Ford is celebrating 100 years of its first Work Truck
The Ford Motor Company celebrates 100 years of its first work truck – model TT, which made its debut in 1917.
The first model TT was launched 9 years after Henry Ford’s Model T sedan. The Model TT was launched to provide a vehicle that could haul heavier loads and to provide greater utility for work and deliveries. When it was first introduced, Model TT was using the Model T cab and engine but it had a heavier duty frame, that could carry 1-ton load. Ford then sold 209 trucks for $600.
By 1928, Ford sold around 1.3 million Model TT trucks and the company replaced them with the Model AA truck and its 1.5-ton chassis.
“Model AA trucks in particular had a certain class to them,” said Bob Kreipke, Ford historian, in a statement. “Customers could use them on the farm, yet still take them to church on Sunday. That kind of sounds like the King Ranch F-150 today.”
In 1935 Ford introduced its Model 50 pickup that was powered by Ford’s Flathead V-8 engine. By 1941, Ford had sold more than 4 million trucks. When the WW2 started, Ford began building heavy-duty military trucks and four-wheel drive personnel carriers.
After the war, in 1948 the first F-series was introduced. This model offered vehicles with a range of capability from classes 2-7. The F-1 pickup was the entry model, while the F-8 arrived as a cabover. The F-1 became the F-100, while the F-2 and F-3 became the F-250. F-4 became the F-350. The Class 8 trucks were spun off into a new C-Series commercial truck unit that produced six lines, including C-, H-, L-, N-, T-, and W-Series models.
“After the war, a lot of rural Americans moved to urban and suburban centers looking for work, and many took their Ford pickups with them,” said Kreipke.
“Ford saw this as an opportunity, and began work on the next generation of trucks for 1948, what came to be known as F-Series Bonus Built trucks.”
Ford rebranded the F-series in 1953, so the F-100 came with armrests, dome lights and sun visors. The truck also came with integrated front fenders, a lower and wider cab and a more aerodynamic design. In 1957, Ford tested a car-based truck known as the Falcon ranchero.
The fourth-generation F-series with Ford’s I-beam front suspension was introduced in 1961 and an upscale Ranger was introduced in 1967, along with power-steering and brakes.
A larger, SuperCab option was introduced in 1974 to attract dual-purpose work and family buyers.
The Ford’s premium models were introduced in 1978 with the Lariat package with air conditioning, leather trim and power windows and locks. An all-new compact Ranger was introduced in 1982 and later discontinued in the U.S. in 2011 — thankfully, it will be back in 2019.
Ford’s first SVT F-150 Lightning high-performance pickup was presented in 1992 and the F-150 Raptor made its debut in 2010.
EcoBoost V-6 engine technology debuted the following year and Ford’s high-strength aluminum-alloy body was introduced in 2015 for the F-150.
The 2017 model year also brought a redesigned Raptor, an off-road performance variant of the F-150 that has been used by the Border Patrol and several other law enforcement fleets.
Today the F-Series truck is America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years and Ford’s best-selling vehicle for 35 straight years.
“Ford trucks have carried the loads, the people and the products necessary to get the job done,” Kreipke said.