Ford Truck Enthusiast History

Ford Truck Enthusiasts was officially founded in January, 1997 as a hobbyist web site and emailing list with 12 participants. Prior to its official launch, it was a loosely tied group of individuals who exchanged Ford truck information via email launched quietly in mid 1996.

April, 1997
The mailing list grows to 150 subscribers. The web site grows from a single subscribe page to include a pictorial of 15 trucks and a supplier page. The site is registered with the major search engines. Mailing list members suggest splitting the list into two groups.

April, 1997
Mailing list grows to 500 members. Protections against email bombing added to the list. Web site traffic is up to 10 megabytes per day. Suggestion to split mailing list is made again.

May, 1997
Mailing list is split into two lists (pre-1980 and 1980+).

June 1997
Site moves to dragonfire.net. Web site traffic is up to 50 megabytes per day. List membership: 800.

August, 1997
DNS server for our mailing provider goes down for 8 hours. Shortly afterwards, our mailing server dies. Ford Truck Enthusiasts moves over to a new mailing server. List membership hits 1000 on August 17th.

September, 1997
Ford Truck Enthusiasts secures its first advertiser and registers the domain http://www.ford-trucks.com. The mailing lists split into 3 (1980+, 1961-1980, pre-1961) lists.

October, 1997
Window stickers printed.

November, 1997
On November 2nd we have our 50,000th visitor to web site.

December, 1997
The web site is completely redesigned. The new design gets noticed and we start receiving awards. Small truck mailing list goes on line. On the 25th, we have our 75,000th visitor.

January, 1998
100,000th visitor!

February, 1998
1997+ mailing list started.

March, 1998
2000+ list members, 150,000+ visitors. We move from our virtual host to a virtual server and we start hosting our own lists.

May, 1998
FTE attends the 20th annual Pigeon Forge F100 Supernationals. 32 list members in attendance, receive plaque for participation. Two list member trucks in the show. The group gives Pat Ford an engraving to say thanks. Gave out 350+ brochures. 200,000th visitor to the site occurs during this time.

July, 1998
2500+ list members, 250,000+ visitors. Ford Truck Enthusiasts incorporates.

August, 1998
We start email address services. The web site is redesigned, updated and greatly enhanced.

September, 1998
3000+ list members, 360,000+ visitors.

November, 1998
Offroad list added, 3400+ list members, 567,000+ visitors. Pre48 list added.

December, 1998
New chat engine online. New system is extremely fast and stable. Web classifieds are replaced by a new classifieds manager with many features. Response is positive.

January, 1999
3,700+ list members, 850,000+ visitors. On January 2, we celebrate our 2nd anniversary! We introduce our t-shirt and the design is well received.

February, 1999
1 millionth visitor!

March, 1999
Ford Truck Enthusiasts adds Ford Motor Company press releases to its site (special thanks to Ford Motor Company).

May, 1999
5,000+ list members. We attend the Pigeon Forge show again. Its a huge success.

June, 1999
All new web site design online! Site includes all new chat engine, all new bulletin board system, more tech articles, larger pictorial, NHTSA recall/tsb lookup, and more. Site is now hosted on a faster server. Web site transfer is up to several gigabytes per month. Visitor count exceeds 1,750,000!

July, 1999
Monthly survey added.

October, 1999
Dealership listing added. Second server added to increase response time.

December, 1999
AutoGuide added. Updated events calendar program added. Dedicated server purchased. FTE starts advertising on December 2nd.

February, 2000
Our new dedicated server goes live. Numerous problems encountered. Switched from Majordomo list software to Listar. Mailing lists are down for 6 days during the switch. After initial problems resolved, new server gives users faster browsing.

March, 2000
Mailing list archives put online with full searching. Bulletin board software updated and several new features are added. Free web based email added. Visitor count is over 300,000 per month.

May, 2000
Ford Truck Enthusiasts attends the F100 Supernationals. FTE gives away a couple dozen items as a token of appreciation for our growth at the Georgia LoRider picnic.

July, 2000
Pictorial menu redesigned for easier navigation.
Specifications section added to site.

August, 2000
Auto-login added to Message boards.

September, 2000
Recent messages feature added to main screen.

October, 2000
Hundreds of photos added featuring current Ford Motor Company trucks, vans and SUVs.

November, 2000
Ford Truck Enthusiasts attends the SEMA show.
Major Message Board software upgrade.

December, 2000
FTE outgrows its dedicated server, a 500 Mhz Pentium II with 128 meg of RAM. FTE upgrades to a 650 Mhz Pentium III with 512 meg of RAM and dual 9 gigabyte SCSI hard drives. Message Board user registrations hit 9,000.

January, 2001
Club FTE started.
Message Board user registrations hit 10,000.
Visitor count is over 675,000 per month.

April, 2001
Arizona Chapter of Club FTE Formed.
Michigan Chapter of Club FTE Formed.

May, 2001
Message Board user registrations hit 15,000.

June, 2001
FTE’s MotorHaven e-commerce site undergoes a major upgrade and starts offering restoration products for 1932-1979 Ford trucks.

Traffic growth starts affecting the server (though it’s not yet noticeable to the users). As a stop-gap, the 650 Mhz Pentium III is upgraded to 850 Mhz and the RAM is upgraded to 1 gigabytes.

Turn and Stop Lamp Diagnosis for 70’s Ford Pickup added to articles.
Brake Tech for early model Ford F-100 Pickup trucks through 1964 added to articles.

July, 2001
Northern California Chapter of Club FTE Formed.

FTE upgrades it’s server. The new server is dual 1 Ghtz Pentium III system with a gigabyte of RAM and dual 36 gigabyte Ultra-wide SCSI hard drives.

Installing a tonneau cover from A.A. Best added to articles.

August, 2001
North Coast Chapter (Ohio) of Club FTE Formed.

November 2001
Major message board upgrade.
All new User Gallery added.

January 2002
Ford Truck Enthusiasts celebrates its 5th birthday!

December 2002
Ford Motor Company sponsors major banner ad campaign for 2004 F-150 Reveal.

January 2003
Ford Truck Enthusiasts celebrates its 6th birthday!

January 2003
Ford Motor Company invites Ford Truck Enthusiasts to 2004 F-150 Reveal in Dearborn, Michigan. FTE attends invitation-only Proving Grounds test drives, diesel dyno runs, discussions with Ford engineers and much more.

Forum software is migrated from DCForum to VBulletin.

February 2003
New Web Site design.

Calendar feature revamped and integrated into forums.

April 2003
Ford Motor Company sponsors “Ford Trucks customer experience evaluation” survey.

May 2003
FTE publishes a sneak peak of the 2004 Harley-Davidson Super Duty.

June 2003
Eric McIntyre becomes Forums Manager.

July 2003
2004 Ford F-150 First Drive Special Feature.

January 2004
Ford Truck Enthusiasts celebrates its 7th birthday!

January 2004
Ford Motor Company advertises Motor Trend Truck of the Year banner campaign.

January 2004
Server upgrade to handle high traffic loads.

February 2004
Additional Server brought online to help FTE handle current and future traffic levels.

March 2004
Articles section redesigned.

April 2004
Forums upgraded.

August 2004
New Article and News Publishing system installed.

September 2004
New Classifieds system installed.

January 2005
Timeslips feature added.

March 2005
Major revision to Club FTE accounts and features.

October 2005
Strategic partnership with Roush Performance.

March 2006
Drag-N-Drop added to Galleries.

April 2006
Ford licensed Full Text Technical Service Bulletins added.

August 2006
57 Automotive Calculators added on new section of the site.