1956 Ford F-100 Half Ton / Specs, Photos and More

Featured in this article is a fine looking 1956 Ford F-100 Half Ton Pickup. This is a milestone vehicle which incorporated some new styling and more options.

1956 ford f 100

1956 Ford F-100

The F-1 Becomes the F-100

The second generation Ford F-Series were redesigned for 1953 with a more integrated look. The second generation F-100 also had a longer wheelbase, with longer front and rear leaf springs to improve ride smoothness. The front suspension was moved back to give a tighter turning radius.

The year 1953 also was Ford's 50 Year Anniversary. On the F-100, it was the horn button that designated Ford's Golden Anniversary with a special gold rim that was lettered with "50th Anniversary 1903-1953." Of major significance for 1953, Ford changed the names of the various pickup models. The F-1 became the F-100, the F-2 and F-3 now became the F-250, and the F-4 now became the 1-ton F-350. The second generation F-Series offered options such as a dome light, lighter, arm rests, sun visors and even a radio.

The 1953 new second generation model offered a much better windshield area which was some fifty-five percent larger. Also, the glass was curved rather than flat. The rear window stretched the entire width of the cab adding a greatly improved rear view and the side window ledges were lowered to better help drivers during parking. You could also have the choice of the Standard cab or the Deluxe cab. The Deluxe offered stainless drip rail molding, a sun visor on the passenger side, driver and passenger armrests, a cigar lighter, chrome vents window moldings, twin horns, foam padding for the seats and chromed grille "teeth."

1950's ford trucksThe 1956 Ford F-100

The 1956 F-100 is of the second generation which went from 1953 through 1956. The 1956 F-100 is a one year body design which was made to compete against Chevy's Task Force Pickups.

Chevy's new trucks were good looking vehicles and offered a new V-8 adding big competition to Ford. . The 1956 F-100 was built with vertical windshield pillars and wrap around windshield. This differed from the sloped pillars and angled windshield of the 1953-55 models. The 1956 F-100 also offered a larger wrap around back window as an option. Also, in 1956, seat belts became an option and beginning that model year Ford offered the very rare "Low GVWR" (gross vehicle weight rating) versions of each of it's models.

The 1956 F-100 also had electric windshield wipers as opposed to the vacuum operated and the electrical system went from six to twelve volts. The 1956 model had a redesigned dashboard and a Ford Lifeguard Steering Wheel which placed the center hub further away from the driver's chest which added to driver safety.

1956 Ford F-100 Pickup Specifications

The 1956 F-100 was built with a standard 223 cubic inch Mileage Maker Inline Six which delivered 137 horsepower. There were three engine versions of the 272 cubic inch V-8 offered as an option. These were a light-duty with a 2-barrel carburetor, a heavy-duty with a 2-barrel carburetor, and a heavy-duty with a 4-barrel carburetor putting out 167 horsepower.

Three transmissions were available for 1956...a three, four or five speed manual and an automatic. The automatic, the "Ford-O-Matic" option for 1956 was the first time in history a Ford truck was available with an automatic transmission.

second generation f series trucks

More window visibility for the 1956 F Series Trucks

Front  suspension were an I Beam front axle and leaf spring and rear were a semi-elliptic six-spring design.

Front and rear brakes were hydraulic drum.

Total Ford F-100 production for 1956 was 137,000 units.

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1946 Ford Half Ton

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Reference material for this article includes...Pickup Trucks : A History of the Great American Vehicle by Justin Lukach.....Ford Truck Chronicle by Auto Editors of Consumer Guide.....Ford Pickup Trucks, 1948-56 : Development History and Restoration Guide by Paul G. McLaughlin.

1956 ford f series truck specs

56 F-100 dashboard

1956 Ford F-100 Collector Values

All pickup trucks from the 1950's are popular collector vehicles. Many changes occurred especially during the early 1950's as with the second generation Ford F-Series Trucks. Designs were more modern looking and new more powerful engines were being introduced.

Values for the 1956 Ford F-100 range all the way from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on overall condition, originality, mileage and degree and date of restoration.

(Article and photos copyright 2017 Auto Museum Online)

Great Looking 1946 Ford Super Deluxe Coupe / Specs and More

Our featured automobile is the 1946 Ford Super Deluxe Coupe.

