Home » One Truck, Two Truck, Red Truck, Blue Truck: 1982 Chevy K10 vs 1998 Ford F150

One Truck, Two Truck, Red Truck, Blue Truck: 1982 Chevy K10 vs 1998 Ford F150

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Welcome back! We’ve got another pair of vehicles chosen by my lovely wife Erika, a pair of pickup trucks, one each from the two states we passed through today – Utah and Wyoming.

Yesterday, we had a blowout – and I don’t mean of the tire variety. That poor Camaro absolutely got slaughtered in the voting. Some of you wondered if that Yukon was, in fact, a scam, because it sounded too good to be true. I doubt it. I didn’t include the photo, but that front bumper has seen better days. I bet that turned off a few prospective buyers.

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I have no use for the Yukon since we already have a newer one, but it is definitely the better deal here. If the Camaro were a manual, it might be a different story, but automatic V6 pony cars are just dull, purple or not.

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All right, let’s turn our attention to trucks because really, that’s all you find for sale out here. We’ve got a Ford and a Chevy, but they’re not exactly comparable, because one has thirty years’ worth of advancements over the other. Of course, not everyone considers advancements a good thing, especially when it comes to trucks. There is something to be said for a simple machine that you can tune with a flathead screwdriver. But comfort, convenience, and efficiency count for a lot as well. Which one will prevail? That’s up to you.

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1982 Chevrolet K10 Scottsdale – $3,000

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Engine/drivetrain: 305 cubic inch overhead valve V8, four-speed manual, part-time 4WD

Location: Casper, WY

Odometer reading: 231,000 miles

Operational status: Runs and drives well

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Here we have the classic Chevy stepside 4×4 truck, a vehicle that probably exists in greater numbers in toy and model form than in full-size. Add a roll bar with lights on it and some crazy graphics, and this thing could be a Stomper, or an MPC model kit. But we all know the vast majority of squarebody Chevy trucks were fleetsides, and long beds. It’s cool to see an actual stepside 4×4, even if it is a bit rusty.

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Even better, it’s a V8 and a stick! This truck is powered by a 305 cubic inch small block – not the most powerful weapon in GM’s arsenal, even back then, but it has potential – and our old buddy the SM465 four-speed manual gearbox. Even better, the rear axle is a 12 bolt with a Positraction limited-slip differential, though we don’t know the gear ratio. The seller says it runs and drives well, despite the high mileage.

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It’s the mid-level Scottsdale trim, though this is well before the era of luxury trucks. The “fancy” trim on this truck consists of carpet and maybe nicer door cards. It’s in pretty good shape inside, though there’s no telling what’s under that seat cover. The seller says everything inside works, though again, “everything” doesn’t entail a whole lot in this case.

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Outside, it needs some help. Rust has been busy on this truck, though the rare part – the stepside bed – doesn’t look too bad. To me, this looks like a cool project waiting to happen, and something you can actually drive while you work on it.

1998 Ford F-150 XLT – $2,888

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Engine/drivetrain: 4.6-liter overhead cam V8, four-speed automatic, part-time 4WD

Location: Provo, UT

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Odometer reading: 238,000 miles

Operational status: Runs and drives well, but needs new tires

For something a bit more modern, we have a tenth-generation Ford F-150, a polarizing design that’s chock-full of advancements that could only be dreamed of when the K10 was built. An overhead cam engine, fuel injection, electronically controlled everything, and massive improvements to noise, vibration, and harshness make this a much nicer truck to drive.

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This truck may be modern compared to that old Chevy, but it’s twenty-six years old, and is rapidly approaching a quarter million miles. Wear and tear are inevitable at that age, though this one doesn’t look too bad. There’s a hole in the seat, and the headliner is drooping, but I haven’t seen a ’90s car with an intact headliner for years. They all seem to droop eventually.

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Mechanically, the seller says it runs and drives well, but it’s in need of new tires, and the heat doesn’t work. They suspect a plugged heater core, which is a possibility, as is a failure in the HVAC controls somewhere. But hey, it’s June; you’ve got time to sort it out before winter.

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There is one major annoyance with this ad. The photos show a bed-mounted toolbox, which would be a nice little bonus, but the text says it isn’t included. If that’s the case, take it out before you take the photos. It’s not quite false advertising, but it isn’t far off.

So that’s what we’re dealing with today – a couple of old high-mileage trucks from different eras. Both run and drive, and both need a little help. Will it be the old cool model, or the newer and easier-to-live-with pickup?

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(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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Along with Martin, Dutch Gunderson, Lana and Sally Decker
Along with Martin, Dutch Gunderson, Lana and Sally Decker
7 days ago

You had me at hello Square body. I wouldn’t be buying either as a primary source of transportation, so I’m picking the one I’d want to wrench on.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 days ago

Jellybean will tow a horse trailer, though I’m shocked it only gets ~14 MPG.

