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1978 Ford F100 F150

Making headlines in 1978 was the Ford Pinto exploding gas tanks and the movie Grease. A gallon of gas cost about 63 cents, and the Sony Walkman made it's debut.

Fortunately for all web sites today and especially this one :-), 1978 was the year of the first computer bulletin board system (BBS), which was the precursor to the modern world wide web.

1978 was a great year for Ford trucks. Ford launched the Built Ford Tough slogan, and sold 864,000 F-Series trucks, which set a new record. Ford also celebrated it's 75th anniversary and made it known through a national sales promotion campaign.

1978 Ford F100 Video

Here is a video of a very nice 1978 F-100 Custom pickup in red that has been fully restored. We are not affiliated with the video producer.

What's New For 1978

There were no major changes for 1978, but there were a number of smaller changes and upgrades for the F-100, F-150, F-250, F-350 F-Series lineup.

The F-Series trucks received a new grille and square headlights (except on Custom level trucks). The split-style grille was now gone. If you got the optional chrome grille, you also got bright (chrome) headlight surrounds as seen on the above photo.

1978 Ford F150 Ranger
1978 Ford F-150 Ranger Lariat

New for 1978 was an available 4-speed overdrive manual transmission. The 1978 Ford F-Series brochure states: "Ford's new optional 4-speed over-drive manual transmission makes driving fun. It's mighty thrifty, too. Overdrive reduces piston travel per mile for less engine wear."

Ford also offered a complete, factory-installed CB radio for '78. The AM radio received a digital display with clock. Also now available was an illuminated vanity mirror with high/low adjustment, and an optional tilt steering wheel

In addition, 4-wheel-drive is made available on the SuperCab pickup. And, the Free Wheeling Sytside Package "B" included yellow painted styled steel 15" wheels. There were new 10-hole forged aluminum wheels as an option.

A top-of-the-line luxury trim level, the "Ranger Lariat" was also introduced. The trim level was the "new luxury leader of the line", and included deluxe two-tone paint, side cowl carpeting, door map pockets, extra insulation on the color-keyed vinyl headliner, "smart Picton cloth seat upholstery trimmed with super-soft vinyl", special Lariat emblems, and black tailgate applique. The Lariat name would continue to be used for decades on F-Series trucks.

The Free Wheeling Styleside is made available for 1978. Here is a quote from the 1978 F-Series vehicle brochure:

Free Wheeling Truckin'

For fantastic, tough good looks - look to Ford's Free Wheeling Pickups. Rainbow stripe Stylesides and pinstripe sporty Flaresides.

Free Wheeling Styleside Package "A" includes: colorful "rainbow" bodyside tape stripe, unique interior, blackout grille andblack front bumper (an optional black rear contour or step bumper is required). Want more? Choose Free Wheeling Styleside Package "B" and you'll add a black GT bar, five macho painted styled steel wheels in your choice of white or yellow and a spare tire lock.

Or you can design your own trick truck by slecting these Free Wheeling items that are also available as seperate options:
- Rainbow tape stripe (Stylesides)
- GT bar (Stylesides)
- Forged aluminum wheels (4) 5-slot brushed or 10-hole polished
- Styled steel wheels (5), 15 x 6, 15 x 8 available after Nov. 1, 1977
- Step bumper
- And more...

1978 F150 FreeWheeling Package
1978 Ford F150 Ranger Free Wheeling Styleside Package

1978 Ford F-Series Model Lineup

All models and trims carried over from 1977 - F-100, F-150, F-250, and F-350, however added in 1978 was a Ranger Lariat trim level. All four trim levels (Custom, Ranger, Ranger XLT, and Ranger Lariat) were available with all models, although the Custom & Ranger XLT trim levels were not available in Crew Cab form.

As another note, the 1978 Bronco was redesigned and is now based off the F-100/F-150. The Bronco was only offered with the 351M & 400 cid engines.

78 F150 Short Box Yellow White
1978 Ford F-150 Ranger Yellow & White Two-Tone

1978 F-Series Engine / Powertrains

The powertrain options were pretty much the same as in 1977.

old-Powertrain options were also a carryover from 1977, though 1978 would mark the end of the line for both the 360 and 390 cubic-inch engine. Horsepower was still in short supply, though torque levels remained strong enough to keep the beefier F-Series models a good choice for moderate to heavy hauling or towing. The 300 cubic-inch inline six cylinder was standard in all Regular Cab two-wheel drive models. SuperCabs and four-wheel drive versions of the F-100 received the 360 V-8 as standard.

Transmissions ranged from the standard issue three-speed manual for all two-wheel drive models except the F-350, which used a four-speed manual along with the four-wheel drive trucks. The SelectShift three-speed automatic was an option for any F-Series pickup.

Engine Availability Horsepower
4.9 liter / 300 cid I-6
F-100 / F-150 / F-250 / F-350
113
5.0 liter / 302 cid V-8
F-100 / F-150 Reg Cab, F-150 SuperCab
130
5.8 liter / 351 cid V-8
F-100 / F-150 / F-250 / F-350
163
6.6 liter / 400 cid V-8
F-100 / F-150 / F-250 / F-350
169
7.5 liter / 460 cid V-8
F-150 / F-250 / F-350
220

1978 Ford F-150 Standard Features & Available Options

Major standard features include:

Major options / packages include:

Available exterior paint color choices for 1978 Ford trucks include the following (Note: Maroon, Bright Yellow and Tangerine are available on Special order at extra cost, and Wimbeldon White may be used as the accent color for any exterior color except Silver Metallic):

1978 Ford F-Series Resources