This truck series has held an quiet but iconic place in automotive history, laboring in delivery, firefighting, hauling and more. Yet collectors and those that appreciate the history of the Ford truck simply cannot ignore the Ford C-Series history. The Ford C-series trucks built before 1960 had a distinctive helmet-shape. The C-Series trucks were versions of the F-5, F-6, F-7 and F-8. Models included the C-500, C-600, C-700, C-750, C-800, C-850 and the C-900. Model designations for the diesel engine models had an extra zero, such as the C-9000.
1948 was the first generation of the Ford F-Series, known as the Ford Bonus-Built truck. The model designations were badged as F-1s. It was built with a wide cab, one-piece windshield and had the optional foot plunger operated windshield wiper (the “See-Clear”, passenger-side windshield wiper and visor, passenger-side tail light, and the optional Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive (which all F-Series had as an option until 1959).
In 1949 the wheels were now painted to match the color of the body, and the red pinstripes on the silver painted grille bars was now gone. The floor based 3-speed shift would be moved to the steering column in 1950.
Up until 1950 the headlights were nestled in the front fender, but in 1951-1952 the headlights were redesigned to be connected by a crosspiece with aerodynamic supports. The grille was ivory and the headlight rings were argent. There was a V8 emblem added to the grille as well. During this time a new Five-Star Cab was introduced and the rear window was widened, the pickup bed and tailgate got a new design and the pickup bed was now hardwood instead of metal.
There were four models of F-Series truck during this first generation: The pickup truck, panel truck, COE/cab-over engine chassis (for the F-5, F-6 and branded C-Series) and the school bus chassis (F-5-, F-6 and branded B-Series).
In 1953 the Ford pickup trucks got their new names. The F-1 was the F-100, the F-2 and F-3 became the F-250 and the F-4 became the F-350 1 ton. More options were available including lighter, arm rests, dome light, sun visors and radio, and the Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission was now an available options.
During 1953-1954 the 239 CID overhead valve Y-block V8, the Power King, was introduced. The 239 Y-block was replaced with the 270 and 317 in 1954.
1956 F-100s are unique. The wrap around windshield and vertical pillars, the big wraparound back window (which was optional) and the now optional seat belts make this single-year model stand out.