Nineteen fifty-nine also marked the first year Ford had produced its own 4x4 model pickup. Previously, Ford had used Napco, Marmon-Harrington, and American-Coleman to convert its trucks into four-wheel drive.
On any given job site or farm; in any given work zone, or neighborhood driveway, you are likely to see a Ford F-Series. The truck is a mainstay of the American landscape, reflecting both the labors of hard work and the rewards such pursuits bring.
Trim levels like the XL and XLT reflect a certain forthright virtue in the ability to get work done; there’s a job to do, and therefore, we do it. Simple as that. Higher grades like the King Ranch and Platinum reflect an element of rugged luxury. It’s one thing to handle the toughest jobs, it’s another to provide style and class while doing it.
Ford has really, in the last five years, swung for the fences with the F-Series. In 2011 for example, the EcoBoost was introduced in the F-150. In a world of eight cylinders, it was hard to imagine a 3.5 displacement could match something as storied as a small block V8. More recently, it’s the use of military grade aluminum, now comprising the entire body of all F-Series trucks, including the muscular F-150 Raptor. Now, a 10-speed automatic transmission enters the picture for the 2017 F-150.
In some respects, this makes Ford trucks anything and everything but traditional. Then again, if we closely examine the history of the F-Series, we might say that’s always been the case.
Through The Years
The Complete Book of Classic Ford F-Series Pickups details the rise of this infamous, best-selling vehicle. The book documents crown jewels like the very first F-1 pickup in 1948 and the first 4×4 in 1959. Workhorses like the 1953 F-100 are showcased, complete with its 8-foot bed for maximum cargo hauling. The engines, transmissions, and various trim levels through the years are highlighted, and the accompanying photos make for a nice touch.
The old brochures and product ads will take you back to another era – it’s interesting to compare those to the current F-Series commercials on TV. My personal favorite is the one that uses the term “driverized” to describe the trucks. At the time, Ford was designing the cabs for both safety and comfort, not unlike how today’s F-Series trucks are engineered.
Dan Sanchez has been in the automotive media for more than 20 years. His work has appeared in Mustang Enthusiast, Popular Hot Rodding, Hot Rod, and many other magazines. Sanchez is at home in Corona, California.
Bleeding Blue Ovals
If you are a loyal Ford guy or gal, you will want a copy of Sanchez’s book. It’s something all Ford enthusiasts, fans, and collectors will find value in. If you just like trucks, regardless of make or model, then you will appreciate the history within.
The Complete Book of Classic Ford F-Series Pickups: Every Model From 1948-1976 is available through Amazon and Motorbooks.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan
The Complete Book of Classic Ford F-Series Pickups Gallery