Ford began manufacturing the F-Series pickup all the way back in 1948 when it was first released as the Ford F1. Since 1977, it has been the United State’s best-selling pickup and even the nations best-selling vehicle starting in 1986. That’s more than 40 straight years! Breaking down the numbers, one Ford truck is actually sold every minute of every day.
First Generation F-150
The equivalent to today’s F-150 was known as the F1 during the first generation. It was a popular farm truck which was in production from 1948-1952. This first F-Series truck was also sold in a number of other weights and configurations including a panel truck, cab-over-engine, and even a bus.
Second Generation F-150
1953 came with an overhaul to the F-150 including a facelift, better motor options, a larger, updated chassis, and renaming. The second generation was actually known as the Ford F-100, which it would keep through the fourth generation ending in 1966. The 1956 model of the second generation was only in production for one year and featured a wraparound windshield with vertical pillars. This differed from the sloped windshield and pillars of other model years. Ford also offered an optional panoramic rear window.
Third Generation F-150
1957 came with a huge body redesign that introduced integrated front fenders and a styleside bed. In 1958 Ford began offering factory-installed four-wheel drive which was a major advancement in their manufacturing capacities. They were the first of the other two main pickup manufacturers of the day to achieve this.
Fourth Generation F-150
Ford drastically redesigned the pickup again in 1961, introducing a longer and lower truck with updated engine options. Notably, in 1966, a new style of front suspension was introduced. This same style was used in some F-Series pickups all the way up until 2016!
Fifth Generation F-150
In 1967 the Ford F-100 officially became what it’s known as today—the iconic F-150. With this generation came larger overall dimensions as well as larger glass and additional trim levels with more lavish interiors.
Sixth Generation F-150
Next up was the sixth generation launched in 1973 with modern amenities such as front disc brakes, double-wall bed construction, and a larger cabin. The engine was also updated to the more modern 5.9-liter and 6.4-liter options. Ford also made the switch from round headlights to square in 1978.
Seventh Generation F-150
In 1980 The body and chassis size increased again when the truck was redesigned from the ground up. Fuel economy was improved by increasing aerodynamics and removing the 5.8L and 6.6L V8 M-Series engine options. Replacement options included smaller V8 and V6 engines. Power options, such as power mirrors, windows and door locks were also introduced during this generation.
Eighth Generation F-150
The eight generation of F-150s began in 1987 with a slightly more rounded body and updated interior.
Ninth Generation F-150
The F-150 body style was revamped again in 1992, rounding out body lines even more. This generation included an interior overhaul as well.
Tenth Generation F-150
Ford made major updates to the F-150 in 1997 which aligned it with its growing audience of homeowner buyers rather than commercial work truck owners. The body was rounded out even more and a rear door was added to extended cab models for easier loading and unloading. A six-cylinder V-6 motor became standard.
Eleventh Generation F-150
The 2004 model year started the F-150 on a brand new platform with beefed-up bodylines, 4-door cabs, and new engines. The most notable of these features is the 4-door cab. Even standard cab trucks still featured small doors with windows that opened for storage access behind the front seats. On the F-Series Super Duty models such as the F-250 and F-350, stepped driver’s side windows were introduced as an alternative to the traditional straight-across bottom that was traditionally seen on trucks for so many years.
Twelfth Generation F-150
Introduced in 2009, this generation gained a boost in fuel economy thanks to the new twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost motor recently designed by Ford.
Thirteenth Generation F-150
The F-150 continues to be America’s best selling pickup over 40 years and continues its production of more than 60 years. This generation featured a huge reduction in weight due to a switch from using steel body panels to using aluminum, resulting in increased gas mileage and performance. The truck underwent a facelift at the beginning of this generation in 2015, and again in 2018.
The F-150 has proved its worthiness as a workhorse for the commercial contractor and farmer, as well as a suitable family vehicle for the homeowner. Ford shows no sign of slowing production and continues to churn these pickups out of the factory at an astonishing rate.
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