Here’s a big call.
The 1953 F100 is the most influential automobile of the 1950’s.
Why do I say that?
Well, it set an enduring template for the truck-as-car category that even now, 70 years later, shows no sign of reaching peak popularity.
Indeed, the F100 has transcended into a lifestyle.
Just about every automotive company in the world now has a replica in its range.
When the F100 appeared in late 1952 for the 1953 American model year, it had been 20 years since Ford had made a significant design change to its line of trucks.
Ford spent $US 30 million to redesign and engineer the all-new trucks.
It was a significant investment in a category that had been largely taken for granted by GM and Chrysler.
The F100 was purposefully styled as if it was a car.
The front wheels were set back to give it a hunkered down look.
Equal attention was given to load capacity, occupant comfort and ease of driving.
The curved one-piece windscreen was 55 percent larger than the previous model.
The rear window stretched across the width of the cabin.
The five feet/1522mm wide seat accommodated three people with no squashing.
The brochures and advertising called it “driverised” and pointed out all of the driver comforts.
The standard engine was Ford’s 215 cubic inch/3.5-litre six cylinder.
The company’s 239 cubic inch/3.9-litre flat head V8 was optional.
Ironically, the old flat head delivered 100 bhp to the six’s 101 bhp.
Buyers responded to the car-like F100 and its larger siblings.
Ford made sure it covered the market and had an F-Series for any work situation, especially rural and farming.
These days the 1953 F100 is much sought-by collectors, restorers and hot rodders.
In 2022 Ford made its 40 millionth F-Series truck.
David Burrell is the editor of retroautos.com.au
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