F-Series Reigned at 2018 Fabulous Fords Forever


For more than three decades, the third Sunday each April brings the Ford faithful to Buena Park, Calif., for the annual Fabulous Fords Forever show. The 2018 version marked the 33rd year of the event and showcased more than 1,600 vehicles, many of them Ford pickup trucks. This year's event celebrated 70 years of the F-Series, the best-selling vehicle in America for more than 40 years. Since 1977 — when the half-ton F-150 was first introduced — Ford has sold more than 26 million F-Series trucks.


The oldest Ford truck at the FFF was a 1929 Ford Model A roadster owned by Jim Runyon that was displayed in the inner circle as part of an extensive collection of vehicles celebrating 90 years of the legendary Model A. What's interesting about this truck was that it has been updated with a 12-volt electrical system and features an overdrive unit from a Volvo, a marquee once owned by Ford.


Of course, the Ford F-Series display is of most interest to readers. Organizers said it was difficult to locate stock, restored, original or otherwise unmolested examples of Ford pickups. From what we saw, four where quite impressive, including a 1976 F-250 Camper Special owned by Richard Drake, previously featured on


The oldest F-Series was a 1955 Ford F-250 owned by Richard Stanley that has been in his family since it was purchased in 1955 by his father, who used it as a daily driver well into his 80s. At the other end of the F-Series spectrum was the 1994 Ford F-150 Lightning, owned by Gene and Connie Ravera. It was one of 4,007 produced that year, according to the truck's storyboard. However, even this truck featured some stealth modifications: a Vortech supercharger and it was lowered less than an inch.


FFF always has a separate section dedicated to other Ford trucks, most of which were modified in some way. Most impressive were the trucks displayed by La Foringas TruckClub, a Southern California group of Latino Ford truck owners, many whom own F-Series trucks that were built at the Ford assembly plant in Mexico. One of the most impressive was a light blue retro-mod 1978 Ford F-100 Ranger owned by Rafael Garrido. Roberto Garcia displayed a big-wheeled yellow 1978 F-100 Ranger that was beautiful but not over the top.


Several other classic Fords attracted our attention as well. These included the wonderfully presented 1954 F-100 six-cylinder in light aqua, displayed by the grandson of the truck's original owner, Jerry Spear. Parked next to the Spears' truck was a 1950 Ford F-1, showing the evolution of the first-generation F-Series to the second. It sported a wonderful patina in gray and red. With its wide white walls, it looked as if it could have been on the cover of Hot Rod magazine in the 1950s.


As you might expect, most of the Ford truck area was dominated by Ford Lightnings. Our favorite was the red 2002 Lightning owned by George and Lisa Dias, one that is raced often in the Optima Ultimate Street Car series and the Silver State Classic Challenge. Another was the sharp 2003 Ford Lightning in black. A red 1997 Lightning, owned by Mark Rojas, showed the origins of the first-generation Lightning and high-performance Ford trucks such as like the current Ford F-150 Raptor.


We also saw some lifted trucks; the most impressive was a Bright Lime later-model F-350 dubbed the "High Roller Edition." More to our taste was a white-and-red 1960 Ford F-250 4×2 owned by Nicholas Miller that looked just about perfect.


On the main show field were more than a dozen car-based pickups, many without owner identification such as the yellow Torino-based yellow Ranchero GT, but one that caught our eye was the red-and-white 1965 Ford Ranchero owned by Lee Schultz. Falcon-based Rancheros continue to be quite popular, especially when they get a heart transplant of a modern high-output, fuel-injected 5.0-liter V-8 from a late-model Ford, many donated not from Fox-body Ford Mustangs but from Lincoln Mark VIIs that share the same engine. photos by Richard Truesdell





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