The itch for a truck has been striking again. Normally I can ignore it and it goes away after a while, but every now and then I look to see what’s out there on the market. My truck preferences are pretty predictable: nothing really newer than 2000, nothing older than about 1967, manual trans, and beefy powerplant that has that classic truck feel to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s an early Cummins Ram or a big-block square-body GM rig. Hell, an International pickup truck would scratch the itch if I could find one that wasn’t halfway back to the earth. But if International was your focus, your move should be to a 1980s Ford. Thanks to a joint venture deal and competition from General Motors, Ford introduced the 420 cubic inch International IDI engines into the lineup. Supposed to take the place of the 400ci unit in the truck line, the diesel was positioned as a fuel efficient alternative to the 460ci V8, which had returned in 1983.
There is something about an IDI mill that sounds seriously ballsy. Officially, the IDI was rated at 170 horsepower and 315 ft/lbs of torque…not bad for the early 1980s, nothing to brag about today. But that exhaust note…an IDI mill sounds like it’s ready to rip heaven and earth apart in a very violent manner. I could dig an IDI truck, so I went hunting on eBay just to see what was there. And I picked a good day to look…24,xxx miles on the clock, four-speed, and as factory fresh as you’ll find any 1985 Ford around that wasn’t kept by the company. Just look at that front seat. Just look at that paint, that chrome. I couldn’t bring myself to own this truck…I couldn’t work this beast! I’d keep it pretty and polished and would only take it out to diesel events just to hear the cries of the tuned diesel bros as I parked their grandfather’s truck in front of theirs.
Too pretty to own. That’s my excuse to quit looking for today.