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Ford Pickup Trucks

Overview

As American as baseball and apple pie, the Ford pickup has been a hard-working American fixture for nearly one hundred years. Those years of trucking roll out in the pages of this book, which celebrates generations of Ford pickups in photographs and anecdotes, historical images, trivia, and technical details.

From the old TTs and flatbeds to all the classic F-series, these are the trucks that have kept America moving.

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Overview

As American as baseball and apple pie, the Ford pickup has been a hard-working American fixture for nearly one hundred years. Those years of trucking roll out in the pages of this book, which celebrates generations of Ford pickups in photographs and anecdotes, historical images, trivia, and technical details.

From the old TTs and flatbeds to all the classic F-series, these are the trucks that have kept America moving.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Decade by decade, Mueller gives a colorful guided tour of the main models of Ford trucks, from the earliest T-based 1925s to the bling and bulky attitude of the present. The short history for each decade is fact-packed and just long enough to keep all of the color photos from banging together, a Whitman Sampler of trucks.” – Mark Wigginton, Sports Car Market.

“Mike Mueller’s Ford Pickup Trucks from Motorbooks is a great spotter’s guide offering full-color images of every Ford pickup to leave the plant…” – John Gilbert, Custom Classic Trucks

“More than mere shelf filler, this book is a homerun for fans of Ford trucks and all who see the American pickup truck as an icon in the truest sense of the word.” – Jim Hinckley, Cars and Parts

Mark Wigginton
Decade by decade, Mueller gives a colorful guided tour of the main models of Ford trucks, from the earliest T-based 1925s to the bling and bulky attitude of the present. The short history for each decade is fact-packed and just long enough to keep all of the color photos from banging together, a Whitman Sampler of trucks.
Sports Car Market
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760332627
  • Publisher: Motorbooks
  • Publication date: 6/15/2008
  • Series: Gallery Series
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 306,149
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Mueller has worked as a freelance automotive photojournalist since 1991. A 1983 graduate of the University of Illinois' journalism program, Mueller held staff positions from 1987 to 1991 with Automobile Quarterly, Corvette Fever, Muscle Car Review, and Mustang Monthly, among others. A lifetime car enthusiast, Mueller has written/photographed more than 25 automotive history (including pickup trucks) books and contributed photography to at least that many more. Among his long list of titles are Motorbooks' The Complete Book of Classic GM Muscle, The Complete Book of Corvette, The Complete Book of Dodge & Plymouth Muscle, and The Complete Book of Mustang. He also has photographed dozens of car/truck calendars and contributed more than 1,000 articles to magazines like Car Craft, AutoWeek, Street Rodder, Motor Trend's Truck Trend, Car Collector, Baseball Digest, and American History Illustrated. His photos have appeared in LIFE, Forbes, Esquire, Automobile, Popular Hot Rodding, and countless other publications.

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Introduction

Over the Long Haul

Ford's latest, greatest F-150 is not only America's best-selling truck, it's also the longest running, tracing its roots back to Dearborn's original F-series pickup, introduced for 1948. This F-1 model, in turn, appeared some 30 years after Henry Ford had rolled out his very first truck, the Model TT one-ton, in July 1917. Sold only in bare-chassis form early on, the burly, bare-bones TT at the time was certainly nothing new on the utility vehicle scene. But it did represent a major milestone as far as today's ongoing Big Three truck legacy is concerned-it got the ball rolling. Dodge's first civilian-market commercial vehicle (the company had begun building military-use-only trucks in 1916) followed Ford's in October 1917 and Chevrolet's first debuted in January 1918.

Ford again made truck history seven years later by introducing America to the modern pickup. Sure, light-duty half-ton trucks had existed before 1925, but not one was factory built. Aftermarket companies supplied custom pickup bodies up to that point, and nearly all of these were made rather crudely of wood. Ford's 1925 Model T Runabout with Pick-Up Body broke ground because it was sold complete from Dearborn with a steel body. No more middleman suppliers, and no more open invitations to termites.

Though another factory-built pickup, this one from Dodge Brothers, had actually debuted the year before, it apparently failed to qualify for milestone status due to various technicalities. This 3/4-ton truck featured an archaic wooden body supplied by the Graham Brothers firm, Dodge's Indiana-based "truck division." Additionally, it was barely noticed by truck buyers-only about 500 werebuilt in 1924, compared to the 30,000 Model T pickups delivered by Ford in 1925.

By 1930, both Chevrolet and Dodge had cut out the middleman (as well as the carpenter) by rolling out their own steel-bodied pickups, signaling the end of an era. Quaint wooden truck cabs would remain on the scene a bit longer, but the various companies that once fashioned them by the boatload quickly faded away.

Competitive juices, meanwhile, began boiling as Ford and Chevy kept busy battling for the truck market sales lead. Upstart Chevrolet first took the top spot from the reigning champ in 1927, and the two battled back and forth through the Thirties. Chevrolet regained the number one position in 1938 and stayed in front for another 30 years. Now it's Ford with the bragging rights of 30 straight years building America's most popular pickup.

While Chevrolet trucks stayed out in front during the first two decades following World War II, Ford's counterparts in those days were by no means also-rans. Dearborn's first new postwar pickup, the aforementioned F-1, was followed five years later by a true American milestone. When Automobile magazine named "The 24 Most Important Automobiles of the Century" in its September 1996 issue, included along with the likes of Ford's first Model T was the 1953 F-100. "Every comfortable, driver-friendly pickup on the road today owes its existence to the original Ford F-100," wrote Automobile founder David E. Davis, Jr. "Until the appearance of the restyled F-100 pickup, trucks were thought suitable only for commercial uses. But [this] was the first truck planned, styled, and engineered by a corporate management team, and suddenly pickups became an alternative for personal transportation."

Although it too failed to immediately bring down the Bow-Tie, the F-100 remained hot on the leader's heels year in and year out until the job was finally done. After returning to the top in 1968, the F-100 was joined by its F-150 heavy half-ton running mate seven years later. The F-150 then supplanted the F-100 as Ford's base half-ton pickup in 1984, and continued on as the main force to be reckoned with in the pickup market.

The F-series pickup became the world's best-selling nameplate of all-time in 1995 after roaring past the VW Beetle. More than 26 million F-series trucks had been sold by 1997, some worked to death by their owners, and others treated to a more civilized existence. "Today's F-series competes in a marketplace that has changed considerably since the nameplate's introduction in 1948," said Ford strategic market analysis manager Joel Pitcoff. "No longer strictly a workhorse, the present [F-150] has taken its place as a family member and a pleasure companion." And it looked so darn good, too.

Yet another new and improved F-150 appeared for 2004 to help keep Ford's winning streak intact. How much longer it runs remains up to Chevrolet. Or, eventually, maybe even Toyota.
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