Name: 1948 Ford F1 Pickup
Year Produced: 1948-1952
Number Built: 290,000 (for all F-series)
Class: Full-size pickup truck
Body Type: 2-door pickup
Engine: 239 CID Ford Flathead V-8
Power: 100 hp @ 3800 RPM
Top Speed: (?)
Transmission: 3-speed manual floor shift
Wheelbase: 114 in.
Current Price: US$41,250 (RM Auctions, 2010)
In an effort to take the lead against the competing light truck sales leader of that time, Chevrolet, Ford gathered its resources to assemble the best minds in auto design to come up with their fresh, new line-up of pickups. As a result, they came up with a pickup truck that has the driver’s comfort and ease of driving in mind. Promoted as a “Bonus Built” truck in 1948, Ford’s F-Series of pickup trucks was the first new design from the car manufacturer since returning to civilian vehicle production after WWII.
Particular attention was given to the one place where the driver spends the most time, the cab. Ford advertised “living room comfort” for a new cab that was taller and more spacious than any Ford had previously released. It has comfortably upholstered coil spring bench seat, and sufficient room for a driver and two passengers. Various rubber pads, bushings, and rubber insulated bolts were even used in an effort to reduce cab noise and soften the pickup’s ride. The interior of the cab featured more trim items than usual including sun visors, an ashtray, and an instrument panel designed to be more visible and accessible. The gauges were complemented by the expansive view from behind the wheel, as the driver looked over the hood through a wide single-paned windshield.
It’s not just all good looks from the inside. The front fenders featured a wraparound appearance, coming together around a five-bar horizontal grille. Headlights were nestled on either side of the grille rather than placed into the front fenders as was previously done. The large triangular hood drew back to the broad windshield and under the hood, the buyer could opt for a 226 CID, 95 HP, 6-cylinder engine or the 239 CID, 100 HP, Flathead V8. A 3-speed floor shift transmission was standard for the F1 and F2 pickups, and the F3 1 ton pickup was offered with a 4-speed transmission as standard.
By the end of 1948 it was clear that the effort Ford put into designing the F-Series was worth it. Ford’s sales were hitting record numbers and the company celebrated its best production year for trucks since 1929.