How Much Do You Know About Ford Trucks in the 1970s?

By: Ian Fortey
Image: Pixabay / kmckaskle

About This Quiz

Ford has been at the forefront of truck manufacturing for over 70 years now.  That's a heck of a long time to be putting out a product. And if sales are any indication, they've pretty much mastered it.  The Ford F-150 continues to be the most popular pickup truck on the market and has held that spot for years. The company has really revolutionized the truck world and has had an incredible influence over all the other designs and manufacturers over the years.   They're so big you just can't deny how important they are.

There have been some major ups and downs in that 70 years of manufacturing, and one of the most important decades for not just Ford but trucks, in general, was the 1970s.  This was a huge decade that saw environmental concerns change the way trucks performed, as well as the evolution of the truck from a tool for work to an actual family vehicle.  At Ford, it was the explosion of their dominance in the truck market.  If you know anything about truck history, this is the decade to know about.  So how much do you know about Ford trucks in the 1970s?  This quiz is not for the faint of heart, but if you think you have what it takes, buckle up and see.

In what year did the Ford F-Series become the best-selling truck in America?

Though the F-Series of trucks had been popular for years, it wasn't until 1976 that it became the nation's best-selling truck. The F-series has actually retained that title ever since, which is pretty impressive.

Where did Ford open a plant in 1969 that went on to produce the L-series line throughout the 1970s?

The Kentucky Truck Plant was the official name of the plant that produced the L-series for Ford. The plant was more informally known as the Louisville Plant and was the home of the Louisville Line, also known as the L-Series.

Everyone knows the "Built Ford Tough" slogan that Ford uses. What year did they drop that on the public?

"Built Ford Tough" showed up as a slogan in 1979. The slogan is still in use all these years later, which is unusual for any kind of ad slogan or copy. Even though Ford has used different slogans now and then, they tend to always come back to this one.

What feature became standard in Ford Broncos in 1971?

Front bucket seats were standardized in the 1971 model of the Ford Bronco. It was also given a 12.7-gallon fuel tank that year and a heavy-duty axle as well. Banner year for the Bronco!

The F-150 has been a remarkably popular model. What year did it show up?

The F-150 is still a popular model to this day. At the time it appeared, there was an F-100 and an F-250. The F-150 actually sat right in the middle in terms of payload capacity for people who wanted a little more than the lighter 100 but not so much as the 250.

How long did the Ford F-350 Super Camper Special exist?

The F-350 Super Camper Special was manufactured for 6 years. It existed from 1973 to 1979. The truck itself was a large, powerful pickup intended for serious campers who needed to haul a lot of stuff.

What was one of the reasons Ford introduced the F-150 in the '70s?

The F-150 was introduced, in part, as a way to deal with emission control restrictions in the '70s. This model was smaller than trucks like the F-350 and less polluting overall, making it a more emissions-friendly model.

When Ford trucks undergo a substantial redesign, they're tagged as being a new generation of truck. What generation premiered in the 1970s?

In 1973, the sixth generation of Ford trucks was unveiled and it lasted until 1979. The first generation of F-Series trucks dates all the way back to 1948. They were significant because they were built on a designated truck chassis, not just a re-purposed car chassis.

Which one of these made its debut during the sixth generation of F-series trucks?

The Supercab was first introduced in 1974. At that time it was only available in 2-wheel drive. In 1978 it was upgraded to the 4-wheel drive version.

In 1974, truck buyers could get a 460 cu. in. V-8 engine in their 2-wheel drive trucks in all states except one. What state didn't have that option?

The state of California was the only state where you couldn't get the V-8 option for two-wheel drive vehicles at the time. That same year Ford also brought back the 300 cu.in. 6-cylinder engine that they had retired for a couple of years.

What pollution converting device became standard on all F-100 trucks in 1975?

The catalytic converter became standard in 1975. The exhaust device helped convert harmful pollutants in the exhaust into less harmful ones. Along with this change, a shift to using unleaded fuel became the norm.

In 1970 Ford tried to spruce up the way its trucks looked as opposed to how they performed. How many trim categories were offered that year?

Ford's fifth generation was just coming to an end in the first few years of the 1970s. The F-series trucks got a cosmetic upgrade in 1970 with four trim categories available including Custom, Sport Custom, Ranger, and Ranger XLT.

What was added to F-series trucks only in California back in 1971?

California has long been at the forefront of trying to make vehicles conform to environmental standards. That's why F-series trucks in 1971 were all outfitted with exhaust emission control systems in the state.

1977 was a big year for dealing with the elements. What option was added that could help you out in the winter?

The rear window defroster became an option in 1977. We take it for granted that it's standard on most vehicles these days, but before 1977 if you were rocking a truck in the cold, you were scraping that window yourself.

What happened the headlights of Ford trucks in 1979?

In 1977, rectangular head lamps became standard on Ford F-series trucks. Before that, they had been using the typical round lights that most cars used.

Some people want a tough truck, others wanted a fun one. What fun type of Ford that featured rainbow stripe panels was marketed in 1977?

Free-Wheelin' Ford was an option package that gave you things like a blacked-out grille and cooler looking custom interior. The commercials really made it seem like driving one of these was like driving a party around town.

What three F-Series models were available for sale in 1970?

