I don’t have enough patience to keep up with all the things Ford changed on their trucks (Chevy truck frames remained largely unchanged from 63-87) to be able to tell you with certainty that this truck hasn’t been swapped to a newer frame, but it doesn’t have an IFS, so the idea is still the same. A 4WD vehicle is utilitarian, not an option to tack on just in case that one time your family decides to drive to Flagstaff in the winter. Modern conveniences have rendered something specialty and niche into another option to tack on if you want a “real” truck. You certainly can’t have a work truck that’s only 2WD, right?
This truck represents represents an extinct breed of automobile: A vehicle you purchase because you need it, so you have to make sacrifices to have one. Ride quality, handling, and fuel economy suffer compared to a 2WD half ton. It may not make it a “real” truck, but it certainly made you a “real” truck owner for choosing it if you needed it.