Ford F-Series is First Produced
The F-Series is a series of full-size pickup trucks from Ford Motor Company sold for over five decades.
The most popular variant of the F-Series is the F-150. It was the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 23 years and has been the best-selling truck for 33 years, though this does not include combined sales of GM pickup trucks. Analysts estimate that the F-Series alone makes up half of the Ford Motor Company's profits in recent years. In the tenth generation of the F-series, the F-250HD and F-350 changed body style and joined the Super Duty series.
The first F-Series truck (known as the Ford Bonus-Built) was introduced in 1948, replacing the company's previous car-based pickup line. It was a modern-looking truck with a flat, one-piece windshield and integrated headlights. Options were the "See-Clear" windshield washer (operated by foot plunger), passenger side windshield wiper & sun visor, and passenger side taillight. The F-1 truck was also available with additional chrome and two horns as an option. All F-series were available in "Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive" until 1959. A Mercury-badged version of this F-Series was sold only in Canada.
Design of the F-Series truck changed little from 1948 to 1952. From 1948–1950, the grill was a series of horizontal bars and the headlights were set into the fenders. For 1951 and 1952, the headlights were connected by a wide aerodynamic cross piece with three similarly aerodynamic supports. The rear window was wider in the later trucks and the dashboard was redesigned.
F-series trucks were built at sixteen different Ford plants. Serial numbers indicate the truck model, engine, year, assembly plant, and unit number. The most common model was the F-1 with a 6 ½-foot bed followed by the F-2 and F-3 Express models with an 8-foot (2.4 m) bed.
F-1: 1/2 ton (4,700 GVWR max)
F-2: 3/4 ton (5,700 GVWR max)
F-3: Heavy Duty 3/4 ton (6,800 GVWR max)
F-3: Parcel Delivery (7,000 GVWR max) & optional rear spring pkg (7,800 GVWR max)
F-4: 1 ton (7,500 GVWR max) & optional 1¼ ton pkg (10,000 GVWR max)
F-5: 1½ ton: Conventional, school bus, and cab over engine (C.O.E.) (10,000-14,500 GVWR)
F-6: 2 ton: Conventional, school bus, and C.O.E. (14,000-16,000 GVWR)
F-7: Conventional (17,000-19,000 GVWR)
F-8: Conventional (20,000-22,000 GVWR)
The F-Series was redesigned for 1953 with a more integrated look. The pickups also acquired their now familiar names: The F-1 now became the F-100, the F-2 now became the F-250, and the F-3 now became the 1 ton F-350. Starting on the 1956 models, Ford offers the very rare "Low GVWR" versions of each model. Interior amenities were new, including a dome light, lighter, arm rests, and sun visors. On March 13, 1953, "Ford-O-Matic" automatic transmissions became an option.
1954 saw the introduction of the new 239 CID overhead valve Y-block V8, dubbed "Power King." Canadian models, however, (including the Mercury M-Series), retained the flathead. The inline six was increased in size, and power steering was introduced as an option.
Second generation trucks were built in Brazil from 1957 to 1962 as the F-100, F-350 and F-600.
F-100: 1/2 ton (5,000 GVWR max)
F-110: 1/2 ton (4,000 GVWR max)
F-250: 3/4 ton (7,400 GVWR max)
F-260: 3/4 ton (4,900 GVWR max)
F-350: 1 ton (9,800 GVWR max)
F-360: 1 ton (7,700 GVWR max)
The truck was restyled again in 1957 with a hood that now sat flush with the fenders and a new chrome grille. In the back, the traditional separate-fender body was now called flareside, while a new smooth-sided look was known as styleside. Four wheel drive drive-train, which was previously outsourced to Marmon-Herrington, was produced in-house by Ford Motor Company beginning in 1959. Ford still offers a "Low GVWR" version of each model. In May 1957 Ford discontinued building trucks at the Highland Park Ford Plant in Highland Park, Michigan. All heavy trucks were transferred to Kentucky Truck Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky. All light and medium trucks were transferred to 10 other plants in the USA.
