For many years the Ford F-Series has been the best selling truck in the US. From 1977 to date, the model has continued to be the best seller truck in the US.
In days gone by, the model was so popular that in 1982, the F-Series was the top-selling vehicle in the US (both cars and trucks combined). The reason behind these awesome results is the Ford’s resolve to improve the model consistently. Today, the model has evolved to a high-tech 4-wheeled machine that in addition to being a work truck doubles up as a luxury hauler.
The F-Series traces its origin to 1948. This was the first post-war truck that Ford produced. The model represented Ford’s break from the car chassis to a new and dedicated truck platform. The models were assembled at 16 different factories. The first generation of the F-Series models production run continued through to 1952.
Ford F-Series Design
The model was sold in four body styles, there were the pickup trucks, panel trucks but based on the pickup, COE (Cab-Over-Engine) chassis, school bus chassis, and medium to heavy duty conventional trucks which shared the body-work of the smaller F-Series trucks. The F1-F3 models were the most common. These models were further offered in three different body styles. The F-1 with a 6 ½ -foot bed was the most common. The others were the F-2 and F-3 with 8-foot beds.
The truck had a flat-one piece windshield which was integrated with its headlights. The grille included jus a series of horizontal bars while the headlights were set way into the fenders. It also featured a wider cab than the car-based pick-up truck it was replacing.
Under the hood, the F-Series was powered by a 226-cid flathead six-cylinder engine which produced 95 hp. The flathead V-8 was also used in some trucks.
The first generation 1948 Ford F-Series was sold up to 1952. From hence, the naming scheme of the F-Series changed, the F-1 became the F-100 while the F-2 and F-3 were combined to form the F-250, and the F-4 became the F-350. The conventional F-Series models became the F-500 to F-900 while the COE chassis became the C-Series trucks.
Following is a brief summary of the F-Series first generation variations from 1948 to 1952;
The red pinstripes on its silver painted grille bars were deleted. Its wheels were painted to match its body color moving from the 1948 models black wheels.
Its 3-speed gear shifter was moved from the floor to the steering column.
A single bar grille was introduced and headlights were located at each end of the bar. The grille was also painted silver to augur with the chromed headlamps bezels. The hood also got new side spears and a 3-slot embellishment at the front. The front bumpers, pickup bed as well as its tailgate were also modified. The bed was changed to hardwood as opposed to the predecessor’s all metal bed. Door panels were introduced and the windows were enlarged.
Two cab trims were also offered, they were the Five Star standard Cab and the deluxe Five Star Extra Cab. The Five Star Extra Cab added extra-sound deafening materials, foam seat padding, two-tone seat upholstery, locks and armrests and a dome light.
The VIN plate was placed at the rear face of the driver’s door. It used to identify the vehicle’s model year, assembly factory and its production sequence. A new 6-cylinder engine with overhead valves was introduced. It produced 101 hp compared to 95 hp of the model it was replacing.
Fast forward to 2016 and you will get power adjustable and heated seats, infotainment system, a sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, color display screens, a trailer management system, rearview camera and the list goes on…This shows how far the automotive world has come from and the revolution continues. All the same, hats off to this model as it helped transform the sector.