by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide
The 1960s will long be remembered as a tumultuous time in our nation's history. For Ford Motor Company, however, this was a decade of exciting new product launches and expanded truck model offerings. Ford trucks grew even bigger from 1960-1969, and a number of new diesel options were introduced.
The ill-fated Ford Edsel departed in 1960, but it was replaced by the fantastic Ford Falcon. And this Falcon provided the basis for a redesigned 1960 Ford Ranchero truck.
1960 Ford Trucks
Two big events marked 1960 for the Ford Motor Company -- one the start of something small, the other an admission of failure. Introduced to great fanfare -- and great success -- was the compact Falcon, brought in to combat economy cars such as the Volkswagen Beetle.
Although GM and Chrysler Corporation joined the fray at the same time with the Corvair and Valiant, the Falcon was the top seller of the three. Dismissed after a brief run of 1960 models was the ill-fated Edsel, a car that held a lot of promise upon introduction, only to end its run as a failure of epic proportions.
Because the new Ford Falcon line included a two-door station wagon, Ford took the opportunity to use it as the basis for a smaller, lighter 1960 Ranchero truck. Sales of the car/pickup truck crossover subsequently jumped from just over 14,000 in 1959 to more than 21,000 for 1960.
1960 Ford F-100
Ford conventionals entered the 1960s with carryover bodies but the traditional grille change; this year's extended down to the bumper and was joined by slots in the hood's leading edge.
1960 Ford F-100 V-8 engine
The restored F-100 pictured in the previous photo is powered by a 292-cubic-inch V-8, rated at 172 horsepower and shown above.
1960 Ford Ranchero
The biggest news in Ford trucks for 1960 was the small Ranchero. Shifted from the full-size-car platform it had shared since its 1957 inception, Ranchero was now based on the compact Falcon, another Ford vehicle also new for 1960.
In so doing, the Ranchero lost its body-on-frame construction and instead adopted the Falcon's unibody design. Power came from a 144-cubic-inch six with 90 horsepower; a big step down from the beefy V-8s offered in its predecessor. Economy-minded buyers took note, and sales ran 50 percent ahead of the Ford Ranchero's 1959 tally.
1960 Ford F-250 4x4
Ford pickup trucks were again offered in four-wheel-drive form, as evidenced by this 1960 Ford F-250. Although the "old style" Flareside bed with separate rear fenders was still offered, this vehicle's straight-sided Styleside bed was far more popular.
1960 Ford F-600
Ford trucks up to the F-600, shown here with a dump body, wore the 1960 light-duty Ford truck models' grille, while F-700s and larger carried over the horizontal-bar 1959 design.
Ford used the Falcon's success to benefit its truck lines again in 1961 when the Econoline pickup was introduced.
1961 Ford Trucks
Ford's 1960 success with the Ranchero pickup truck was followed in 1961 by another Falcon derivative: the Econoline series. Also known as the E-Series, the line included a cargo van, a passenger van, and a pickup truck. The van was almost literally a box on wheels, with the pickup being a box with the top rear quarter removed.
Added to the opposite end of the Ford truck spectrum for 1961 were the heavy-duty H-Series trucks. These trucks used modified Ford C-Series Tilt Cabs mounted high on the chassis, making them perfect for over-the-road, semi-tractor-trailer work.
Besides the new releases, Ford introduced a redesigned F-Series truck line for 1961 that featured new cabs, new front-end sheetmetal, and redesigned interiors. These trucks were still offered in traditional Flareside (separate bed and fenders) and Styleside (smooth-sided bed) versions, but the Styleside was even smoother-sided than before, as the bed was made integral with the cab.
Long a feature of the car-based Ranchero, this new Styleside bed was something new for traditional pickup trucks. However, the integrated cab and bed was only offered on two-wheel-drive Ford truck models, as the company was evidently concerned about the increased twisting stress that might occur on 4x4s.
1961 Econoline Deluxe pickup
The new Ford Falcon-based Econoline series included a short, forward-control pickup. Shown is the Deluxe version, which included rear quarter windows and extra chrome trim. The engine sat between the seats beneath a black cover.
