Ford Tough: 100 Years of Ford Trucks – Book Review
2017 is a significant year for Ford trucks; not only is the F-Series coming off of its 40th year as the best-selling truck in all of America (and 35th year as America’s best-selling vehicle overall), and not only will it see the first introduction of a Ford F-150 powered by a Power Stroke turbo diesel engine, but it marks one century since the launch of the Ford Model TT One Ton Truck, the first dedicated Ford truck ever produced.
To celebrate the centennial of Ford Trucks, acclaimed automotive journalist Patrick Foster has put together the aptly titled 100 Years of Ford Trucks, a lovingly rendered love letter to the automaker and its pursuit of pickup perfection.
Ford Tough: 100 Years of Ford Trucks
Written by Patrick Foster
Product Details: Hardcover, 208 pages, 9.5 x 11.2 x 0.8 inches
Retail Price: $45.00 USA
Publication Date: August 2017
It may surprise you to note that 100 Years of Ford Trucks is somewhat deceptively named; author Foster actually tracks more than a century’s worth of Ford history, including Henry Ford’s earliest flirtations with building a light commercial vehicle and the popularity of Ford’s earliest models with aftermarket upfitters. Not that a little extra history is a thing to complain about, mind you.
Ford begins its foray into the truck industry in earnest in 1917 with the launch of the Ford Model TT (an anniversary that the brand is celebrating today) and, from there, things seem only to progressively trend upwards. Foster marks the hiccups along the way with regards to adapting to world events and being bested by competitors, making it all the sweeter when the Blue Oval launched the F-150 in 1975 and ostensibly never looked down as it climbed its way to the top of the truck market.
In 100 Years of Ford Trucks, Foster covers the highs, the lows, and the rest of the highs experienced by Ford over its 100 years of building trucks with a thoroughness and reverence that is sure to strike a chord with fans and readers.
Do you like coffee table books? Sure you do! The expectations of a 1) big book 2) sturdily (but not too sturdily) bound 3) with lots of pictures to leaf through are all well met with 100 Years of Ford Trucks. It’s a handsome, well put-together tome that benefits from nice quality touches like an image of a beautiful white F-100 splashed across the front pastedown and flyleaf and one of the new 2017 F-150 Raptor literally bookending the current history of Ford trucks in the back.
In all likelihood, book- and truck-lovers picking up copies of 100 Years of Ford Trucks are doing so with the express purpose of looking at pictures of the subject matter as it develops across the 20th and 21st centuries. I’m happy to report that the book delivers on that with high-quality images of everything from the original “Tonner” to the fresh-off-the-block F-150 Raptor. All pictures are laid out in a clean, eye-pleasing manner that makes it easy for readers to compare and contrast across the decades with just a few page flips.
While the most appealing aspect of 100 Years of Ford Trucks for enthusiasts adding the book to their shelves and coffee tables will no doubt be its treasure trove of color and black-and-white photos, there is much credit to be given to author Patrick Foster. Foster, winner of the AACA’s prestigious Thomas McKean Memorial Cup and the Lee Iacocca Award, lays out the foundation, expansion, and dominance of Ford’s truck endeavors in a clear, concise, and eminently readable fashion.
While there is only so much that can be done with a subject matter so linear, Foster does so in a fashion indicative of his mastership in the field of automotive writing. He peppers in pertinent and amusing background information with regards to the goings-on of each era—from World War I to the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis—and of the characters involved (a specific example: his inclusion of the manner in which William “Big Bill” Knudsen pronounced “one for one” when speaking to Chevy dealers on the topic of matching Ford sales). This serves to keep the book flowing at a quick, breezy clip.
More to the point, Foster’s coverage of a century of Ford trucks is comprehensive to the degree that it would be incredibly difficult to put together a more complete book on the subject matter (the book concludes at the introduction of the 2017 F-Series Super Duty, leaving the recently-announced 2018 Ford F-150 and aluminum-bodied Expedition out of the equation). His veneration for the subject matter is clear in everything from the way he presents year-by-year sales statistics to the way he paints word pictures about the changes that have graced Ford trucks with each iteration since inception.
If you have someone in your life who loves trucks, Ford, and Ford trucks, then you would do well to pick up 100 Years of Ford Trucks on their behalf. It’s an easy read that only takes a couple of hours to plow through, and one that the recipient is likely to come back to time and time again.
Ford Tough: 100 Years of Ford Trucks is available through the publisher’s website, Amazon, and other retailers.
Product provided for review by publisher.