The first-generation F-Series truck (known as the Ford Bonus-Built) was introduced in late 1947 (going on sale January 16, 1948), replacing Ford trucks introduced in 1941. It had a flat, one-piece windshield and integrated headlamps. It had a wider cab. Options included the “See-Clear” windshield washer (operated by foot plunger), passenger-side windshield wiper & sun visor, and Passenger-side taillight. The F-1 truck was also available with additional stainless steel trim and two horns as an option. All F-series were available with optional “Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive” until 1959.
Design of the F-Series truck changed tremendously from 1950 to 1954. From 1948 to 1950, the grill was a series of horizontal bars and the headlights were set into the fenders. For 1951 and 1952, the headlights were connected by a wide aerodynamic cross piece with three similarly aerodynamic supports. The rear window was wider in these later trucks and the dashboard was redesigned. This new cab was called the “Five-Star Cab”.
The first-generation F-Series was marketed in eight different chassis (based on their GVWR), giving them their model names; the F-1 was the lightest-capacity version with the F-8 as the highest. F-1 through F-3 pickup trucks were offered (forming the basis for panel trucks) and the bare F-3 chassis served as the basis for a parcel delivery truck. The heavier-duty F-4 chassis was produced as a light-duty commercial truck. The F-5 and F-6 were produced as medium-duty trucks in three configurations, a conventional, a COE/cab-over (as the C-Series), and a school bus chassis (as the B-Series, no bodywork rear of the firewall). The F-7 and F-8 were heavy-duty commercial trucks, marketed under the “Big Job” brand name from 1951.
With the exception of bus chassis and parcel-delivery vehicles (which used bodywork produced by second-party manufacturers), Ford shared the same cab design on all F-Series trucks; C-Series trucks moved the cab upward and forward, requiring a higher hood.
The most common first-generation model was the F-1 with a 6 ½-foot bed, followed by the F-2 and F-3 Express models with an 8-foot (2.4 m) bed.