July 27th, 2017 was an extraordinary day for Ford: The 100th birthday of the cherished F-150! Ford’s F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the country and the best-selling pickup for the last four decades. There are a lot of attributes about the F-150 that makes it so unique and a best-selling truck, and what better way to celebrate it’s 100th birthday than to brag about them a little?
The very first truck was built in 1917 and was named the Ford Model TT because it was based on the Model T. During that time, not many trucks could do what this truck could do. It had the cargo capacity of a ton, which was no small feat for that year.
The F-150s grew out of the F-series of Ford trucks that we started building in 1948. The F-series truck was initially aimed at blue-collar workers such as contractors or farmers and was known as the Ford Bonus Built truck. Ford built the trucks on a dedicated platform, unlike earlier versions that were built from car chassis during the war.
There were several modernizations including smoother body contours, integrated headlights, a bigger cab and a one-piece windshield. The F-Series continued through 1952 with some cosmetic changes such as different grille inserts and a major selling point: a waterproof ignition to improve performance and durability.
By 1953, the truck had a much sleeker look with the hood flowing into the grille and front fenders. The consumer-oriented pickups were now called the F-100, F-250 and the heavy duty version was named the F-350. Until 1954, the amount of horsepower increased from 95 to as much as 173.
By 1975, the F-150 model was introduced to split the difference in payload capacity between the F-100 and the F-250. It quickly claimed a third of F-series sales. By 1978, the appearance of the F-series changed the most it had since 1972, when the split grille was overhauled in favor of a single-piece grille insert design.
The F-150 model was always evolving to fit the needs of the people who drove it, and the market quickly began broadening. Along with the improvements in strength, power, and durability, the F-150 also became more versatile. There are now five models from XL to Platinum, each with several options for the cab, box, and engine.
As the F-150 became not only a work truck but also a family truck, the interiors began to evolve. By the 1980’s, the interior of an F-150 started to undergo significant upgrades. The interior of an F-150 is now just as comfortable as the inside of a sedan. The back seat is bigger than the booth at your favorite diner, and you can even have leather massage seats and a dual panel moonroof.
When it comes to trucks in 2017, a common concern is the gas mileage. The F-150 now has the mileage to compete with any model truck on the market. The current base model is rated at 19 mpg (city) and 26 mpg (highway) beating out all of its competitors.
With the history of continual upgrades and improvements, Ford has given the F-150, the brand is sure to last another 100 years! As of today, the F-150 has been awarded several awards, including Best Truck by the Best Vehicle Brand Awards. Looking ahead, Ford has announced that they will be using the F-150 model for promotional events around the country as it launches the 2018 F-Series. Happy 100th to the built Ford tough truck beloved all over the US, and here’s to much more to come!by