The Ultimate Ford F150 Page

Ford is one of the most recognizable names in the auto industry and the manufacturer of some of the most popular vehicles in the country. One of those vehicles is the F-150 pickup truck. A part of Ford's F-Series, the F-150 has regularly been the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. The F-series dates back to a time just a few years after the end of World War II: The original version of what would eventually become the F-150 was the half-ton F-1, which made its debut in 1948.

1948 to 1972 (The First Five Generations of the Ford F-Series, Pre F-150)

The F-1 was an ideal truck for farmers and was originally available with either a 95-horsepower, 226-cubic-inch inline-six engine or a 239-cubic-inch V8 engine with 100 horsepower. By 1951, Ford upgraded the engine to a 215-cubic-inch inline-six engine with 101 horsepower. The F-1 would eventually become the F-100 in 1953, and its appearance would become more streamlined and sleek as changes were made to the hood, front fenders, and grill. The F-100 went through changes both cosmetic and mechanical between the 1953 and 1973 model years. One significant change came in the 1954 model year, when Ford discontinued the flathead V8 engine and switched to an overhead-valve V8, which added up to 15 percent more power.

In 1961, major cosmetic changes resulted in a lower build and the integration of the pickup bed and the cab into what was known as a unibody design. This was short-lived and was discontinued by 1964. Truck buyers were given more engine options in 1965, including a 240-cubic-inch inline-six engine with 150 horsepower, a 300-cubic-inch inline six with 170 horsepower, and a V8 352-cubic-inch engine with 208 horsepower. The 1967 model year would bring new trim options, including base, Custom, and Ranger, the latter of which offered features such as a standard chrome grille. By 1968, a 360-cubic-inch V8 replaced the 352-cubic-inch engine and a 390 V8 was made available. For the 1970 model year, Ford added the Ranger XLT to the list of available trim offerings and included an optional 220-horsepower, 302-cubic-inch V8 engine.

1973 to 1979 (Sixth-Generation F-Series)

In 1974, a 460-cubic-inch V8 with an automatic transmission was added to the ever-changing F-100. In addition, the SuperCab was also introduced in the 1974 model year, with a rear seat that included either jump seats or a bench. It was only available in the two-wheel drive models with Cruise-o-Matic or 3-speed manual transmissions and with the 360-cubic-inch V8 engine.

It wasn't until the 1975 model year that the F-150 was released. The truck, which came with a regular or SuperCab, was designed as a heavier version of the F-100. One of the reasons for its creation was to avoid the EPA's strict emissions rules that required vehicles with a gross weight rating of less than 6,000 pounds, such as the F-100, to have catalytic converters added. Because the F-150 had a gross weight of 6,050 pounds, the addition of the emission-reducing catalytic converter was not necessary. The interior of the F-150 was spacious and offered drivers as much as 60 inches of shoulder room. From its first year, the F-150 made a major impression when it came to sales. Courtesy of its immediate popularity, it accounted for one-third of all F-Series sales. Ford replaced the 360 V8 engine with a 400-cubic-inch V8 in 1976 and also released the luxury model F-150 Ranger Lariat. It was at this time that the now-familiar slogan "Built Ford Tough" was first used. Cosmetic changes included squaring of the headlights and an increase in the size of the grille.

1980 to 1986 (Seventh Generation)

During the seventh generation of the F-Series, Ford's blue oval logo was added to the grille of the F-150, and in 1980, the F-150 received a new chassis. This was the first new chassis in more than ten years. The body of the truck was also redesigned for better gas mileage, and the 460 V8 engine was dropped.

The Ranger was discontinued as a trim option for the F-150 in 1982, leaving consumers with the XL, XLT, and XLT Lariat as trim options. But the most significant and noteworthy change of the seventh generation was Ford's decision to completely discontinue the F-100 and fully replace it with the F-150.

1987 to 1991 (Eighth Generation)

During the F-Series' eighth generation, the F-150 saw important safety-enhancing changes. In 1987, standard anti-lock brakes, the first in the truck industry, were added to the line. By the end of the 1980s, Ford would also make automatic front hub locks a standard feature. Other changes to the F-150 included more rounded edges in the body design in 1987. In 1988, a shorter, 139-inch wheelbase was offered for the SuperCab, taking it down from 155 inches. The same year, fuel injection was made a standard feature for all engines.

1992 to 1996 (Ninth Generation)

Ford continued to make changes to the appearance of the F-150 during the ninth generation. In 1992, this included alterations to the front and bumper lights for a more angled appearance. The F-150 SuperCab rear seat cushion was given increased padding and raised to improve passenger comfort in 1993. In addition, the F-150 SVT Lightning was introduced. A little more than 5,000 of this special-edition vehicle were produced for this model year. The vehicle featured a dual exhaust and 5.8-liter Windsor V8 engine with performance cylinder heads, and it was only available as a two-wheel-drive standard cab. Custom and Sport Appearance models were discontinued from the F-150 line, and the XL trim became the new base model. A new trim, the Eddie Bauer Edition, was added in 1995.

1997 to 2003 (Tenth Generation)

In 1997, the Ford F-150 received the Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award. It received a new chassis and the same V8 engine used in the Ford Crown Victoria. Cosmetically, the truck continued toward a more rounded appearance with a conservative diamond-pattern grille. That same year, three new engines were made available, including a 202-horsepower 4.2-liter V6 engine with 252 pound-feet of torque, a 4.6-liter V8 with 231 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque, and a 260-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 with 350 pound-feet of torque.

2004 to 2008 (11th Generation)

Changes between 2004 and 2008 were relatively minor. Four doors became a standard feature in the 2004 model year, which also brought a wider cab. In 2005, consumers were given a new option with the King Ranch trim level. The base model also came with a 4.2-liter gas-powered V6 engine with 202 horsepower. In 2007, the F-150's towing capacity reached a maximum of 11,000 pounds and achieved a best-in-class ranking.

2009 to 2014 (12th Generation)

From 2010 to 2014, Ford treated buyers with new and exciting models of its popular F-150. For off-roading enthusiasts, Ford released the F-150 SVT Raptor in 2010. This vehicle had an additional two inches in height and an additional five inches to give it a wider track. In 2012, no new models were presented, but Ford did offer consumers four new engines, including a V6, V6 Ecoboost, and two V8s.

The 2014 model year brought the Tremor. The Tremor was designed as an on-road performance alternative to the off-road Raptor. It featured a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that offered 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, the Tremor would not return for the 2015 model year. The 2014 model year also included three body styles: regular, extended, and crew cabs. The regular and extended cabs were available with a 6.5-foot or 8-foot bed. The crew cab, however, had a 6.5- or 5.5-foot bed. An impressive number of trims were also available for the 2014 model year, included the base XL, sporty STX, XLT, FX2, FX4, Lariat, King Ranch, Raptor, Platinum, and Limited.

2015 to Present (13th Generation)

In 2015, Ford made a major, controversial change by using military-grade aluminum alloy in place of steel when constructing the body of the F-150. The new aluminum body was implemented to make the car lighter and more gas-efficient, as it would drop as much as 700 pounds from the truck's weight. The new material was also intended to make the truck stronger and more difficult to dent.


Take a look at some photos of the F-150 over the years:


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