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.

Please see the additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...


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)

1949 GMC “100” 5-window Pickup / Specs, Photos, History

Who built the first pickup truck? Auto historians might say it originated in Germany when Gottlieb Daimler invented what he called vehicle no. 42. This automobile provided the first truck concept as a horseless wagon with a 4 hp, 1.1 L, 2 cylinder engine. Daimler's new creation was advertised to pull 3300 pounds, although some disagreed with that claim.

Our featured vehicle in this article is a 1949 GMC Series 100 Half-Ton  5-Window Pickup..

1949 gmc half ton

1949 GMC Half Ton

GMC Created Within General Motors

In 1909, GM purchased a truck company to develop General Motors Truck Company, which became GMC Truck. GMC is the brand name for trucks, vans and SUVs sold by General Motors.

GMC as a truck brand was created out of both the Reliance Motor Car Company and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company within GM. The GMC brand was officially introduced in 1912 at the New York International Auto Show. .In 1912, GM produced about 20,000 trucks.  Prior to the time of unveiling the GMC brand, trucks from GM were produced from the merger of both the Reliance and the Rapid companies. By 1913 all GMC truck production was done at the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company plant in Pontiac, Michigan. By 1916 General Motors created the GMC Truck Division.

gmc half ton pickup photosChevrolet was also building trucks for General Motors and by the year 1920 the Chevrolet brand and the GMC brand trucks looked almost identical except for their grilles. During those years Chevrolet was marketing their trucks to individuals while GMC targeted commercial buyers.

GMC trucks were assembled at the main GMC truck plant in Pontiac, Michigan from 1939 to 1950

GMC trucks were typically sold by GM dealerships that offered Buick, Pontiac or Oldsmobile automobiles. The Chevrolet truck was sold by Chevrolet dealers. While the GMC and Chevrolet trucks may look identical there are differences in the trucks, some significant over the years.

Pickup Trucks Popularity After the War

The US government halted the production of consumer trucks during World War II. GMC however was a main supplier of military vehicles to U.S. and Allied governments. The most outstanding of those vehicles were the GMC model CCKW350 series, 2 ½-ton truck. These trucks delivered 92 hp with GMC 270 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder engines coupled with 5-speed transmissions. Some of the first GMC 6x6s saw action in North Africa against Rommel’s German desert army.

Automakers dramatically increased their pickup truck production following World War II.  After the war was over, Chevrolet and GMC set a new trend for pickups by releasing the first ever three-man seat pickup that featured a larger cab, bigger windows, and higher seats, and other manufacturers followed suit. GMC benefited from the increased popularity of pickup trucks after the end of the war. In fact, during the 1950's pickup trucks actually became a status symbol and many are considered in that way today.

1949 GMC Pickup Truck

As far as design is concerned, the 1949 GMC Pickups were largely what was seen on the 48 models. The entire GMC line included 75 different models from 4,600 through 75,000 lbs. There were 224 body and chassis types, powered by a variety of 9 GMC built engines.

Two years prior in 1947 GMC trucks restyled Chevrolet featured the new “Advance Design" cabs. This was a total departure from the prewar truck line. Cabs were larger and more comfortable with a larger glass area, standard dual windshield wipers, improved insulation and much better seats.

gmc advanced design pickups1949 GMC Series 100 Specifications

Standard power plant for the 1949 GMC Series 100 Pickup was a 228 cubic inch Inline Six Cylinder engine. Horsepower was rates at 95. Back in 1939 GMC replaced the Pontiac 223 with their own  228 in 1939. This engine was utilized in the GMC Pickup through the 1953 model year.

Standard transmission on this GMC Pickup was a column mounted three speed manual.

The half-ton models featuring either the Deluxe Cab or standard cab configurations had 116-inch wheelbases. The overall body measured 196.5 inches long.

GMC advertised their 1949 pickup trucks as including heavy duty frames, ball bearing steering, Hydrovac power brakes, synchromesh gear box and adjustable seats. The trucks generally were touted for their strength and durability, especially with heavy loads.

Total GMC Truck production for the 1949 model year was 83,800 units.

You may also be interested in the Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

A Finely Restored 1949 GMC Suburban

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Probably the best reference book you can find pertaining to the history of GMC Trucks is...GMC: The First 100 Years by author John Gunnell.

gmc dashboard photos

49 GMC dashboard

1949 GMC Pickup Truck Collector Values

GMC Pickups from this era are popular collector vehicles and some fully restored examples look absolutely great.

