A silver 2023 Ford Shelby F-150 Super Snake Sport is shown parked on a track after viewing Ford trucks for sale.

How Classic Fords Have Evolved Into Stylish & Capable Trucks

What’s in a name? Clearly, automakers these days have no qualms about taking famous nameplates and slapping them on totally new vehicles. The thing is, it works, and one of the brands that tends to do this a lot is Ford.

Classic Ford models have transformed into brand-new vehicles over the years, breathing new life into the timeless nameplates that preceded them—and some of the best examples lie in today’s Ford truck lineup. Seeing Ford trucks for sale on your local lot, you may begin to realize that you’ve heard some of these names before—and they weren’t always in the pickup truck form…

Ford Maverick: From Coupe to Compact Truck

Today, the Ford Maverick is a compact truck that features a hybrid powertrain. It’s perfect for daily drivers and for those who desire more space and capabilities in their vehicles yet don’t want to drive a large and cumbersome truck. It’s stylish, well-equipped with cutting-edge tech, and easy to drive; however, the Maverick name originated as something totally different. In 1970, the Blue Oval debuted a compact coupe that exhibited more muscle car vibes than pickup truck practicality. It took various styling elements from the famous Mustang, adding to its bold persona, but it wasn’t a muscle car—not in the slightest.

Although the Maverick looked like it could drive circles around the competition on the track, it was meant to be a comfortable daily driver—similar to the Maverick pickup of today. Serving as a replacement for the Falcon model, which ruled the roadways from 1960 until 1970, the Maverick featured capable powertrains that not only offered an enjoyable jaunt down the highway but were also incredibly efficient—another thing it has in common with the Maverick of today.

For those who demanded more excitement from this everyday traveler, bolder trims were introduced as the years went on to elevate the Maverick’s performance, allowing it to deliver a more exhilarating ride. Unfortunately, the Maverick was discontinued in 1977, but its name lives on with the recent introduction of Ford’s newest compact truck, which debuted for the 2022 model year.

An orange 2023 Ford Maverick is shown parked near stringed lights.

Ford F-150 Lightning: Performance Gets Electrified

The Ford F-150 Lightning is another new truck in Ford’s lineup, and it has made a serious statement with drivers due to its all-electric capabilities. This full-size EV pickup offers the best of both worlds—the power to complete tough tasks and the efficiency to travel anywhere with confidence. It can power your house, tow up to 10,000 lbs, and off-road with the best, making it one of the most skilled and adaptable EVs of our time. Talk about impressive—however, the original SVT Lightning was impressive in its own right.

Originally known as a high-performance truck, the Ford SVT Lightning—which debuted in 1993—took speed very seriously. Developed by the Ford Special Vehicle Team, the SVT Lightning prioritized track performance; however, it fell short when it came to off-roading, towing, and other pickup truck essential duties. That doesn’t mean this truck wasn’t amazing, able to jet forward from zero to sixty in just seven seconds and topping out at 110 mph, which was very impressive in that era.

Fast-forward a few years, and the Lightning became more enhanced, eventually earning the title “World’s Fastest Production Truck” in 2003 by Guinness World Records, with a top speed of 147 mph. It was eventually discontinued in 2004, only to be resurrected as an all-electric model that prioritized a different level of performance for the 2022 model year.

Ford Shelby F-150 Super Snake Sport: Mustang Power on a Pickup Platform

Most drivers have heard of the Shelby Mustang, which was designed by the legendary Carroll Shelby, a former WWII flight instructor with a supreme need for speed. Not only was the Shelby Mustang eye-catching and intimidating, but it was also extremely fast, delivering thrill after thrill to its lucky occupants. Although this car was geared toward racing, over time, it began to offer creature comforts—like increased storage space and a cozier cabin—to appeal to more drivers nationwide. The Shelby models remain some of the most famous track stars in America, but in 2019, Ford surprised the masses with the unveiling of a new type of Shelby—the Shelby F-150 Super Snake Sport.

With up to 770 hp driving it forward, this street racer is able to jump from zero to 100 mph (yes, you read that correctly) in just 8.3 seconds. Not only is it fast, but it also showcases a powerful and bold build, complete with a lower suspension system to enhance its performance on the streets. It also features an intimidating front bumper, which isn’t just for looks—it’s to elevate performance, too.

In true Shelby fashion, the Super Snake Sport’s interior is accentuated with Shelby design elements, including leather seat covers, custom badging, and an athletic feel throughout. Only 250 models were available in this limited production run in North America, so if you happen to pass by one on the streets, take a moment to soak it in.

A silver 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown driving on a wet city road.

Ford F-Series: Trendsetter & Best-Seller

There’s no doubt that the F-Series of trucks serve as pioneers in the industry, beginning as simple workhorses and evolving into some of the most impactful trucks of our time. The F1 debuted in 1948, hot off the heels of WWII, and it offered American farmers and laborers the chance to take on more challenges, haul more materials, and get more done during the day.

It was simple and capable, which was exactly what everyday Americans were looking for at that time—but as the years went on, drivers’ demands changed. Adding in more comfort features and enhanced capabilities, the F-Series trucks were always the first to unveil something new to drivers that the industry hadn’t seen before. Eventually, the F-150 nameplate officially debuted in 1975, and it hasn’t looked back since.

Today, the Ford F-150 is the best-selling truck in America and has been for the past 46 years and counting. It’s one of the most capable full-size trucks ever built, with a best-in-class available payload capacity, extraordinary off-road credibility, and features designed to make any task more achievable, whether on the road or the job site. There’s a trim for every driver, a powertrain to handle any task, and features designed to impress even the most discerning travelers. The F-150 is truly a star in the industry—one that continues to wow us with each new model year.

Famous Ford Trucks

It’s clear that Ford has discovered a way to make its models more mesmerizing than ever—even those that have been discontinued for decades. Resurrecting some of these iconic models and repackaging them into something completely different is no small task, but Ford is able to do so effortlessly, offering a new take on industry classics. Whether it’s the muscle car-inspired Maverick or the thrill-inducing Shelby Mustang, drivers are now able to enjoy these vehicles in a brand-new way, which is something that sets the Blue Oval brand apart from the rest.

There’s a Ford truck designed for every driver, from everyday commuters to avid off-roaders, hard workers, families, and road trippers, making Ford best-poised to deliver the ultimate experience, no matter where we’re traveling. It’ll be interesting to see what Ford comes up with next. Maybe it’ll be a new and improved Thunderbird, or maybe the Torino will make its way back onto the streets. Anything is possible when you get creative and think about what drivers are looking for in their everyday vehicles.

One thing is certain: When you want to be impressed by a selection of vehicles, Ford delivers time and time again.