Ford F-Series is a car model initially introduced in 1948 by the Ford Motor Company in the form of light and medium-duty trucks. The car model's body type includes chassis cab trucks, full-size pickup trucks, and commercial vehicles. The Ford F-Series has, however, over the years improved its variety now offering Class 3-5 Super Duty and Class 6-8 Super Duty trucks, all designed as a cross between Ford's pickup and medium-duty vehicles.
Ford launched its first F-Series model in 1948 in North America. The production of the F-Series lineup entailed constant modifications on the exterior and interior designs all through the five generations before the Ford F-Series was made available for the Australian buyers.
These modifications included engine upgrades, chassis updates, redesigned windows, new bed (StyleSide and FlareSide), and cab (standard and crew cab) style options which, included a unibody that combined the cab to the bed in the fourth generation. Some of the Ford F-Series trucks also got the four-wheel-drive layout. The GVWR for the Ford F-Series kept increasing over the years.
1973-1979: Introduction in Australia
The first Ford F-Series to be sold in Australia were the sixth-generation models, which Ford launched in 1973, the F-100, F-150, F-250, and F-350 models. They featured full double wall bed construction, front brakes, amplified cabin dimensions, and increased use of galvanized steel on its body.
Other exterior redesigns of the sixth generation include square headlights. Ford ditched the FE engine series in favour of the 335 and 385 series engines, introducing the Lariat and Ranger trim models. This generation also introduced the F-150 between the F-100 and F-250 in 1975 as compliance with emission control restrictions at the time. It also introduced the SuperCab extended-cab body in the same year.
In 1977, the Ford F-Series became the best-selling truck in the United States, and it has maintained this position to date.
The sixth-generation Ford F-Series trucks assembled in Australia came as right-hand drive trucks with locally-sourced engines. All models in the series had a base trim called Custom, while the F-100 had a higher spec trim known as the XLT.
Initially, Ford F-Series trucks came with the US-sourced 240 and 300 CID straight-6 engines. A 250 CID straight-6 (79 kW, 258 N.m) replaced the 240 CID engine, while a 302 CID Cleveland V-8 (97 kW, 304 N.m) supplanted the 300 CID straight-6.
The Ford F-100 sporting the 302 Cleveland V8 engine became the first sixth-generation F-Series truck to come with an automatic transmission as an option. The large F-250 and the F-350, as well as the six-cylinder models, received the four-speed manual transmission. During this period, the choices included the 4x4 F-250 Canadian variant in 1975 fitted with the 300 CID straight-6 engine. The engine options for the F-Series trucks during this time included:
- 1973 - 4.1L petrol, 3-speed auto
- 1974 and 1975 - 4.9L petrol 3-speed auto
- 1974, 1974, and 1975 - 4.9L petrol 4-speed auto
- 5.8L petrol 5-speed manual, maximum power of 162 kW and 429 N.m torque
- 4.1L petrol 4-speed manual, maximum power of 92 kW and torque of 288 N.m
The F-Series made engine upgrades to comply with Australian government regulations for emission reduction while also increasing engine power output. This series brought about the introduction of the crossflow head to the 250 CID straight-6 engine. In 1976 the F-100's Gross Vehicle Mass was increased from 2,586 kg to 2,770 kg. In 1977 a 4x4 F-100 was launched with Australian-built engines. The engine option for this period included:
- F-100 maintained its engine option for standard base models but had a 4.9L petrol 4-speed manual for its 4x4 version in 1977. The 1975 F-100 retained the same engine features, such as the 4942 cc capacity and V8 cylinder.
- F-250 maintained its engine option, which entailed 5766cc engine capacity, V8 cylinder, and a maximum power output of 162 kW and 429 N.m torque.
- F-350 engine option was maintained, which had a 4089cc capacity, 6 cylinders, with a maximum power output of 92 kW and torque of 288 N.m.
During this time in the sixth generation, the 351 Cleveland V8 engine replaced the 302 Cleveland V8 engine for the F-250 and F-350 F-Series models. In Australia, the F-250 and the F-350 came with an optional automatic gearbox for the V8 engines.
The engine options for the sixth generation Australian F-Series at this period included:
- F-100 5.8L petrol engine, 3-speed automatic, 4-speed manual, and 4-speed manual 4x4 drivetrain (1978) and 5.8L petrol, 3-speed automatic, 4-speed manual 4x4, and 3-speed automatic 4x4 options. The engines had 5766cc capacity and V8 cylinders that produced 162 kW maximum power and 410 N.m torque and 429 N.m torque for the 4x4 driveline.
- F-250 4.1L petrol engine, 3-speed automatic in 1979, which featured 4089cc, six cylinders with peak power of 92 kW and a torque of 288 N.m.
- F-350 4.1L petrol engine, 4-speed auto with 4089cc capacity, six cylinders that produced a peak power of 92 kW and torque of 288 N.m.
- Eric Anyega