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1957-1960 Ford F-Series

Changes to the 1957-1960 Ford F-Series

After the initial excitement- (and envy-) inducing introduction of the Styleside bed for Ford F-Series trucks, designers continued to make some changes to the 1957-1960 Ford F-Series -- both inside and out.

1957's roomier F-Series trucks were once again offered in standard and Cus­tom Cab forms. The Custom Cab (avail­able on any closed-cab model) or Cus­tom Panel option cost an extra $68.30.

For that, the buyer received color-keyed tri-tone woven-plastic-and-vinyl upholstery over foam seat cushions; perforated "Therma­coustic" headliner material; bright instrument panel trim; extra sound-deadening insulation; fiberglass insulation behind the dashboard; a left-door armrest; dual sun visors; an illuminated cigar lighter; matching door locks; a bright-metal grille, headlight-shell, parking-lamp, windshield, and backlight trim; and "Custom Cab" script on the doors.

Panel trucks with the Custom package also featured a fully insulated and lined cargo compartment.

An inside look at the Style Tone paint option for 1958 Ford F-Series trucks
Here's an inside look at the Style Tone paint option
for 1958 Ford F-Series trucks.

Another popular option for Styleside pickups was "Style Tone" two-tone paint. A $20 feature (it cost more than twice as much on a panel truck), it involved painting a truck with a primary color plus Corinthian White. The primary color was painted below the character line along the sides of the truck, on the tailgate, inside the cargo bed, on the roof panel, and around the back window.

White paint was applied to the hood, body above the character line, upper door area, the area surrounding the windshield, the band on the forward area of the roof panel, and on the side of the roof panel above the drip molding. When combined with the Custom Cab group, it made for a very attractive pickup.

To recoup some of the cost of bringing new trucks to market, Ford raised base prices. The 1957 charges ranged from $185 to $225 more than what it asked for similar 1956 models. In the F-100 through -350 lines, production of the 1957s declined by about 107,100 units.

However, the 1956 Ford trucks enjoyed a very long model year; 1957 models weren't introduced until February 1. Still, the light-duties did well enough to help Ford retain second place in overall truck sales behind Chevrolet.

For 1958, appearance changes were slight. The dual headlights and bar grille of 1957 were replaced by quad headlights and an eggcrate grille texture that filled up much of the space between the hood and lower valance panel. Series badges on the hood sides were redesigned, too.

All 1958 F-100 panels got the rear-corner taillight lenses, but they were functional only on those ordered with the Custom Cab package. A panel-door-mounted unit still served base-trim models. Cus­tom Cab upholstery now came only in a brown-and-white houndstooth pattern.

While the standard six-cylinder engine returned unchanged, the optional engine at the start of the 1958 model year was the 181-bhp version of the 272-cid V-8. Halfway through the year, this engine was replaced by the 292-cid V-8 rated at 186 bhp at 4,000 rpm. Although not listed in specifications at the time, some 312-cid V-8s found their way into these trucks to cover short supplies of 292s.

F-Series sales slumped for 1958. The retreat came to more than 12,000 vehicles in the light-duty lines. Whatever disappointment Ford's truck-marketing people might have felt about that had to be tempered somewhat by the fact that 1958 was a recession year and total sales were down for practically all manufacturers.

Fresh new styling and a rebounding economy meant good news for the Ford F-Series in 1959. Get details on the next page.

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