use a huge amount of standard Land Rover parts. Whilst Laplanders, Pinzgauers, and even Unimogs are specific vehicles with very little parts sharing with their stablemates, the 101 utilized much of the same running gear as the regular Land Rover Series IIA and III trucks, which means that any current owner can take advantage of a huge parts supply network. Of course, that pedestrian design also makes it a bit less capable than the similarly-sized, portal-axle-equipped forward control trucks from Steyr, Volvo, and Mercedes, and the prices typically reflect that. It also doesn’t help that due to their relatively awkward looks, punishing ride, and niche status, they simply don’t command much of a market. Readily available in the UK for around nine grand in restored condition, and typically carrying a $2,500 shipping cost, this truck’s $25,000 price tag is absolutely ridiculous. But, if nothing else, it does serve as a great excuse to search eBay Motors UK for a better one. As always, interested parties can click the blue text alongside the topmost picture to navigate to the seller’s Craigslist ad… but I wouldn’t recommend it.

1960 Fargo Pickup – $4000

“1960 Fargo pickup for sale. Its got 15,000 km on a rebuilt 313 V8; original engine. 108,000 miles on the dash. Tranny was rebuilt August 7th, 2011. Three on the tree. No power steering. Heater works wonderfully and you can roll down the windows if you need to cool down. Built to last with a super straight frame and very clean lines. Runs awesome. Bit of a bumpy ride but it is 51 yrs old so… In the last few months I’ve rebuilt the starter and the water pump, new fuel pump, clutch master and slave cylinder, brake master cylinder, rebuilt distributor ( including plugs and original mopar wires circa 1960 ), new carb, new rear wheel cylinders, and a bunch of other stuff. needs rear axle seals. No need for aircare. This truck is my daily driver and well taken care of. the truck has never been abused. Rubber is good too. Rare truck, the only one in B.C. Hard to find parts for but it comes with a set of shop manuals and a parts catalog for the truck. Also the contact number for a guy who has or been able to find me all the parts i need for it… everyone else has failed in that department. I want $4000 obo for it. Already bought paint for it so it ain’t gonna get cheaper if i get around to puttin’ it on. Give me a call if you want some more details or you want to take it for a drive. Serious inquiries only please. Mr. James 778-240-0381”

Well, we’re already staring down the barrel of what is forecast to be one miserably precipitous winter here in Vancouver, and it might be time to start thinking about trading the sports cars and cabriolets in for slightly more appropriate transportation. And what could be more appropriate than an old pickup truck like this 1960 Fargo. A brand that’s predominantly Canadian in both market scope and manufacture, the Fargo brand gave Canadian Chrysler-Plymouth dealers a viable entry into the truck market at a time when Chrysler’s Canadian structure forced dealers to divide themselves up between Chrysler-Plymouth and DeSoto-Dodge dealers. And although the new trucks could have easily been painted with the broad brush of the Dodge truck line, Chrysler Canada preferred to give non-Dodge dealers their own brand of truck, rather than muddy the waters by making Dodge trucks available at all dealers while restricting Dodge cars to DeSoto-Dodge dealers.

So, suffice it to say that Fargo trucks aren’t exactly common, and ones of this particular era are even less so. Whilst earlier and later examples can be stumbled upon with (actually) surprising frequency, this particular era marked a low point in Fargo sales due in large part to the brand’s somewhat awkward, almost afterthought-like image. However, that image certainly doesn’t diminish from the trucks’ ability, and this 1960 is a prime example of that. Looking pretty decent indeed underneath a surprisingly committed coat of primer grey, this truck boasts no shortage of recently rebuilt parts ranging from the transmission to the engine to the starter motor; all boons on a truck running on some pretty hard-to-find parts. As a daily driver that appears to have a GVWR of over 5,000 kilograms (hereby exempting it from that cash grab otherwise known as AirCare), it’s expected to be in good shape overall, and would make for a great do-it-all classic for someone that needs a workable, practical vehicle but has a better appreciation for automotive history than a modern truck requires.

1968 Mercury Ranger – $2000

“1968 Mercury Ranger. Always passes aircare. comes with a locking truck box, aluminum window guard and box rails. CD player, and 8 track. 2″ receiver hitch. Cool looking truck, stock hood scoops.”

Well now… believe it or not, this here is something pretty special. Fleshing out the same bones that underpinned some of the most loved Ford F-series pickups in the world, the Mercury Ranger was Ford’s answer to the unique questions posed by the heavily taxed Canadian market, at least until the Automotive Free Trade agreement was ratified in 1965. Leading to the demise of a few Mercury models, that particular document would prove the final nail in the coffin for this rare Canadian-made pickup truck in 1968, making this particular example one of the last that would ever be produced. A relatively rare and little known version of the world’s most popular vehicle, this particular Ranger model is an example of the most luxurious truck Mercury offered in 1968, coming with everything from optional (and very rare) hood scoops to an eight track to two-tone paint.

But precisely which variant of Mercury Ranger this is remains unknown. Coming in the three same GVWR designations as the F-series (F-150, F-250, and F-350), this could be either an M-150, M-250, or M-350, depending. However, the F-150 being the most common version, my money’s on this being a well-spec’ed version of that particular model, ordered by someone looking for equal measures of road going presence and work capacity. After all, while we take significant styling features such as hood scoops for granted on modern trucks, it would have taken a very special buyer to opt for such a feature in 1968, when trucks were relegated to work duties and little else. As with all Ford pickups of this era, rust in and around the cab supports in of the utmost concern, as are the wheelwells, floors, and the rear seam of the cab. Mechanically, they’re almost industructable, and the 360 is a real trooper of an engine. I’ve owned a slightly newer F-series (1974) motivated by the same powerplant, and the thing absolutely refused to bow to Death, even as the odometer rolled over half a million kilometers. As for replacement parts, although the Mercury-specific trim pieces may be more difficult to locate, the majority of the important stuff is all extremely available.