The Ford Durango was the Futura of pickups
One of the rarest American cars ever made was sold over the weekend for just $5,400.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t a million-dollar classic stored in a barn that some unsuspecting heir let go on the cheap, but a Ford Durango. Never heard of it?
Envisioned as a successor to the Ford Ranchero pickup, the Ford Fairmont Furtura coupe-based chimera was a joint venture between Ford and specialty car builder National Coach Works. Only about 200 (give or take a hundred, no one seems to know for sure.) were built between 1979 and 1982.
National Coach Works ripped the back off the car, threw out the rear seats and replaced it all with a fiberglass bed. It featured an opening rear window and taillights mounted to the tailgate, which prompted a warning from the company not to drive it with the tailgate down.
The rear-wheel-drive Futura was built on the Fox body platform that spawned the Ford Mustang, and this particular car features a 302 V8, which the seller thinks was factory equipped. Most Durangos came with a 200 cubic-inch inline-six, so that makes this one particularly unique if the engine was included in the original build.
Regardless, the car runs, but needs a lot of cosmetic work. The seller said he put $8,000 into it, but it’s hard to put a true value on the Durango because so few ever go up for sale. He listed it on Ebay with a buy-it-now price of $6,500, so the market has spoken.
The Durango will likely go down in history as the last vehicle of this type Ford tried to sell in the United States. It was essentially replaced in 1984 by the compact Ranger pickup.
That said, Ford did make a similar vehicle in Austraila, where they’re known as Utes, until last year. The last Falcon Ute rolled off the assembly line on July 29, 2016, as Ford wound down car production the country. Interestingly, the hole in left in the model lineup was filled by the latest Ford Ranger, which will be returning to the United States in 2019.