Now on Display: Ford’s First F-Series

December 13, 2017

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The Automotive Hall of Fame is proud to present “Now on Display”, a new blog series chronicling our various display vehicles and the Inductees they represent. Our first installment in this series featured a stunning Mercedes-Benz 280 SL representing Bela Barényi, which you can read about here. The second installment of this series features our new lobby display vehicle, a beautifully restored 1949 Ford F-1 pickup representing Henry Ford and his legendary flathead V8.

Since its introduction in 1948, over 35 million F-series pickups have been produced, making it one of the best-selling vehicles of all time. The first generation of F-series pickups was introduced in late 1947 as 1948 models. It was Ford’s first post-WWII truck design and was sold in a plethora of different configurations to suit a wide variety of tasks.

One of the most popular options for the early F-series trucks was Ford’s flathead V8. Introduced in 1932, the flathead brought affordable V8 power to the masses when it was installed in the Ford Model 18, an upper trim level of the Model A. Henry Ford provided many of the ideas for the flathead’s design and oversaw its entire development. As he was in the waning years of his career, the flathead V8 was his last major engineering project at Ford Motor Company.

Henry Ford pictured with the first production flathead V8

The flathead V8 had been available in Ford’s pre-WWII pickups, but in the smaller 221-cubic inch configuration. The F-1 pickups received the 239-cubic inch version, which offered better power output thanks to its larger displacement. Heavier duty F-series pickups could be outfitted with even larger versions of the flathead V8 to haul larger payloads. This 1949 F-1 pickup on display boasts the 239-cubic inch V8, along with notable options like Ford’s “3-Way Air Control” system to cool and heat the cab.

The first-generation F-series remained in production until 1952. The truck proved to be extremely popular with buyers, thanks to its durability and capabilities. It set the standard for future generations of F-series pickups and established one of the most successful vehicle lines ever produced.

This vehicle and others can be seen at the Automotive Hall of Fame during our public museum hours Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission to the museum is $10, $6 for seniors (62+) and students (13-18), and $4 for children. For information, please contact us by phone at (313) 240-4000.

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