The Eddie Bauer trim line, which was first introduced and made popular with the Explorer, was sold as an option on the F-Series truck in 1996.
Sales of this generation of the truck were great. For the first time in nearly a decade, Ford sold more trucks that General Motors rivals GMC and Chevy. By 1996, Ford was selling over 800,000 of these trucks.
Engines ranged from a 150 horsepower straight 6 cylinder all the way up to a 240 horsepower Windsor V8 featured on the previously mentioned Lightning.
The popular F-150 from this generation got a makeover for the 1997 model year. The new truck was considered to be the 10th generation F-Series. the F-250 and F-350 trucks sold in 1997 were still part of the ninth generation.
These trucks are still very common, since they were sold in such abundant quantities. You can find them all over the used truck market, often for 1/4th to 1/3rd of the price of a new truck. If you look on eBay, you can probably find auctions for these trucks in good condition selling for as little as 1/5th the price of a new truck. Which would you rather have, a brand new truck or five 10-year-old used trucks? The choice seems easy to me.