In 1959, for the first time in Ford history, a light-duty truck buyer could buy a factory-built 4x4 Ford truck. Previously, Ford trucks had been converted to four-wheel drive by outside manufacturers such as Marmon-Herrington, Napco, or American-Coleman.
The 1959 model year also brought a redesigned Ford Ranchero, which again echoed the look of the equally redesigned Ford car line. As it would turn out, this would be the last year the Ranchero would be based on a full-size station-wagon chassis.
Although more buyers still chose the 61/2-foot bed for their F-100 trucks, the 8-foot bed was gaining in popularity and would eventually surpass its shorter sibling in sales. Likewise, the smooth-sided Styleside bed sales would soon top those of the "traditional" Flareside.
Factory-built 4x4s, such as this 1959 Ford F-250 truck, would soon relegate the Marmon-Harrington conversions -- which had been around since the 1930s -- to history.
Topping the Ford F-Series line for 1959 were the F-1000 and F-1100. Note the hood scoop, which could be found on Super Duty F-Series trucks.
The Ford C-Series trucks saw few changes for 1959 -- and didn't need any. Tandem-axle versions had been introduced in late 1958, which further increased their popularity.
Ford celebrated a production milestone in 1959 when its 50-millionth car -- a Galaxie hardtop -- left a company assembly plant. Ford cars outsold those of rival Chevrolet that year, putting a finishing touch on what had been an exciting decade.
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