Graphic credit Part Catalog

Anyone can picture “a pickup truck,” right? It’s a square on top of a rectangle with four wheels. But when you watch this Ford F-Series morph through every design it’s ever had, like the folks at Part Catalog did, you realize just how nuanced pickup truck design really is.

I was going to start this post by saying “the concept of a pickup truck hasn’t really changed,” but that’s not exactly true. The original pickups were pure utility, with practicality and luxury slowly creeping in. Today you can get pickup trucks with classic Cadillac comfort and, well, modern Cadillac performance. (Hey maybe Cadillac should try doing a pickup again.)

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You can really see how cyclical fashion is, too. The F-Series started with a lot of curves. Three generations in it got a little squared off, then in the 80's it was being drawn exclusively with a T-Square. In ’97 they went back to a bubble, and the latest 2015 body style is sharp enough to cut yourself on.

“They don’t build them like they used to.” Today’s trucks are a lot safer and more efficient, but the early ones will always have a place in our hearts. Got a favorite? I might have to go with the late 70's style (the first extended cab in the cycle) but that first generation Lightning is really growing on me.