On the 100th anniversary of Ford trucks, a brief look at their evolution

  • Image Credit: Ford
Today, July 27, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of Ford's entry into the pickup truck market, and to mark the occasion, we're taking a quick look at the evolution of those trucks. It all started with the Model TT, which took a Model T cab, and stuck it on a heavy duty frame rated to carry one ton. It was sold in a chassis-cab configuration so that buyers could put on whatever type of bed or box was necessary. It was followed up by the Model AA, which increased the load capacity to 1.5 tons, and then the Model BB in 1933. In 1935, the Model 50 was introduced and was the first Ford truck with a V8.

The first of the F-Series trucks arrived for 1948. And while the F designation has remained, the first models had a more basic numbering system. The trucks started with the F-1, a contemporary F-150 equivalent, and went up to the ultra-heavy duty commercial trucks like the F-7. Tack a "50" onto the end of most of those names and you'll have modern day F-Series trucks. The naming scheme was tweaked in 1953 with the introduction of the F-100, and the Falcon-based Ranchero joined the line-up in 1957. Ford notes that it was at this time that trucks started getting basic amenities such as automatic transmissions, arm rests, and sun visors.

The first F-150 was introduced in 1975. Just two years later, the Ford F-Series became the best selling truck in America, and it took best selling passenger vehicle in 1982. No other trucks have yet surpassed the best selling truck title. 1982 also marked the introduction of the Ford Ranger compact truck, which replaced the Mazda-based Ford Courier. In the '70s and '80s, Ford also began offering more luxurious accommodations such as leather, air conditioning, and power windows and locks.

Most of the rest of the story you know. Ford kept selling absurd numbers of trucks. Special high-performance models were launched for both on the road and off it in the form of the F-150 Lightning and F-150 Raptor. And in 2019, Ford is slated to bring the Ranger back to the US. We even tried out the foreign-market truck on sale now, and we were impressed, so the new one should be good, too. It might even have a Raptor-style off-road version. We look forward to trying them and other Ford trucks for many years to come.

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