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Two ranchers lean on the new 1948 pickup

Standard 1948 Ford F-1 features included an ashtray, glove box, and driver’s side sun visor, unusual on trucks at the time. (Ford archival photography)


On Jan. 16, 1948, Ford Motor publicly revealed the new F-1 pickup, beginning the F-Series legacy. The first-gen truck ran through 1952.

Introduced in late 1947, the F-Series trucks were assembled at 16 different facilities in North America during its production. Engine choices were an inline-6 or a “flathead” V-8, according to the truck’s page in Wikipedia. All F-series were available with optional “Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive” until 1959.

Standard features on the F-1 included an ashtray, glove box, and driver’s side sun visor, which was unusual on trucks at the time.

Options included the “See-Clear” windshield washer (operated by foot plunger), passenger-side windshield wiper and sun visor, and passenger-side taillight.

The F-1 truck also had options for additional stainless-steel trim and two horns.

8 F-Series Chassis Configurations

The first-generation F-Series was marketed in eight different chassis weight ratings, giving them their model names. The half-ton rated F-1 was the lightest-capacity version with the F-8 as the highest.

F-1 through F-3 pickup trucks were offered in the lineup, which included the panel trucks. The bare F-3 chassis served as the basis for a parcel delivery truck. The F2 had a three-quarter-ton rating and the F3 was the heavy-duty ¾ ton.

The heavier-duty F-4 chassis was produced as a light-duty commercial truck.

The F-5 and F-6 were medium-duty trucks in three configurations:

  • Conventional;
  • Cab-Over-Engine C-Series;
  • School bus chassis (as the B-Series), with no bodywork rear of the firewall).

The F-7 and F-8 were heavy-duty commercial trucks, marketed under the “Big Job” brand name from 1951.

The cab-over models moved the cab upward and forward, requiring a higher hood and different fenders than conventional models. The F-2 and up used larger wheel well openings than the F-1 models.

2 ranchers lean on the cargo box of a 1948 F-1

The new trucks featured a strengthened tailgate and anti-rattle chains.

The Ford F1 By the Numbers

The most common first-generation model was the F-1. It has a 6 ½-foot-long bed with 45 cubic feet volume of cargo room and a 114-inch wheelbase.

The F-2 and F-3 Express models had an 8-foot bed and a 122-inch wheelbase.

All truck beds had a steel floor with a hardwood subfloor to keep it from being dented. Skid strips were stamped into the steel so they would not come loose, unlike the previous model.

The tailgate was strengthened and reinforced using a rolled edge with a tapered truss. Anti-rattle chains had a smooth quiet operation. The chairs were lengthened to allow the tailgate to open flat to the bed floor for easier loading and unloading of cargo.