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Ford F-Series Trucks History

Ford F-Series Pickup Truck Generations

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For more than two decades, Ford F-Series trucks were the best selling vehicle in the United States, and the F-150 (the series' half-ton truck) still retains a title it's held for over thirty years America's favorite pickup truck.

Today's lower-number truck sales are the result of escalating fuel prices and a dwindling economy, and not a reflection of the latest F-Series redesign. F-Series trucks still own an excellent share of the automotive market, and were popular with buyers during the U.S. government's Cash for Clunkers program, with 16,263 F-150s sold (versus the top selling vehicle, the Toyota Corolla at 29,488).

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1948-1952

1948 Ford F-1 Truck
© Ford Motor Co.
In 1948, Ford introduced the F-Series, the first truly new pickup trucks since the beginning of World War II. Here's a look at the beginnings of the pickup truck that's since become Ford's all-time best selling vehicle.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1953-1956

1954 Ford F-100 Truck
© Ford Motor Co.
Ford revamped its F-Series pickup trucks in 1953 to coincide with the company's 50th Anniversary. Take a look back at the features early 1950s buyers found when they went shopping for a Ford truck.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1957-1960

1959 Ford Truck Ad
© Ford
New additions to Ford's third generation F-Series trucks included the introduction of the first Styleside body in F-Series history, with a steel bed floor and a sleeker, more modern appearance.

F-Series power was boosted and Ford began producing its own 4WD trucks, no longer sending them out for conversion.

The Ranchero was introduced during this period, and Lee Iaccoca became Ford's Trucks Marketing Manager.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1961-1966

1961 Ford F-100 Truck
Photo © Dale Wickell
Ford made significant styling changes to its fourth generation F-Series trucks, tweaking the look from year to year.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1967-1972

Photo © Dale Wickell
The F-Series fifth generation brought along roomier trucks with better visibility and the introduction of new trim levels, including the "plush" Ranger edition.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1973-1979

1975 Ford Truck Ad
© Ford
Ford made major changes to its sixth generation F-Series trucks, updating structure, appearance, power and comfort.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1980-1986

1980 Ford F-150 Truck
© Ford Motor Co.
Better aerodynamics was a key element in Ford's 1980 F-Series redesign, and ramped up power provided better hauling and towing capabilities.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1987-1996

1987 Ford F-150 Truck
© Ford Motor Co.
Ford F-Series trucks from this period were all about change, from the first year of the re-design and throughout the period. Ford lead the way in anti-lock brakes, becoming the first to offer the feature as standard equipment on trucks.

Ford gave the F-Series somewhat of a facelift in 1992, but the changes weren't significant enough to call those pickup trucks a completely redesigned vehicle.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1997-2003

1997 Ford F-150 Pickup Truck
Ford Motor Co.
Rounded styling gave 1997 Ford F-Series trucks a more modern appearance than trucks in preceding generations.

In 1997, SuperCab trucks received a rear opening half-door on the passenger side, followed by an identical door on the driver's side two years later.

Ford resurrected the SVT Lightning after a 3-year absence, and in 2001 the F-Series SuperCrew became the first half-ton pickup truck with four full doors.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 2004-2008

2004 Ford F-Series Trucks Photo Gallery
Ford Media
Ford added 2" to the bed sides on all F-Series trucks and lengthened its Standard and SuperCab models by 6". The lineup received a new engine that increased low-end torque and horsepower, but also improved fuel economy.

A new, fully boxed frame was introduced in 2004. That, and suspension changes, resulted in trucks with a better ride, especially on rough roads. Hydro-formed steel panels with additional built-in crush zones enhanced driver and passenger safety.

Ford made additional design changes during each of the this generation's four years.

Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 2009-

2009 Ford F-150 Pickup Truck
© Basem Wasef, About.com Guide to Motorcycles
You'll find more comfort and safety features than ever before in Ford's newest generation F-Series trucks, along with components built for increased functionality. Take a look at some of the options and standard features on-board the most recent F-Series Trucks.

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