Current valuations for the 1949 GMC Half Ton based on several independent sources range from about $22,000-$27,000. This range would be for a fully restored model in excellent condition inside and out..

(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)

1950 Ford F-1 Half Ton Pickup / Photos and All Details

The vehicle featured in this article, the 1950 Ford F-1 Half-Ton Pickup, is among the first generation of Ford F Series Trucks. Introduced in 1948, these F Trucks were built on a truck chassis as opposed to the pre war trucks built on automobile chassis. These F Series Trucks were truly new and different than those built prior to World War Two. These are the first of the F series Ford's which are still in production so many decades later. The trucks gained a lot of followers with it's durability and affordability.

1950 ford f 1

1950 Ford F-1 Pickup

Ford's "Bonus Built" Trucks

In addition to this major change, the 1948 F-1 had several other changes compared to the 1941 model. Changes from the earlier Ford trucks included a one piece windshield, a wider cab and headlights that integrated with the truck's grille. Because of these changes and additions, Ford Motor Company advertising labeled the 1948 F Trucks "Bonus Built".

The term Bonus Built just started as an advertising slogan in 1948 to compete against Chevrolet's truck advertising. It was meant to refer to the many extras now added to Ford trucks. These were supposedly extras you could not always find in other makes. What Ford was doing was to put up a strong challenge to General Motors who had pretty much dominated the trucks market at that time.

ford f-1 pickupOfficially it was used from 1948-50 but it actually came to designate the whole of the '48-'52 body style. The 51s and 52s were connected with the 48-50s because of their very similar body style and design characteristics.

The Ford Bonus Built models not only applied to the F-1 Half Tons but the term was used through the 3 ton F-8.

The Million Dollar Cab

As marketing and advertising goes, Ford touted that it's 1948 F-1 riders sat in a 'Million Dollar Cab". What this implied was that the new F-1 cab provided more comfortable seating than any Ford truck before it. This added comfort of course had something to do with the F-1 being built on it's new truck chassis as mentioned above rather than the old automobile chassis.

1950 Ford F-1 Pickup Specifications

There were engine options available for the first F-1 in 1948  Standard engine for that model and for the 1950 Ford F-1 Half Ton Pickup was a 236 cubic inch Inline Six with a rated 95 horsepower. Also available was a 239 cubic inch V-8 rated at 100 horsepower. All of the engines offered provided more power than any previous Ford truck engine.

Ford advertising made several interesting claims for it's new truck engines for the F-1 models. One alleged customer was quoted as stating that his F-1 cost only 2.5 cents per mile to operate. Ford also claimed up to 14 percent fuel savings. Overall, Ford Motor Company wanted to stress that their new F-1's cost less to operate and they lasted longer.

Transmission as a three speed manual. The F-1 at first had a floor shifter that later changed to a column mounted shifter.

Major changes were ushered in for the F Series trucks beginning with the 1953 model year. The engines were improved, the dimensions were larger and the chassis was improved.

See these additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

The 1950 Chevy 3100 Half Ton Pickup

A Finely Restored 1936 Ford Woodie Wagon

first generation ford f seriesFirst Generation Ford F-1 Pickup Collector Vehicles

We believe that all first generation Ford F-1 Pickups are popular collector vehicles. As mentioned earlier, the Ford F-1's which debuted in 1948 represent an entirely new truck for Ford compared to what was built before the war in 1941. The first generations Ford F-1's were the first Ford trucks built on a truck chassis rather than on an automobile chassis like the 41 model.

The 1950 Ford Half Ton Pickup, like the one featured in this article, sold new in 1950 for about $1,285. Today's prices asked will of course depend on condition and originality. Various pricing sources as of this date place high values at $25,000 to $45,000. This is a wide range and would apply to those 1950 F-1's that are totally restored and with a large degree of originality.

Some terrific reference material for Ford F Series truck enthusiasts include...The Complete Book of Classic Ford F-Series Pickups: Every Model from 1948-1976 by author Dan Sanchez and...Ford F-Series Pickup Owners Bible 1948-1995 A Guide to Getting the Most From Your F-Series Pickup
by Moses Ludel.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)