Timothy Swanson
Timothy Swanson
7 days ago

My first car was an 84 Camaro with the 305. It was fine, got good mileage, and was super reliable and durable. And easy to wrench on with a real engine bay. A stick, plus the classic stepside? Sign me up.

On the other hand, my least favorite F150 design of all time, a more complex engine, and an automatic? It’s not interesting enough to be a classic, and I’ll drive my 22 Silverado as my modern truck.

Not The Ford 289
Not The Ford 289
8 days ago

305??? Chevy??? Rusty???? NO WAY I’M CHOOSING THAT!!!

Ford for me.

NJR
NJR
8 days ago

Both of these are adjacent to trucks I grew up with – we had a red 82 Suburban, and my first car was a ’99 F150 XLT that I kept until 2014 (4×2 and red, had a center console but otherwise the interior looked very similar). Even though our Chevy was vastly less reliable than the Ford (it went through 2 motors, at least one major transmission rebuild, and multiple electrical problems), that look is incredibly appealing.

Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
8 days ago

One of these would work best as a weekend toy and one of these is a work truck. I guess it depends on which need I am fulfilling.

I guess the Chevy for me. I hate stepsides, but it would be fine for Home Depot runs.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 days ago

Well, this is easy…I’ll take the awesome K10 vs that ugly Found On Road Dead bubble boy piece of junk

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
8 days ago

I want a truck, not a box of iron oxide.

The Chevy could be a good value at half of that price. Maybe 2/3 if it had a 350.

The Ford is priced to sell.

Last edited 8 days ago by PaysOutAllNight
Dirk from metro Atlanta
Dirk from metro Atlanta
8 days ago

The Ford’s just more livable and a hell of a lot safer, no real contest.

Mike B
Mike B
8 days ago

I see a squarebody, I click on it. However, I checked the actual add and yeah, it’s pretty rough. Still, 3K for a running, driving square 4X4 is not crazy. Literally every part of that truck is a mouse click away. If one is handy with a wrench and a welder, this is not a hard project. Parts are cheap and plentiful; marketplace is still full of parts for these trucks. The stepside bed in relatively good shape is a huge plus.

I actually like the Ford too. Great color, and I always thought this gen was sorta handsome in a weird way. It’s the right cab, so it’s got a bit more utility, and as far as I know the lil’ 4.6 won’t spit out it’s plugs. I like the round wheel openings on these, looks like you can fit a good-sized tire on it without too much effort. I saw a YT channel that bought one of these with rust and super high mileage, they beat the ever-loving snot out of it and could not kill it. I’m not a Ford guy but I was definitely impressed.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
8 days ago

The Ford for me. That old Chevy will need a ton of work just for rust reasons alone. If it wasn’t so rusty, I would have voted for it.

And thus, I went with the Ford.

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
8 days ago

I don’t need either, but here are my $ 0.02.
The Chevy would look cool only after you spend good money on it, and will still be uncomfortable and inefficient. Just a nice poser truck if restored, and an annoyance if not.
The Ford is almost ready to work, and a good daily truck with some minor money (tires and heater).
But I’m really not a client, so…

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
8 days ago

I’m torn between these two, mainly because I owned an 83 squarebody optioned pretty much the same sans the stepside. The rust is no joke, though, it’s just far too gone. Tires would also need replacement as they are BFG KO’s which were discontinued a decade ago.

Bottom line: Ford narrowly wins it for me. Bland design but it’s rust free, roomier and it’s as reliable as the Chevy. I’d hit my nearest Walmart for cheap tires and be all set.

If I had an extra $15K to blow on restoration the Chevy would be a nice project, though…

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
8 days ago
Reply to  Baja_Engineer

Exactly. The Chevy only makes sense after burning $15K on it.

EastbayLoc
EastbayLoc
8 days ago

Voted Ford. I like a Chevy Stepside but the 50’s or early 60’s version and that one just needs some work and hopefully the bed is intact and won’t start falling off the frame.

The Ford is useful for what I’d need and I could use the extended cab. I don’t care about the jellybean style. I’d be using it to haul stuff not pick up groceries at Whole Foods while looking pretty.

Cyko9
Cyko9
8 days ago

I prefer the style, but there’s just too much rust in the Chevy for me. And it’s not worth it to restore. I guess if the frame is good, you could patch the body and run it in primer grey. For the cost, the Ford will get my vote.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
8 days ago

I’m just not the right person for the stepside. Though I wouldn’t mind having an ovals era F-150 hanging around. I’m one of the few people who love those. I’ll take the Ford.

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
8 days ago

I voted Ford. Call me a wimp, but I’m not a truck guy, so if I’m driving a truck I want something a little gentler and refined.

Jatkat
Jatkat
8 days ago

Anti-Jellybean squad here. I’ll take a rusty squarebody over a bag of jelly bellies anyday. And that’s coming from a MASSIVE fan of the 4.6. I just don’t like that era of f-150.

ReverendDC
ReverendDC
8 days ago

Ford. You can fix the bits, its much more difficult to fix rust….and that’s assuming the frame isn’t in the same condition as the body panels.

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