While the overall chassis and cab structure dated to 1961, the 1973 Ford pickups were heavily reworked with an all-new look for 1973, resulting in the sixth generation of the ever popular F-Series. One of the more notable elements of the new styling was the body sides, which had a concave body character line going across the upper portion of the sides, containing the side marker lights and the front turn signals fitted in line with it. These were mounted for the first time in Ford light truck history over the headlights. Another element that was all new was the Styleside pickup box, which was billed at the time as the widest in the industry. The Flareside box that dated back to 1953 also continued to be available as an option.
1975 ushered in a major change in the larger displacement V-8 engine offerings. The FE-block 360 and 390 gave way to the 351, 400, and 460 cubic inch V-8s. All of these engines were also shared with and and had already been used in other Ford cars.
1976 saw a revised grille design that carried over into 1977, when the model nameplates moved from the fender to the cowl. The grille was totally redesigned for Ford’s 75th anniversary in 1978, mimicking the heavy-duty Louisville line L-series grille. Base level Custom models had round headlights, while all other series got Ford’s first use of rectangular headlights in their trucks. The top trim line was the new Lariat package. The biggest change for 1979 was that all series now used the rectangular lights. To complement the 1979 Indy Pace Car Mustang, Ford also made a similarly styled replica Indy Support Truck.
The late 1970’s also saw a rise in the popularity of light trucks for personal use and recreation. Ford played into this trend by offering a number of “Free Wheelin’” graphics and option group packages, especially on the F-series pickups. 1978 also saw the second generation of the Bronco, which was based on a shortened F-100 pickup.