1946 ford super deluxe coupe

1946 Ford Super Deluxe Coupe

The 1946 Ford like other automobiles produced right after the end of World War Two were for the most part designs from 1941 and the limited 1942 cars. It was no secret that during the war years, designers were working on military projects.

When the war ended the only basic designs at hand were those from before the war. Those were used and some cosmetic touches were added. The demand for new automobiles by the public was immense so whatever rolled off the assembly line was sold.

This pent up demand was good news for the automakers. Many of them struggled to stay afloat and make a profit during the Depression years of the 1930's only to have civilian car production stopped on February 1st of 1942 due to America's entry to the war. Being out of civilian car production for three to four years, there was some catching up to do.

Ford Began Civilian Car Production after the War

Ford Motor Company was the first American automaker to start production after the war's end. The fine looking 1946 Ford Coupe shown in this article is an excellent example. The first 1946 Ford came off the assembly line as early as June 1945. One of the changes on this rare 1946 Ford is the horizontal grille layout. The hood was also widened and had a center strip. The new larger engine was a 239 cubic inch V-8 delivering 100 horsepower. This same engine before World War Two began had been put into Mercurys. Another 90 horsepower engine was offered that is described in the specifications section of this article.

ford super deluxe coupeModels Offered

For 1946 Ford offered to trim lines...the Deluxe and Super Deluxe. The Special model was dropped for 1946. The 1946 Fords were base priced at around $1,100 or a bit more for a six cylinder version and it was said that a buyer might have been inclined to pay another few hundred dollars under the table, because of the enormous demand, to get one quick from a dealer. The 1946 convertible model had a base price tag of around $1,400.

Ford produced a total of 468,000 vehicles for the 1946 model year. Out of this amount 16,300 were convertibles. The largest model segment were two door sedans of which Ford built 163,000. Ford built 720 Sportsman Convertible models with their wood side paneling.

The Sportsman model was introduced at a time when steel was still in short supply. Ford began post war production so early that wood was more attainable than steel thus the Sportsman's wood side panels.

1946 Ford Super Deluxe Coupe Specifications

The 1946 Ford had a 239 cubic inch V-8 L-Head engine delivering 100 horsepower. Also offered and the one in our featured automobile was a 225 cubic inch six cylinder engine delivering 90 horsepower. Fuel consumption for both engine versions was rated just under 14 MPG.

A three speed column shift manual transmission was the only transmission available for 1946 models.

Brakes were drum front and back.

1946 ford cars

46 Ford Super Deluxe dashboard

The car's wheelbase was 114.0 inches The car's length was 197.8 inches, width 73.4 inches and height 66.1 inches.

Vehicle weight averaged around 3,050 lbs.

Suspension front and rear consisted of transverse leaf springs.

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1946 Ford Half Ton Pickup

Reference material for this article included...The Ford Century: Ford Motor Company and the Innovations that Shaped the World by author Russ Banham.....Automobiles of the Chrome Age: 1946-1960 by Michael Furman.

1946 Ford Coupe Collector Values

1946 Ford automobiles are relatively rare. The very low production of 1946 Sportsman models make them extremely rare.

post war ford carsDepending on the model, Deluxe or Super Deluxe and the car's condition, restored or not restored, how many original parts are still on the car, the prices asked can have a wide range.

As of this writing, a 1946 Super Deluxe Convertible in finely restored condition sold for $35,000. Some asking proces for these convertibles may even get into the high $50,000 and low $60,000 area. A 1946 Ford Two Door Sedan sold at auction for $18,700. A Ford Super Deluxe Business Coupe sold for $25,000. You'll also see asking prices for these models into the mid to high $30's. Several other 1946 Ford Super Deluxes are price between $18,000 and $20,000. A 1946 Ford Woody Wagon of which very few were manufactured has an auction asking price of over $90,000. You'll find that prices asked vary greatly on condition and originality.

(Article and photos copyright 2017 Auto Museum Online)

1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible / Specs, Model History

The automobile featured in this article is a great looking 1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible.

1957 ford fairlane convertible

1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible

The Ford Fairlane was produced between 1955 and 1970. The automobile was named after Henry Ford's 56 room, 31,000 square foot Fair Lane estate in Dearborn, Michigan, a Detroit suburb.

