Throwback Thursday: 1980 Ford F-150 Does What?

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1980 Ford F-150 ad shows off the advantages of the twin i-beam suspension in a clever-but-odd manner.

Starting in the mid-1960s, Ford trucks featured a high-tech twin i-beam suspension setup, which improved the ride quality of their pickups without reducing the capabilities. To show off its advantages, Ford Motor Company used a rig with a series of evenly placed bumps running along several rows of objects, which were designed to be broken by the truck as it passes.

In each commercial, the wall placed along the row of bumps is lined with something that can be broken or detonated by the F-150. At one point, the wall was lined with road flares which lit when struck by metal rods on the truck. Another ad showed the wall lined with balloons which were popped by pointy sticks mounted on the truck.


This week’s “Throwback Thursday” ad is from 1979, and after more than a decade Ford was still showing off the twin i-beam suspension and bump rig. This time the wall was lined with light bulbs, and the 1980 Ford F-150 featured a metal rod which smashed the light bulbs as the truck moved along.

This system shows the advantages of the truck’s capabilities by putting one metal rod on the front wheel, and another on the cab, with each rod traveling between two rows of light bulbs. The lower rod on the wheel bounces a great deal and smashes the light bulbs, while the twin i-beam suspension setup keeps the metal rod on the cab still, preventing it from smashing the light bulbs.

Clever, huh?

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