1961 Econoline pickup
Econoline pickup trucks had a 71/2-foot bed, placing them between the 61/2- and 8-foot beds offered on the Ford F-100 truck, and they cost about $85 less than the previously least-expensive Ford F-100. The blanked-out quarter windows identify this as a 1961 base-trim model.
1961 Ford F-100
As shown on this Ford F-100, Styleside pickup beds were integrated with the cabs in an F-Series redesign for 1961. Traditional Flareside beds continued to be offered as well, and both styles were available in 61/2- and 8-foot lengths.
1961 Ford CT-950
C-Series trucks got dual headlights for 1961 to replace the quad lights used since 1958; in fact, they now looked nearly identical to the inaugural 1957 models. Tandem rear axles and a GVW of up to 51,000 lbs mark this as a CT-950.
1961 Ford Ranchero
Ranchero returned with few changes for 1961 except for the optional availability of a 170-cubic-inch six to replace the standard 144-cid unit.
A Ranchero facelift and a change in Ford F-Series cab and bed construction marked the greatest of the relatively few Ford truck changes in 1962.
1962 Ford Trucks
Because so much was new for Ford trucks in 1961, most trucks received only minor updates for 1962. However, for true Ford fans, these changes were noticeable. The Ford Ranchero received a bit of a cosmetic face lift, and after experimenting with fused cabs and Styleside beds, Ford's F-Series Styleside trucks began returning to separate cab and bed construction.
1962 Ford Ranchero
The Ford Ranchero greeted 1962 with a fresh face that included a new flush-mounted grille and pointed front fenders, but little else changed.
1962 Sedan Delivery
The 1962 Ford Sedan Delivery likewise sported the Ranchero's new look, but also saw few other alterations.
1962 Ford HD-1000
Ford had entered the diesel market in 1961 with Cummins-powered versions of the H-Series high tilt cab, designated the HD-Series. This 1962 HD-1000 came equipped with the largest of these engines, displacing 743 cubic inches and rated at 220 horsepower.
1962 Ford F-Series Styleside 4x4
The Ford F-Series' grilles were slightly revised for 1962, replacing the FORD lettering in the middle with cross bars. Also for 1962, F-Series Styleside 4x4s came with a separate cab and bed, as shown here.
1962 Ford F-Series Styleside
The cab and bed remained integrated on 1962 F-Series 4x2 models (as shown here), although these trucks also would offer the separate cab and bed by midyear.
Ford added a whole new series of trucks to their lineup in 1963. Learn more when you click to the next page.
1963 Ford Trucks
Ford's 1962 vacation from changes to their trucks didn't last long. In fact, Ford opened the 1963 model year with the release of another new series of trucks.
This line of medium- and heavy-duty models was referred to as the N-Series. Cabs were the same as those used for the F-Series, but the nose was significantly shorter. This arrangement placed the N-Series between Ford's conventional trucks and the C-Series Tilt Cabs, and made them popular for both city deliveries and over-the-road semi-tractor-trailer service where trailer-length limits were in force.
In other heavy-duty news, Ford expanded diesel engine offerings to include some F-, C-, and N-Series trucks; previously, only the H-Series had offered a diesel-engine option.
Ford's 1963 E-100 pickup trucks retained the Econoline moniker after the passenger wagon was renamed "Falcon" in 1961. Newly available on Econolines for 1963 was a one-ton payload package.
1963 Ford E-Series cargo van
The 1963 E-Series cargo vans also retained the Econoline name.
1963 Ford Ranchero
In addition to a new crosshatch grille for 1963, Ford Rancheros and Sedan Deliverys were blessed with an optional V-8 at midyear.
1963 Ford F-100
The 1963 rear-drive F-100s were offered with three different bed designs: a separate Styleside; a traditional Flareside; and a Styleside integrated with the cab, a version that would be dropped after 1963.
1963 Ford Super Duty N-Series
Ford's Super Duty line is represented here by a new-for-1963 N-Series short conventional truck. The H- and N-Series carried diesel engines, as indicated by a nose badge on the H and the nose lettering on this N.
