Ford Highboy: A Guide to the Classic Off-Road Vehicle

The Ford Highboy is a term used to describe the F-250 4×4 pickup trucks manufactured by Ford from 1967 to 1977. These trucks have become a popular attraction among truck enthusiasts due to their unique appearance and improved features. The exterior of a Ford Highboy is different from standard trucks, with a higher stance and a divorced transfer case.

While the term “Highboy” is not found in any official Ford literature, it has become a well-known term among Ford truck enthusiasts. The Highboy was designed to be a tough and reliable pickup truck that could handle heavy loads and rough terrain. They were equipped with improved features such as a stronger frame, heavier suspension, and larger brakes to make handling easier.

Today, the Ford Highboy remains a popular choice for truck enthusiasts and collectors. Their unique appearance and improved features have made them a sought-after vehicle for those who appreciate classic trucks. In the following article, we will explore the history, features, and advantages of the Ford Highboy in more detail.

History of Ford Highboy

The Ford Highboy is a term used to describe the 1967-1977.5 Ford F-250 4X4 pickup trucks. The term “Highboy” was not actually a Ford term, but rather a term that evolved from hot rodder’s terminology for 1928-1932 Ford roadsters with their fenders and running boards removed, exposing the frame rails.

The early 4X4 pickups were conversions of a 2WD chassis, and it was simpler and cheaper to utilize the original 2WD transmission than to design an adapter to marry them. This resulted in the front end of the F-250 being higher than the back end, giving the truck a unique appearance.

In 1967, Ford introduced a new chassis for its F-Series pickup trucks, which included a new frame and suspension system. The new chassis allowed for a wider stance and a higher ground clearance, making it better suited for off-road use. The F-250 was the first truck to receive the new chassis, and it quickly gained a reputation as a capable and rugged off-road vehicle.

The Highboy F-250 was produced from 1967 to mid-1977, during which time the Ford pickups were unusually tall. According to Blue Oval Trucks, the early pickups had a divorced transfer case, which was connected to the transmission with a short driveshaft. This setup made the front end of the F-250 higher than the back end, giving it the distinctive Highboy look.

Over the years, the Highboy F-250 has become a highly sought-after vehicle among collectors and enthusiasts. Its unique appearance and rugged off-road capabilities have made it a popular choice for off-road enthusiasts and hot rodders alike. Today, the Highboy F-250 remains an iconic symbol of American automotive history and a testament to Ford’s commitment to building tough and capable pickup trucks.

Design and Specifications


The Ford Highboy is a classic American truck known for its rugged and muscular exterior design. These trucks were produced between 1967 and 1977.5 and are highly sought after by collectors and off-road enthusiasts. The Highboy’s exterior features include a raised front end, 4-inch lift blocks in the rear, and a curved protrusion running down the side of the truck known as a “bump.” The Highboy is available in a variety of colors, including classic shades like red, blue, and green.


The Ford Highboy’s interior is designed for functionality and durability. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, with ample legroom and headroom. The Highboy’s seats are upholstered in durable materials that can withstand heavy use. The dashboard features a simple and intuitive layout, with easy-to-read gauges and controls. The Highboy’s entertainment features are limited, with most models featuring only a basic AM/FM radio.

Engine and Performance

The Ford Highboy is equipped with a range of powerful engines that deliver impressive performance on and off the road. The Highboy’s engines include a 360-cubic inch V8, a 390-cubic inch V8, and a 460-cubic inch V8. These engines are paired with a four-speed manual transmission and a four-wheel drive system. The Highboy’s suspension is designed to handle rough terrain, with a solid front axle and leaf springs in the rear. The Highboy’s top speed is around 100 miles per hour, and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in around 10 seconds.

Overall, the Ford Highboy is an iconic American truck with a rugged exterior, functional interior, and powerful engine. Its combination of style and performance has made it a favorite among collectors and off-road enthusiasts alike.

Models and Variations

Early Models

The Ford Highboy was produced in various models and variations from 1967 to 1977. The early models of the Highboy were F-250 trucks that were designed with a divorced transfer case, which made the truck sit higher than its counterparts. The Highboy sat approximately 2.58-2.77 inches higher than a comparable F-100 4X4, 5.24-5.6 inches higher than the F-250 2WD, and 6.1-6.4 inches higher than the F-100 2WD. The early models of the Highboy were known for their excellent off-road capabilities, thanks to their high ground clearance.

In terms of engine options, the early Highboy models were available with a variety of engines, including the 360 cubic inch V8 and the 390 cubic inch V8. The Highboy also featured a four-speed manual transmission, which gave drivers greater control over the vehicle’s performance.

Recent Models

In 1978, Ford stopped producing the Highboy with the divorced transfer case and instead opted for a married transfer case design. This change in design reduced the Highboy’s ground clearance, making it sit lower than its early model counterparts. However, the Highboy continued to be a popular choice for off-road enthusiasts due to its rugged design and powerful engine options.

Recent models of the Highboy have been updated to include features such as power steering, air conditioning, and improved suspension systems. The Highboy is now available in a variety of different configurations, including regular cab, crew cab, and extended cab models.

Overall, the Highboy has remained a popular choice for truck enthusiasts due to its excellent off-road capabilities and powerful engine options. Whether you’re looking for a truck to take on the toughest terrain or simply want a reliable vehicle for everyday use, the Ford Highboy is an excellent choice.

Popularity and Legacy

The Ford Highboy has an enduring popularity among truck enthusiasts. Its unique design and powerful engine have made it a highly sought-after vehicle. The Highboy’s popularity can be attributed to its durability, reliability, and versatility. It was designed to handle tough terrain and heavy loads, making it a favorite among farmers, ranchers, and construction workers.

