Full-size Ford is the popular term for a long-running line of Ford vehicles which have been produced in North America with a large degree of similarity since the Model T in 1908, up to the current Crown Victoria. The term full-size does not necessarily indicate it was large relative to its competitors, but that it was the largest and most complete model offered by Ford.
Full-size American Fords have naturally been updated to keep pace with contemporary technology and tastes over a century's time. However, in addition to their status of largest Ford vehicle, they were always marked by front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, a live rear axle, and a body-on-frame construction. From 1932 onwards, all full-size Fords had a V8 engine as an option, and from 1935, a V8 was standard. Thus, the inclusion of the Ford Five Hundred and fifth-generation Ford Taurus into this classification is contentious, even though they are full-size cars by Ford, as they are front-wheel drive with a monocoque design, independent suspension, and a V6 engine only. Likewise, the Ford Zephyr and other internationally-produced big Fords have major mechanical and cultural differences from the American full-size lineage.
American automobiles in the early years were usually only identified by make and year (such as 1952 Ford). Typically, companies produced only one distinct model (excluding trim specifications) in a year, and thus nameplates were the exception rather than the rule. Nameplates emerged when companies began selling other cars to augment their lineup. The term "full-size" came in use after Ford introduced compact cars and mid-size or intermediate size classes in the 1960s. If the Ford full-size line were to be taken as a continuous automotive line, it would comfortably be the longest in the car industry, with staggering collective production numbers.
- Ford Model T (15,006,449 produced from 1908 to 1927)
- Ford Model A (4,849,340 produced from 1928 to 1931)
- Ford Model B/Ford V8 (1,109,714 produced from 1932 to 1934)
- 1935 Ford (1,751,031 produced from 1935 to 1936)
- 1937 Ford (2,380,980 produced from 1937 to 1940)
- 1941 Ford (1,996,696 produced from 1941 to 1942, 1946 to 1948)
- 1949 Ford (2,525,425 produced from 1949 to 1951)
- 1952 Ford (3,079,025 produced from 1952 to 1954)
- 1955 Ford (2,827,849 produced from 1955 to 1956)
- 1957 Ford (3,977,846 produced from 1957 to 1959)
- 1960 Ford (4,138,182 produced from 1960 to 1964)
- Ford full-size 1965 to 1978: 10,288,996
Total produced to 1978: 53,931,533
- Ford Fairlane (1955-1961, became mid-size in 1962)
- Ford Galaxie (1959-1974, discontinued)
- Ford LTD (1965-1982, became mid-size in 1983)
- Ford LTD Crown Victoria (1983-1991, discontinued)
- Ford Crown Victoria (1992 to present)
Police forces of North America have heavily used full-size Fords for decades because of their preference for V8 power and torque, the pulling power provided by rear-wheel drive, and the robust body-on-frame construction that can be cheaply repaired (important for American police due to usage of the PIT maneuver). However, with the demise of any vehicles with these characteristics from General Motors and Chrysler, the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor has held a virtual monopoly on police cruisers sold in North America since 1996. The Crown Victoria has become equally commonplace as a taxi cab.
- Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (2004). Cars of the Classic '30s: A Decade of Elegant Design. Publications International, Ltd.. ISBN 0-7853-9873-2.
- Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (2002). Cars of the Fascinating '40s: A Decade of Challenges and Changes. Publications International, Ltd.. ISBN 0-7853-6274-6.
- David L. Lewis and the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (2005). 100 Years of Ford: A Centennial Celebration of the Ford Motor Company. Publications International, Ltd.. ISBN 0-7853-7988-6.
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- "Ford Model T to Crown Victoria". Edmunds.com. 2003-05-08. http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=93327. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.
- "Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor". Modernracer.com. 2002. http://www.modernracer.com/features/fordcrownvictoriacop.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-16.