Of course, we like history here, which is why we are taking a look back at the trucks that helped build this Truck Dynasty (only on the History Channel—check local listings).
1961 was a really strange year in the evolution of Ford trucks. They were redesigned on the heels of a 1960 update from rival Chevrolet. But the most notable additions to the Ford lineup were the unibodies with their cab and box integrated as one piece. Clearly, the unibody trucks were designed for ride, comfort, and style over function, and their limitations became obvious when people tried to push them hard.
1965 brought about a suspension change that became a Ford trademark as well as a Ford curse. The Twin-I-Beam front suspension made Ford pickups ride very well, even over the roughest terrain. On the negative side, they were difficult to keep aligned, especially as they got older, and uneven tire wear was not uncommon. Ford stuck with this design for many decades on their two-wheel-drive offerings.
Ford often states that they are the number one-selling vehicle, and that happened in 1996, when they were finally able to dethrone GM as the king of trucks. Ford continues to hold that distinction to this day.
The Atlas concept that I mentioned earlier in this article will give you an indication of the direction of the next-generation F-150. Again, Ford touts Ecoboost power plants and increased fuel mileage. It looks chunkier and more masculine, but things like active grille shutters and other styling tweaks promise to make it more aerodynamic than the current F-150.
The slideshow below contains lots of Ford F-Series trucks from throughout the history of the nameplate, all taken at various car shows and whatnot by your author. Or, click this link for a better version of the slideshow.