Ford History: Everything Changed for Ford Trucks After WWII

From the powerful F-350 Super Duty, to the ubiquitous light-duty F-150, Ford trucks are some of the most dependable and innovative. Maybe it's because Ford has been building trucks for 100 years.

In 1917, the Ford Model TT defined the pickup truck segment for America. At the time, the First World War was still raging overseas, but it wasn't until after World War II that Ford trucks evolved into what they are today.

During WWII, Ford's manufacturing plants were re-purposed toward helping the Allies. This cut off civilian sales for a time, but gave Ford's engineers unique insight into building more rugged trucks. The customers they were marketing to changed as well.

"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 Ford historian Bob 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."

The original F-Series included the F-1, a half-ton pickup designed to be as capable at hauling cargo as it was at hauling families out to weekend getaways. It eventually was replaced by the F-100, which evolved into the F-150 in 1975. And that's how the best-selling pickup in America got its start.

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