American Captive – 1973 Ford Courier

The early 1960s saw the beginning of the compact pickup market in North America, and by the early 1970s, American manufacturers were getting into the game. The little trucks had a strong selling proposition, getting better fuel economy while still being pretty tough and having good load capacity for their size. In the 1980s, the minitruck craze hit, and with that, the compact pickup was a mainstream vehicle. However, by the mid-1990s, most manufacturers found Americans wanted bigger, even in their small trucks, so combined with a lack of new models, compact trucks fizzled away, with the last Ford Ranger built in 2011. You can find this 1973 Ford Courier for sale for $2150 in Auburn, WA.

1973 Ford Courier right front

There are two stunning things about this truck. One is the claimed mileage of 51,000. The other is the fact this compact truck has been listed for over a month with no sale. The seller even includes a good selection of photographs, and a fair amount of detail for a listing in this price range. Both rear corners of the cab have rust-through, and the paint is likely oxidized, although it’s hard to tell in the pictures since the truck has clearly just been washed.

1973 Ford Courier right rear

Everything is said to work on the truck, and it has a new head gasket, tune up, windshield, clutch, carburetor, and temperature sending unit. New wheels and tires have also been installed, and the only need the seller mentions is for door seals. Oh, and of course fixing the rust – perhaps that could be done sympathetically, so that together with a polish the truck would look like a very well-kept example.

1973 Ford Courier engine

Looking pretty clean under the hood – it would be interesting to know if the low mileage is in part due to the Mazda engine sitting with a blown head gasket for several years. It’s pretty cool that many of the bare metal parts are still anodized, and if you wanted to spiff things up, you could take a polisher to the aluminum valve cover.

1973 Ford Courier interior

This whole truck is simplicity at its best, like a Citroen 2CV or a Fiat 500. It’s surprising that such a low mileage truck has such worn seats, although being from dry eastern Washington with its hot summers, the seams likely just split. Perhaps these can be used as patterns for new seat covers. And for you doubters, the seller has documentation showing a 40K service in 1993, and that vinyl floor mat is looking pretty intact. Need something to run around town and haul car parts?


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One Response to “American Captive – 1973 Ford Courier”

  1. James Gillespie Says:

    Do you still have this truck for sale,if so call me at 925-890-0234 my name is Jim Gillespie I live in ca. But am going on vacation in June to Idaho ‘, could stop by to take look if still for sale,thank’s

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