Although the 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier was the first pickup with a wide bed, it was a pricey limited production affair and the bed was cobbled up from a regular bed with fiberglass extensions. Ford saw the light, and gave its all-new 1957 pickups an all steel Styleside bed, and thus started a pickup revolution. William Garret spotted and shot this one in Palo Alto, CA.
GM didn’t take long to respond with their own all-steel wide bed in 1958, dubbed the Fleetside. But Ford got their first, and it was one of the many little successful steps Ford took to slowly claw their way from a distant #2 to the #1 pickup sales crown, in 1977, IIRC.
When I first saw this shot, I assumed someone had added either the V8 emblem or the hood emblem, as that hood emblem with the gear and lightning bolt soon came to identify the six cylinder versions of Ford pickups, and it graces my own F100. But back in 1957, that was not yet the case, so this is a genuine V8, the 272 Y Block, rated at 171 hp. That made for a pretty zippy truck at the time, given how little they weighed.
I’m not sure whether this signage on the door is authentic or a carefully crafted recent addition. It’s become a thing to do these on old trucks, and they’re very well done, so you can chime in with your opinion.
The fact that the interior has been beautifully redone adds fuel to my guess that the door sign is recent. It’s got a three-on-the-tree, and the design of the IP is quite similar to the one in the next generation.
I like the ’57 version of this generation best, with its single headlights.