Ford F-150 Overview
The Ford F-150 has completely dominated sales since its 1975 creation. In fact, the F-series has been the best-selling brand of trucks for the last 39 years! Today, we’re digging into the evolution of the Ford F-150 through the years, the uber-popular half-ton installment in the F-series lineup. Ford has set the bar for truck creation for as long as most of us can remember. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see where this half-ton truck legacy began.
Ford F-150 Through the Years
1st Generation – 5th Generation (1948 – 1972)
- While the F-150 didn’t technically exist until 1975, the first 5 generations of Ford’s half-ton truck were called the F-1 and F-100.
- The first two Ford F-series engines were an inline 6-cylinder that produced about 95 hp, and a V8 that produces around 100 hp.
- The Ford F-1 became the Ford F-100 in 1953.
- F-series trucks initially featured rounded sculpting, low-set grilles, and large fender flares.
- In 1957, the series underwent major redesign, with fenders now integrated into the body, and the truck received a more blocky design.
- In 1965, F-Series received a new platform that was used until 1996 on the F-150, and 2016 on some F-250 and F-350 trucks!
6th Generation (1973 – 1979)
- In 1975, Ford created a half-ton Ford F-150 that split the difference in performance between the F-100 and F-250.
- Gas tank moved from outside the cab to under the bed.
- AC and heaters were dramatically improved.
- Cabins became more spacious.
- 1979 was the final year a 460 big block engine was available in Ford’s half ton trucks.
- In 1978, square headlights replaced rounded headlights.
7th Generation (1980 – 1986)
- Ford discontinued the F-100 in 1983, making the F-150 the lightest truck available.
- All F-series trucks received a new chassis and larger body.
- This was the last generation available with a 3-speed manual gearbox.
8th Generation (1987 – 1991)
- F-150 received its first 5-speed manual overdrive transmission.
- A new rounded front clip increased aerodynamics.
- The Custom trim was reintroduced.
9th Generation (1992 – 1996)
- The F-series received improved aerodynamics.
- F-series interiors were completely redesigned.
10th Generation (1997 – 2003)
- Ford dramatically redesigned the F-150, giving it a more-rounded presence.
- A V6 engine came standard, replacing the 4.9L inline 6-cylinder.
- The Ford F-150 Flareside and Lightning were made available, and discontinued in 1996.
11th Generation (2004 – 2008)
- The F-150 was put on an all-new platform.
- Every F-150 received 4 doors.
- Lincoln-Mercury dealers temporarily sold a Lincoln Mark LT, which was a version of the Ford F-150.
12th Generation (2009 – 2014)
- The Lincoln Mark LT was replaced by the Ford F-150 Platinum
- Ford offered a dedicated off-road pickup in 2010, the Ford SVT Raptor.
- F-150s gained a base 3.7L V6 engine and an optional twin-turbo 3.5L V6 EcoBoost
- Manual transmissions were eliminated.
13th Generation (2015 – )
- Ford reduced curb weight by around 750 lbs.
- An aluminum body replaced traditional steel, and the pickup still earned a 5 star crash test rating from the NHTSA.
- A 2.7L EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 was added for even greater fuel efficiency.
- F-150 became the first truck with adaptive cruise control.
- Ford introduces Pro Trailer Backup Assist in 2016.
- The Ford F-150 Limited adds features like massaging seats, 360 degree camera, and remote tailgate.