Segment One: The Model T Years 1925-1927

Author: Paul McLaughlin

Things are certainly different in the pickup truck world of today than they were seventy five years ago. Take the Ford F-Series pickups, America's number one selling vehicle the last nineteen years. Go onto any Ford truck lot and you'll see them in all sorts of colors, all sorts of sizes, and with all sorts of equipment. That is a far cry from what was available back when the first Ford pickups hit the streets back in the mid 1920s. Back then they came in one color, one model, and without much equipment.

The date was April 25, 1925 and on that date the Ford Motor Company introduced their first factory produced pickup truck. This new model was officially called the Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body. And Ford priced this new truck at $281.00 F.O.B. Detroit.

In basic terms this new Ford was a roadster type pickup with an all steel bed that was 56 inches long, 40 inches wide, and 13 inches high. The sides of the bed had pockets for stakes and the tailgate was adjustable. If you wanted, or needed, a longer heavier duty pickup truck you could opt for a Model TT (1 ton rated) Ford truck with an 8 foot long Express Body.

A rear, 3/4 view, showing the pickup bed of a 1926 Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body. Notice how extra taillights have been added to make this vehicle safer to drive in these faster paced times.

The Ford model T Runabout with Pickup Body turned out to be a pretty popular model for Ford in 1925 with over 33,800 of them being sold.
Ford redesigned their Model T's for 1926. This redesign included changes to the cowl panel, hood, fenders, and running boards. There were also changes made to the headlights, which were now mounted on the front fenders, taillights, and now for the first time the Model T Ford had an opening on the left side of its body for a door. The price of the Model T Ford Runabout with Pickup Body in 1926 jumped to $366.00. This higher priced pickup included additional equipment that was either optional or not available on the 1925 model. Additional equipment now included an electric starter, battery, and demountable tires. And if you wanted balloon tires they were available too at a cost of $15.00.
When ordered from the Ford factories these pickups were usually painted black or green. If they were green their fenders and radiator shells were painted black. Ford also offered the pickup box, painted black, separately at their dealer parts department for $25.00. So a customer could have a pickup box

A Ford Model T with Regular Type Rear Body treatment

that he could use by simply bolting it on to his Model T chassis. With separate pickup body sales Ford produced over 75,000 pickup boxes in 1926. Although exact production figures aren't available for the Model T Runabout with Pickup Body we can assume that Ford probably built more than 34,000 of them this year.
For 1927, the last year Ford would produce the Model T, additional colors were made available for the Runabouts. Blue and Brown were the colors added and again, if you wanted one of these colors, your Model T Runabout with Pickup Body came with black painted fenders, running boards, and radiator shell. Some owners dressed their pickups up with the Model

This original looking 1926 Model T Ford Runabout with Pickup Body has period accessories like a side-mounted spare tire, pickup bed side boards, side curtains, and a spotlight.

T Ford's nickel plated radiator shell and wire type wheels to give their trucks a more modern look. At the end of the model year Ford had produced some 28,142 Model T Runabouts with Pickup Body trucks which was a pretty good number of units for those times.

And this ends our look at the beginnings of the Ford pickup truck. A start which would see millions of trucks with the Ford name follow.

Next Segment: The Model A Years, 1928-1931