Third generation trucks were built in Brazil as the F-100, F-350 & F-600 from 1962 to 1971.
F-100 (F10, F11, F14): 1/2 ton (4,000-5,000 GVWR max)
F-100 (F18, F19)(4X4): 1/2 ton (4,000-5,600 GVWR max)
F-250 (F25, F26): 3/4 ton (4,900-7,400 GVWR max)
F-250 (F28, F29)(4X4): 3/4 ton (4,900-7,400 GVWR max)
F-350 (F35, F36): 1 ton (7,700-9,800 GVWR max)
The truck was completely redesigned for 1961 with a wider look, and unibody trucks were available, built with an integrated cab and box, from 1961-63. From 1964 on, only the traditional separate cab and bed arrangement were available. Power was over 200 hp (150 kW) with the 1965 update of the powertrain. In 1965, the Twin I-Beam front suspension was introduced with coil springs. The 1965 and 1966 trucks have a "TWIN I-BEAM" emblem on the front fender. A 4-door crew cab version was also introduced in 1965, still a popular option.
Ford still offered a "Low GVWR" version of each model.
The Camper Special was built heavier for the slide in campers that were becoming increasingly popular during this time.
In 1965, the name "Ranger" is first introduced as a styling package for the F-Series pickup trucks. Then later (1982) the name Ranger is used for Ford's compact series trucks; an entry in the mini-pickup segment. It went on to become the top-selling compact pickup in the American market.
In 1965, the 300-cubic inch (4.9 L) straight six was introduced (a larger version of the 240-cubic inch Six). It had 7 main bearings and timing gears (no chain or belt).
F-100 (F10, F11, F14): 1/2 ton (4,000-5,000 GVWR max)
F-100 (F18, F19)(4X4): 1/2 ton (4,000-5,600 GVWR max)
F-250 (F25): 3/4 ton (7,400 GVWR max)
F-250 (F26)(4X4): 3/4 ton (4,900 GVWR max)
F-350 (F35): 1 ton (9,800 GVWR max)
Another refresh came in 1967 along with a familiar name: the upscale Ranger trim line in addition to the base and Custom Cab trim levels. In 1968, federal regulations required all automotive manufacturers to add side marker reflectors or lights, so Ford redesigned the hood emblems to incorporate reflectors. The same year the trucks received larger versions of Ford's FE engine family with the introduction of the 360 and 390 cubic inch engines. Also changed for 1968 were the heater controls, arm rests, interior door handles and window cranks, and the upper trim moulding on models so equipped. Rear side marker reflectors were also added to the lower bed side panels in 1968, per government regulations. The 302 V8 became an option in late '69. The top trim for 1970 was now named Ranger XLT with Ranger, Sport Custom and Custom rounding off the rest of the line. The fifth generation bodies were noted for durability and simplicity of design making them a favorite for restoration.
Some trucks came with an outer flush mounted bed side compartment/tool box on the passenger side only. Trucks from the Fifth Generation can be identified as to year model by their year specific grille arrangements.
After the 1968 models, Ford discontinued the "Low GVWR" versions.
Still available was the Camper Special option, along with the new Explorer Special (a trim package), Contractor's Special(including a behind the seat toolbox and 3/4 ton (F-250) suspension), Farm and Ranch Special, and Heavy-Duty Special. Most of these "specials" from 1967-72 were made in relatively low numbers and are now becoming increasingly difficult to locate.
The fifth-generation F-series was introduced in Brazil in 1971, which remained in production until circa 1992 with a slight redesign and changes in its motorizations.
