1953 Ford F-100 Review Apr 14, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
The current Ford pickup trucks can trace their name to a single model that collectors still appreciate, the 1953 Ford F-100. The F-100 arrived in 1953 and was the celebration of Ford’s Golden Anniversary. The redesigned pickup was successful when it first hit the market, and it remains a popular collector vehicle. Experts attribute the F-100’s enduring appeal to the pickup’s practical and solid design and ruggedly handsome appearance. The 1953 F-100 saw a production of 116,437 models, a good run for the time. Of course, it’s worth noting that the F-100 was incredibly popular because there was very little competition at that time. Competition wouldn’t arrive to challenge the F-100 until 1971 in the form of the Nissan B120; before then, the F-100 was the only pickup of its size.
Building on the F-1
The 1953 Ford F-100 replaced the first generation of F-Series trucks, the F-1, and introduced a new naming convention and style. This half-ton pickup could carry a maximum of 5,000 kilograms. The Cab-Over Series from the F-1 was discontinued, and Ford added two cargo trays to the new model, increasing the versatility of the new platform.
Materials and Cabin
The F-100 was the smallest model in the new F-Series from Ford, making it more focused and utilitarian. Because of this, you will notice cheap plastics and a lack of basic interior features on original models. Over time, Ford added more features and technology to the cabin along with better materials, but the 1953 model didn’t benefit from these. Today, custom F-100s will often have completely refurbished interior. At the same time, the original design worked well because the cabin was spacious, giving the driver and side passenger plenty of legroom and headroom. The middle passenger also got lots of headroom, but legroom was somewhat limited since the transmission tunnel ran right through the center of the cabin.
Power and Performance
The original F-100 ran on a straight I-6 engine producing 101 horsepower. More engine options were added later on. You may find a 1953 F-100 model with the Flathead V8 engine, which had a similar output, only increasing performance to 110 horsepower. The I-6 stayed reliable and strong. It offered good acceleration even from a standstill and was good at passing other vehicles. In the case of fully loaded models, however, or those loaded down with passengers and cargo, it could get somewhat sluggish. Unfortunately, the 1953 F-100 wasn’t as stable as drivers would have liked, being affected too much by the crosswinds. There were also a few complaints about loose steering.
Throughout the years, Ford made numerous improvements to the F-100 until the F-150 was introduced and the F-100 became dramatically less popular. Out of the various F-100 models, the 1953 is a favorite among classic car collectors with an unrivalled look, tough chassis, and vintage charm.