With time, every car manufacturer made many changes to reply to trends and compete with other manufacturers.
Ford is one of the biggest vehicle companies, and its name is embedded in American culture.
In this article, you will learn about the Ford generations and how they grew over the decades.
How Many Generations Of F-150 Are There?
In the next paragraphs, you will learn about each generation of Ford F-150.
There are in total 14 generations, and with each of them Ford made significant changes.
Keep reading to find out about all the steps Ford took to be the top choice when it comes to buying a truck in the US.
1st Generation (1948–1952) F-150
The F-1 through F-8 designations were used for the initial generation of F-Series trucks. Panel trucks, regular trucks, school buses, cab-over-engine vehicles, and of course, pickup trucks were all rated according to their weight.
Each vehicle had a manual gearbox, windshield wipers on the driver’s and passenger’s sides, and a foot-plunger windshield washer. This technology was advanced back then, and Ford had accomplished much.
The 1948 F-Series line, launched a year before Ford’s first post-war vehicle, was the company’s first post-war truck, illustrating the significance of the Ford truck’s history.
Henry Ford stopped all civilian production during World War Two in order to concentrate on creating vehicles for our military and allies. As a consequence, the soldiers and the F-Series trucks received recognition first after the battle.
2nd Generation (1953–1956) F-150
In the second gen, the F-Series was utterly redesigned. The Series also had a significant nomenclature change. They got new engines, redesigned chassis, roomier interiors and exteriors, and extras, including a radio, dome light, armrests, and lighter.
The F-1 became the F-100 at this time, the F-2 and F-3 combined to produce the F-250, and the F-4 became the F-350. These classifications are still in use today.
Joe Cotton first began selling Fords in 1955. Ford’s new 239 CID overhead valve Y-block V8 engine replaced the F-100’s flathead engine in 1953, immediately earning the moniker “Power King.” In 1954, the 279 and 317 quickly took their position, and power steering was initially offered as an option.
In 1956, a unique F-100 body type was created as a one-year-only option.
It included vertical windscreen pillars and a wraparound windshield instead of a diagonal one. The model for this year also had Ford’s extremely uncommon “Low GVWR” (gross vehicle weight rating) variants in each model, and seat belts were made optional.
3rd Generation (1957–1960) F-150
The 3rd Generation introduced a new, updated body style where the hood and front fenders were incorporated into the bodywork to produce a clamshell shape that would be a defining characteristic of the truck for the following 20 years.
In 1957, the cab-over F-Series was phased out and was replaced with the tilt-cab C-Series, which many people may recall being employed as a fire truck and heavy-duty delivery truck.
In 1990, the C-Series manufacture ceased. Ford also achieved a significant milestone when it started making four-wheel-drive trucks in 1959.
4th Generation (1961–1966) F-150
The square design motif was carried over to the fourth-generation F-Series, which also saw an increase in width and amenities.
Moreover, Ford’s unibody design, which eliminated the space between the cabin and the bed, was debuted with this model, making assembly simpler and less expensive.
Nevertheless, the carmaker abandoned this style in 1964 and returned to a two-piece design. A new frame debuted that year and remained in use through the end of the 1970s. In 1965, a four-door crew cab made its debut.
5th Generation (1967–1972) F-150
The fifth-generation F-Series debuted in 1967 with a larger, recognizable design that would later become synonymous with the line for a considerable amount of time.
The 302 Windsor V8 was added to the lineup in 1969, and the grille’s look became more uniform. Around this time, the four-door crew cab became famous as a vehicle choice.
The platform, however, was a carryover from the fourth-gen model beneath; these generations just advanced too quickly for new platforms to be needed every five to six years.
6th Generation (1973–1979) F-150
With the addition of a redesigned, two-tiered grille and a stripe that extended from the front side markers to the back, the sixth-generation Ford F-Series dramatically modified the exterior proportions of the outgoing F-Series.
Yet the underlying engineering was roughly the same.
The F-150 moniker was first used in 1975, and the vehicle underwent a dramatic redesign in 1978, adding square headlamps and a single-piece grille without an upper level containing the side markers.