F-100: 1/2 ton (5,600 GVWR max)
F-110: 1/2 ton (4X4)(4,200 GVWR max)
F-250: 3/4 ton (7,500 GVWR max)
F-260: 3/4 ton (4X4)(4,800 GVWR max)
F-350: 1 ton (10,000 GVWR max)
F-360: 1 ton (4X4)(6,000 GVWR max)
The truck was redesigned in 1973; the grille for the 1973 model year featured two silver-metallic plastic inserts divided by an aluminum bar that was part of the main grille frame, with the letters "F O R D" spaced out in a thin rail in the upper part of the grille. Large round headlights were on either side of the grille with the park/turn signal lamps placed above in the same rail where the "FORD" lettering was. In 1976, this familiar "split-grille" design was facelifted slightly to feature black accents around the headlights and a refined appearance overall. In 1978, the round headlight design was retained for the regular Ranger and Custom trim levels. The XLT and "Lariat" trim level incorporated rectangular headlights with optional chrome headlight doors and chrome grille insert. The split grille design was overhauled in favor of a single-piece grille insert design. The headlights were also placed in a more stylized "insert" themselves, and the park/turn signal lamps were now placed below the headlights. A luxury Lariat trim was also introduced for 1978. In 1979, the round headlights were replaced by rectangular headlamps across all the trim levels and the surrounding grille insert that framed the headlamps was now available in either black, or chrome to match that of the aluminum grille frame. Additionally, an optional chrome-plated "F O R D" letterset could now be seen on the hood immediately above the grille.
In 1973, a new model was offered, the F350 SRW (single rear wheel) pickup. These were a new heavy duty pickup with contractors and camping enthusiasts in mind. The trucks rode on a longer wheel base chassis but were the same overall length as an F250 pickup. If you ordered the Camper Special package on an F350 SRW it became a Super Camper Special which was designed for the much heavier slide-in campers coming on the market at that time. Other changes included the 1974 introduction of the extended super cab version. The F-150 was introduced in 1975 to help circumvent coming emissions requirements. These came with a maximum payload of 2,275 lb (1,032 kg) when properly equipped. With the 1/2 ton F-100 still in production, the new F-150 was referred to as the "heavy half" ton by some people.
In 1976, the F-series became the best-selling truck in America, a position it has continued to hold since. This generation is noted for the durability of the body panels as Ford used extensive amounts of galvanized sheet metal to fight corrosion. 1977 was the first year for smaller cowl insignias moved near the windshield and the last year for the medium-duty F-500.
The GVWR ratings for these trucks was tied to a combination of wheel, spring, axle and brake combinations. The series code on the ID tag denotes which model and from that it can be determined what weight rating each vehicle has. 4X4 trucks can also be identified by the VIN number and on the ID plate as a serial number. For example, F10 is an F-100 2 wheel drive but F11 is an F-100 4X4, and so on. Serial numbers beginning with an X are SuperCab models.
Starting in 1978, Ford redesigned their Ford Bronco and based it off of the F-150. The Bronco was now virtually identical to the F-150, except for the bed being replaced with a rear seat and a shell. This allowed Ford to compete better with the Chevrolet Blazer by offering a larger and more luxurious SUV while minimalizing production costs since many (especially the most complex and expensive) parts were shared with the F-series trucks. The Bronco, however, was only offered with the 351M and 400 V8 engines until 1980.
F100 F101 F102 F103 F104 F105 F106 F107 F108 F109 F10N: 1/2 ton (4,550-5,700 GVWR max)
F110 F111 F112 F113 : 1/2 ton (4X4)(5,250-6,500 GVWR max)
F150 F151 : "heavy" 1/2 ton (6,050-6,200 GVWR max)
F140 F141 F142 F143: "heavy" 1/2 ton (6,050-6,500 GVWR max)
F250 F251 F252 F253 F254 F255 F256 F257 F258 F259: 3/4 ton (6,200-8,100 GVWR max)
F260 F261 F262 F263 F264 F265 F266: 3/4 ton (4X4) (6,500-8,400 GVWR max)
F350 F350 F351 F352 F353 F354 F355 F356 F357 F358 F359 F35P: 1 ton (6,000-10,000 GVWR max)
F-360: 1 ton (4X4) (8,550 GVWR max)
The first F-Series, called the F-1 (half ton), F-2 (three-quarter ton), or F-3 (Heavy Duty), were introduced as 1948 models. A few "modern" improvements over Ford's previous pickups were smoother body contours, integrated headlights, a bigger cab and a one-piece windshield. Two engines were available: a 226-cubic-inch inline six rated at 95 horsepower and a 239-c.i. V8 that put out 100 horses.
