It wasn’t that long ago that Ford Motor Company celebrated 100 years of truck history, starting with its 1917 model T.
The forties have been good to Ford F-Series. F-Series has 45 years as America’s best-selling truck and 40 years as the best-selling vehicle. And now, Ford is celebrating the production of its 40-millionth F-Series for U.S. customers.
“We are so grateful for the commercial customers who continue to put their faith in F-Series trucks to get the hard work done day after day,” says Nathan Oscarson, Ford Pro commercial truck brand manager. “From small businesses to large fleets, commercial customers are crucial to our success, and we’re proud to build the truck they count on more than any other.”
The 2022 F-150 Tremor in Iconic Silver paint rolled off the line at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan on January 27, 2022, headed to a customer in Texas.
The History of the F-Series
Ford began production of first-generation F-Series Trucks 75 years ago, in 1947. The Ford F-1 through F-8 went on sale in 1948. First-generation F-Series (known as F-Series Bonus Built Trucks) were produced from 1948 to 1950.
According to Ford, this first-generation F-Series covered Class 2-7 capacities – from the 1/2-ton F-1 to the much larger F-8 cab-over truck. With the arrival of the second-generation F-Series for 1953, Ford increased engine power and capacity and rebranded the series.
The F-1 became the F-100, while F-2 and F-3 trucks were integrated into the new F-250 line. F-4 became F-350.
Ford’s trucks started looking a little less “utilitarian” over the next few generations, coming in two-tone paint jobs featuring automatic transmissions, and updated radio offerings. By 1953, the F-100 came with standard armrests, dome lights, and sun visors.
The 1960s brought the fourth-generation F-Series. In 1965, twin I-beam front suspension was launched. Comfort was something more truck drivers were looking for, and power steering and brakes were added to the truck.
The mid-70s brought the sixth-generation F-Series. This marked the drop of the F-100 and the launch of the F-150 nameplate. In 1977, “Built Ford Tough” was uttered by a Ford truck magazine copywriter for the first time.
Today’s Ford F-Series
The late 1990s introduced the F-Series Super Duty to the marketplace. With a real fleet focus, the Super Duty is offered from F-250 to F-750.
The early 2000s added more technology to the trucks than ever before, with the launch of Ford’s SYNC communications and entertainment system in 2007 and introduction of the EcoBoost V-6 engine in 2011. To deliver greater efficiency and more capability, F-150 got the industry’s first high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body in 2015, with Super Duty trucks following suit in 2017.
The first new F-Series truck in a generation debuted in 2020 when Ford introduced F-600, a Class 6 truck in a familiar Class 5 Super Duty package.
Ford has also grown its truck lineup beyond the F-Series, with the midsize Ranger pickup and all-new Maverick, but the F-Series continues to be front and center. In fact, Ford is even taking the F-Series electric this year with the new F-150 Lightning and F-150 Lightning Pro all-electric pickups coming this spring.