You There Boy, What Day Is It?

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This is a 1960 Ford F-250 StyleSide. It’s big, it’s rusty, and, helpfully, someone has adorned it with a wreath, which I suppose makes this Forgotten Metal’s first Christmas post. So, with that in mind, let’s pour ourselves another glass of egg nog, light up a yule log and get right into the festive business of third-generation Ford pickup trucks.

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The sales phenomenon that is the Ford F-series of trucks (original tagline: “Every time a bell rings, someone buys an F-series”) began in 1948 with a truck we’ve seen before: the humble F-1. As is often the case with wildly popular things, a sequel was in order. Or, more like, a franchise. This is the third installment of the F-series, and by this point, Ford had found its groove and was busy perfecting the formula. The third generation brought with it a choice of four engines: a 223 cubic-inch inline six and three different V8s. They developed anywhere between 139 and 186 horsepower. Given its current condition, this particular example looks to have lost more than a few of those horses over the ensuing 54 years, but I’m sure the general business of getting from A to B is still manageable. Christmas magic, or something.

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Some other technical improvements graced the F-250 as well. Oil and fuel pumps on the six cylinder were revised on 1960 models, while the V8s had their intake valves shrunk and combustion chambers reworked. All of this was in the name of greater efficiency. So, what were the result of all this frugal thinking? The V8 trucks were just ever-so-slightly less powerful. Other than that, it was more or less the same. A for effort, though. Other technical improvements included adjusted spring rates, a new exhaust system, and a larger heater. The brakes were better on the 1960 models too.

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This is what was known as a “StyleSide” F-series, which sounds like a new line of knock-off Vera Wang, but is actually the name of the type of bed this truck features. With its flat, slab-like bodywork, the StyleSide was sold alongside the “FlareSide,” which featured little foothold-like indents, so the owner could more easily climb up the side of the truck to reach into the bed. This era of F-250s integrated the front fenders, passenger compartment and hood into a bit more of a cohesive, squared-off design, so by the time this particular truck was sold the StyleSide was by far the more popular option.

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This is a good truck. Clearly, someone worked this old sleigh hard for probably far longer than it was ever designed to work. This is what jumps to mind when someone says the words “pickup truck.” After the third-generation, the F-series started to experiment and evolve, starting itself down the long and profitable path towards the work trucks of today. That’s all well and good. But, in the spirit of Christmas, let’s take a moment to appreciate this generation of F-series. It was a truck, plain and simple. It moved large amounts of things from one place to another. It wasn’t the fastest, or the prettiest; it had no pretensions beyond its stated purpose. It was honest, and that’s what counted. And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

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Additional Thoughts

  • 1959 was the first year you could buy a factory-built Ford with four wheel drive.
  • This style of F-series actually continued to be manufactured in Brazil long after production ended in the United States. 1962 to 1971, to be precise. The even look a little different (mostly around the headlights).
  • If the preponderance of trees didn’t tip you off, I can confirm Forgotten Metal has indeed left the city of New York in favor of Eastern Pennsylvania once again.
  • Happy Holidays everyone!

 

 

 

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One thought on “You There Boy, What Day Is It?

  1. Pingback: Philosophy And Pickup Trucks | Forgotten metal

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