Ford Celebrates A Century Of Building Pickup Trucks

It’s been 100 years since Ford first started building pickup trucks, with the 1917 Model TT making its appearance nine years after the first Model T.

The original Model TT retained the Model T’s cab and engine but came with a heavier-duty frame which allowed it to carry one ton of payload. Henry Ford’s idea was a chassis that could host third-party beds, cargo areas and other add-ons to deliver the required increased functionality.

By 1941, Ford had sold more than four million trucks, with the switch to war production resulting to a significant gain in experience building heavy-duty military truck chassis and four-wheel drive personnel carriers. One year after consumer production returned in 1947, Ford used that experience to offer better trucks to its customers.

44 years after the Model TT, Ford launched its fourth-generation F-Series model. The company introduced its revolutionary twin-beam front suspension in 1965 while the upscale Ranger package was launched in 1967. The first Supercab made its debut in 1974, featuring for the first time more comfortable seating to attract buyers looking for a dual-purpose vehicle.

Fast forward to today and Ford has continued pushing the envelope with innovations such as the industry’s first high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body for the 2015 F-150 and the EcoBoost V6 engines for better fuel economy.

The company today offers the second-gen 2017 F-150 Raptor with a 450hp EcoBoost V6, a ten-speed automatic transmission and specific off-road performance suspension as the range-topping Ford pickup truck.

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  • Shane

    Ford usually makes pretty good looking truck but their new F250 is one of the ugliest trucks right up there with the Nissan Titan.

    • badcyclist

      It looks like it was designed by Albert Speer.

      • Shane

        Had to look that one up got a thorough kick out of it.

    • TheBelltower

      There is way too much attitude designed into the front of many pickup trucks. The Dodge Ram is the worst offender IMHO.

      • SteersUright

        The Ram was so cool when it first came out. It looks so tough and purposeful, like a big-rig. But you’re right, today it just looks aggressive and silly, almost rather ugly actually. Funny how that happens over time.

  • Keith K

    I hope I don’t get lynched too badly for this, but I’m curious about what you guys think about this – the pic with the 3 trucks seemed to capture the American mindset at a particular time in history. The first, can-do utility, the second, efficient understated beauty, and the third as fat roided-out and hyper aggressive. And full disclosure, I like the Raptors. Thoughts? And where do you think truck design will go next?

  • SteersUright

    The Raptor is SO good looking to me, but looks like its 120% scale and too big to get out of its own way on any real off-roading.

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