In 1970 Ford had three models of the F-series trucks available - The F-100, the F-250, and the F-350. The very popular F-150 was not introduced until 1974. The N-series were actually tractors made by Ford.

What was the gross vehicle weight of the Ford F-150 when it was introduced?

The gross vehicle weight, or GVW, of the Ford F-150 back in 1975 was listed at 6,050 pounds or so. This was about 500 pounds heavier than the F-100 model. The beefier truck was instantly more appealing to buyers than the 100 had been.

Ford was never one to skimp on colors. How many shades of blue were available for 1976 Ford trucks?

There were a number of colors available in 1976 but you had 3 blue options. Those included "Bali Blue," "Bahama Blue" and "Midnight Blue Metallic." In 1948, for the first series of Ford trucks, blue wasn't even an option.

Ford trucks are famous for their grilles. In what year did the infamous "egg crate" grille make its debut?

1971 is the year that gave drivers the egg crate grille. It had a vertical split in the middle but also a long horizontal one that split it into sections making it resemble an egg crate.

F-series trucks lost a significant amount of horsepower into the late 1970s. What was the cause of that?

Thanks to increased emissions standards across the industry, Ford had to make some significant changes including the use of catalytic converters, which led to the switch from leaded to unleaded fuels. These kinds of changes led to a decrease in overall horsepower.

In a 1973 design choice meant to increase safety, what got moved from behind the seats?

The fuel tank moved from behind the seat to beneath the body and between the frame rails. This move was done for safety reasons and also to increase the room in the cab overall.

What became 50% larger in the 1973 models of Ford trucks?

The glove box got a significant upgrade in 1973. Ford was doing their best to accent comfort in their 1970s models, to get people to stop thinking of them strictly as work vehicles, and part of that including offering more space. Even the glove boxes reaped the benefits.

In what year did Ford first offer the coolest option you'll ever find in a truck, the CB radio?

1977 was the first year CB radio was an option from Ford in its F-Series trucks CB radio was getting big in the '70s and numerous CB-themed movies were becoming popular around this time frame as well such as "Smokey and the Bandit," "Convoy," and "Breaker! Breaker!"

How many different factory colors were available for a Ford truck in the year 1970?

You had 16 different options for your paint job back in 1970. That included two different shades of white, two different yellows and several greens and blues. The only shade of red available was "candy apple red."

Sales are always a good indication of your popularity. How many trucks did Ford sell in the year 1978?

Ford sold a total of 864,000 trucks in 1978. According to Autoweek, in the year 2017 Ford was selling a truck literally every 30 seconds.

In an effort to make trucks seem like family vehicles, what kind of seating was available in the back of 1974 SuperCabs?

The 1974 SuperCab offered rear bench seats or the side jump seats. It was possible for a family of 5 to fit fairly comfortably in a SuperCab to go on road trips, making it a viable option when compared to traditional cars in terms of family vehicles.

1972 was the year that the fifth generation of Ford trucks ended and major changes to horsepower were implemented. How long would it be until Ford trucks matched 1972 models for horsepower again?

Due to changing standards, 1972's horsepower wouldn't be matched again until 27 years later. In 1972 the best horsepower you could get was 255. 27 years later you could get the 260-horsepower 5.4 liter Triton V-8, and its 360-horsepower supercharged variant for the SVT Lightning performance truck.

What is the one shade of white paint that was available for the entire decade of the '70s?

Ford offered a wide range of colors throughout the '70s, but Wimbledon White was always an option. Most years, but not all, saw "pure white" as an option as well.

82,000 F-series vehicles were recalled in 1979. What was the problem?

There was a faulty brake push-rod that led to a fairly substantial recall in 1979. The problem with the rod was that it had the potential to disengage from the brake pedal.

1975 introduced a standard featured in F-series trucks that no longer exists in Ford or pretty much any other major manufacturers vehicles thanks to changing views in society. What was it?

Most cars contained an ashtray in the dash and door ashtrays for many years. They were standard in Ford models in 1975 and for a few years afterward. Of course, just about no one produces ashtrays or cigarette lighters in cars anymore.

What car manufacturer beat Ford to the punch with an extended cab model in 1973, while Ford's didn't show up until the following year?

Dodge released their extended cab truck back in 1973. That's believed to be what inspired Ford to do the same the following year, offering up an additional 22-inches of space, which was more than enough for a bench seat in the back.

In commercials, Ford emphasized how tough their trucks were to potential buyers. How many Fords built since '63 were still on the road in the mid-'70s, according to their commercials?

Ford's tagline to sell trucks in many commercials was that 93 out of 100 built since 1963 were still on the road. Most of the commercials showed Ford trucks undergoing some incredibly strenuous abuse that no normal truck would ever have to take.

Ford really emphasized how their trucks offered a smooth, car-like ride. What feature were they pushing in commercials to sell this point of view?

The Twin I-Beam Suspension was developed in the '60s. Ford pushed it very strongly in the '70s in an effort to demonstrate that trucks weren't just work machines, they could also offer a smooth ride for the whole family to enjoy.

The '70s ended along with Ford's sixth generation. What was the difference between a '79 Ford and an '80 Ford?

Thanks to concerns over fuel economy and emissions standards, the '79 Fords were somewhat larger and heavier than later models. The 1980 Fords were a bit narrower and lower while also weighing less, all to help improve fuel economy.

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