The Ford F-100 full-sized trucks were the basic entry-level Ford Motor Company truck for more than 60 years. The executives at Ford have complicated discussion of the F-100 series through changing the name of their F-1 trucks to F-100 and then adding various designations to the F-100 title that are now all lumped into a single F-100 series and massive 60-year line-up of full-size, 2-door, half-ton pickup trucks. Consumers can understand the Ford F-100 truck lineup by remembering that the F-1 designations started in 1948 to accommodate the U.S. demand for farm trucks after World War II.
The 1948 Ford F-1 pickup trucks were redesigned for 1953. Starting in 1953, the second generation of F-100 half-ton trucks featured rounded body lines and cab interiors that were made to resemble the comfortable seating and dashboard arrangements that were found in like-year automobiles. Ford advertised their upgraded 1953 truck cabs as being driverized" for user comfort and enjoyment. Second generation Ford F-100 entry-level pickup trucks were made between 1953 and 1957. In 1953, these vehicles still included the traditional Ford flathead V8 engines that were redesigned for 1954 trucks.
Second generation F-100 Ford entry-level pickup trucks were predominantly made in the American Ford assembly plants. The 1954 F-100 offered three Power King Y-block engine styles, great gas mileage and user-friendly cabs. The new engine styles provided extra power that was coupled with set-back front wheels that provided a desirable nose-down look of strength. In 1954 Ford introduced their 12-volt electrical system, double-grip safety doors and shock-reduction steering wheels. Second generation 1953-57 half-ton pickup trucks are often highly admired today for their wraparound windshields.
Newly styled Ford F-100 entry-level pickup trucks continued to arrive every few years between 1953 and the mid-1980s. In the 1960s, the F-100 full-length running boards, wraparound windows and rounded body styling disappeared in favor of the boxier and streamlined automobile looks of that day. By 1969, the popular Ford Motor Company F-100 series trucks included F-250 four wheel drives, twin I-beam front suspensions, and the name "Ranger" attached to the Ford F-100 upper-end styling packages. The 1965 Ford F-100 pickup truck was also offered as number F-250, the first 4-door truck.
From 1970 forward, the Ford entry-level F-100 series trucks often wore the number F-150 or another variation of F-100 phrasing. The Ford F-100 trucks have been one of the longest selling and most popular lines in America. Over the years, Ford has racked-up multiple awards on their F-series trucks that include the prestigious 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, SEMA Accessory-Friendly Truck Award and the Popular Mechanics Workhorse: Automotive Excellence and others. The second generation lineup of 1953 to 1957 Ford F-100 series trucks are also favorite competition trucks for vintage car shows, county fair vintage car divisions and all other types of automobile or truck contests.
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