The Ford F-150 is the most well-known and purchased truck in Ford history. Although early American truck manufacturers based their models off of the chassis design for the Model T, Ford itself didn’t manufacture a truck until the F-Series was introduced in 1948 to accomadate the U.S. demand for farm trucks after World War II. The full-size, 2-door , half-ton pick ups have gone on to become the best selling nameplate vehicle for over thirty-five years.
The Introduction of the Ford F-1
The introduction of the F-Series was in 194,8 and were produced until 1952. Their motto, “Built Stronger to Last Longer,” acted as an objective in their design. Originally known as the “Bonus-Built” line, it introduced, what are now hard to find classic Ford truck parts, such as the foot plunger operated “See-Clear” wind shield washer, that cleaned the flat, single-piece windshield. Other options included a passenger-side taillight, a sun visor, and a passenger-side windshield wiper. The addition of chrome trim made the first ever F-Series a hit with truck buyers.
The F-1 Becomes the F-100
The second generation of the F-Series introduced by Ford to the public in 1953, has become one of the most celebrated by Ford enthusiasts. The second generation F-series ran production until 1956. This model featured rounded body lines and first time options, such as power steering and the driverized cab, which offered the same seating and dashboard arrangements as Ford’s regular automobiles. In addition, Ford highlighted its new automatic transmission, which was coined the “Ford-O-Matic”, and later became the “Cruise-O-Matic” in 1958. The name was an attempt to familiarize the relatively new automatic transmission to public audiences. During the 1970s as automatic transmissions became standard, Ford eventually dropped the name and began to refer to them as the MFX, C6, and C4 transmissions. The original versions of Cruise-O-matic came in two sizes, and were internally referred to as MX for larger vehicles, and as FX for smaller vehicles. The truck also came with an optional heavy duty 4-speed or 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive. They are probably most admired today for their wraparound windshields. Many first and second generation F-1 and F-100 owners use a frame c-notch when lowering their restorations more than 4″.
A More Comfortable Ride For Third Generation Ford F-100 Owners
The third generation, introduced in 1957 and finished production in 1960. This generation introduced, the now classic Ford truck look with the chrome grill. The hood sat evenly with the fenders, and the Ford dropped the running boards. The bed was divided into two separate types–the Styleside with fullwidth bed or the optional classic stepside look was still available. As well as a new heating and ventilation system, the 1959 models included more opulent cab options, such as more comfortable padding in the seating.
In 1961, the F-Series brought about a completely redesigned truck with a wider look. As Ford enthusiasts might already know, the Fourth generation brought about a many changes which separated them from the previous three generations. For instance, in 1964, the cab and the body were separated, an alteration from the traditional unibody frame, as well as introducing the Twin I-Beam front suspension with coil springs. As well, the 1965 model sported a complete different chassis, allowing certain parts such as the motor mounts and brakes to become interchangeable.
Why We Love Classic Ford Trucks and Classic Ford Truck Parts
After twelve generations, the Ford F-Series has become the nations best selling nameplate. Many changes have occurred throughout their more than 60 year history of the F-Series and that is a large part of the reason why the F-Series is such a focus of classic car enthusiasts. The parts and design of the first few generations of F-Series trucks include classic Ford truck parts that are no longer made, making the vehicles more valuable and interesting to classic car collectors. In addition, Ford is among the first makers of trucks in the American society, often referred to as classic American vehicles.
Over the years, Ford’s F-Series trucks have undergone a number of changes, going from basic and functional to massive and fully loaded. The beginning of the F-Series represents a simpler time when trucks were driven by farmers and men in the work force; they represented the hardworking man that enjoyed his ride and made the most of his time on the road. The changes have made the truck bigger, better and more powerful but there is something classic car enthusiasts find irresistible about the first four generations of the Ford F-Series.
After reading our article on the Ford F1 / F100, check out our exclusive parts for the Ford F1 / F100.