See How Far We’ve Come: Comparing the Original Ford F-150s to the 2023 Model

December 23rd, 2022 by

5 F-150s in different colors parked in southwest landscape

Exploring the Progression of the Flagship Ford Truck Through the Years

Words like “history” and “legacy” are often associated with the Ford brand. Much of this legacy can be traced back to the success of the F-150, Ford’s flagship truck.

Over the years, the F-150 has grown in popularity and is now the most popular truck on the road – and not just among Ford trucks. The F-150 is the truck to own in 2023.

Ford has been building this reputation for more than 100 years. Let’s explore the journey this Ford truck has taken to being the industry stalwart it is today.

Model TT: Father of All Ford Trucks

Released in 1917, the Model TT was the first official Ford pickup truck for sale to the public. The Model TT placed the cab and engine of the original Model T on a larger frame that carried a one-ton payload and could support aftermarket pickup beds.

The Model TT pickup became the first factory assembled Ford truck in 1926, with customers purchasing 1.3 million of them in just two years.

Pre-WWII Momentum

The success of the Model TT pickup led to the development of many more Ford trucks through the late 1920s and early 1930s, including the Model AA and Model BB. The most notable Ford truck from this pre-World War II time period was the Model 50, a Ford truck that was powered by a flathead V-8 engine and helped push Ford to more than 4 million total trucks sold.

The momentum from the Model 50 came to a halt during World War II as Ford shifted its efforts to producing war supplies, but it didn’t stop the popularity of Ford trucks in the future.

F-Series: Pre F-150 Pickup Trucks For Sale

Many Ford trucks continued to hit the market through the late 1940s, including the F-Series Bonus Built trucks. These Ford trucks, numbered F-1 through F-8, ranged in size and capability for a large offering of pickup trucks for sale. While this is something that has become common across the modern automobile industry, this was the first time in the history of Ford trucks that a diverse lineup was offered.

In 1953, the second generation of the F-series was released. This rendition of the series renamed the F-1 to the F-100, combined the F-2 and F-3 into the F-250, and renamed the F-4 to the F-450. Additionally, this second generation of F-series trucks would also add many new features including sun visors, dome lights, and optional automatic transmissions.

From 1957 to 1960, the F-series was again reimagined, paving the way for the release of the third-generation of these popular Ford trucks. The third generation of the F-series introduced the iconic wide and square style that is still influencing today’s Ford designs. Four-wheel drive was also added as an option in 1959.

The fourth generation added solid-axle suspension and a twin-I-beam setup to the two wheel drive trucks, allowing for a car-like drive without sacrificing any durability or power. Other notable developments of these fourth generation Ford trucks offered a four-door crew cab, carpeted floors, power brakes, air conditioning, and power steering.

Ford F-150: An Exciting New Ford Pickup For Sale

In 1974, Ford trucks would change forever with the release of the first Ford F-150. This new, larger truck would quickly become more popular than the F-100.

As the seventh generation developed between 1980 and 1986, Ford started to focus on incorporating comfortable interiors and increasing the aerodynamics of the F-series trucks. It was also during the seventh generation, in 1983, that the F-100 was officially discontinued to further develop the more popular F-150.

For Ford’s anniversary in 1987, Ford trucks received some exciting new features to commemorate the accomplishment and illustrate how far they had come. A flat grille, rounded wheel arches, power steering and brakes, and rear anti-lock brakes were added to the F-150 line. In 1992, Ford trucks surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the top-selling vehicle in the world.

Tenth Generation

The tenth generation of the F-series was produced between 1997 and 2003. With the new millennium being the main topic of conversation, Ford decided to refresh its marketing strategy and truck design.

By adding a lighter chassis and swapping out the twin-I-beam front suspension, Ford began adding features to make the F-150 more comfortable as a daily-driving vehicle and transitioned the marketing for the F-250 and F-350 for more heavy duty use.

This strategy led to many more drivers considering Ford trucks as their everyday vehicle, and Ford has continued to incorporate luxury features and performance enhancements to promote comfort and ease of driving.

Fourteenth Generation and the 2023 F-150

Ford is currently releasing F-150s for sale in the 14th generation! Although the features and specific additions will differ, the model that Ford follows is still the same. The 2023 Ford F-150 is no different, seeing Ford carrying over many existing features, while also introducing new favorites, like:

  • New Colors: Many Ford F-150 refreshes include new color offerings, and the 2023 F-150 is available in four new ones: Area 51 Blue, Avalanche, Azure Gray Metallic, and Hot Pepper Red Metallic.
  • New Packages: Many Ford model years introduce new trims and packages with special features. 2023 Ford F-150s for sale will include options in the all new Rattler off-road package and the Heritage luxury package.

Ready to Be One of More Than 26 Million Strong? Head to Our Ford Dealer Near You to Join the Ranks of Ford Truck Owners

If you are looking for Ford trucks for sale in Kansas City, look no further! Zeck Ford in Leavenworth, KS, has a wide selection of new and used Ford F-150 pickup trucks for sale.

Our unique customer service experience guarantees that all of our customers drive off of our lot in a vehicle they love at a price they can afford.

Make an appointment with one of our personal shoppers today to test drive one of our Ford F-150s for sale or any other vehicle you are interested in.

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