Ford F-Series


The Ford F-Series is a range of pick-up, bus, and truck chassis from the Ford Motor Company that has been available since 1948 and is now in its fourteenth generation. We wanted to take a good look at all the generations and here is part 2 of the Ford F-Series history.

The vehicle has been the best-seller in the USA for the last 43 years and, with a total of 40 million units produced, it is in second place worldwide behind the Toyota Corolla as of April 2022.


Ford F-Series 1st Generation (1948 – 1952)



A new era began for Ford with the introduction of the F-Series in January 1948. For the first time, the manufacturer brought a pickup onto the market that was not built on a car chassis but had a base specially designed for its purpose.

The F-Series was produced in a total of sixteen different Ford plants and became the best-selling pickup truck in the USA over time. It was available in eight versions depending on their gross vehicle weight rating. 


  • F-1: 1/2 ton (4,700 GVWR)
  • F-2: 3/4 ton (5,700 GVWR)
  • F-3: Heavy Duty 3/4 ton (6,800 GVWR)
  • F-4: 1 ton (7,500 GVWR) / optionally also as 1¼ ton (10,000 GVWR)
  • F-5: 1½ ton (10,000-14,500 GVWR)
  • F-6: 2 ton (14,000-16,000 GVWR)
  • F-7 : 17,000-19,000GVWR)
  • F-8: Three-ton (20,000-22,000 GVWR)

The most common model was the Ford F-1 with a 6,5 ft long bed, followed by the Ford F-2 and the F-3 model with an 8 ft long bed. In Canada, the model was marketed under the Mercury emblem, even though Ford built them all.


The Design

The F-Series was not only equipped with a completely new cabin but also appeared to have a modernized body with integrated headlights and extensive equipment. The front fenders merged seamlessly into the front panel, which together with the horizontally protruding radiator grille formed the new "face" of Ford pickups. Also new was the one-piece windshield, more comfortable seats, and improved noise insulation.


1951 Facelift Facelift


In 1951 the Ford Pickup received a slight facelift, in which, among other things, the front fenders and the radiator grille were revised. The rear window has been enlarged for better all-around visibility. For the first time, Ford offered two cab trim lines: the standard five-star cab and the deluxe five-star extra cab. It also had locks and armrests on both doors.


The Power

Under the hood of the F-1 to F-6 models were either a 6-cylinder with 96 hp (71 kW) or a V8 engine that delivered 101 hp (75 kW) at 3,800 RPM. The Ford F-6 also had a 111 hp 254 six-cylinder engine to choose from.

In 1952 the engines were replaced by the more modern 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine. It produced 101 hp (75 kW) and was very economical, which quickly earned it the name "Cost Clipper Six" which means inexpensive six-cylinder.

The F-7 and F-8 models were initially powered by a 146 hp (108 kW) V8 engine, replaced in 1952 by the more modern 297 Lincoln Y-block which produced 146 hp and 317 Lincoln Y-block with 156 hp.

The F-1 to F-5 models were equipped with a 3-speed manual transmission as standard, the F-4 used a 4-speed manual transmission and the F-7 / F-8 vehicles used a 5-speed manual transmission.


Ford F-Series 2nd Generation (1953 – 1956)

Ford F-Series



In 1953 Ford celebrated its 50th anniversary as a company and at the same time introduced the new second-generation F-Series models. The most striking design revision concerned the now much wider grille, in which the round headlights were integrated.

Instead of the previous abbreviations F-1 to F-8, these new models were given the designations F-100 (half-ton truck) to F-360 (one-ton truck). The F-100 replaced the F-1, the F-250 replaced the F-2 and F-3 models, and the F-350 replaced the F-4 model. The largest models of the 1st generation (F-5 to F-8) remained without successors for the time being.



  • F-100 – ½ ton (5,000 GVWR)
  • F-110 – ½ ton (4,000 GVWR)
  • F-250 – ¾ ton (7,400 GVWR)
  • F-260 – ¾ ton (4,900 GVWR)
  • F-350 – 1 ton (9,800 GVWR)
  • F-360 – 1 ton (7,700 GVWR)

In the USA, too, the pickup truck was now also sold under the Mercury badge as the M series.


