Turnkey restaurants have become big business over the years. The market took off in earnest with air-cooled Porsches, but now, you can spend six figures on any new classic trucks—even iconic American trucks. Velocity Restorations’ 1970 Ford F-250 Heritage is proof, and with a starting price of $325,000, you’d guess it’s more than a straight tune.
Velocity is a Florida-based group that focuses on early Ford Broncos and International Scouts, along with the F-250 Heritage Edition throwback. I had the chance to drive one of the pickups around Long Beach, California, which provides just the right scenery for a vintage cruiser like this. Honestly, it’s the kind of rig that offers great off-road capability, but it also shines from stoplight to stoplight. And at a price like that, I imagine this is where this truck, and trucks like it, will spend all of their time.
1970 Ford F-250 High Roller Review Specs
- Base price: $325,000
- powertrain: 5.0 L V8 | 4-speed automatic | Four-wheel drive, dual-range Atlas II transfer case
- horse power: 317 at the wheels
- torqueWeight: 300 lbs. at the wheels
- Take a quick: a joy to drive, a finely crafted brutality that feels truly special. Good thing, because it costs an arm and a leg.
The 1967-1972 Ford F-250 was Velocity’s first foray into pickups, and it captured the enthusiast scene when it debuted in mid-September. The Florida company keeps the overall aesthetic of the original truck but uses a modernized body and powertrain. Then, the shop hand-crafts its exterior and interior design with exquisite structure and quality materials to transform it into a usable, capable, and handsome platform. A Heritage Special build starts at $325,000 and depending on what options customers add, the price can jump a little higher than that.
Inside, VR delivers on its promise to reimagine Bumpside’s original interior. The door’s metal components inside the house are made of aluminum alloy, and are unlike anything Ford built in the 1970s. Pulling a doorknob is always a sense of occasion, not because you’re worried something might break in your hand. The satisfying mechanical pop is second to none, and I hate using the ol’ rifled bolt catch usually reserved for a manual adapter, but it really applies to these grips. Almost all indoor switches have a similar feel.
Then there is the skin. The seatpost alone uses $8,000 blue-dyed leather—the whole piece is quite comfortable even though there isn’t a lot of adjustability, and I’m curious how it’ll fare on a longer ride. I’m sure it can stand up to the abuse of climbing in and out, repairing fences or what have you, but the budget-conscious driver says it’s still a good idea to avoid that kind of wear. You know, for your pocket book.
The whole package felt great while using the tools around Long Beach. The VR retained the factory lap-belt design, and the same goes for the massive, skinny-rimmed, leather-wrapped Sparc Industries steering wheel. The Bluetooth head unit sounds just right, as does the analog gauge cluster. It even has Vintage Air climate control, which gives you all the cool air of a new truck while maintaining the classic, cool look.
The F-250’s exterior is simple and clean, and the closer you get to examining it, the more details emerge. What was once a simple fuel cap, is now just for show – a modern fuel door and filler neck are hidden on the inner driver’s side of the bed. Look back a bit and you’ll notice two seats in the bed that match the seat in the cab, which would be a lot of fun for cruising around, off-roading, or wherever it’s legal.
The two-tone paint was applied to the thick, color-matched Detroit Steel wheels, and really made them pop when paired with the big 33-inch Toyo Open Country tires. Their only downside is that they don’t boast massive six-piston Baer fixed brake calipers with identical 13-inch drilled and slotted rotors, though these probably steal from the intended aesthetic. It is a balancing act, after all.
VR went to town with pre-painting the bodywork, smoothing everything out and filling in the gaps. I didn’t find any bugs, even on the door jambs. Besides wanting to open and close the driver’s door all day just to feel the crisp mechanical movement of the knobs, I’ll never tire of looking at the polished corners of the door.
The F-250’s huge California-style side mirrors aid in its already excellent visibility, and while manually adjusted, it’s no problem until it’s a satisfying experience. They hiss a little in the wind, but that’s something you quickly forgive. The same goes for wind noise at speed in the cab—it just comes with the area.
The Heritage Edition’s Atlas II transfer case and Dana axles are mounted to the Roadster Shop RS4 chassis, which has custom-valved Fox reservoir shocks and Eibach springs strung on it to keep the beast suspended high off the ground. It gives the F-250 a comfortable ride and compliant control. You’ll never forget that you’re behind the wheel of a straight-axle brute, but it’s not too tacky – you can barely feel speed bumps, and the steep driveway is doable at any reasonable (or not-so-reasonable) speed.
This F-250 enhances the capabilities of its everyday cruiser, relaying inputs in a way that caters more to leisurely strolling than white-knuckle driving. Its steering – while light and muted due to Toyo’s massive all-terrain tires – never feels like a typical SUV where your hands are always moving. Then, the powerful brake pedal is reassuring in its heft and ability to precisely modulate the massive Baer calipers. Finally, the column shift has a smooth, smooth feel, so finding Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive is a breeze.
Crawling below, which I can do at six-foot-three, reveals as much of the masterpiece as what’s on top. That includes the exhaust system, off-road-ready suspension components, thick axles, and massive clearance. Everything is painted in the appropriate satin black. While it’s hard to imagine really driving a $325,000 pickup truck anywhere, it’s a good thing for any prospective owner who does, because this thing will definitely hold its own.
Despite being loaded with high-quality (and therefore heavy) components on every corner of its chassis, the Heritage Edition can still pull off. VR didn’t have any hard acceleration numbers, but it’s very fast. The V8 is pretty good at wide open the throttle, too—you get plenty of introductory sound, and the exhaust somehow strikes a balance that keeps it theatrical without being obnoxious. While the horsepower and torque numbers may seem a little low, Velocity says that’s because there’s such a heavy/bulky package and tires, plus all that lossy four-wheel drive.
The Velocity Restorations Ford F-250 Heritage Edition is everything it’s cracked up to be. Between its powerful yet understated power and its refreshingly simple interior packed with excellent touch points, I can’t imagine a scenario in which I wouldn’t want to drive it over anything else out there in the stable.
And with state-of-the-art electric power steering and an improved ride, it has all the benefits of a grand tourer without the downsides of a rough-and-tumble truck.
The choice of VR materials and handcrafted execution bring it all together is the place for a vintage pickup with tastefully modern fixtures. The price reflects that, of course, and anyone in the market for a game that costs over a quarter of a million dollars will see exactly what they’re getting for their hard-earned scratch. For us, ordinary people, it will always be interesting to look at it.
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