Turnkey restomods 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 classic made new—even iconic American trucks. The 1970 Ford F-250 Heritage Edition from Velocity Restorations serves as proof, and with a starting price of $325,000, you can guess it’s more than a straightforward tune-up.
Velocity is a Florida-based outfit that focuses on early Ford Broncos and International Scouts, along with the throwback F-250 Heritage Edition. I got the chance to drive one of the pickups around Long Beach, California, which provides just the right scenery for a vintage cruiser like this. Plainly put, it’s the type of rig that offers off-road capability aplenty, but it shines just as well from stoplight to stoplight. And with a price tag like that, I imagine that’s where this truck and ones like it will spend all their time.
1970 Ford F-250 High Roller Review Specs
- Base price: $325,000
- Powertrain: 5.0-liter V8 | 4-speed automatic | four-wheel drive, dual-range Atlas II transfer case
- Horsepower: 317 at the wheels
- Torque: 300 pound-feet at the wheels
- Quick take: A fun-to-drive, finely crafted brute that feels genuinely special. Good thing, since it costs an arm and a leg.
The 1967-1972 Ford F-250 is Velocity's first foray into pickups, and it caught the enthusiast scene's attention when it debuted in mid-September. The Florida firm maintains the original truck's overall aesthetic but utilizes a modern-day chassis and powertrain. Then, the shop handcrafts its exterior and interior with fine bodywork and quality materials to transform it into a usable, capable, and handsome rig. This particular Heritage build starts at $325,000 and depending on what options customers add, the price can jump up quite a bit higher than that.
Inside, VR delivers on its promise of reimagining the Bumpside’s original interior. The door's metallic components are machined in-house out of billet aluminum, and they don’t feel like anything Ford made in the ‘70s. Pulling the door handle is always a sense of occasion, and not because you’re worried something might break off in your hand. The satisfying mechanical pop is second to none, and I hate to use the ol' rifle bolt trope that’s usually reserved for a manual shifter, but it genuinely applies to these handles. Almost all of the interior switchgear has a similar feel.
Then, there's the leather. The bench seat alone uses $8,000 in blue-dyed hide—the whole piece is quite comfy in spite of not having much adjustability, and I’m curious how it’d do on a lengthier trip. I’m sure it could withstand the abuse of 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. Y’know, for your pocketbook’s sake.
The whole package felt great while tooling around Long Beach. VR retained the factory lap belt design, and the same goes for its massive, thin-rimmed, leather-wrapped Sparc Industries steering wheel. The Bluetooth-enabled head unit looks period-correct, as does the analog-looking gauge cluster. It’s even got Vintage Air climate control, which gives you all the cool air of a new truck while staying true to the cool, classic look.
This F-250's exterior is simple and clean, and the closer you inspect it, the more details pop out. What used to be a simple screw-off fuel cap is now just there for show—a modern fuel door and filler neck are hidden on the inner driver side of the bed. Look a little further back and you’ll notice two jump seats in the bed that match the cab's bench, which would be a ton of fun to ride around in, off-road or wherever it's legal.
The two-tone paint is laid on thick, and color-matched Detroit Steel wheels really set it off when paired with big, 33-inch Toyo Open Country tires. Their only downside is they don't show off its massive, six-piston Baer fixed brake calipers with matching drilled and slotted 13-inch rotors, though these would probably steal from its intended aesthetic. It’s a balancing act, after all.
VR went to town with the bodywork pre-paint, smoothing it all out and closing up gaps. I couldn’t find any oversights, even in the door jambs. Along with wanting to open and close the driver's door all day just to feel its handles' crisp, mechanical action, I'd never get tired of looking at the door's smoothed-over angles, either.
The F-250's massive California-style side mirrors aid its already excellent visibility, and while they're manually adjusted by hand, it's no issue as even that’s a satisfying experience. They whistle a bit in the wind, but it's something you quickly forgive. The same goes for wind noise at speed in the cab—it just comes with the territory.
The Heritage Edition's Atlas II transfer case and Dana axles are bolted up to a Roadster Shop RS4 chassis, which has custom-valved Fox reservoir shocks and Eibach springs hanging off it to keep the beast suspended high off the ground. They give the F-250 a comfortable and compliant, yet controlled ride. You never forget you're behind the wheel of a straight-axled brute, but it's never too jarring—you barely feel speed bumps, and a steep-inclined driveway can be taken at any reasonable (or unreasonable) speed.
Bolstering its everyday cruiser potential, this F-250 relays inputs in a way that caters more to leisurely strolls than white-knuckle wheeling. Its steering—while admittedly light and muffled by the massive Toyo all-terrain tires—never feels like a typical 4x4 where your hands are always moving. Then, the firm brake pedal is reassuring in its heft and ability to precisely modulate the massive Baer calipers. Finally, the column shifter has a smooth and slick feel to it, so finding park, reverse, neutral, and drive is a snap.
Crawling underneath, which even I can do at six-foot-three, reveals as much of a masterpiece as what's up top. This includes the exhaust system, off-road-ready suspension componentry, thick axles, and massive clearances. Everything's painted in a fitting satin black. While it's hard to imagine driving a $325,000 pickup truck truly anywhere, good on any prospective owner who does, as this thing will certainly put up with it.
Despite being laden with high-quality (and therefore, heavy) components in every corner of its body, the Heritage Edition can still scoot. VR didn't have any hard acceleration figures, but it's amply quick. The V8 is so good at wide-open throttle, too—you get plenty of induction sound, and the exhaust somehow strikes a balance that makes it theatrical without being obnoxious. While its wheel-horsepower and torque figures might seem a little low, Velocity says its due to sporting such a heavy/massive wheel and tire package, plus all that 4x4 drivetrain loss.
The Velocity Restorations Ford F-250 Heritage Edition is all it’s cracked up to be. Between its solid power that doesn’t overdo it and its refreshingly simple interior that's packed with excellent touchpoints, I can’t imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t want to drive it over whatever else is in the stable.
And with modern electric power steering and a refined ride, it has all of the upsides of a grand tourer without the downsides of a rough-and-tumble truck.
VR's choice of materials and handcrafted execution in bringing it all together is spot on for a vintage pickup with tastefully modern appointments. The price reflects it, of course, and anyone who's in the market for a toy that costs more than a quarter-million dollars would absolutely see what they’re getting for their hard-earned scratch. For us normal people, it’ll always be fun to look at.
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