The Power

The F-Series II pickup models were available with a choice of the two revised engines from the previous model when they were launched. From 1954, the 3.7-liter engine with 116 hp and three V8 engines with a displacement of 3.9 to 4.2 liters and an output of 130 hp to 170 hp complemented the Ford F-Series engine range.

The smallest V8 engine was replaced the following year by the more powerful 4.2-liter V8 engine with 140 hp (100 kW). In 1956 the Mileage Maker was revised and now made 137 hp (102 kW). As a major innovation, an automatic transmission could also be ordered for the first time.


Ford F-Series 3rd Generation (1957 – 1960)



In 1957 a redesigned model was introduced in North America. In addition to the significantly more angular body, the third-generation Ford F-Series now featured a lower, full-width hood that was flush with the front fenders. The new chrome grille with quad headlights underlined the modern design of the new models.

The driver's cab was also modified and offered more space thanks to the new shape, it received a complete makeover. In addition to hidden door sills, there was now a separate dashboard with instrument panels similar to those in a car.

The F-Series pickup was now available in two body styles: the traditional "Flareside" variant with a narrow bed and separate rear fenders, and the newly added "Styleside" variant. The Styleside models had a wide bed that was flush with the cab, giving them a more modern and unified look.

The Power

There were three different engines for the Ford F-Series: an in-line six-cylinder with 3.7 liters and an output of 139 hp, a V8 engine with 4.5 liters and 171 hp, and from 1959 the 4, 8 liter V8, which made 186 hp.

For the first time in Ford's history, a factory pickup could be ordered with 4×4 drive. Previously, Ford pickups could only be equipped with an all-wheel-drive by external manufacturers such as Marmon-Herrington, Napco, or American-Coleman.


Ford F-Series 4th Generation (1961-1966)

Ford F-Series 4th


With the fourth generation of the well-known pickup, Ford brought a completely redesigned model onto the market in 1961. The pickups were lower but wider than the previous models, and instead of the double headlights used before, single ones were used again. Production for the new F-Series models started in October 1960 and ended in August 1966.


  • F-100 (F10, F11, F14) ½ ton
  • F-100 4×4 (F18, F19) ½ ton
  • F-250 (F25) ¾ ton
  • F-250 4×4 (F26) ¾ ton
  • F-350 (F35) 1 ton

The full-size pickup was available as two and four-door variants with a wheelbase of 9,5 ft - or as an extended version with 10,6 ft. The new Styleside version now consisted of a continuous body, in which there was no longer a gap between the driver's cab and the loading area. But the separate Styleside and the traditional Flareside variants were still available. All body versions were available in 6.5 and 8-foot bed lengths.


1965 Facelift

1965 Facelift


From the 1965 model year, the Ford F-Series received a completely new frame and the model range was expanded to include a four-door crew cab. There was also a variant as a basis for comparatively heavy caravan bodies (Camper Special).

The models up to 1963/64 still had turn signals integrated into the radiator grille, from 1965/66 these were mounted above the headlights. The new "Ranger" equipment package for the F-series pickups was also introduced, which included Mustang bucket seats, among other things.


The Power

The Ford pickup was available with a 3.7-liter engine with 85 kW / 114 hp, a 4.3-liter engine with 98 kW / 132 hp, and a 4.8-liter engine with an output of 130 kW / 170 hp. As part of the 1965 model upgrade, the range of engines was also modified and now included three new, more powerful engines. 

The 3.9-liter engine had an output of 110 kW / 150 hp, and the larger 4.9-liter engine had 130 kW / 170 hp. The top model of the Ford F-Series was a 155 kW / 208 hp 5.8-liter unit.


Ford F-Series 5th Generation (1967-1972)

F-Series 5th


In 1967, Ford introduced the fifth generation of its F-Series pickup truck. The new edition of America's bestseller was still based on the same platform but was - in line with the fashion of the time - designed much more angular than the previous model. The newly designed cab was more spacious and had larger glass surfaces.

Due to the regulations in force in the USA since 1968, which required all vehicles to have side lighting, Ford equipped the emblems on the sides of the hood with reflectors.

The buyers had two body variants to choose from: the two-door single cab version and a four-door crew cab variant, which offered space for up to six passengers. However, the latter was only available for the F-250 and F-350 models.

