The Highboy: Ford's Unique Classic

Jane Lu
Dec 23, 2021 · 3 min read
Ford Highboys might not be among the most popular cars of the '60s, but they are famous among some classic car enthusiasts. At the surface, the Ford Highboy is just a standard Ford F-250. At a deeper level, though, the Highboy was a unique truck in terms of design for its time, and this is why it sticks in the minds of fans.
According to DriveZing, the "Highboy" name is actually not an official name from Ford. Instead, it is the common nickname given to F-250s made during a specific period. The nickname is a nod to the height of the vehicles.
Front view of blue and white 1968 Ford F-Series pickup truck
“Highboy” is a nickname given to the Ford F-250s of a specific period.

Why are some Ford F-250s called Highboys?

In a lot of ways, the Highboy nickname represents a specific era of Ford F-250 4x4 pickups. Ford trucks now known as Highboys were produced from 1967 to mid-1977. During this time, the Ford pickups were unusually tall.
According to Blue Oval Trucks, the early pickups had a divorced transfer case, it was connected to the transmission with a short driveshaft. This made the front end of the F-250 higher than the back end. In order to level the truck out, the rear was lifted by four inches, giving the truck the height it became famous for.
In the latter half of 1977, Ford began using different transfer cases, and this resulted in the F-250s being lower to the ground. This is when fans began to use the Highboy nickname to refer to the previous models of trucks. New models were appropriately called Lowboys to differentiate them.

Other trucks were worthy of the nickname too

Even though only Ford F-250s are known as Highboys, tall trucks were not uncommon in the 1960s. Other automakers also had to make their trucks higher to accommodate for 4x4 models.
What sets the Ford trucks apart, though, is that other manufacturers moved on from the tall design much quicker than Ford did. Jeep's Gladiators went for a lower design in 1963, even before the Highboy era of Ford began. 
Once lowered trucks were introduced, high 4x4 pickups were slowly phased out. Dodge kept making taller trucks until 1975, but after that, the F-250 was the only Highboy available. 

The extra height gave the Highboys other quirks

Being tall was more than just a visual difference for the Highboys. Compared to the 4x2 pickups, the Highboys had a much higher cargo loading height. 
Because they were taller, they were also harder to get in and out of. This made them a great vehicle for taller people, but it also limited who could comfortably own a Highboy.
Lastly, the tallness of the truck gave it a high center of gravity. This wasn’t necessarily a perk, though, as Ford worried that it could be unsafe in certain situations. Because of this, there was not a Camper Special offered for the Highboy F-250s.

Find affordable insurance for your Ford

The Ford F-250 Highboy represents a unique period in automotive history, and it is fondly remembered by Ford enthusiasts because of it. Whether you drive a Highboy, a Lowboy, or any other vehicle, you need car insurance. With Jerry, shopping for cheap car insurance has never been easier.
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