People are joiners. We tend to be social animals and we define ourselves, in part, by the groups we belong to. Be it a labor union, a church or synagogue, an alumni association, a bridge club or, more likely, a combination of several such groups, we are what we join.
These folks define themselves by a line of vintage trucks that they admire and collect: The Ford F-100.
Ford has been building trucks for essentially its entire existence. Prior to World War II these were mostly variants of the company’s passenger cars, the Model T and Model A trucks, etc. In 1948 Ford began marketing its trucks as a separate line of vehicles and developed the now familiar F-series nomenclature. Half ton trucks were designated F-1, three-quarter ton trucks were called F-2, three-quarter ton heavy duty and delivery versions were F-3, and so on, all the way up to F-8.
This naming system lasted until 1953 when a completely redesigned line of trucks was introduced with new names. Half tonners were now called F-100, F-2 became F-250, F-3 became F-350, etc. These names remained in place until 1975 when the designation F-150 was introduced as a heavier duty version of the F-100. F-150 eventually replaced F-100 as the designation for Ford’s lightest duty trucks.
F-100 fans gathered last weekend at the Great Wolf resort in Wisconsin Dells with members of the Badgerland F-100 Club and the Twin Cities F-100 Club making up most of the entries. Given the rough use most of these trucks endured in their day, very few are in original condition and most have been customized in some fashion.
A relatively rare F-100 on display was a 1960 panel van. Sedan delivery and panel vans were not that unusual but Chevrolet more or less owned this niche and the owner of this F-100 said that Ford only built about 8500 of this body style.
Another particularly nice example was a fourth generation F-100 with four wheel drive. The exterior had been restored to a very high standard and the interior was either a meticulous restoration or an extremely well preserved original. The floor-mounted manual shifter rose almost all the way to the top of the dashboard. Make no attempt to speed shift this baby.