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Blog posts of '2020' 'May'

8 Facts on the History of Ford F-Series

Classic car debates can get heated, but this one is for sure: The Ford F-series is the heavyweight champion of American roads. Both incredibly essential and undisputedly popular, the F-150 has topped the sales charts for over 35 years. Here are some interesting facts about the series American classics.

The Ford F-1 Debuted in 1948

Almost instantly, the F-150’s grandfather, the Ford F-1 became an American hit among farmers and small business owners. Many of those farmers use it for hauling and transportation purposes. The first F-Series introduced eight levels of trucks: F-1 for the half-ton, F-2 for the three-quarter-ton, and up to the F-7 and F-8 for heavy-duty.

Ford Manufactured Versions in Brazil

In 1962, Ford and Sulamericana teamed up to produce trucks in Brazilian factories. These were built on the Ford F-series frame but looked very different than the trucks we’re used to seeing. Some of these versions included the Monaco and GB Fly which were combinations of Brazilian car designs with the functionality of Ford trucks.

The F-150 Moniker Debuted in 1975

In 1975, the name F-150 was coined when Ford named their intermediate model. The lighter F-100 and the heavier F-250 were also introduced that same year, but the intermediate F-150 is what stuck. Since 1975, the F-150 has become the best-selling truck in history.

The Ford Bumper Lasted for 20 Years

The Ford bumper remains a statement part of the classic truck. First produced in 1959, they were so much of a hit that Ford kept producing the same version for the next 20 years. It was easy to find replacements for trucks coming in either chrome or painted to match the body.

The Unibody was the Worst

Sometimes taking risks work, and other times they don’t. The unibody is a prime example of when they don’t. In 1961, Ford decided to try something new by making the truck’s cab and bed into a single piece. Ford aimed for a win-win situation; they introduced a clean, new design while cutting down the costs of production time.

Ford trucks built a reputation for resilience. So when people started using trucks for their main purpose like putting heavy items in the back, there were some issues. The doors began popping open all on their own. Sometimes they would never shut due to the bed’s irreversible damage. Needless to say, that was the end of the unibody.

Ford Offered a Harley-Davidson Edition

Harley-Davidson and Ford teamed up in the later 1990s to earlier 2000s to offer a motorcycle edition of the Ford F-150. Decorated in chrome trim and black leather, it’s difficult to name two better American vehicle brands. In fact, most recently, Harley-Davidson and Tuscany Motor Co. collaborated to build an all-new custom Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson edition pickup truck for the 2019 model year.

Hennessey Motorsports' F-150 is the Most Expensive

Starting at $349,000, the most expensive F-150 is the Hennessey Motorsports' F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6. It includes the base 2017 – 2020 Raptor 4-door truck, 6X6 locking rear axles, upgraded Fox suspension, upgraded 20-inch wheels and off-road tires, special front and rear bumpers, rollbar and LED lights. The 600+ HP upgrade includes upgraded twin turbochargers, stainless steel exhaust modifications, upgraded front mounted air to air intercooler and plumbing and re-tuned factory computer. There are only about 100 of these made.

Watch Hennessey Motosports’ F150 race a GT350:

It was Walmart’s Owner’s Car of Choice

In 1979, Walmart founder Sam Walton purchased a brand new sixth-generation F-150. Since then, he drove it almost every day until his death in 1992. For a period of time, Walton was the richest man in the United States. Walton was once asked why the truck was his car of choice after he made his first billions. Walton famously responded saying, “What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?” His truck is currently on display in a Walmart museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

No matter who you are, the world over agrees that the F-150 is one of the most legendary American cars out there. If you’re looking to be cool and stay cool when the heat is on, Original Air has you covered for your original AC kits. Shop some of our most popular Ford Upgrade Kits

May's Cool Ride: Steven's 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 350

In the spring of 1980, I was 4-years-old and already had a love for cars. One sunny day, I was waiting for my dad in his truck across the street from Big Horn Chevrolet in my hometown of Worland, Wyoming. Parked on the street in front of the dealership was a car transport trailer on which I spotted a brand-new white 1980 Camaro Z28. It had T-tops and three-tone charcoal striping. It looked fast, just sitting there.

When my dad got back in the truck, I vividly recall saying, "Look at that car, Dad! Isn't that cool?!" He agreed and walked across the street to check it out.

What I didn't know at the time was that he and my mom had ordered it new from the factory. Beginning on July 1, 1980, that Z28 became our family car. For the next eight and a half years, we took it to school and the grocery store, as well as on family trips. It was always garaged, and it stayed in remarkable condition. But in November 1988, my parents decided it was time to trade it in on something more practical. I was extremely disappointed as I watched my dad drive away in it for the last time, taking it to the dealership.

It only took one day before the car was sold to a new owner. A local farmer bought it for his son, who drove it for a couple of years in high school. When he left for college, he kept it garaged at home and seldom drove it. In the spring of 2010, I contacted him and told him the story of me seeing it that first day, sharing some of my other memories of that car. To my amazement and joy, he agreed to sell the car to me. On July 10, 2010–almost exactly 30 years to the day from when my parents took ownership–I became the Z28's third owner.

The car just turned 40 years old and is still in amazing condition. It has 80,998 miles on it and has never been wrecked. The paint and decals are all original and shine like new. Except for the restored gauges and a ShiftWorks kit, the black cloth interior is all original and doesn't have a single crack or tear anywhere. I have the original warranty paperwork with my dad's information on it, as well as a copy of the dealer invoice and window sticker and build sheet. While the second owner had this car, he replaced the engine with a new GM 350 V-8. Since it is no longer numbers-matching, I decided to rebuild the engine to give it more power to go with its great looks, which I did with help from my then-6-year old son and a friend. It is still a 350, but now makes 330 hp and 365-lbs.ft. of torque at the rear wheels. It contains Original Air hoses and compressor.

The car is, and will remain, "Dad's Z28." My son loves to work on it with me, go for rides, as well as take it to drive nights and car shows.  The car from my childhood is once again part of the family, making memories that will last a lifetime!

Original Air components on this car are hoses and compressor. See Original Air's Update Kit for a 77-81 Camaro here.