1951 brought a new base engine, a 215-c.i. inline six with 101 horsepower.
The F-Series continued through 1952 with some cosmetic revisions (such as different grille inserts) as well as mechanical upgrades (such as a waterproof ignition) to improve performance and durability.
A somewhat sleeker look appeared for 1953, with the hood flowing into the grille and front fenders, as opposed to sitting on top of them. The consumer-oriented pickups were now called the F-100 and F-250. Heavy-duty versions were renamed F-350.
For 1954 the "Mileage Maker" inline six grew to 223 c.i. and put out 115 horsepower. The 239 "Power King" V8 kicked out 130 ponies. A "Driverized Cab" option provided such luxuries as armrests, a dome light, a cigar lighter and sun visors. Minor cosmetic updates, mainly in the grille area, continued through 1956. Horsepower also increased, with the six rated at 137 horsepower and the V8 (increased in size to 272 c.i.) pumping out 173 horsepower.
A modern restyle occurred for 1957 with a lower hood that was now flush with the front fenders. Two body styles were available, the traditional Flareside with its separate rear fenders and a new Styleside model with smooth sides that lended a more unified appearance.
A new grille debuted for 1958.
1959 saw a larger V8 (292 c.i., 186 horsepower), the availability of four-wheel drive and two-tone interior trim along with the traditional front-end freshening. The clean '59 grille gave way to a heavy, bug-eyed scheme for 1960.
1961 brought a complete redesign. The F-Series went back to single headlights and the trucks were lower and wider than before. Flareside and Styleside boxes continued to be available, and the Stylesides had a one-piece cab and box for a smoother look.
Yearly grille changes again took place, and in 1965 three new engines debuted: 240- and 300-c.i. inline sixes, with 150 and 170 horsepower, respectively, and a 352-c.i. V8 with 208 horses.
A new, smoother body style debuted for 1967 that also provided a roomier cab with more glass area. Three trim levels; base, custom and Ranger were now offered. The Ranger had carpeting, plusher seats and chrome exterior trim (such as the grille) standard.
In 1968 functional improvements came about: a new, 360-c.i. V8 replaced the 352, and a 390 V8 was now available. F-100 models featured a new, "Mono-Beam" front suspension with coil springs instead of the leaf springs, which the F-250s still had.
A Crew Cab (four-door pickup truck) was offered for 1969.
1970 offered F-Series buyers a choice of four trim levels: Custom, Sport, Ranger and the top dog Ranger XLT. A 302-c.i. V8 with 220 horsepower was now optional in addition to the former engine choices.
Grille designs changed slightly to update the 1971 and 1972 models.
Ford's popular pickup was updated and improved in many ways for 1973. A beefier frame, a roomier cab, an optional 460-c.i. V8, an optional automatic transmission and revised.front suspension were the more notable functional changes. A new body topped these changes and featured a concave groove that ran the length of the body and a cleaner grille with integrated turn signals.
The big news for 1974 was the introduction (late in the model year) of the extended cab version of the F-Series, called the SuperCab. A SuperCab was available only with the Styleside body and could be fitted with either a bench seat or a pair of jump seats in the rear compartment.
The F-150 debuted for 1975. A half-ton pickup, the F-150 filled the gap between the F-100 and F-250 as it was a bit more "heavy duty" than an F-100 though considerably less so than the F-250. In that year, more than one-third of F-Series sales were comprised of the new F-150.
Aside from minor facelifts in the grille area, the F-Series continued through 1976 with little change.
Engine choices were revised for 1977 with 351- (163 horsepower) and 400-c.i. (169 horses) V8s replacing the 360 V8 option.
For 1978, the 300-c.i. inline six (114 horsepower) became the standard base engine and square headlights debuted (on all models except Custom). The luxurious Ranger Lariat was introduced that year as well as a new, more massive grille.
1979 brought square headlights for all F-Series trucks.
