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DEARBORN - Ford has a long history of innovation in its concept vehicles including not only cars but trucks and SUVs.
The F-350 TONKA debuted at the 2002 North American International Auto Show. The yellow exterior connected consumers to the beloved metal toy by Hasbro.
Designed to withstand the toughest play along with reliability to get the job done, the concept was a combination of Ford tough with a luxurious and comfortable interior.
TONKA’s power came from the Stroke Diesel Super-600 Concept diesel V8 engine which was partnered with the five-speed PowerTorq transmission – as Ford’s first application of a fivespeed automatic with a diesel engine.
The truck’s interior was designed to be functional and sophisticated, which allowed the driver to be in full command. The driver’s seat was built on a full-floating suspension and was completely adjustable keeping the driver comfortable even on the most difficult terrain.
The Powerforce Super Duty Concept was displayed during the 1997 Chicago Auto Show. It featured more carrying load with the comfort of light-duty ride and handling. The four-wheeldrive Super Duty concept truck towered over all of its contemporary pickups and was powered by a Triton 6.8-liter V10.
It was longer, taller and wider with more cab space than any pickup of its day. The Powerforce’s Triton engine delivered 265 horsepower at 4,250 rpm and 410 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,750. Exit and entry to the truck were made easier by use of the power rotating running boards, a first for Ford vehicles. The tailgate also provided power lift to facilitate loading and unloading of cargo.
The versatility of Powerforce allowed it to serve as a workhorse for commercial use and also as a luxurious and powerful recreation vehicle for personal use.
The Ranger II debuted at auto shows in 1967 with a futuristic look created with a streamlined windshield, high-intensity head lights of rectangular design and Clearwater Aqua finish.
This concept truck in the F-250 class featured a pickup that at the push of a button changes to a twodoor sedan that can seat two additional passengers in the rear compartment. The Ranger II also featured aircraft-type canopy doors that operated using hydraulics at the turn of the key. The hood also was operated hydraulically by a switch on the master control.
Ford’s experimental gas turbine truck, aka Big Red, debuted in 1964 created to fit the needs of the transport industry for the 1970s. Big Red met the demands of extended trips across country while hauling a full load.
The truck carried enough fuel for a 600-mile trip and enough power to run at 70 mph fully loaded. Big Red was powered by a 600-horsepower gas turbine engine.
Big Red was aerodynamic in design. The cab top was flush with the top of the trailers and the rear was concave. The cab interior was designed with long nonstop trips in mind.