Catherine Hiles
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Ford F-150 History

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2021 Ford F-150 towing
2021 Ford F-150
Photo: Ford

The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S. since 1977, and the best-selling vehicle since 1981. The F-Series moniker includes several truck models, but the F-150 is easily the best-known of them all. Initially introduced in 1948, the Ford F-150 has been helping American workers get the job done right in one form or another for more than 70 years.

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Early history

The truck we know now as the F-150 was initially introduced as the Ford F-1 back in 1948. In 1953, the F-100 was introduced, but it wouldn’t be until 1975 that consumers would be introduced to the F-150 nameplate. In its first year in production, the F-150 was responsible for more than one-third of all F-Series sales, and thus, the legend was born.

The Ford F-150 has gone through an amazing 14 generations, and still continues to be America’s best-selling vehicle.

Recent history

In 2015, Ford unveiled the 13th-generation F-150, which was an incredible 750 pounds lighter than its predecessor thanks to a switch from steel material to aluminum. Despite Ford leaving steel behind, the F-150 proved just as tough when built with aluminum, competing in the Baja 1000 endurance race in camouflage to prove its mettle. It was a risky move for Ford, but one that paid off as truck enthusiasts bought the new, lighter pickup truck in droves.

The 2016 Ford F-150 is the only vehicle to feature Pro Trailer Backup Assist technology
2016 Ford F-150
Photo: Ford

The F-150 entered its 14th generation with the 2021 model. Although visually, the redesigned truck wasn’t too different from the previous generation, a whopping 92% of its parts were redesigned. For 2022, Ford is introducing its first-ever all-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning. Though the Lightning is not yet on the road, almost 200,000 people have reserved theirs, proving once again that what could have been a risky move for Ford was a step in the right direction for truck owners.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum, Lariat, XLT
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning lineup
Photo: Ford


In addition to simply being the best-selling vehicle in America for over three decades, the Ford F-150 has won a host of awards, including the following.

  • 1996 North American Truck of the Year
  • 2004 North American Truck of the Year
  • 2009 North American Truck of the Year
  • 2015 North American Truck of the Year
  • 2018 Texas Auto Writers Association Truck of Texas
  • 2018 Middle East Truck of the Year (Raptor model)
  • 2019 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Best Pickup Truck
  • 2021 Hispanic Motor Press Association Pickup Truck of the Year
  • 2021 North American Truck of the Year
  • Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award (2014-2021 and counting)