I was going to try to do some April Fools kind of joke announcing that Ford would produce a 2020 Ford F-100 as a special heritage edition. But I figured this year, April Fools jokes are in poor taste. So, instead I’ll do a story saying what a shame it was that Ford didn’t create such a vehicle. I think it’s a missed opportunity for the Blue Oval.
Imagine how awesome it would’ve been for Ford to send out the 13th Generation F-150 with a special throwback version, complete with two-toned exterior with the F-100 logo emblazoned on it (similar to the 1976 F-100 pictured here). That would’ve been a great way to conclude the 2020 model year as Ford prepares for the next-generation 2021 Ford F-150.
Earlier this year, I wrote about how the “retro” look was popular for F-150 buyers at many Ford dealers. Adding two-toned exteriors and light bars to modern F-150s seem to be quite a popular fad. So it’s safe to assume that had Ford done a heritage issue with a flareside or styleside 1970s vibe it could’ve been a collector’s item.
But alas Ford missed this opportunity. So let’s take a stroll down memory lane and look at the first year (technically) for the Ford F-150.
What Year Did Ford Rename the F-100 to F-150?
In 1975, Ford renamed the F-100 to F-150. It was more of a way to work around recent government regulations regarding trucks that weighed more than 6,000 pounds.
According to government regulations, any truck weighing 6,000 pounds or less required a catalytic converter be installed along with expensive heat shielding. Additionally, these trucks required more expensive unleaded gasoline. Any truck that weighed over 6,000 pounds could forego the catalytic converter and use much cheaper leaded gasoline.
The 1975 F-100 weighed 6,050 pounds and thus created a loophole. Ford changed the name and marketed it as being a half-ton truck with the capability of a F-250. The name changed worked around government regulations and also vaulted sales of the truck to make it the best-selling vehicle in 1975.
Ford continued to produce the F-100 in some capacity through 1983.
The Last Time Ford Produced A Heritage-Edition F-150
It’s not unprecedented for Ford to produce a heritage edition, so my what-if scenario is not so far-fetched or some kind of April foolishness. In 2004, Ford created the F-150 Heritage. It was technically part of the 11th Generation F-Series, but carried over styling from the 10th-Generation, which was arguably one of the best generation trucks Ford has built.
Ford was so successful making 11th-Generation F-150 trucks that when it was time to switch over to the new platform, there was still parts and demand, so Ford ran out the assembly plants making limited-edition versions of the 2004 F-150 with the heritage badging.
The 2004 F-150 Heritage was available on XL and XLT trims only. It was available as a regular cab and super cab. A limited number of these were produced, but they were very popular and highly collectible.
So now imagine how cool it would’ve been for Ford to produce a similar Heritage edition at the tail end of the 2020 production. It would’ve been an excellent transition from one generation to another. And hey, that two-toned color and throwback styling would’ve been cool. If only.
Leave me a comment about what your favorite year F-100 was.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.