One Ford Econoline fan came up with an unique use for his E-100 in 1964. See a photo and learn more about 1964 Ford trucks in the next section.
1964 Ford Trucks
April 17, 1964, would go down in the annals of the Ford Motor Company as one of the company's best days, for it was on that day that Ford introduced the Mustang. Without question, it was the hit of the year, if not the decade.
On the truck side, 1964 brought a separate box for Styleside models, rendering the "unibody" pickup trucks a thing of the past. Also new was a brace of gas engines for the medium- and heavy-duty Ford truck lines.
1964 redesigned Ford Ranchero, front and center
Ford offered a wide selection of light-duty trucks in the 1960s, although they were matched one-for-one by rival Chevrolet. The biggest news for 1964 was the redesigned Ranchero (front row, center), which was again based on the likewise redesigned Ford Falcon compact car.
1964 Ford F-250 4x4
Grilles changed a bit on the popular Ford F-Series trucks in 1964, as shown on this F-250 4x4, which sports an eight-foot Flareside bed.
1964 Ford F-Series
By 1964, an F-Series pickup could be fitted with such car-like features as two-tone paint and air conditioning.
1964 Ford 600-800 series
Ford's 600-800 series trucks were powered by new V-8 engines for 1964. Essentially heavy-duty versions of their automotive counterparts, these engines displaced 330, 361, and 391 cubic inches, respectively, with 186 to 235 horsepower.
1964 Ford E-100 mobile service station
A 1964 Ford E-100 was set up as a mobile service station -- complete with actual gas pump -- by Raymond C. Dietz, of Borger, Texas.
1965 for Ford trucks was all about the F-Series.
1965 Ford Trucks
Ford's famous Twin-I-Beam front suspension made truck news for 1965. It was offered only on light-duty two-wheel-drive F-Series pickup trucks, giving them a softer ride and better handling characteristics.
1965 Ford F-100
Not only does it ride smoother with Twin-I-Beam front suspension, this restored Ford F-100 pickup truck looks quite flashy with its whitewall tires, chrome trim, and two-tone paint scheme.
1965 Ford F-100 interior
The 1965 Ford F-100's two-tone paint was present inside the truck, as well as out. The dashboard was redesigned for 1965.
1965 Ford F-100 352 V-8 engine
In addition to its snazzy looks, this 1965 Ford F-100 was equipped with a 352 V-8 and an automatic transmission.
1965 Ford Ranchero
In 1965, Ford Rancheros could also get "Deluxe" trim, in this case called the Futura Ornamentation Package.
1965 Ford C-750
Although equipped with a sleeper cab, this 1965 Ford C-750 truck didn't seem to offer much room to lie down. Both gas and diesel versions were offered.
A new light-duty truck line -- the Bronco -- was big news for 1966.
1966 Ford Trucks
For 1966, Ford once again introduced a new line of light-duty trucks, as well as new heavy-duty line for over-the-road semi-tractor service. The former was a new four-wheel-drive sport-utility vehicle called the Bronco, which was offered in three body styles, all with either no top or one that could be removed. The latter were the flat-faced W-Series Cab-Over-Engine truck models, which would replace the aging Ford H-Series line.
Also for 1966, the Ranchero grew in size because the Falcon on which it was based was enlarged in a complete redesign.
1966 Ford Bronco Sports Utility Vehicle
Aimed squarely at the Jeep CJ and International Scout, Ford's Bronco arrived for 1966in three body styles, all with four-wheel drive. The Sports Utility version (shown here) was a two-seater with a very short pickup bed. Its top could be removed and windshield folded, thus turning the Bronco into a truly "open" vehicle.
A 170-cubic-inch six engine was standard, but a 289-cid V-8 was added as an option later in the model year.
1966 Ford Bronco Sports Utility
A 1966 Ford Bronco Sports Utility with camper was the perfect truck for those yearning to vacation in out-of-the-way places.
1966 Ford F-Series
A restyled grille was the only change of note to the 1966 F-series pickup trucks. This restored example boasts upscale Custom Cab trim.