Entering the eighties, Ford's 1980 trucks sported an evolutionary, more aerodynamic redesign. The face of the hood was slanted rearward, the grille had a cleaner look and the body sides were more chiseled with a flatter accent groove. The SuperCab's quarter windows were split for a twin window effect. A bonus of the revamped interior was 10 percent more legroom. Flareside (regular cab only) and Styleside (regular or SuperCab) styles were again offered and the big 460 V8 was dropped from the option list. The four-wheel-drive versions adopted an independent, coil-sprung front suspension design called "Twin-traction beam."
1982 saw the "FORD" letters on the hood replaced by the blue Ford oval in the grille center and the fitment of new, "lubed for life" ball joints. The Ranger name was dropped from trim lines, as it would be the moniker for a new compact pickup that Ford introduced later that year. F-Series models now consisted of base, XL, XLT and XLT Lariat.
1983 saw engine offerings increased to again include the 460 V8 (or 7.5-liter, as now engine sizes were referred to in liters) with 245 horsepower and a 6.9-liter diesel V8. The diesel had less horsepower (170 horses) than a gas engine of equal size but a lot more torque for heavy hauling and towing duty. And this was the last year for the F-100, as the F-150 became the new base truck for 1984.
No changes occurred for 1985 and 1986.
After being the best-selling vehicle (that's right, not truck but vehicle, which includes cars and trucks!) for nine straight years, Ford made evolutionary changes to the F-Series in 1987. A new front end featured flush headlights (which required only the bulb, not the whole headlight to be replaced), wraparound parking lights and a simple grille with 12 rectangular openings. New front fenders, hood and bumper added to the new, more streamlined look. A revised instrument panel had more legible gauges and a bigger glove box. Maintenance was made easier via an easy-access fuse box and simplified belt replacement for the alternator, power steering pump and A/C compressor. Safety took a leap forward with antilock rear brakes, as Ford was the first company to make this feature standard on trucks. The 4.9-liter inline six received fuel injection and a healthy 20 percent increase in output, for a total of 150 horsepower. And later in the year, the 7.5-liter V8 also benefited from the fitment of fuel injection.
1988 saw the SuperCab offered in a shorter (139-inch versus 155-inch) wheelbase and all engines were now fuel injected, including the 5.0- and 5.8-liter V8s. The Flareside body style was dropped. Horsepower for the various engines stood at 150 for the 4.9-liter inline six, 185 for the 5.0-liter V8, 210 for the 5.8-liter V8, 230 for the 7.5-liter V8 and 180 for the now 7.3-liter (up from 6.9 liters) diesel V8. Four-speed manual gearboxes were replaced with five-speed units.
A new silver and black grille replaced the all black unit for 1989 Custom and XL models. SuperCab models with the optional captain's chairs had a tilt and slide feature on both sides that afforded easier ingress and egress for rear seat passengers. Later in the year, automatically locking front hubs (on F-150) came on line as standard equipment, and manual locking hubs were made optional for those who preferred them.
1990 was the year of the Package. A heavy-duty service package, ideal for snowplow operators, consisted of a heavy-duty battery, high-capacity radiator and skid plates. And a sport appearance package included fancy wheels and a large tape stripe adorning the pickup's flanks. An electronically controlled, four-speed unit was now offered which promoted better fuel economy and reduced engine wear.
Automatic hub locks were made standard for F-250 and F-350 trucks for 1991. And as with the F-150 the year before, the manual hubs were optional. Helping to make the transition from two-wheel to four-wheel drive even easier was an optional (on models with the 5.0-liter V8/automatic overdrive transmission) "Touch-Drive" electronic transfer case control that put the truck into four-wheel drive with the press of a dash-mounted button. Two-sided galvanized steel was adopted for the hood, tailgate and doors to help fend off body cancer (rust). The oddly named "Nite" package debuted this year as an option for the XLT Lariat and featured blackout trim, alloy wheels with 235/75/15 white-lettered tires, sport suspension and the obligatory decals.
