Owned a 1995 F-150 XL Regular Cab Short Bed with the 5.0 V8 and 5-speed manual transmission.
The truck was fun to drive with the 5 speed.
Did occasional hauling/towing, but not every day.
I love the boxy body style and simple interior.
I was lucky enough to find one without power windows or door locks.
The only real upgrades to the interior were a cloth bench seat (instead of vinyl) and cruise control.
Stock 5.0 V8 was a bit under-powered and thirsty-averaged 10-15 mpg.
Weak link was the 5-speed
tranny-Ford used the same tranny used on the 4/6 cyl Ranger.
The F-250 got the heavy duty version. Went through 2 clutch replacements in 80K miles.
Love the ride height and ruggedness of the F-150-this is why Ford has been the leader in the US truck market for decades.
It's too bad the newer trucks often don't even come with manual transmissions-they are trying to turn work trucks into Cadillac Escalades (just my opinion).
I believe that the only new F-150's with manual transmissions are the base model 6 cyl versions-V8 engines can't be mated to a 5/6 speed.
Improve 5.0 V8 HP and fuel economy.
That being said, the 5.0V8 has a huge aftermarket for performance accessories thatnks to the Fox Body Mustang.
I'd love to see the new 2011 and later 400+ HP 5.0V8/5 speed drive train in a 1995 F-150 work truck body.
That would be fun to drive and haul stuff with.