January 16, 1948 – Ford F-Series trucks go on sale

Up until 1948, Ford’s cars and trucks had shared the same platform and styling queues. That all changed when Ford launched the Ford F-Series trucks, which went on sale on this day in 1948. Badged F-1 through F-8 in order of ascending capabilities, the new trucks proved to be extremely popular. Starting with the 1/2 ton F-1, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,700 pounds, up to the F-8 with a 22,000 pound GVWR, there was an F-Series for every driver and every job.

Above: 1965 Ford F-100. By Sicnag – CC BY 2.0. Top: 1949 Ford F-3. By Vauxford -CC BY-SA 4.0.

The first generation remained in production through 1952 before being replaced by the larger second gen trucks. The third generation, introduced in 1957, saw cab overs become their own line and in house four wheel drive production at Ford. In 1965, in the middle of the fourth generation, the Ranger name made its first appearance on a Ford pickup. It would eventually become its own model.

First Generation F-1 Front End! $19.99

Ford F Series truck history

Consistent updates to styling, engines and interior options would result in four more generations between the 1970s and 1980s. The ninth generation, introduced for 1992, would help celebrate Ford’s 75th anniversary of in house production of trucks, commemorating the 1917 Ford Model TT. That same year, in response to Chevrolet’s 454SS pickup, Ford unveiled the SVT Lightning, which had a 240 hp 5.8l V8.

Tenth generation Ford F-Series (F-250)

The tenth generation debuted in 1997 with a substantial redesign. It would carry Ford into the 2000s, up until 2004. Its seven year lifespan makes it the longest lasting generation of F-Series trucks. Today, the F-Series, badged F-150 through F-750 depending on capabilities, is in its 14th generation, which launched for 2021. The first fully electric Ford F-Series truck is expected to hit the market in 2022.

2021 Ford F-150. By Gold Pony, CC BY 3.0

To get more history of cars in your inbox, be sure to sign up for the This Day in Automotive History newsletter at the top of this page.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The best way to support This Day in Automotive History is to become a monthly subscriber on Facebook.

Subscriber benefits include:

  • Most importantly, you’re supporting great content about Automotive History
  • Early access to content on Facebook
  • Discounts on our store
  • Special live videos

If you learned something today, please buy me a beer!

No payment method connected. Contact seller.


This Day in Automotive History - the book!

This Day In Automotive History

By Brian Corey

This book tells fascinating tales, bringing individual days to life with short stories, photographs and illustrations.

This Day in Automotive History

This Day in Automotive History is a transportation history, car history and general automotive history website dedicated to providing informative and entertaining content.

We encourage you to share our page and connect with us on Facebook or sign up for our automotive history newsletter. If you’d like your car featured, reach out to us!


Connect with us on Facebook or sign up for our automotive history newsletter to keep in touch.

Love automotive history? Support this site!


Sign up for our automotive history newsletter to keep in touch.

By clicking “Sign up” you agree to receive marketing and promotional emails from This Day in Automotive History and Cars & Copy Media Co.