HomePick of the Day1981 Ford Durango

1981 Ford Durango


Durango was a short-lived Ford Fairmont Futura-based pickup
Durango was a short-lived Ford Fairmont Futura-based pickup

If you seek a rare collector vehicle for a very low price, this might be one to consider. Pick of the Day is a 1981 Ford Durango.

Say what? Isn’t the Durango a Dodge sport-utility vehicle?

Perhaps as few as 200 were built in Ford joint venture
Perhaps as few as 200 were built in Ford joint venture

Well, yes, it is, and has been since late in the last century. But in 1981 and 1982, Ford did a joint venture with Los Angeles-based National Coach Works to convert perhaps a couple hundred Ford Fairmont Futura two-door coupes into car-based pickup trucks.

Estimates of the number of such vehicles produced range from fewer than 90 to 200, and apparently neither Ford nor National Coach Works kept precise records because the project didn’t last very long

Ford had ended Ranchero production with the 1979 model year, but the automaker still wanted something for customers who might otherwise have opted for Chevrolet’s El Camino. So it turned to National Coach Works to remove the rear seat, a section of the roof and the trunk from the Fairmont Futura coupe and install a fiberglass truck bed, a backlight, tailgate, rear bumper and other finishing details.

The Ford Durango being offered for $4,900 (or best offer) by a private seller in Yucaipa, California, is yellow and brown, with the standard 200 cid six-cylinder engine and automatic transmission.

The seller’s advertisement on ClassicCars.com says the car/truck is a “100% complete, driver-grade vehicle” that’s, “Always the center of attention at the shows.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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