Ford trucks mark 100 years

Posted on August 02, 2017

THE first Ford truck was spun off the brand’s iconic Model T.

According to Ford Motor Co. this pioneering pickup, called the Model TT, was released on July 27, 1917 -- nine years after the Model T was launched. In the years that followed Ford said its trucks became the choice of farmers, soldiers, construction workers, racing drivers, and even crocodile catchers.

Able to haul a payload of one ton, Ford said the Model TT was initially sold as a chassis only, with buyers supplying the type of body suitable for the truck’s intended use. By the time the Model TT was up for replacement -- in 1928 -- almost 1.3 million examples of the truck have been sold.

Succeeding Ford’s first truck were the Model A and Model AA pickups, which paved the way for a coupe-utility model -- or “ute” -- upon the request of a customer in Australia who had asked for a vehicle that could carry a load of pigs but which can be driven to church as well.

“With vehicles such as the early utes and pickups, Ford began changing the perception of trucks,” said Robert Kreipke, Ford’s corporate historian. “Where at one time trucks were considered purely work tools, Ford began to evolve them into a much more balanced vehicle for both work and recreational use.”

Mr. Kreipke said these early trucks “provided inspiration” for Ford’s F-Series and Ranger pickups, both of which “have been hugely successful across diverse markets all over the world.”

The years following World War II were an “opportunity to greatly increase the capability” of its pickups, Ford said. And coming out from this period was the F-Series, available in eight sizes and payload capacities ranging between one-half ton and three tons. Beginning 1977, the F-Series became the best-selling vehicle -- no just best-selling truck -- in the United States, a record it held for 35 consecutive years.

The Ranger, meanwhile, was Ford’s first compact pickup, the company said. Originally designed and built in the US, the Ranger from 1972 onward built a reputation as a “tough, smart and capable vehicle.” At present, Ford said the model is the most popular midsize pickup in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, and a number of ASEAN markets.