by John Gerwatosky | Oct 1, 2017, 12:00PM
The Ford F-150, perhaps the most iconic truck in America, was introduced in 1975 as part of the Ford F-Series. If you’re reading this, you probably have an F-150, and so does your dad, your brother, your grandpa, and your uncle. Clearly, this isn’t a fad truck that’s about to go out of production anytime soon.
The first F-150 was introduced as part of the 6th generation of the F-series in 1975. This truck was originally designed to bridge the gap between the F-100, which did not have quite the amount of power that consumers wanted, and the powerhouse F-250. In its first year on the market, the F-150 made up over a third of Ford’s sales that year, and still holds strong as the best-selling truck in America. Within a few years, the iconic square headlights were introduced that would follow this truck into present-day with only slight modifications.
The success of the first F-150 gave Ford the push it needed to do its first ever ground-up redesign of the F-series for the 7th generation. This new Ford debuted an upgraded exterior improve aerodynamics and fuel-efficiency. It also was the first generation to feature the signature blue Ford oval on the front grill. In 1983, the F-100 entered its final year of production, pushing the F-150 to the top spot for lightest pickup on the market. This generation also featured power windows, locks, and mirrors, as well as a variety of other features considered more “luxury” and less “performance” at the time.
On the exterior, the 8th generation F-150 didn’t look too different, other than softening a few edges here and there. Ford also rounded out the fender arches and bedsides, which is why its so important to ensure any upgrades, like our Ford F-150 fenders and bedsides, are designed specifically for your generation. However, the new truck’s interior featured a total overhaul. The 3-speed transmission was officially discontinued and Ford introduced us with a powerful 5-speed manual, as well as introducing models with automatic transmission. Some engine models gained electronic fuel injection, and by 1989, the F-150 was the first pickup on the market with a non-carbureted engine.
The 9th generation brought about another exterior upgrade, with a lower hood line, rounded fenders and grill, and improved aerodynamics. Ford also brought back the classic FlareSide bed for the first time since 1987 as an optional upgrade. These flared fenders were another customizable upgrade for people who wanted to upgrade their tires for some offroading.
The F-150 as we know it today truly began with the 10th generation in 1997. The F-150 became classified as a ‘personal use’ truck, dropping its working truck status. This new design featured a fully independent front suspension and was the first truck of its size to have four doors. The 1997 model was named Truck Of The Year by Motor Trend Magazine, and sales increased by nearly a quarter-million in the next few years.
By 2004 when the 11th generation of F-150s rolled out, the truck had received an all-new platform. All F-150s came with four doors, and the Triton engine was introduced, as well as a flex-fuel engine in 2006. This model once again won Motor Trend’s Truck Of The Year award and was commemorated for its safety.
Advanced Fiberglass Concepts specializes in making top-quality, rugged fiberglass fenders, flared fenders, and fiberglass bedsides for F-150s and other makes and models. Whether you have a two-toned 1980 classic or a 2014 just dying for a new set of wheels (and room to put ‘em!), choose Advanced Fiberglass Concepts. Order online, or find an authorizeddealer here.