Cohort Capsule: 1957 Ford F100 – Paint It Purple

I just couldn’t pass up this 1957 Ford F100 posted at the Cohort by Fred Oliver. First off, it’s a vintage of the F series we’ve never done before. And it’s a six, which are instant points here at CC. And it’s…purple.

The ’57 F Series trucks looked mighty new, although in reality they were really juts new bodies on mostly unchanged ’53-’56 chassis. A few things give that away: the same 110′ and 118′ wheelbases. The same set-back front wheels, which was presumably done to improve weight distribution. The same tall cab height. An all new F-Series pickup would have to wait until 1961, when the lower “unibody” (integrated cab and bed) generation arrived.

But that’s not to say the ’57 wasn’t plenty new for the times. And certainly plenty stylish. In fact, they rather made the concurrent Chevy/GMC pickups, which had first come out in mid-year 1955, look rather outdated. Chevy and GMC wouldn’t get a new truck until 1960. This boxy Ford looked pretty fine for 1957.

There’s very little doubt in my mind that this generation of Ford pickups was the model for the very popular Tonka pickup. I did a CC on a 1960 F250 a few years back that’s almost the exact color of this Tonka, and made note of the similarities then.

But I’ve never seen a purple one before, in either full size or Tonka size. No, it’s obviously not original, and from the patina, it appears that this repaint was undertaken some time ago. Maybe in the late ’60s?

They did a nice job on the tailgate letters even.

This bed would outlast this generation of truck, as it ended up being used in the subsequent one, as a replacement for the structurally deficient “unibody”, as well as on all the 4x4s. No, it doesn’t exactly match up to the new lower cab, but it had to do. Full story here.

Of this generation, I like the front end of the ’57 best: clean, single headlights, unfussy. This is the best, although these always seemed a bit sparse on the road even back in the day. The Chevys sold better when new, and always seemed to have more of a following as they aged.

The lack of a V8 emblem in the center of the grille marks this as a six; the 223 CID “Mileage Maker”, an engine that acquitted itself quite well in terms of its reputation. It was an enlarged version of the 215 six of 1952, Ford’s first ohv engine. It was replaced by the all-new 240/300 “Big Six” in 1965.

The V8 versions used the 272 and 292 versions of the Y-Block.