Ford rival General Motors had brought out stylish new trucks for 1955, and for two years, Ford had to face the competition with a warmed-over truck line that dated back to 1953. That made 1957 a very big year for Ford dealers, as they finally had a stylish truck of their own -- two, actually.
Ford's F-Series trucks now sported a completely new look that was more square and modern, while at the same time featuring a wider cab, hidden running boards, flush-mounted front fenders, and a wider, full-width hood. The 1957 model year also brought a choice of two pickup beds: the traditional Flareside, with a narrow bed and attached rear fenders, and the new Styleside, with straight-through fenders. A straight-sided bed was nothing new to the industry, but unlike other manufacturers, Ford offered its Styleside pickup box at no extra charge.
Perhaps even bigger news was Ford's new car/truck hybrid called the Ranchero. Based on a two-door station-wagon platform, it combined Ford's new-for-1957 car styling with the utility of a pickup truck by replacing the wagon's covered cargo area with an open bed.
In addition to the dramatic changes that greeted pickup truck buyers this year, Ford also performed a major revamp to its Cab-Over-Engine models. These C-Series trucks were converted to a forward-control design, placing the steering wheel and pedals ahead of the axle, and the driver seat above it. They were branded "Tilt Cabs" because their cabs tilted forward for easier engine access.
The new Ford Ranchero was a sensation, sharing the look of Ford's restyled 1957 cars. Top engine was the car line's 292-cubic-inch 212-horsepower V-8, which wasn't offered in other trucks.
The Ford Ranchero was considered a 1/2-ton pickup like the F-100 truck, but its styling and car-like amenities didn't come free. Prices started at $2098, whereas an F-100 -- either Styleside or Flareside -- started at $1789.
Ford's radically redesigned 1957 F-Series trucks offered slab-sided styling both front (see above) and rear (see below) with the introduction of the Styleside bed. A traditional bed with separate fenders, called a Flareside, was also still available.
Both pickup beds were offered in 61/2- and 8-foot lengths for the 1957 Ford F-Series trucks. Engine choices included a 223-cubic-inch six, with 139 horsepower, and a 272-cid V-8 with 171 hp.
New for 1957 were the Ford C-Series Tilt Cab forward-control trucks, which would go on to live a long and prosperous life. Cabs could be tilted forward for easy engine access, and the set-back front axle allowed for a tight turning radius.
Best of all, the design allowed for a shorter overall length with a given trailer size. Shown is the top-line Ford C-900 truck, which -- like other 900s -- used a 332-cubic-inch V-8 with 212 horsepower.
1958 Ford trucks would sport quad headlights, and a whole new line of work trucks arrived on the scene. Continue to the next page for more details.
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