It looks like a million dollars and costs about $325,000 | Rare Techy


Turnkey restomods have become big business over the years. The market boomed with air-cooled Porsches, but now you can spend six figures on any classic new one — even an iconic American truck. Velocity Restorations’ 1970 Ford F-250 Heritage Edition is proof of that, and with a starting price of $325,000, you’d think it was more than a simple tune-up.

Velocity is a Florida-based outfit that focuses on early Ford Broncos and International Scouts, along with a throwback F-250 Heritage Edition. I had the opportunity to drive one of the pickups around Long Beach, California, which offers just the right terrain for such a vintage cruiser. Simply put, it’s a platform that offers plenty of off-road capability, but looks just as good from stoplight to stoplight. And with a price tag like that, I imagine this truck and others like it will spend all their time.

Peter Nelson

1970 Ford F-250 High Roller Review Specifications

  • Base price: $325,000
  • Power transmission: 5.0-liter V8 | 4-speed automatic | four-wheel drive, dual-range Atlas II transfer case
  • Horsepower: 317 on wheels
  • Torque: 300 lb. ft. on wheels
  • Quick take: A fun to drive, finely crafted brute that feels truly special. Good, because it costs an arm and a leg.

The 1967-1972 Ford F-250 is Velocity’s first pickup truck tour, and it caught the attention of enthusiasts when it debuted in mid-September. The Florida company maintains the truck’s original aesthetics, but uses a modern chassis and drivetrain. The shop then crafts its exterior and interior with exquisite bodywork and quality materials to make it a usable, capable, and good-looking device. This particular Heritage build starts at $325,000, and depending on what options customers add, the price can go up significantly from that.

Inside, VR makes good on its promise to recreate Bumpside’s original interior. The metal parts of the door are machined from billet aluminum themselves and don’t look like anything Ford made in the 70s. Pulling the door handle is always a sense of chance and not because you’re afraid something might break in your hand. The satisfying mechanical jump is second to none, and I hate to use the bolt on an old rifle normally reserved for a manual shifter, but that’s the case with these grips. Almost all internal switching devices have a similar feel.

Then there’s the skin. At $8,000 in blue-dyed leather for the bench seat alone, the whole piece is pretty comfortable despite not having much adjustment, and I’m curious how it would perform on a longer trip. I’m sure it can handle climbing in and out, fixing fences, or what have you, but the budget-conscious driver in me says it’s still good to avoid that kind of wear and tear. You know, for your pocketbook.

The whole package felt great while driving around Long Beach. The VR retained the factory waist belt design, and the same goes for its massive Sparc Industries steering wheel with thin rim leather. The Bluetooth-enabled head unit looks periodically correct, as does the analog-looking instrument cluster. It even has a Vintage Air air conditioner that gives you all the cool air of a new truck while staying true to the cool classic look.

The exterior of this F-250 is simple and clean, and the closer you look, the more details stand out. What used to be a simple screw-off fuel cap is now just there for show, with a modern fuel filler cap and filler neck hidden on the inboard driver’s side of the bed. If you look back a bit, you’ll notice two jump spots in the bed that match the cab bench, which would be fun to drive off-road or wherever it’s legal.

The two-tone paint is laid on thick, and the color-matched Detroit Steel wheels really set it off when paired with big 33-inch Toyo Open Country tires. Their only downside is that they don’t show off their massive six-piston Baer fixed calipers with matching drilled and slotted 13-inch rotors, though that would probably rob its intended aesthetic. After all, it’s a balancing act.

VR went to town with the body prepaint, smoothed it all out and closed the gaps. I couldn’t find any misses, not even the door handles. Besides wanting to open and close the driver’s door all day to feel the sharp, mechanical impact of its handles, I never tire of looking at the smoothed corners of the door.

The F-250’s massive California-style wing mirrors enhance its already excellent visibility, and while they can be manually adjusted, that’s not a problem, as even that is a satisfying experience. They whistle a bit in the wind, but that’s something you’ll quickly forgive. The same goes for wind noise in the cabin at speed – it just comes with the territory.

The Heritage Edition’s Atlas II transfer case and Dana axles are bolted to a Roadster Shop RS4 chassis with custom-valve Fox reservoir shocks and dangling Eibach springs to keep the beast high off the ground. They give the F-250 a comfortable and compliant yet controlled ride. You’ll never forget you’re behind the wheel of a straight-axle brute, but it’s never too jarring – you’ll barely feel the speed bumps and the steep driveway can be driven at any reasonable (or unreasonable) speed.

Maximizing its daily cruiser potential, it channels the F-250’s inputs in a way more suited to leisurely strolls than white-knuckle driving. Its steering – while light and cushioned by massive Toyo all-terrain tires – never feels like a typical 4×4 where your hands are always moving. Then the firm brake pedal is reassuring in its power and ability to accurately modulate the massive Baer calipers. Finally, the column shifter has a smooth and slick feel, so parking, reversing, finding neutral and driving is a breeze.

Crawling under it, which even I can do at six-foot-three, reveals a masterpiece as big as what’s above. This includes an exhaust system, off-road ready suspension components, stout axles and massive ground clearance. All are painted a matching satin black. While it’s hard to imagine driving a $325,000 pickup truck truly anywhere, good for any potential owner who does, because this thing certainly takes it.

Despite being loaded with quality (and therefore heavy) components in every corner of the body, the Heritage Edition still manages to move. The VR didn’t have hard acceleration figures, but it’s fast enough. The V8 is also so good with the throttle wide open – you get a lot of induction sound and the exhaust somehow achieves a balance that makes it theatrical without being obnoxious. While this bike’s horsepower and torque figures may seem a bit low, Velocity says that’s because of such a heavy/massive wheel and tire package and all that 4×4 drivetrain loss.

Peter Nelson

The Velocity Restorations Ford F-250 Heritage Edition is all that. Between its strong power that doesn’t overextend itself and its refreshingly simple interior full of great touch points, I can’t imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t want to drive it over anything else in the stable.

With modern electric power steering and refined handling, it has all the advantages of a grand tourer without the downsides of rugged trucks.

VR’s choice of materials and handcrafted execution in bringing it all together are perfect for a tasteful contemporary meets vintage collection. The price reflects that, of course, and anyone looking for a toy that costs more than a quarter of a million dollars will absolutely see what they’re getting for their hard-earned scratch. It’s always fun to watch for us common people.

Peter Nelson

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