Flashback Friday: The Evolution of the Ford F-Series

By Admin | Posted in Flashback Friday on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Flashback Friday: Ford F-Series

If you’re familiar with the Ford F-Series, you likely know that it has been the best-selling line of pickup trucks for the last 37 years. The feat is quite impressive, especially considering the fact that the trucks have been around for 66 years. It has spent more than half of its life on the top of best-seller lists, but a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into the long-standing success of the F-Series.

To show you how the award-winning line of pickups has achieved such a great deal of success, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the Ford F-Series for this week’s edition of Flashback Friday.

The Origins of the Ford F-Series

old-ford-f-1-advertisementThe world was introduced to the Ford F-1 in 1948, a few years after the close of World War II. It was the first new pickup to be released since the war began in 1939, and as consumers had been waiting nearly a decade, Ford made sure that the truck was top of the line. It was first advertised as a Bonus Built truck, which essentially was the term used for the slew of standard features that were included in all of the new model. The F-1 was the first Ford model to be outfitted with the “F” designation.

As the interior was so luxurious, Ford dubbed it the Million Dollar car. The seats were more comfortable than ever before, and the windshield was expanded to create an unobstructed view. Beneath the hood there were three different engine options, and the pickup was sold in eight different weight ratings. The chassis was made stronger than the first Ford trucks released back in 1942 to help make the trucks more appealing to the working man. The Ford F-Series was built tough from the beginning.

It wasn’t until the second generation that the model names we’re changed to those that are more commonly recognized today. The Ford F-1 became the Ford F-100—named after the North American F-100 Super Sabre supersonic fighter—the F-2 and F-3 became the Ford F-250 and the one-ton F-4 became the Ford F-350.

Evolution of the Ford F-Series

old-f-series-adBetween 1948 and 1979, six generations of the Ford F-Series were released. It was during the sixth generation that the F-150 was first introduced. As you can likely guess, it was placed between the F-100 and the F-250, which allowed Ford to avoid strict emission control restrictions. The F-Series held onto the F-100 model until 1983, which is when it was dropped from the series, making the F-150 the lightest pickup on the market at the time. The rest is history.

It has been since 1977 that the F-Series has held onto the title of the best-selling pickup in America. Since then there have been another six generations of models to hit the market, with the thirteenth coming this year. 13 generations sounds like a lot, but it just goes to show that Ford is willing to continue pushing the bar year after year to hold onto their coveted spot on the top of best-seller lists.

As you can see from the chart that we have provided below, which highlights sales of pickup trucks in America over the last decade, there have been shifts in the numbers due to issues with the economy, but regardless of drops in sales, the Ford F-Series has reigned supreme over even its fiercest competitors, such as the Chevy Silverado and Ram Trucks for the last ten years and beyond.

This year will mark a significant change for the Ford F-Series. The body of the thirteenth generation model will be constructed mainly of aluminum, which is a move that some are skeptical about. Ford has already proved that the new lightweight material will be just as durable as steel used on past models, and although fuel economy numbers haven’t been released yet, rumors floating around online are saying that they will be the highest in the class. That’s because the overall weight of the F-150 will be 700 pounds lighter than it has been in the past.

Ford continues to raise the bar of innovation year after year and has shown that they’re not afraid to take risks. When the F-1 first hit the market more than six decades ago, it was unlike anything else on the market. We’re sure that there were skeptics back then too. As far as we’re concerned the newest take on the Ford F-150 is one of the greatest moves that the automaker has ever made with the F-Series. We have a feeling that Ford will have no problem holding onto the top spot for many years to come.

That concludes this week’s edition of Flashback Friday. We encourage you to check back on the Matt Ford blog next Friday, as we will be going over the life of the Ford Bronco for our fourth week of the series. While you wait for that, be sure to read through the first two installments. We kicked off Flashback Friday two weeks by looking at the 1964 Ford Mustang, and last week we took an in-depth look at the life and death of the Ford Pinto. To keep yourself updated with the weekly Flashback Friday posts, be sure to tune into our Facebook page. That way you’ll never forget to check back here on our blog. We’ll see you next Friday.


2 Responses to “Flashback Friday: The Evolution of the Ford F-Series”

  1. Thanks for sharing. Great detail in the images. Keep up the awesome work.

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