Ford updated its popular F-Series pickup trucks in 1961, marking the venerable truck’s fourth discrete generation. In the process, the F-100 received a revamped appearance with a stacked grille, a lower stance, and a brighter cab. Most notable, however was an innovative integrated cab/bed design that was applied to lighter duty trucks. While retaining standard body-on-frame architecture, these were the first pickup trucks to have the cab and box integrated (not to be confused with car based Ranchero and El Camino). For a boulevard cruiser, this made quite the fashion statement. For a work truck, which would get loaded with cargo and driven on rough roads or off road, the flexing frame under an unyielding body would cause damage. Heavier duty models from these years—and all four-wheel-drive trucks—used the previous generation’s Styleside bed box or the traditional Stepside. In 1964, Ford introduced a new Styleside box design specifically for that generation of F-series, continuing through 1966.
The 1965 model year saw a heavily restyled front fascia and grille, with turn signals relocated to between the grille and the hood. Most importantly was also the introduction of Twin-I-Beam front suspension—a staple of the Ford light-duty trucks until 1996. The same year also saw a general modernization of the engines, transitioning away from the circa 1954 Y-blocks and from the similar design era 223 six used though 1964. In their place was the 352-cid FE block V-8 and more durable yet lighter thin wall casting technology 240 six.
For 1966, changes were essentially in trim, but included a new top-level Ranger package featuring bucket seats and a carpeted cab floor. Even before the Ranger package, Ford was dialed into the pickup becoming a second car trend, with comfort and style options like power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, and Camper Special packages being marketed and selling well. These later two years – with a more comfortable ride and easier parts availability—tend to have the greatest values.