7th Generation (1980–1986) F-150
The 1980 F-Series makeover gave the pickup a fresh appearance that had only been teased during the 1970s.
The new trucks had a new body and were more angular on the outside, but maybe even more significant was that the chassis was brand-new for the first time in more than ten years.
Five different cab options were now available to customers, and Ford’s Courier brought some competition from below in the sector.
8th Generation (1987–1991) F-150
The 1980 F-Series was heavily updated in the eighth-gen model, although it had a considerably more modern grille that did away with sealed-beam headlights.
The truck’s cab and chassis didn’t change, but it did get some new technology, such as rear ABS brakes. The eighth-gen model, a restyling of the prior model, had a notably brief model year lifespan.
9th Generation (1992–1997) F-150
The ninth-gen model offered the 1980s F-Series a sleeker, more contemporary appearance and some new technology while still depending on the repurposed chassis and cab.
The F-150 SVT Lightning, a performance variation from this generation, served as a glimpse of impending efforts to freshen up the lineup.
It is also noteworthy for being the last of the square-body F-Series designs.
10th Generation (1997–2004) F-150
The 10th-gen F-Series is the first of the more or less “modern” F-Series trucks and the first fully new F-Series since 1980.
The new F-Series marked a dramatic stylistic shift with its smooth, rounded curves and new chassis design below.
With many previous features in Expedition and Navigator, this was the first F-Series to attempt to obfuscate the distinction between a truck and an SUV.
Lincoln also tried an opulent F-150 in the shape of the Blackwood. Also, driving felt considerably more like a car. Sales for Ford increased significantly during this time.
11th Generation (2004–2008) F-150
With the debut of the 11th generation F-Series in 2004, the trends of increased interior comfort and a more accommodating ride and handling persisted.
This time, the F-150 was situated on a brand-new platform and was externally substantially bigger and higher.
The regular-cab variants of the truck had short rear doors for the limited cargo compartment inside; all cab models now have four doors.
The F-150’s exterior styling got a little more chiseled, and its SUV-like interior amenities simplified it for buyers who seldom used its payload capacity to acquire the vehicle.
The fact that this generation of F-150 contributed to the growing acceptance of trucks as personal vehicles will be most fondly remembered.
12th Generation (2009–2014) F-150
With a higher and bigger cab, locomotive-like front-end design, and increased dimensions, the F-150 moved even closer to the heavy-duty variants of the Ford truck series in this generation.
While the Platinum trim saw luxury levels expand once again, this generation was distinguished by the adoption of more aggressive design and a stronger inspiration from much larger trucks in what would eventually become an arms race with the Ram 1500 and the Chevy Silverado.
The Raptor model, geared toward off-road driving and has outstanding suspension travel and lots of power from a 411-hp V8, was also introduced during this generation.
13th Generation (2015–2020) F-150
The F-150 debuted in 2015 and included some of the most significant updates to the famous model, such as aluminum panels over a steel chassis that reduced the truck’s weight by 750 pounds.
Meanwhile, the design once more reflected heavy-duty influences with a tall, blunt bonnet, a lofty cabin, and a front fascia resembling a locomotive.
The 13th-generation F-150 included a ton of new technology, which made the truck more family-friendly. But, in an attack on Jeep, the Raptor also made a comeback. It used its twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 with 510 horsepower on tap to dominate off-road performance.
14th Generation (2021–present) F-150
The most recent F-150 is more of an evolution of the truck than a revolution; it continues to reduce weight by using a lot of aluminum while also delivering additional technology inside, such as the choice of a widescreen infotainment system and a fully digital instrument cluster.
The first hybrid powertrain is available, but the real revolution will only happen once Ford releases an electric vehicle version later in the product cycle.
Luna Meschiari is a full-blooded car nut who is well known to local garages, as each article is meticulously researched and peppered with the latest piece of information. Guess what car she’s driving right now? A RAV4 2021 Hybrid. But her heart also sleeps for pickups like the F-150. Get to know Luna better on the about us page.