Taking the aerodynamic approach a step further, the 1992 F-Series was facelifted with a smoother nose that had the front light clusters and bumper ends angled back slightly. "Aero" mirrors and a revised tailgate completed the fresh look. A new instrument panel contained easier-to-use controls and a power point. Plusher seats and door trim made the interior more inviting, and SuperCab models offered a large, optional console in addition to standard three-point rear seatbelts. And after a four-year hiatus, the Flareside version returned in 1992.
For 1993 the Custom model was dropped, as the XL became the new base model. The Sport Appearance was also axed. Raising the seat cushion and adding padding improved rear seat comfort in SuperCab models. The aptly named Lightning, with its tire-smoking 240 horsepower, 5.8-liter V8 joined the popular F-Series lineup. More a boulevard brawler than workhorse, the Lightning was available only in a standard cab, two-wheel-drive configuration.
Safety upgrades took place for 1994 when a driver's side airbag (except on heavy-duty models), side door beams and a high, center-mounted third brakelight debuted. A couple of new options showed up this year: a CD player and a 40/20/40 front seating arrangement that had a center seat which converted to an armrest with a built-in storage compartment and cupholders.
Still on top of the sales charts as the No. 1 selling vehicle, the F-Series brought a new model into the fold for 1995: the Eddie Bauer edition. Named after the outdoor gear and apparel company favored by yuppies, the Eddie Bauer F-Series was the most luxurious Ford pickup available, with features such as two-tone paint, air conditioning, power everything, stereo with cassette, alloy wheels and the 40/20/40 front seat. A new 7.3-liter, "Power Stroke" turbodiesel became optional on F-250 Heavy Duty pickups. Matched to a four-speed automatic gearbox, the new engine put out 210 horsepower and 425 foot-pounds of torque, making it ideal for heavy hauling and towing applications.
Two models were dropped and two were added for 1996: F-150 Flareside and Lightning models met their demise and shorter-wheelbase versions of the F-250 Heavy Duty SuperCab and Crew Cab debuted. The short-wheelbase versions had a bed length of 6.75 feet versus the 8-foot bed of the longer-wheelbase trucks.
Ford took a risky route and went for a very different look when it redesigned its F-150 in 1997. The best-selling vehicle, let alone truck, in America for 13 years now sported a smooth jellybean-like style that stands in sharp contrast to the chiseled box look that endured for so long.
A trio of new engines are charged with propelling the F-150: a 4.2-liter V6 with 202 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, a 4.6-liter V8 rated at 231 horses and 293 lb-ft and a 5.4-liter V8 pumping out 260 horses and a stout 350 lb-ft of twist. (Note: Engine specifications are for 2002 models.)
As before, a dizzying variety of F-150s are offered. Regular cab, SuperCab (extended cab) and SuperCrew (a crew cab introduced for 2001) body styles cater to passenger-carrying requirements. A choice of standard or Flare side bed styles are offered (except on SuperCrew — standard bed only) and trim levels consist of base XL, midlevel XLT and plush Lariat. In addition to those, the Lightning made its tire-scorching comeback in 1999 sporting a supercharged 360-horsepower 5.4-liter V8, high-performance suspension, 18-inch wheels and a quarter-mile time of around 14 seconds. Another special F-150, the Harley-Davidson edition came along the following year. The Harley edition (based on a 2WD SuperCab) came with black paint with orange accents, huge (20-inch) wheels, special leather interior trim, and, of course, plenty of badges.
Leaving no stone unturned, Ford later brought out a couple of additional trim levels for the SuperCrew: a loaded "King Ranch" edition with two-tone paint and a cabin that would make a Texan proud with its abundance of saddle leather trim, and the latest Harley-Davidson edition that again features 20-inch chrome wheels wearing fat 275/45R20 tires, special black paint scheme with flame striping and obligatory Harley emblems and a black leather interior.
The other F-Series models, the 250 and 350, soldiered on with the pre-1997 body style and platform until 1999, when the heavy-duty brutes were completely revamped. A massive grille and a more traditional squared-off design separate these big boys from their smaller F-150 brother. Three body styles; regular cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab are available in the traditional Ford truck trim levels dubbed XL, XLT and Lariat.
