Cars We Love: 1953-1956 Ford F-100

1953-1956 Ford F-100

Yes, we know this article is about a truck, the Ford F-100 pickup truck in particular, and that this series is titled “Cars We Love.” Few would dispute that pickup trucks have become popular with a great number of automotive consumers and that many pickup trucks have replaced the family car as daily transportation. So if you like, go ahead and mentally change the title to “Cars (and Trucks) We Love.”

The F-100 made its debut in 1953 as part of Ford’s 50th anniversary celebration. Ford’s Golden Anniversary saw a complete redesign of their F-series trucks that had been introduced in 1948. The F-Series trucks at that time bore the designations F-1, F-2, etc., depending on the gross weight of the truck. The new designs for 1953 were accompanied by new names, with Ford adding “00” to the previous designations—thus, the F-1 became the F-100, and so on throughout the line.

The newly designed F-100 introduced fresh styling to American trucks and marked the very beginning of the evolution of pickup trucks from purely work vehicles into comfortable all-around vehicles. The F-100 featured an extended cab, a new grille, a longer hood that flowed into the front fenders, and a new 6.5-foot long cargo bed. The new ‘Driverized’ cab had a wider, more comfortable seat, sound deadener in the doors, a large, one-piece windshield, and a new instrument panel that was easier to read, along with standard features such as armrests, a dome light, a cigarette lighter, and sun visors.

1953-1956 Ford F-100

Buyers had a choice of powerplants and drivetrains. Engines included the 223 CID “Mileage Maker” six-cylinder or the 239 CID “Power King” V8; either could be coupled with a three-speed manual transmission, a three-speed manual with overdrive, a four-speed manual, or the new Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission.

The F-100 name remained in use until the end of 1983 production, at which time the lightest Ford pickup became the F-150. The F-150 carried on the lineage of the F-100 and became the best-selling truck in the United States.

But the Ford F-100 has not left us, at least not the ones made between 1953 and 1956. Because of their unique design features, they have become favorites of car (and truck) customizers everywhere. Their fat front fenders, full-width grille opening, and narrow bed provide a natural canvas for artistic expression that simply can’t be found on other vehicles.










Photo by Brian Snelson and Scott Symonds

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