The fifth generation, US built, Ford F-Series pickups were built from 1967 to 1972, Brazilian versions were built from 1971 through 1992. A face lifted F-Series with a new grill appeared in 1970 and today’s featured ’71 Custom Sport version had further minor grill changes.
’71 F-Series pick ups also featured a new steering wheel design, colour options and an AM/FM radio option.
Ford marketed the ’71 F-Series on the strength of “Better ideas” which made “Ford Pickups work like a truck” and “ride like a car”.
Better idea’s also included independent front “Twin I-Beam” suspension, first seen in 1965, which dramatically improved the handling over the pre 65’s solid front axle suspension, and dramatically increased the appeal of the F-series beyond the traditional agricultural and building trades communities.
The rear suspension was known as “Flex-O-Matic” in Ford’s marketing literature, this appears to be a regular solid rear axle and leaf spring set up with a rubber pad twixt the rear leaf springs and a shackle attached to the body which acts as a shock absorber on any upward movement of the axle.
The Twin-I-Beam and Flex-O-matic suspension are the bain of ‘Rodders’ lives because the front cannot be lowered without adversely affecting the geometry of the front wheels leaving them with too much negative camber, and the rubber pad and shackle interfere with the lowering of the rear suspension.
The Sport Custom seen in these photographs at an Avenue Drivers Club meeting is powered by a 215 hp 5.9 litre / 360 cui FE V8 motor.
Thanks for joining me on this “Twin I Beam Flex-O-Matic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I be looking at a vehicle that appears to define the term “horseless carriage”. Don’t forget to come back now !