Moving the F-250 and F-350 trucks are the same 5.4-liter V8 available in the F-150 and a pair of stump-pullers; a 6.8-liter V10 with 275 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque and a 7.3-liter turbodiesel V8 with 235 horses and a walloping 500 lb-ft of twist.
Ford chose to quietly mark the F-150's 50th anniversary in 1998. Very quietly, as the celebration consisted chiefly of a 50th anniversary decal affixed to the windshield. An STX package became available on XLT 2WD models and featured 17-inch alloy wheels and a color-keyed grille. The top-dog Lariat now had a leather-wrapped steering wheel and turn signal indicators incorporated into the side mirrors.
A few years after the revamping of the light-duty trucks, the heavies got their turn for 1999. Unlike the rounded styling of their F-150 and F-250 siblings, the F-250 and F-350 Super Duty versions had prominent grilles, angular body lines and "stepped-down" front side windows, all of which reinforced their big truck status. Regular Cab, Super Cab and Crew Cab body styles were offered, as was a variety of power plants that included the Power Stroke turbodiesel V8.
Y2K, otherwise known as the year 2000, brought the Harley-Davidson edition of the F-150. Fitted with special leather trim, this special SuperCab Flareside 2WD also had black paint with orange accents, the 5.4 V8, massive (20-inch) chrome wheels and plenty of Harley emblems festooned about the body and cabin. The Super Duty trucks picked up ABS brakes (in Lariat trim) along with power windows and locks as standard for the XLT trim levels.
A crew cab body style, dubbed "SuperCrew," came aboard for 2001. The Harley-Davidson edition adopted the SuperCrew body this year, and a new top-o'-the-line trim debuted, called King Ranch. Named after a huge Texas cattle ranch, not a new salad dressing, the King Ranch featured a handsome leather interior that called to mind a Western saddle. Four-wheel ABS became standard across the line as did power-adjustable pedals on the Lariat models. A trio of new options (heated front seats, power sunroof and rear-seat entertainment system) became available late in the year.
The Harley-Davidson edition added some bite to its bark for 2002, in the form of a supercharged version of the 5.4-liter V8 that sent 340 horsepower to the rear wheels. Flame-styled pinstriping and a billet-style grille insert further distinguished the H-D F-150 from its predecessors and siblings. A SuperCab version of the King Ranch debuted as did an FX4 off-road option package (for Lariat and XLT 4x4s) that featured Rancho shocks, skid plates and unique accents.
Knowing that an all-new F-150 was just around the corner, Ford brought out a "Heritage Edition" for 2003 that featured special wheels, paint scheme, pinstripes and lower valance panel. Also bowing this year was a revamped STX edition geared toward youngsters that grouped a sound system with MP3 capability, a monochromatic body treatment and, of course, different wheels. Also helping to carry the F-150 through its last year of this generation were upgrades to the upper trim levels, namely faux wood trim and an in-dash six-disc CD changer for the King Ranch as well as a Pioneer audio system for the Lariat.
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) still retains a title its held for over thirty years America's favorite pickup truck.
Today's lower truck sales are the result of higher gas prices and a dwindling economy, and not a reflection of the latest F-Series redesign. F-Series trucks still own a decent 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
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.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1948-1952
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Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1953-1956
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.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1953-1956
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1957-1960
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.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1957-1960
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1961-1966
Ford made significant styling changes to its fourth generation F-Series trucks, tweaking the look from year to year.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1961-1966
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1967-1972
The F-Series fifth generation brought along roomier trucks with better visibility and the introduction of new trim levels, including the "plush" Ranger edition.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1967-1972
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1973-1979
Ford made major changes to its sixth generation F-Series trucks, updating structure, appearance, power and comfort.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1973-1979
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1980-1986
Better aerodynamics was a key element in Ford's 1980 F-Series redesign, and ramped up power provided better hauling and towing capabilities.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1980-1986
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1987-1996
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.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1987-1996
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1997-2003
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.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 1997-2003
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 2004-2008
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.
F-Series Pickup Trucks: 2004-2008
Ford F-Series Pickup Trucks: 2009-
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.