Ford L-Series is First Produced
Ford L-Series trucks was a long running series of heavy-duty trucks built by Ford Motor Company between 1970 and 1998.
It was distinctively styled with a bold hexagonal grille at its introduction. It was built in a new plant which was called the Kentucky Truck Plant, but its location near Louisville, Kentucky gave rise to the popular name of Ford Louisville line trucks, as well as the "Louisville Plant"
These heavy-duty Ford trucks replaced the short conventional N-Series, along with the heavy-duty F-Series trucks, and related tandem-axle T-Series. The Louisville Line encompassed a wide range of models serving the medium-, heavy-, and extra-heavy-duty truck ranks. The line would become one of the most popular series of trucks Ford ever produced.
The designation L Series is for the base truck. Designations for variants are listed below:
LN=Short Nose (compact hood) Same WB as LS except shorter hood.
LNT=Short Nose Tandem Axle
LS=Set Back Front Axle. Shorter WB than L series.
LTS=Setback Front Axle with Tandem Rear Axles.
LTL=Tractor-Trailer. Long hood.
Aeromax=Aerodynamic version of the L-Series.
Ford L-Series truck styling would influence other Fords. In 1972 the Ford Torino and Ranchero were redesigned with a hexagonal grille that resembled the L-Series. In 1974, the W-Series Cab-Over-Engine trucks would inherit chrome L-Series grilles. The 1978 Ford F-100 pickup would also incorporate a hexagonal themed grille. In 1996, The Louisville Line was redesigned with a sloped windshield and rounded front contours, and had lost the hexagonal front profile. No models with set-back axles would be made after 1996 either.
The 8th decade saw Ford open a new truck manufacturing plant in Louisville, Kentucky. Its main purpose was to produce the new L-Series trucks, a heavy-duty line aimed to replace the old N-, F- and T-Series. Its fleet included all types of trucks – medium, heavy and extra-heavy duty models – and would later become one of the most successful production lines in the history of the marque.
The light truck sector was also renewed with the introduction of the Ford Ranger XLT (it featured chrome front bumpers), a Bronco sport-utility vehicle, a Econoline Club Wagon, a F-Series Camper Special and a sportier version of the Ranchero GT. The following year – in 1973 – Ford launched a brand new Mazda-designed Courier model, aimed to take over from the Ranchero and the Bronco and challenge the light-pickup trucks market manufacturers. Also, at the end of the year, the W- and F-Series underwent minor design modifications.
The 1980's began with a new engine option for medium and heavy-duty trucks: running on liquid propane gas. Also, the F-Series and the Broncos featured a new facelift, while also undergoing front suspension updates (to twin-traction beam independent). The Courier went out of production – being replaced by a new Ranger pickup – and new longer SuperCabs were fitted to F-Series trucks. In the heavy-duty sector, Ford's LN-Series were now offered a brand new Caterpillar 3208 V8 engine, producing up to 200-bhp.
The Ranger truck was introduced in 1983 and featured new V6 diesel engines and 4-wheel-drive. One year later, Ford renewed its Bronco model with the new generation Bronco II sport utility vehicle.