Ford greeted the 1970s by opening a new truck plant near Louisville, Kentucky. Although it was officially called the Kentucky Truck Plant, it was quickly dubbed the "Louisville Plant" because its main claim to fame was as the point of assembly for Ford's new Louisville Line of trucks, also known as the L-Series.
These heavy-duty Ford trucks replaced the short conventional N-Series, along with the bigger F-Series and related tandem-axle T-Series. The Louisville Line thus encompassed a wide range of models serving the medium-, heavy-, and extra-heavy-duty truck ranks, and would go on to become one of the most popular series of trucks Ford ever produced.
About the only other news for Ford in 1970 was a redesigned Ranchero, which adopted the look of Ford's new midsize car line, which added a Torino derivative. Ranchero GT got Laser Stripe side decoration, while a new Squire model replaced that with a woodgrain appliqué.
An all-new styling theme for the Ford Torino family of midsize cars also translated into new looks for the 1970 Ford Ranchero pickup truck. Pointed front-fender tips, a sharp full-length midbody crease, and an egg crate grille were key elements of the new design, although hidden headlamps were an extra-cost option.
Base, 500, and GT Rancheros were continued from before, but the Squire -- generously decked out in simulated wood trim -- was new to the line. A trio of 429-cubic-inch V-8s now topped the engine roster in place of 390- and 428-cid mills.
The gradual push toward comfort and luxury in light trucks gained added momentum at Ford with the arrival of Ranger XLT trim for certain F-Series models. XLT equipment bested Ranger gear with items like a woodgrained tailgate appliqué, full-length lower-body moldings, cloth-and-vinyl upholstery, carpeting, and other conveniences. This 1970 Ford F-100 Ranger XLT also sports an extra-cost vinyl roof covering.
The 1970 Ford F-Series Ranger with four-wheel drive rode high off the ground. A chrome front bumper was newly standard on Ford pickup trucks.
A new L-Line truck family replaced the Ford N-, T-, and largest F-Series truck models. The 1970 LNT-800, shown here, was the lighter of two gas-engine, "short-nose," tandem-axle models.
In 1970, the heavy-duty gas-powered C-900 version of the Ford Tilt Cab truck was revived after 11 years.
The Ford Bronco was updated with a heavy-duty axle in 1971. Learn about this and other Ford truck changes on the next page.
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