Trucks & Heavy Equipment | 9 May 20161951 Ford F-1 Pickup Share article facebook twitter google pinterest A major styling change occurred when Ford introduced the 1951 F-1. Dan Sanchez’s The Complete Book of Classic Ford F-Series Pickups tells you all you need to know about the classic model. After three years of production, the F-1 received a much-needed facelift in 1951. The changes that were most noticeable came at the front of the truck, which now had a wide, single-bar front grille. e big grille bar stretched across the entire face of the truck, and it had three large, evenly spaced supports. Protruding headlights were mounted at each end of the grille with the turn signals mounted underneath. Early 1950 models had Argent Silver– painted grilles and headlight buckets with a chrome headlight ring. Later models had cream-painted grilles and headlight buckets, with the headlight rings painted in Argent Silver. Three openings above the grille provided air for the engine, and a new wide- ribbed bumper accentuated the new face of the F-1. There were also some changes to the body of the ’51 F-1 pickup. e front fenders were no longer surrounding the grille, but were now peeled back and more subdued. While the traditional pointed hood was still used, Ford adapted a new logo on the hood sides, using a long, chromed spear. e Ford logo was at the rear of the spear, while the F-1 designation was near the tip. e hood also had several vent openings. Three were directly under the new side trim, and three were at the very front of the hood and were surrounded by chrome trim with the Ford lettering above them. Trucks equipped with a V-8 had the emblem above the grille, while six-cylinder models had no emblem at all. Ford continued use the 6.5-foot bed as standard equipment, but with some changes. The bed floor went back to being wood with bolted-in skid strips; this saved steel for the war the effort. But new straight corner pillars provided extra strength to minimize distortion. Ford also updated the tailgate to open level, and it was only 2 feet above the ground to make it easier to load cargo. The fitment of the tailgate between the bedsides and floor was also improved; Ford called it “grain-tight.” The cab of the ’51 F-1 featured a 3.5- foot larger rear window that allowed for better visibility, especially with the at-front windshield the truck continued to use from previous models. Improved seals around the door and floorpan reduced road noise and helped keep out wind, dust, and moisture. Dual windshield wipers were also standard passenger sun visor, and an outside driver’s side rearview mirror. Aside from the standard cab options, Ford introduced two additional cab models this year. e Five-Star package included three-way air ventilation (door window visors and a center cowl vent), vinyl seating with rubberized padding and coil springs, an adjustable driver’s side sun visor, a glove box, and full-gauge instrumentation that included oil temp, fuel, battery, and engine temperature clustered in one large and round gauge. The speedometer was in its own round gauge, which made the dash look clean and simple. The Five-Star Extra package added dual air horns, a two-tone upholstery on the foam rubber bench seat, a headliner with glass/wool padding, door and window trim, door locks, a cigar lighter, armrests, and an automatic dome light. is package also included sound deadening behind the headliner and doors, as well as under the floor and behind the cab. Trucks with this package were identified with additional chrome around the hood side molding and bright metal around all the window frame and moldings. Paint colors for the F-1 in 1951 included Raven Black, Silvertone Gray, Sheridan Blue, Alpine Blue, Meadow Green, Vermilion, and Sea Island Green. e wheels were also painted either in black or matched the body color, and chromed hubcaps were standard equipment. The truck’s drivetrain remained the same, but some subtle changes improved efficiency. e most notable was a new spark advance system called the Power Pilot. It was a waterproof system that utilized engine vacuum to advance or retard timing according to engine load, and allowed for an increase in fuel economy on both available engines. The 226 was upgraded to improve its overall efficiency with a new camshaft and aluminum timing gear. The intake manifold and water pump also were improved, along with adding new crankshaft main bearings. The 239 V-8 received an updated camshaft, water pump, and o set piston pins that also helped improve its overall efficiency and longevity. While the engine’s power remained unchanged, performance increases for the truck came from switching the standard rear axle ratio from 3.73:1 to a lower 3.92:1. The transmission options were the same as used in the previous year, which included the three- speed manual with column-mounted shifter and the optional three-speed heavy-duty (HD) and four-speed manual transmissions. The F-2 models also had a few new features that included new self-energizing front and rear brakes, and a new rear parking brake that utilized a drum on the driveshaft to hold the vehicle in place. A total of 17,485 F-2 Express pickups were produced this year. While the Korean War limited certain availability of materials and total car production decreased, truck production for all the manufacturers increased. Much of this is attributed to the heavier-duty military models that vehicle manufacturers, including Ford, produced for the war. Nevertheless, Ford still managed to produce 117,414 F-1 light-duty pickups. e base price at the time for the six-cylinder-equipped models was $1,331, while V-8-equipped models sold for $1,363. Despite the war, the Ford Division marketing team capitalized on the efficiency and longevity of the truck’s capabilities. Ford touted that its F-series trucks cost less to own and operate, and lasted longer. e company’s ads focused on the testimonial of W. E. Worthen Jr., a Texas rancher and rice farmer who claimed his 1951 F-1 ran at a cost of 2.5 cents per mile. Ford touted that its F-series trucks cost less to own and operate, and lasted longer. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Learn all there is to know about the most popular vehicles in history. Ford’s F-series pickups are simply the most popular vehicles ever. The F150 set a modern-day single-month sales record for the industry with 126,905 trucks sold in July 2005, the most sales of any single nameplate in any month since the days of the Ford Model T. The F-series has been the best-selling vehicle in the world for most of the past forty years, and to date Ford has produced nearly fifty million models. The Complete Book of Classic Ford F-Series Pickups covers all the classic models in Ford’s popular line of light-duty trucks, from the first F-1 pickup of 1948 through 1976. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.