The Highboy’s legacy can be seen in its influence on the design of modern trucks. Its high ground clearance and four-wheel drive capabilities have become standard features in many trucks today. The Highboy’s legacy can also be seen in its continued popularity among collectors and restorers. Many Highboys have been restored to their original condition or modified to suit the personal preferences of their owners.

The Highboy’s legacy can also be seen in its impact on popular culture. It has been featured in numerous movies and television shows, cementing its place in American folklore. The Highboy has become a symbol of American strength, resilience, and ingenuity.

Overall, the Ford Highboy’s popularity and legacy can be attributed to its unique design, powerful engine, and enduring appeal. It has become an icon of American truck culture and continues to inspire truck enthusiasts and collectors today.

Buying a Ford Highboy

When it comes to buying a Ford Highboy, there are some important things to consider. This section will cover some of the key factors to keep in mind when making a purchase, including whether to buy new or used, and pricing.

New vs. Used

One of the first decisions to make when buying a Ford Highboy is whether to buy new or used. While a new truck may have some benefits, such as being under warranty and having the latest features, it will also come with a higher price tag. On the other hand, a used truck may be more affordable, but it may also come with some wear and tear.

When considering a used Ford Highboy, it’s important to inspect the vehicle thoroughly to ensure it’s in good condition. Look for signs of rust, damage, or other issues that may affect the truck’s performance. It’s also a good idea to take the truck for a test drive to get a feel for how it handles on the road.


Pricing is another important factor to consider when buying a Ford Highboy. The cost of a new truck will vary depending on the model and features, but it can range from around $30,000 to over $50,000. Used trucks will vary in price depending on the condition and age of the vehicle, but they can range from around $10,000 to $30,000.

It’s important to set a budget before beginning your search for a Ford Highboy. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure you’re not overspending. Additionally, be sure to factor in any additional costs, such as taxes, registration fees, and insurance.

Overall, buying a Ford Highboy can be a great investment for those in need of a powerful and reliable truck. By considering factors such as whether to buy new or used and pricing, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect truck for your needs.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining a Ford Highboy is crucial to ensure its longevity and performance. Here are some tips to keep your Highboy in top condition:

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential for any vehicle, and a Ford Highboy is no exception. Some of the essential maintenance tasks include:

  • Oil Changes: Regular oil changes help keep the engine running smoothly and prevent damage to the internal components.
  • Tire Rotations: Rotating the tires regularly helps ensure even wear and prolongs their lifespan.
  • Brake Inspections: Regular brake inspections help identify any issues early on and prevent potential accidents.
  • Fluid Checks: Regularly checking the fluid levels, including coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid, helps prevent damage to the engine and other components.


Keeping a Ford Highboy clean is not just about aesthetics; it also helps prevent rust and other damage. Some cleaning tips include:

  • Washing: Regularly washing the Highboy helps remove dirt and grime that can cause damage over time.
  • Waxing: Applying a coat of wax helps protect the paint and prevent rust.
  • Undercarriage Cleaning: Cleaning the undercarriage helps prevent rust and other damage caused by road salt and other debris.


Upgrading certain components can help improve the Highboy’s performance and longevity. Some upgrades to consider include:

  • Suspension Upgrades: Upgrading the suspension can help improve handling and ride comfort.
  • Engine Upgrades: Upgrading the engine can help improve performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Lighting Upgrades: Upgrading the lighting can help improve visibility and safety.

By following these maintenance and care tips, a Ford Highboy can provide years of reliable service and enjoyable driving.


In summary, the Ford Highboy is a highly sought-after truck among Ford enthusiasts. Despite not being an official term from Ford, the Highboy nickname is commonly used to refer to F-250s made between 1967-1977 with 4WD.

The key features that make a Highboy a Highboy include a raised front suspension, a divorced transfer case, and a narrow frame. Highboys also have a unique look due to their higher ride height and larger tire size.

While the Highboy may not be for everyone, it certainly has a dedicated following among truck enthusiasts. With its rugged build and off-road capabilities, the Highboy has proven to be a reliable and versatile truck for both work and play.

Overall, the Ford Highboy is a classic truck that continues to capture the hearts of enthusiasts and collectors alike. With its unique features and iconic design, it is no wonder that the Highboy remains a highly sought-after truck to this day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the identifying features of a Ford Highboy?

The Ford Highboy is a highly sought-after truck that is known for its unique features. Some of the identifying features of a Ford Highboy include a taller stance, a divorced transfer case, and a narrow front axle. The Highboy also has a higher ground clearance than other Ford trucks, making it ideal for off-road use.

What is the value of a 1976 Ford F250?

The value of a 1976 Ford F250 can vary depending on a number of factors, including its condition, mileage, and location. However, a well-maintained 1976 Ford F250 can be worth anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.

Are Ford Highboys considered rare?

Yes, Ford Highboys are considered rare due to their unique features and limited production. While exact production numbers are not available, it is estimated that only a small percentage of Ford trucks produced between 1967 and 1977 were Highboys.

What distinguishes a Ford Highboy from other Ford trucks?

The main thing that distinguishes a Ford Highboy from other Ford trucks is its taller stance and narrow front axle. The Highboy also has a divorced transfer case, which allows for greater ground clearance and better off-road performance.

Is it possible to find a Ford Highboy with four doors?

No, it is not possible to find a Ford Highboy with four doors. The Highboy was only produced as a two-door truck with a regular or crew cab.

Where can I find a Ford Highboy crew cab for sale?

Ford Highboy crew cabs are rare and can be difficult to find. However, they can occasionally be found for sale on online marketplaces such as eBay or Craigslist. It is also possible to find them at classic car auctions or through private sellers.

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