2023 means 75 years of Ford F-Series trucks, so bring on the special editions.
Ford is celebrating 75 years of the F-Series pickup in 2023. The automaker is marking the occasion with a special Heritage Edition truck that brings back one of the best paint jobs of past pickups. The two-tone A-B-A paint that was oh so cool back in the 1980s.
Bring Back the Fancy Paint!
A-B-A refers to a two-tone paint job where the main color — the letter A — is used on the top of the truck and the bottom of the truck. The B color is sprayed in the middle, hence A-B-A.
On the road, that usually means the rocker panels and the tops of the bed, cab, and hood are all painted in the main color. If that doesn’t make sense, look at the trio of 1990 Fords in the photo above.
Ford (and GM) made some very good-looking trucks through the 1970s to 1990s with this paintwork, offered in a startling array of shades. It was so popular that we’ve seen plenty of dealers make their own versions of modern trucks using vinyl wraps or their own body shops.
But it was the slab-sided styling of old trucks that made it work. New pickups make it a bit tougher, so not all of those dealer specials hit the mark.
To make it work, Ford applied the A color only to the top of the cab. The cab’s pillars and roof get the special paint, not the hood or bedsides. On the bottom, it’s still the same, with the bumpers, rockers, and lower doors all painted in the two-tone highlight.
Ford is also limiting the choices of colors. Only Carbonized Gray and Agate Black are offered for the upper and lower. The former can be paired with Race Red, and Antimatter Blue for the middle section, the latter Atlas Blue, Avalanche, and Area 51.
Special Trim and Logos Inside
In the cabs of these Heritage Edition trucks, Ford picked slate gray and black. Special seat trim sets the trucks apart and includes inserts in the seats unique to Heritage Edition. Embossing on the center console lid is another nod.
Finishing up the specials is a 75 Years logo on the upper center of the windshield. Ford repeats the logo in the startup animation for the infotainment system as well as on the center console.
This is a cosmetic upgrade, so there are no performance enhancements. It’s probably not going to be Ford’s only special truck for this big milestone, so stay tuned if this one doesn’t turn your tires.
You’re usually forced to buy a top-trim truck to get the anniversary celebration model. Ford is breaking from that, making the Heritage Edition exclusive to XLT-spec trucks. Pricing will come next month when the order books open, and Ford says production of the pickups will start in the fall.
The current truck is the 14th generation of the F-Series, introduced for model year 2021. The very first F-Series was called the F-1 (and climbed the range to F-8), or Ford Bonus Built, and was launched in 1948 and made through 1952. The truck marked the first time Ford had separated car and truck design, putting the pickups on a new chassis designed specifically for truck use.