Introduction: Project Courier

11:47:00 AM


I am not a "truck guy" not that there is anything wrong with trucks, growing up in a rural agricultural community meant that there was always a "farm truck" in the family. It would be used to pick up pig feed, hay for the horses, or tow home my latest project. But up until this point I have never actually owned a truck myself. 


So when I sold my classic Mini I wanted to get something a little more useful, as much as I loved it, it was not really a great car for picking up palmtrees (but with the retractable roof I managed) or taking large boxes to Fedex. I wanted a truck, but the prospect of going from 35-MPG+ to the 6 that my father's King Ranch pickup gets was not something I was too excited about. 



Then, I remembered the Mini-Trucks of the 1970s, the trucks that allowed long haired hipsters to still live an active outdoor lifestyle even with the oil embargo. I started looking, I found a rusted out Datsun in a backyard in Mira Loma, it was full of garbage and had not run in at least 10 years. A beat old Toyota that had over 400,000 miles on it, all of them hard. I even considered a more modern Ford Ranger, but I wanted a classic, when I found a low mileage Ford Courier that had spent the bulk of it's life as a service vehicle on a large ranch. It had a service body and a dual rear wheels, but it was running, rust free, and in really good shape. 

With other projects (Fiat 131 and Fairlane) taking up most of my time the little truck sat for a few months before I started really looking for parts. This I soon found would be a lot harder than I thought. As they did not sell a ton of them here in the states and there is no aftermarket parts being made unless they cross over a large number of Mazda/Ford products. Thankfully we have found a few at the local salvage yards and I found a stock bed from a guy on Craigslist. 

After buying the Courier I found that there is a slight family connection to the little trucks. My grandfather had owned two Couriers in the 1970's and with a little digging I even found a picture of one of them and a keychain from the company that sold him the camper. He took the Courier on many adventures in Southern California and Baja Mexico, with his little camper and a small motorcycle trailer. I am going to use the keychain on my truck just since it is period correct. Thankfully my grandpa never threw anything away because I also  have some pretty cool period correct bumper stickers to also put on the truck (that is when I find a bumper). 



The stock bed was purchased for $200 from a guy on craigslist and happened to be blue as well. 


The truck bed was missing the tailgate, however, a Courier showed up at the local Pick-A-Part yard and I was able to pick up the stock single rear wheels and a tailgate, as well as other parts that were needed for the restoration. The "Western Mirrors" a popular option installed at the dealership will be quickly deleted, the plan is to paint it back to the stock Grabber Blue and leave it basicly period correct. Now if only I could find a stock front bumper and grill.... more updates to come soon.



This is not the first appearance on TheGentlemanRacer.com of the Ford Courier project, it had a cameo in our photo shoot with model Jessica Sztayer.

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