1966 Ford F-350
1966 Ford F-350s fitted with a wrecker body were popular for tow truck use.
1966 Ford W-Series
The H-Series high tilt cab was replaced by the flat-faced W-Series in mid 1966. All Ws were diesel powered, with a wide choice of engines from Caterpillar, Cummins, and Detroit Diesel.
Ford's Ranchero truck transitioned from a Falcon base to a Fairlane base in 1967.
1967 Ford Trucks
Ford's F-Series trucks were restyled for the 1967 model year, although the extra-heavy-duty models still used the earlier 1961-1966 cab and front sheetmetal. New styling also graced the Ford Ranchero, which took on the look of Ford's intermediate Fairlane.
1967 Ford Ranchero
Although similar from the windshield back to the 1966 version, the 1967 Ford Ranchero sported the front styling of the Ford Fairlane rather than the Falcon, which brought vertically stacked headlights. Newly optional was Ford's 390-cubic-inch V-8 engine with up to 320 horsepower.
1967 Ford F-600 Stake Bed
Ford's 1967 medium-duty trucks adopted the cab and hood of the redesigned 1967 light-duty pickup trucks, but they got flared front fenders to accommodate a wider track, as shown on this F-600 Stake Bed.
1967 Ford W-1000-D
Few changes marked the 1967 Ford W-Series trucks, represented here by a W-1000-D. Actually, the "-D" wasn't really needed to denote "Diesel," as all W-Series trucks were oil-burners.
A new Ford president overshadowed Ford's mostly minor changes to its 1968 truck line.
1968 Ford Trucks
1968 brought a redesigned Ranchero, again built off Ford's midsize car platform, to the Ford truck line. Also, Ford's medium-duty trucks were offered with a diesel engine for the first time, but there were few other changes to any of the other truck lines.
One of Ford Motor Company's top stories for 1968 had nothing to do with any of its products. Newly installed as president was Semon E. "Bunkie" Knudsen, who had jumped ship from General Motors to lead crosstown rival Ford. This was a reversal of what had happened back in the early 1920s when Knudsen's father had left Ford to take over an ailing Chevrolet.
1968 Ford Ranchero
Ford's midsize-car line was redesigned for 1968, and with it, the car-based Ranchero. The top engine was initially a 390-cubic-inch V-8, but added as a midyear option was Ford's mighty 428 Cobra Jet.
1968 Ford Bronco Roadster
Aside from the addition of side marker lights, Bronco continued into 1968 with only minor changes in carryover Wagon, Pickup, and Roadster body styles.
1968 Ford Bronco Pickup
A view of the 1968 Ford Bronco Pickup's bed.
1968 Ford Bronco Wagon
Camping anyone? The enclosed 1968 Bronco Wagon was ready to go.
In 1969, the Ford Econoline Series received its first redesign, and a sporty Ranchero GT came on the scene.
1969 Ford Trucks
For 1969, the only noteworthy Ford truck news was that the Econoline Series was redesigned for the first time since its 1961 introduction. It emerged much larger -- and without its pickup derivative -- and for the first time offered a V-8 engine option.
1969 Ford Ranchero GT
The sporty 1969 Ford Ranchero GT came with a hood scoop and a bodyside C-stripe that was revised for the model year. Also offered were styled steel wheels. The base GT engine was a 302-cubic-inch V-8, but a new 351 was available, along with carryover 390- and 428-cid options.
1969 Ford F-Series Contractors Special
A Contractors Special package was offered on 1969 Ford F-Series pickups, which included side boxes for the bed and an optional underhood 110-volt generator. F-Series grilles were changed only slightly for 1969.
1969 Ford E-Series ambulance
Due to their large interior volume, Ford E-Series vans were popular for ambulance conversions.
1969 Ford C-Series
A C-Series forward-control truck looked nearly the same in 1969 as it did in for its debut in 1957. Its set-back front axle gave it a tight turning radius that made it particularly well-suited for urban-delivery use.
So as boisterous as Ford was through most of the 1960s, the company closed out the decade on a rather quiet note, with few other changes to either its car or truck lines. But that was only to save energy for the challenges that would face the company in the 1970s.