1961 Ford Trucks
Ford's 1960 success with the Ranchero pickup truck was followed in 1961 by another Falcon derivative: the Econoline series. Also known as the E-Series, the line included a cargo van, a passenger van, and a pickup truck. The van was almost literally a box on wheels, with the pickup being a box with the top rear quarter removed.
Added to the opposite end of the Ford truck spectrum for 1961 were the heavy-duty H-Series trucks. These trucks used modified Ford C-Series Tilt Cabs mounted high on the chassis, making them perfect for over-the-road, semi-tractor-trailer work.
Besides the new releases, Ford introduced a redesigned F-Series truck line for 1961 that featured new cabs, new front-end sheetmetal, and redesigned interiors. These trucks were still offered in traditional Flareside (separate bed and fenders) and Styleside (smooth-sided bed) versions, but the Styleside was even smoother-sided than before, as the bed was made integral with the cab.
Long a feature of the car-based Ranchero, this new Styleside bed was something new for traditional pickup trucks. However, the integrated cab and bed was only offered on two-wheel-drive Ford truck models, as the company was evidently concerned about the increased twisting stress that might occur on 4x4s.
The new Ford Falcon-based Econoline series included a short, forward-control pickup. Shown is the Deluxe version, which included rear quarter windows and extra chrome trim. The engine sat between the seats beneath a black cover.
Econoline pickup trucks had a 71/2-foot bed, placing them between the 61/2- and 8-foot beds offered on the Ford F-100 truck, and they cost about $85 less than the previously least-expensive Ford F-100. The blanked-out quarter windows identify this as a 1961 base-trim model.
As shown on this Ford F-100, Styleside pickup beds were integrated with the cabs in an F-Series redesign for 1961. Traditional Flareside beds continued to be offered as well, and both styles were available in 61/2- and 8-foot lengths.
C-Series trucks got dual headlights for 1961 to replace the quad lights used since 1958; in fact, they now looked nearly identical to the inaugural 1957 models. Tandem rear axles and a GVW of up to 51,000 lbs mark this as a CT-950.
Ranchero returned with few changes for 1961 except for the optional availability of a 170-cubic-inch six to replace the standard 144-cid unit.
A Ranchero facelift and a change in Ford F-Series cab and bed construction marked the greatest of the relatively few Ford truck changes in 1962. Continue to the next page to learn more.For more Ford truck information and photos, try these: