1953 Ford F-100 1/2 Ton
6-cyl. 215cid/101hp 1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Ford truck people went back to the drawing board five years after the F-1's debut, this time shelling out a reported $30 million on what arguably represented Detroit's earliest application of an ergonomic study—at least as far as truck development history is concerned. The result was the F-100, a milestone pickup if there ever was one.
A lot of design money was spent on the 1953 F-100's “Driver Engineered” cab, which was created using the “Measuring Man,” a life-size model of Average Joe Trucker. “Driverized” features like improved control locations, sound deadener in the doors and an even wider seat guaranteed that Joe and his buddies would feel right at home. Also new was an enlarged one-piece windshield for added visibility.
A high-compression 223-cid OHV six-cylinder replaced the F-1's 215-cid six in 1954. But more momentous that year was the appearance of Ford's first modern OHV V-8, the 130-hp 239-cid “Y-block,” which finally superseded Henry's good ol' “flathead.”
The second generation of Ford’s F-Series truck line was one of the first post-war pickups to gain collector status as happy Ford owners began holding onto these trucks in the 1970s. As such a lot fewer were left to rot out on fence lines. A lot of these trucks, however, saw engine swaps and less than authentic restorations, which makes a bone stock example exceedingly rare today.
The most popular and unique year of this generation Ford is the 1956 model, as this was the only year of this generation that had a wrap-around windshield. While long-legged owners have to pay attention to ingress and egress lest they bash their knees into the door frame dogleg, the unique styling rules the day for everyone else.