100 Years of Ford Trucks
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Published on Sat, Jul 15, 2017
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Tom Gomez
When I was given this assignment I thought they gave it to the wrong guy. I’m a hardcore Chevy fan and Ford is not even in my vocabulary. I must confess, though, my second car at the tender age of 16 was a Ford. My first car was a 1958 Chevy Biscayne with a non-performance 235 in-line six. So when I had the opportunity to upgrade from the six to a V8, a neighborhood kid down the street had a 1966 Ford Mustang for sale. Cheap!
I bought the little Ford and proceeded to rebuild the 289. I replaced the worn out three-speed tranny with a new Ford Top Loader four-speed. 302 heads were added, and off I went to terrorize the street. As you can tell, I still have fond memories of that car and all the fun it provided. It taught me the basics of auto mechanics.
Honestly, I would love to have another one. So here we are, a Chevy guy giving a review on the new book, Ford Tough: 100 Years of Ford Trucks, by renown automotive author Patrick Foster. Patrick has painstakingly researched the history of Henry Ford and his incredible accomplishments, pioneering not just the American automobile but the assembly line of manufacturing that is still in use today throughout the world.
As I read the book, it progressively got more informative. I literally could not put it down. Henry was definitely a man who knew what he wanted. Countless attempts were made to refine the automobile and the process to manufacture them. It was a constant struggle for Ford with a multitude of investors and partners.
One of the most interesting facts about Mr. Ford and his accomplishments was during World War II. The government utilized his factories to produce military equipment, including the Jeep, even though he did not get the contract to build it.
Jeep Overland was the successful bidder but could not handle the enormous demand for the little Willys, so Ford took on the remainder of the demand and literally left his mark on the Jeep: Ford had the letter F stamped on all the parts including the bolts that were used to build the Jeep in the Ford plants.
In July 1917, Ford Motor Company introduced a one-ton chassis for commercial trucks, marking what many historians feel was its official entry into the dedicated truck business. Prior to this the company had offered commercial cars, including depot hacks and delivery van bodies mounted on its standard passenger car chassis. Dealers had also offered small after-market pickup beds that could be placed on the rear of a Model T car to convert it to a pickup. Several aftermarket companies that offered a wide array of utility beds began popping up across the country thus creating more jobs that surrounded the Ford base model. Who knew?
But with the debut of the rugged Model TT truck chassis, Ford was firmly in the truck market. Eight years later it introduced its first factory-produced pickup, a sturdy half-ton job that met with great acceptance. During the century that has passed since that first Ford truck chassis, the F-series has become the best-selling truck in the world—and the best-selling vehicle of any type in America. Every year the company sells over 700,000 F-series trucks, and well over 1.5 million trucks of all types, just in the U.S. It's an amazing success. Ford Tough: 100 Years of Ford Trucks tells the entire Ford truck story from the very beginning, when Ford got its start in truck production. This book provides the history of the wide array of models Ford has built over the past century, including the Model A roadster pick-up, stylish 81C pickups, legendary 1948 F-1, Bronco, Courier, Ranchero, and Econoline.
A most interesting fact you will read in this book is the fact that despite the economy or personal conflicts with investors, Henry Ford always seemed to have a backup plan. He continued to move forward with his dream of making an affordable car for everyone in America. The Ford truck was just a natural to do the same.
So there you have it folks: A hardcore Chevy guy giving a thumbs up on this fantastic book. Seriously, many thanks to Patrick Foster for his in-depth study and painstaking research on this incredible book.
Regardless of whether your a Ford, Chevy, Dodge or even an import afcionado, 100 Years of Ford Trucks is a definite read, and well worth the time and the bucks to understand the beginnings of the American pickup truck and its importance to the building of America.
Now, who has a ’66 Mustang they want to sell me?
Got something to say? Add your Facebook comment regarding this article here. Ford Tough: 100 Years of Ford Trucks By Patrick Foster Published by Motorbooks Format: Hardback, 208 Pages ISBN: 9780760352175 Illustrations: 200 color & 100 b/w photos Size: 9.25 in x 10.87 in Published: Jun. 1, 2017 MSRP: $45 This book is available at QuartoKnows.com and anywhere fine books are sold.