Ford had every reason to go “all in” on its 1953 pickup. Its first F edition had been a sales success and the motor company was celebrating its fiftieth year. An estimated thirty million dollars would be spent developing the truck line containing the first to be labeled F-100. The styling was bold and a dramatic change from previous models. Ford’s F series trucks have undergone 13 major revisions and the 1953-1956 or second generation pickups may be the most popular among collectors.
Little is known of the Ford’s earlier years. Its previous owner restored it with little change from stock. Two obvious deviations are its yellow color and an attractive pickup bed lined with chrome and yellow wood. It retains a flathead engine and an attractive chassis has had replacement shocks, bushings and exhaust.
The second gen 1953 Ford F-100 was designed around Measuring Man, a 5 foot 9.5 inch plastic dummy. It’s an early example of ergonomic design. The windshield was 55% bigger and the rear window spanned the length of the cab. The interior was roomier and the seat wider at five feet across. Side window openings were lowered enabling a sheet metal armrest. Dashboard controls and accessories including a lighter were easier to reach. More seat padding was available as were a headliner, passenger sunvisor, and armrests. Most dramatic was the exterior. Hood, cab, and fenders were rounded and more expansive. Onlookers would have no trouble identifying the new Ford truck. The 1953 Ford F-100 would be the last to use the reliable Ford flathead ending 31 years of production.
Trucks are popular. They are an auction staple. Price guides show models in all conditions from daily driver to concours showpiece have more than doubled in value over the last 10 years. As we accumulate more, we have to move it and there’s no better transport to your local Lowes or landfill than an open pickup. Early Fords are reliable. Mechanicals are simple and inexpensive and with few electrical circuits there is little that can go wrong. If you want a utilitarian vehicle that won’t depreciate over months or years of minimal activity, if you want to stand out from the crowd , if you want to channel your inner country squire, this F-100 beckons you.
“They’re a time-machine experience,”Michael Perry, author , “Truck: A Love Story,”