Mt. Rushmore has been a national treasure for almost 75 years.

For American truck enthusiasts, the Ford F-Series has been a national treasure nearly as long with the first Ford F-1 rolling off the assembly line in 1947 for the 1948 model year.

The F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for more than 30 years (thanks in large part to the super-popular F-150), and earned a place on the Mt. Rushmore of Trucks based on your votes on the Summit Racing Facebook page as your favorite Late Model truck.

The Modern Ford F-Series

It’s way too early to know what will become of Ford’s decision to build the best-selling truck in the United States with aluminum instead of steel. Once bodywork technicians learn the nuances of working with aluminum, we imagine lightweight (and fuel-efficient), corrosion-resistant material could prove to be a game-changing decision that could permeate the entire automotive industry if Ford’s gamble pays off.

The Blue Oval crew has been innovating throughout the life of the F-Series. Ford’s introduction of the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost in 2011 for the 12th-generation F-Series, which makes 365 horsepower, has helped change the way truck owners think about making power.

There have now been 13 generations of Ford F-Series trucks since 1948 with well over 30 million sold.

How the Ford F-150 Got its Name

Use of the F-Series name began with the 1948 F-1. Ford started calling them the F-100 in 1953. We didn’t see the F-150 emerge until 1975.

According to Hagerty, here’s why: “This was a model that debuted to evade emissions requirements, as it was essentially a “heavy half” pickup rated at just over 6,000 pounds gross weight—the line in the sand drawn by the EPA at the time, which required catalytic converters and subsequently unleaded gasoline… The final year of the F-100 was 1983—by which time leaded vs. unleaded was a moot point.”

A quick look at some popular parts upgrades for the F-150 provides a glimpse of the F-Series’ potential:

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.