Ford celebrates 100 years of pick-up trucks

A hundred years ago, on this day, Ford Motor Company did something remarkable. So remarkable that it drives bulk of the car-maker’s volumes and profits today, a whole century later! 

Yes, Ford’s bread-and-butter pick-up trucks are 100 years old with the 1917 Model TT kicking off a revolution that continues to this day in the form of the 2017 F-Series. It’s pretty amazing how, in a world that’s rapidly evolving and changing, Henry Ford’s vision of a vehicle with a cab and a work-duty frame capable of accommodating cargo beds has endured thus far. 

This naturally calls for a celebration and Ford is doing just that by recalling the history and evolution of its iconic trucks. Click on the image below for the important milestones in the 100-year journey of Ford trucks.

It all started with the 1917 Model TT...

Nine years after the legendary Model T rolled out, Ford’s customers apparently asked for a vehicle that could haul loads and provide more utility. 

On July 27, 1917, Ford responded with the Model TT, a Model T cab and engine mounted on a heavier duty frame capable of carrying one ton of payload. With the flexibility to accommodate third party beds, cargo areas and other add-ons, the formula was a success and more than 1.3 million Model TTs were sold when its production ended in 1928.

1928 Model AA and 1933 Model BB carried the trend forward...

With an increased payload of 1.5 tons, the classy Model AA replaced the Model TT in 1928 before the more-capable Model BB took on the baton in 1933. By 1941, Ford had sold a whopping 4 million of these trucks, establishing the brand as a force to reckon with.

1948 saw the birth of the F-Series...

It was not until 1948 Ford saw an opportunity to build an entire line of pick-up trucks. When it did, it promptly re-branded the line as the F-Series, the legendary nameplate that has gained strength over the years to become what it is now. From the half-ton F1 to the much-larger F8 cab-over truck, the first-generation F-Series was all that one could ask for when looking for a truck. 

When the second-generation F-Series was launched in 1953, the F1 became F100, the F2 and F3 were integrated into the new F250, the F4 was rechristened the F350 and the F8 was spun off into a commercial truck unit. This naming nomenclature has remained till date.

F150 debuted in 1975...

Sixth-generation F-Series made their debut in 1975 and along with it debuted the F150, a higher-capacity version that replaced the popular and long-standing F100. In the same year, the cult "Built Ford Tough" slogan were used to refer to these trucks for the first time ever. There has been no looking back ever since. 

In 1977, the F-Series raced away to the top of the sales charts and, amazingly, hasn't relinquished the position till date. The F-Series has been America's best-selling truck for 40 straight years and the best-selling vehicle there for 35 years. 

What helped along the way was Ford's pro-activeness in ensuring F-Series' specs and kit are relevant, best-in-class and ahead-of-times. The latest is the switch to aluminium in the 2015 F150, a huge gamble that has paid off handsomely. 

Pick-ups are all about utility, right? Think again. For the power-hungry, adventure-craving and speed-chasing enthusiasts out there, Ford rolled out multiple performance-oriented trucks like the F150 SVT Lightning, F150 Harley-Davidson and the maniac F150 SVT Raptor. There isn't a young man out there who haven't had one of these posters decorating their study rooms.

Well, here's to another 100 years of awesome trucks!

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