If you are one of the many fans of Ford pick up trucks, then you already know that the entire history of the Ford Motor company was built upon the reliability and power of these dependable trucks.
The History of Ford Pick Up Trucks
In 1909, Ford built the infamous Model T, which quickly became the most popular vehicle in America from 1910 through the 1920s. However, it didn't take long after the first Model T vehicle hit the streets, that Americans did what Americans have always been famous for - reinventing new uses for the vehicle that better served the needs of families in the 1920s.
The Ford Model TT
After the first Model T's hit the farmlands, farmers started to take apart the back end of these "motorized carriages" and retrofitted a wooden flatbed to the back in order to haul equipment and goods. You can still find some old Ford Model T vehicles with the wooden bed attached.
Recognizing opportunity, Ford introduced a one-ton conversion for commercial buyers who needed the ability to haul goods for long distances. The one-ton conversion was the Model T chassis with a longer wheelbase and stronger suspension, as well as solid rubber tires, rear springs, and a stronger differential.
The Model T Runabout
As truck sales continued to rise, Ford finally entered the private truck market with the Ford Model T Runabout in 1925. This vehicle looked just like the retrofitted Model T cars that farmers across the county were already using, except it had an all steel bed with sides and even an adjustable tailgate. The bed was only 56 inches long and 40 inches wide. This is small by today's standards, but the ability to carry farm supplies and goods to and from town using a motorized vehicle revolutionized the country.There is little doubt that Ford pick up trucks played a large part in the expanding economy of 1920s America. The truck became an instant hit, and Ford sold over 33,000 of them in 1925 alone. Later models of the Runabout included removable tires, a battery, and an electric starter. Pickup boxes were also offered as an accessory that could be attached or removed with bolts to a standard Model T body.
The Evolution of Ford Trucks
Over the next seventy years, the Model T truck evolved from a "motorized carriage" into a sleek, luxurious, and powerful vehicle that remains one of the most popular trucks in the world. The following timeline outlines the history of the Ford truck.
- 1927 - The Model AA had a four speed transmission and a powerful 40-horsepower engine. The truck was based on the Model A design, except that it was larger and heavier, had springs on the rear axle, and had a reduced top speed due to a lower geared transmission for more hauling power.
- 1932 - The Model BB was powered by a flathead V-8 engine that could produce 85 horsepower. It was one of the toughest workhorses of the decade, and many had a 131-inch wheel base and dual rear wheels.
- 1942 - Ford production of vehicles stopped as the factories were utilized in the war effort. Ford factories during this time produced bombers, tanks, and other military vehicles. The standard 1944 U.S. Army truck built by Ford was a 1.5-ton flatbed pickup truck.
- 1947 - After the war, Henry Ford's son took over the business after his father died and introduced the first F-series model, the F-1. These vehicles were luxurious and a far cry from the 1930's Ford trucks. The 1940's models included 3-way air control, an optional heater and defroster, and either a V6 or a V8 engine.
- 1953 - The F-Series ruled the day from after WWII up through today. In 1953, ford introduced the F-100 series with increased ground clearance, better steering, and more luxuries like door locks, standard passenger wiper, and of course, the chrome trim so popular during the 1950s.
- 1959 - Ford further modified the F100 with power steering, improved brakes and suspension, and of course, Ford's first four wheel drive system.
- 1965 - Both the Ford Ranger and the F-250 were introduced to the market.
- 1975 - Ford introduced the F-150, which became one of the best selling vehicles in the U.S. for the next two decades. This model included more durable body panels with galvanized sheet metal, as well as better emissions to meet the tighter regulations of the 1970s.
Over the next several decades, Ford maintained its position as one of the top manufacturers in the truck market by continuing to introduce new design enhancements that improved towing capacity and fuel economy.
Ford Trucks Today
Beyond 1980, Ford focused on enhancing the F-series trucks, such as the F-150, F-250, F350 and F-450, as well as commercial vans, transportation trucks, and other commercial vehicles. Through the decades, Ford established its line of trucks as some of the most rugged and dependable vehicles in the world that remain affordable for the working class person.