For Ford pickups, 1967 heralded a new look that captured the essence of 'wheeling in both style and function. Ford continued this solid truck line through the '79 model year, with the '79 F-350 considered the best of the breed. And like GM, standard 6 1/2-foot and 8-foot beds were used in most models, but unlike the GM pickups, the F-100 and F-150 models utilized coil-spring front suspension, with the heavier series staying with the standard leaf-spring design.
Ford lagged behind certain techno-advances, such as the integral power steering system and disc brake front axles, but made up for it with Dana 60 rears in some 1/2-tons and 60 fronts in some F-250s. But the strangest marketing decision had to have been the lack of crew cab and dualie F-350 4x4s. Virtually anything was available in the two-wheel-drive trucks, but even the base F-350 wasn't produced with a front drive axle until the '78-'79 model year.
Models Available The first year of the '67-'72 body style started with a 6 1/2-foot and an 8-foot bed for the F-100, a definite advantage over the previous 9-foot-only style. And while the F-250 only received a longbed, both the 1/2-ton and 3/4-ton pickups came with the regular Styleside or stepside (Flareside) beds. Even with various trim levels, Ford was initially aiming its trucks at the commercial market so creature comforts were at a minimum. But in 1969, the crew cab made its debut, a perfect four-door pickup for the construction gang or the average-size family of the day.
By the time 1973 rolled around, the body style changed slightly, with the side panel bulges going in rather than sticking out. Power options and improved trim levels had increased far beyond the "farmer's truck" and the Camper Special had the power and convenience options to make hauling a camper downright fun. With the smog police on the industries' back, many changes were made to keep performance and eliminate the required add-ons, so the F-150 heavy 1/2-ton was born. This rig had a higher weight rating to sidestep emissions regulations for a few years, allowing technology to catch up with the rules. One last option for regular gas and no cats was the introduction of the first 4x4 F-350 in 1978. While the F-350 used the same body as the lighter rigs, its heavy-duty components and lack of emissions equipment made it a popular pickup. Even the club cab versions of the F-150 and F-250 were made on the heavy frame, which accounts for a leaf-sprung front axle on a 1/2-ton Ford front end.