The Ford pickup was available in base, custom cab, and, for the first time, luxury Ford Ranger trim levels. This included standard carpeting, extra upholstered seats, and chrome applications. In 1970 all trim lines were upgraded, becoming Custom, Sports Custom, and Ranger XLT.



  • F-100 ½ ton, wheelbase 2,921 mm, lengthened variant 3,327 mm
  • F-100 4×4 ½ ton, wheelbase 2,921 mm, extended variant 3,327 mm
  • F-250 ¾ ton, wheelbase 3,327 mm, extended variant 3,785 mm
  • F-250 4×4 ¾ ton, wheelbase 3,327 mm, extended variant 3,785 mm
  • F-350 1 ton, wheelbase 3,429mm, extended variant 4,039mm, crew cab 4,178mm


The Power

At the market launch of the 5th generation, the Ford pickup was available with three engines. The 3.9-liter to 5.8-liter engines covered a performance spectrum from 110 kW / 150 hp to 155 kW / 208 hp.

From 1968, two V8 units were added to the range of engines in the Ford F-Series. The 5.9-liter engine had an output of 160 kW / 215 hp and the 6.4-liter had an output of 190 kW / 255 hp. The last engine to follow in 1969 was the 153 kW / 205 hp V8 engine 302 CID.

In Brazil, the fifth-generation F-Series model was only offered from 1971 and remained in production until 1992.


Ford F-Series 6th Generation (1972-1979)

Ford F-Series 6th Generation


The sixth generation of the Ford F-Series was built from 1972 to 1979. The modernized version brought some innovations with it. The pickup's front suspension was modified, and the driver's cab offered more space and comfort than the previous model. The new model was visually recognizable above all by the "FORD" lettering in large chrome letters above the radiator grille.

The F-350 SRW heavy-duty pickup truck joined the Ford F-Series lineup in 1972. In 1974, the four-door "SuperCab" variant was added, which offered space for up to six occupants.



  • F-100 F-101 F-102 F-103 F-104 F-105 F-106 F-107 F-108 F-109 F-10N: ½ ton
  • F-110 F-111 F-112 F-113: 4×4 ½ ton truck
  • F-150 F-151: heavy (higher payload) ½ ton
  • F-250 F-251 F-252 F-253 F-254 F-255 F-256 F-257 F-258 F-259: ¾ ton
  • F-260 F-261 F-262 F-263 F-264 F-265 F-266: 4×4 ¾ ton
  • F-350 F-350 F-351 F-352 F-353 F-354 F-355 F-356 F-357 F-358 F-359 F-35P: 1 ton
  • F-360: 4×4 1 ton

The Ford pickup was initially available in three trim levels, Custom, Ranger, and Ranger XLT. In 1978 the fourth version, Lariat, was added.


The Power

At the market launch, the pickup was available with two straight-six and four V8 engines. The engines had a displacement of up to 7.5 liters and had an output of up to 162 kW / 239 hp. The 250 CID and the 302 CID V8 followed just one year after their market launch. However, both engines were only available in the Australian market.

In 1977, two new V8 engines were introduced. They had displacements of 5.8 liters and 6.6 liters and delivered 116 kW / 157 hp and 126 kW / 171 hp. Another 5.8 V8 followed in 1978 on the Australian market.


Protecting Your Ford F-Series


In this article, we talked about the first 6 generations of Ford F-Series trucks. Nowadays they are considered a high-priced classic for enthusiasts and if you have one, you should protect it as much as you can. 

We know it can be hard to find protective equipment that fits your classic vehicle. Don’t worry, Ford made it easier for you and officially partnered with an established cover company, the Coverking

They have everything you will need on their catalog and they build everything custom. Take a look at some covers, both indoors and outdoors but don’t forget the fragile interior of your classic. Pick up a custom seat cover and a molded dashboard cover, they will take care of it all. 



Coverking Links


Tankut Basar

Tankut Basar is an ARA (American Rally Assoc.) Racing Driver and an FIA Bronze Category License Holder. His passion for driving began with karting like most racers. He started racing internationally at the age of 22. Tankut loves everything car-related and will keep enjoying the drive until the end.