I’ve been looking for a F100 Flareside for about 18 months and after a couple trips to the US for vacation, I had not been able to find one that was suitable for me.
Christmas seemed to have come early when I was searching and found this truck for sale on Craigslist on December 23 2016. After working out the time difference I immediately contacted the seller and after a lengthy discussion, the seller kindly offered to take lots of photos and upload them to Google Drive so I could have a further (on-line) look at the truck.
When you’re calling from another country and there is a 14 hour time different, you can’t just jump in the car and go for a drive to inspect the truck - you tend to rely on a strangers honesty and lots of photos. Fortunately the seller was an honest man and once the Christmas/New Year period was over he was able to provide me with some photos.
Living across the other side of the globe can prove difficult dealing with sellers but fortunately for me:
1. The seller was very attached to the truck and was only selling it because he’d moved to a new home and his wife didn’t want him to have it anymore.
2. The truck had been in the family since near new and the seller wanted it to go to a good home and when he knew I was making enquiries from Australia, he figured if it was going to Australia then surely it was going to a good home.
3. The seller had visited Australia many years ago and because he liked our country, he was prepared to deal with me.
A few more phone calls were exchanged over the course of the next 4 weeks and the seller provided me with more photos so I could get a good idea of what condition the truck was in - both inside and out as well as it what it was like for rust.
It is now the end of January and some 5 weeks have passed since my first enquiry. Everything checked out okay and I was happy with the condition of the truck for the price he was asking however, there was one problem... the seller couldn’t locate the Title. If he doesn’t have the Title then I can’t buy the truck because it won’t be allowed to leave the United States without it. The seller told me that he had to make two trips to the DMV in order to apply for a new Title and to pay the non-ops fees which the truck had incurred.
In March 2017 I was still no closer to owning the truck so my wife and I made a decision to fly to the US for a short vacation (10 days) and drive down to San Diego to meet the seller and take a look at the truck. When we arrived in LA I contact the seller and a few days later whilst driving down to meet him he called us to say the new Title had arrived in the post that day – perhaps our luck was about to change!
When I finally met the seller he has very apologetic that it had taken him so long in attempting to get the Title and he later explained it was because the truck had been in his family since near new. It was purchased by his grandfather who later passed it down to his mother and then it was passed on to him. He had a strong connection with the truck and this was making it difficult for him to sell – he went on to say that he had learnt how to drive in the truck and he even taught his kids how to drive in it as well.
We sealed the deal and had the truck transported to a friend of a friend’s workshop where I then found out about the asbestos problem when shipping vehicles into Australia. It sat at the workshop for the next 4 months and I contemplating whether I was going to risk the fines and bring it home or would I be better off just selling it back to someone in the US because of these new laws. I heard more about the law changes and worked out that if I stripped and cleaned all the suspected asbestos related parts (ie brakes, clutch, exhaust, gaskets, etc) and provided photos of the stripped and cleaned down areas to Australian Customs it might be ok so I took the risk. The work was done and the truck was finally transported to LA where it was loaded into a container along with the rest of my parts I had purchased on our trip as well as the shippers cars and parts to fill the container.
Well it’s now September 30 and my truck is finally home after arriving in Sydney and spending another 10 days with Australian Customs quarantine before being released!
Now the job of ordering parts and reassembling just to get it drivable again – let the fun begin
That’s a wonderful story! A family-owned truck that goes to Australia because the owner had been there once upon a time. 👍
And, it is such a clean truck. You are going to love it. I can’t remember what engine is in it, but I do know that by ‘81 a CA truck would have had copious amounts of emissions ‘stuff’. So, what are your plans for the engine as well as the whole truck?
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Awesome story! Look forward to seeing what you do with it! Congratulations also!
I live in South Australia for a year and loved it! But, customs IS the toughest I've ever seen with all the places I've lived. It was hard to even get an American Christmas Wreath with "fake" Pine Cones on it. They ripped the whole thing apart taking off said "fake" Pine Cones.
We're here to help! All you need to do is ask!
"Daily Driver" 1986 F150 XLT Lariat, 4X2, 351W, Edelbrock Carb swapped from the Holley
" because he’d moved to a new home and his wife didn’t want him to have it anymore. "
He should have gotten a new wife . .but then you'd be without a truck. Never understood people like that . . . good luck with it !
Thanks Gary it has a 300 6 and a 3 on the floor converted from the tree. The truck was originally from Florida and it did have a Smog pump on it but the complete manifolds have been removed for the asbestos thing so I have to clean it all up and put it back together.
The big picture is to fully restore it from chassis up but the main thing at the moment is to put new brakes, shocks, engine and gearbox back together so I can get it roadworthy so I can put it on the road. I'll eventually do a V8 conversion.
Thanks Pebcak! Australian Customs is an absolute joke - the hoops we have to jump through is ridiculous. I brought in an Econoline a couple of years ago and they passed it straight away - they didn't even look at it at all. This truck with the asbestos rules that have changed had to be completed stripped and then when it got here the truck was dirty when it got here (as in very greasy) but once the inspector came out he started talking to the owners of the business and got on quite well with them and didn't even look at the truck and it didn't even have to be cleaned which the owner of the business told me that if it did, I would have incurred a cleaning bill of $400-$500.
I agree with you 100% - I do believe that the only reason we got this truck was because every time his wife looked out the back kitchen window she saw this big green garden ornament which didn't suit her new home!
I'm glad you joined this forum and I'm glad you got your truck home and through the inspection process. What a drag. I'd say your example is well worth it though. What a clean beautiful flareside! 👌 Best of luck getting it all put back together and on the road.
SHORT BED 4-DOOR DIESEL: 1986 F350 4x4 SRW under construction-- 7.3 IDIT R&D 64mm intercooled turbo 150cc IP stage 1 cam main girdle 13" Southbend clutch ZF-5 + GearVendors overdrive 4.10 axle gears hydroboost brakes
STRAIGHT SIX 4X4: 1981 F150 2wd to 4x4 conversion-- 300 I6 close ratio diesel T19, hydroboost brakes, Saginaw steering
Time to do a thorough inspection of some of the rust and found that the floor was very pitted in some small section. I was going to patch up some small holes until I found it was too far gone and had to do a bigger section.