According to HenryFordEstate.org..... The estate along the Rouge River included a hydro-electric powerhouse and dam, a greenhouse, a working farm built to scale for their grandchildren, an indoor pool, skating house, staff cottages, bowling alley, and a pony barn, as well as a private garage and laboratory for Henry. The vast gardens and landscape were designed by famed architect Jens Jensen".

The 1957 Ford Fairlane / New Style and Improved Power

The 1957 model year was a good one. All of the major automakers were adding new designs and the era of car fins was in full stride. Just prior to 1957  Chevrolet was known as the car with styling and performance. The 1957 model year upset this to a degree. Ford introduced what some might say was the most beautiful automobile of the decade. The Ford Fairlane was completely restyled for 1957. The Fairlane had a bigger, weightier and sportier new body, with a lower-profile "cowbelly" frame. The Ford Fairlane didn't have as much chrome as the Pontiac or Chevrolet but the car looked futuristic in many ways.

1957 ford fairlane specificationsThe combination of the new body style, smaller wheels, and newly designed chassis lowered the total height of the car by four inches and lowered the center of gravity.

Along with great styling, the Ford Fairlane received increased power with it's Y-block engine. The successor to the Flathead engine, the Ford Y-block V-8 engine delivered far better performance. The 57 Y-block engine was found under Ford's first hood that opened from the back end of it.

Trim lines for 1957 included the base "Custom", "Custom 300", "Fairlane", and the top of the line "Fairlane 500". The two "Custom" trims offered were built on a 116.0 inch wheelbase.

Handling was improved for the 57 Ford Fairlane with a lower stance and revised suspension.

The 1957 interior was entirely new. A new instrument panel showcased a large sweeping speedometer with a fuel and temperature gauge located at each end. Seat covers, as well as door panels, were also redesigned.

The 1957 Ford Fairlane ended up being a big success with 637,161 vehicles sold.

1957 Ford Fairlane Specifications

Ford offered a variety of engines for 1957. These included a 223 cubic-inch “Mileage Maker” six-cylinder, to 272, 292, and 312 cubic-inch Y-block V-8s. Improvements in the Y-block for 1957 included larger valves, a higher lift cam, and a large-bore intake manifold. All 1957 engines were essentially the same as in 56 except tuned for more power.

Transmission choices were a three speed manual or a two speed automatic.

Brakes were four wheel drum.

Front suspension was unequal length upper and lower control arms with coil springs. Rear suspension was longitudinal leaf springs.

Dimensions for the 57 Fairlane included a 118.0 inch wheelbase. Overall length was 207.7 inches...width 79.0 inches...height 56.2 inches...and an average weight depending on V-6 or V-8 of 3,400 lbs.

New car price in 1957 was $2,500-$2,600.

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1957 ford tail fins

New fin styling for 57

References for this article included...Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner, 1957-1959 (Classic Motorbooks Photofacts) by author Jerry H. Magayne.....Ford Fairlane Performance Portfolio 1955-1970.....Ford Motor Company Archives.

The 1957 Ford Fairlane Collector Car

In general, the 1950's produced some terrific collector cars. The 1957 model year was arguably one of the better ones. Ford made great strides in the design and performance departments including building their first hardtop convertible and the Ranchero which was essentially a good looking pickup with passenger car styling. The 57 Chevy Bel Air became an iconic car of the 50's and designs in general took another step forward in modernization. Car fin styling was at the forefront in 1957 but these would eventually fade away in the very early 60's.

1957 ford fairlane dashboard

Newly designed dash for 57

As of this writing, current values for the 1957 Ford Fairlane Sedan range from about $14,000 to $20,000 for very good to excellent condition vehicles. Highest values for the Fairlane models are the hardtops and convertibles in the $25,000 to $30,000 range.

Fairlane 500 Sedans are generally in the same range as the Fairlane Sedans. The highest values Fairlane 500 is the Skyliner Hardtop Convertible in the $50,000 area and the Sunliner Convertible in the mid $40,000 area. These are general estimates based on sales and obviously will vary due to overall condition and mileage plus age of restoration.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)