Bullnose Brute: This 1985 Ford F-350 Hasn’t Seen Hard Use Yet!

Bullnose Brute: This 1985 Ford F-350 Hasn’t Seen Hard Use Yet!

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.

eBay Link: 1985 Ford F-350 Dually Shortbed Diesel

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6 thoughts on “Bullnose Brute: This 1985 Ford F-350 Hasn’t Seen Hard Use Yet!

  1. Patrick

    bullet proof, will tow anything, and quite possibly the slowest vehicle Ive ever driven. Not to mention wit a c6 this thing might do 70 downhill on the freeway. the stick maybe 2 mph more but I doubt it!

  2. Dave

    Agree with Patrick. I had an 87 F250 with 6.9 and C6. Towed a 7000 lb trailer a lot with it. It would do 70 wide open on the level road with trailer. On a hill? Hah! Overloaded 18 wheelers would blow by me.

  3. crazy

    Those engines ate injector pumps. Dad had an 84. almost like clockwork 18 months and putting another unit on.

  4. John

    I think most of you are neglecting to see what is actually offered. A low mileage, pristine classic. You don\’t buy it to abisr it, you buy it for a purpose, be it cruising or hauling. If you are hauling, the most important thing is getting your load there safely. You plan out your trip. As far as the maintenance, that is part of owning a classic. It is a labor of love.

  5. Kent D Pascoe

    My 1985 F350 CC dually brown and tan just like this. I’ve owned it for 27 years. towed everything from a 44 ft goose neck enclosed to a 14,500 lbs. 24 ft. tag custom built enclosed trailer. I even towed that trailer with a 12 1/2 ft. Caribu slide in camper on it’s back.
    Started life with a 6.9 idi, but I repowered it w/a 7.3 idi and a Gale Banks turbo in 1999. The old 6.9 would tow anything, but wouldn’t peel the skin off of day old pudding.

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