I found out that eBay was the best source for finding this year model used truck. Consumer Reports reliability survey results indicated that Ford was ahead of Chevy and Dodge for 1/2 ton, full-size truck models from the mid-90s. Except for 3/4 ton plus trucks, crew cabs weren't the rage in the mid-90s but at least the extended cabs on full-size trucks can hold three kids (or three adults in a pinch).
The brawny styling (unlike the 97+ Taurus-trucks!) and the 351ci V8. Plus, my aftermarket 6" ProComp lift kit, Flowmaster Series 40 muffler, 456 gears, and 35x14.50 tires on 15" wheels. The short wheelbase and lift kit allows improved approach/departure angles when four wheeling.
Automatic transmission doesn't shift that smoothly. Front tow hooks are almost impossible to find but I found some.