If you were asked to picture a classic and old-school rounded pickup vehicle, most of you would describe something very similar to the 1956 Ford F-100. That’s because, for a very long time, this truck was a favorite amongst fans of this type of vehicle and, to this day, it remains an emblem of its decade.
Ford F-100 Body Style
The F-100 is one of those pickup trucks that you would easily recognize even if you’ve briefly seen it only once before in your life. It’s the type of pickup that has a playful and classic design, but also a couple of elements that make it really distinguishable from other pickup trucks that were all the hype back in that decade.
The first element that makes the body of the Ford F-100 stand out is the windshield. It has a wrap-around style that causes the windshield to curve around the edges of the car, a feature that was really uncommon back in the day. Because of this type of design, the bubbled appearance is almost a trademark signature of the model year. The shape of the windshield also leads to A-pillars that stand almost completely vertical (unlike other models created in previous years which have A-pillars slanted backward).
Furthermore, 6,200 Ford F-100 pickups that were made that year also have a full-wrap rear window that was almost identical in design with the windshield. Because of this unique design, the Ford F-100 was called a “big window” truck, something that is extremely rare even to this day. There are certain car enthusiasts out there that have chosen to modify their windshields and switch them with this curved window design, so beware if you’re looking to buy one of the authentic so you don’t get scammed.
Aside from the wrap-around windshield, there is something else that made the F-100 an icon of its generation: the heavily-revised grille. You might have recognized Ford’s V-shaped top bar, but the F-100 breaks the patterns with a smoother look. The 1956 F-100 came with the lower two bars smaller than the top one, creating a more streamlined look overall.
What’s underneath the hood isn’t something to sneeze at either. The F-100 came with either a V6 or a V8 engine option, yet could still over increase overall output. Back in 1956, you could have added hydraulic power steering as an option for the first time.
As far as the inside of the cabin was concerned, people could see the “lifeguard” technology that Ford designed for its cars. There were reinforced latches to prevent the door from opening in case of an accident. The steering wheel was a concave design to keep the driver safer in case of an impact. While all these seem like standard choices in modern vehicles, they were quite a novelty at that time, and people who understood what these features meant started to appreciate Ford for taking an interest in driver safety.
People that wanted to buy a 1956 Ford F-100 could choose between the following paint colors: Raven Black, Meadow Green, Goldenglow Yellow, Platinum Gray, Meadowmist Green, Nocturne Blue, Nocturne Blue, or Vermilion (Red).
The Scarcity Element
In marketing, there is a concept known as scarcity. When brands advertise their products as being limited-edition, people are more interested in buying them because they get the chance to own something that not everyone can get their hands on. This is, more or less, one of the elements that surround the F-100 pickup truck: its rarity.
Classic pickup enthusiasts have always shown an interest in the F-100, becoming one of the most sought-out vehicles of its generation. In fact, it is estimated that the F-100 costs up to 20 percent more compared to similar 1953 to 1955 models. The F-100 pickup was often the focus of truck shows, being a model that will draw attention because it is so rare and unique-looking.
The Ford F-100 in Numbers
We’ve talked about the design features of the F-100 and the rarity that makes it so special and expensive, but what are some of the other figures that surround this classic pickup truck?
- The F-100 has a tank capacity of 17 gallons.
- The dimensions of the car are 189.1 inches in length, 71.3 inches in width, and 75.3 inches in height.
- The horsepower and engine combination is a 133 hp 223 cubic inch “Cost Clipper” V6 or 167 hp 272 cubic inch “Power King” V8 (as we mentioned earlier, you could opt for a V6 or a V8 engine).
- The version with the V6 motor has a 202 ft-lbs torque, while the V8 variant has 250 lb-ft.
- A well-preserved red F-100 was sold back in 2018 for $24,500.
- A model similar to the one mentioned above was sold for $35,750 back in 2014.
- There were a total of 137,581 F-100 units made back in 1956, with an additional 25,122 Express models with the longer 8-foot bed.
One of the greatest car manufacturers of all times introduced the F series pickup back in ‘48. The first car in the series was the F-1, and it paved the way for what would soon become the best-selling line of pickups in history. Later on, in 1953, Ford introduced the F-100, the second generation of vehicles in the F series. Even back then, the Ford F-100 was a car that could turn heads because of the unique design elements that made it an emblem of its decade. Today, the F-100 is considered one of the rarest and most beautiful classic pickup trucks of its generation.