Ford L-Series: Gone but Not Forgotten
The L-Series carried the Ford name to territories never explored, performing tasks never expected.
When we hear the word “Ford,” it’s easy to think if the F-150, the Explorer, and most definitely the Mustang. But, the Blue Oval has created machinery of all sizes and prices, ranging from farm tractors, to airplanes, to Class 8 commercial trucks.
Say hello to the Ford L-Series. The mighty workhorse proudly carried the Ford badge all across North America, South America, Caribbean islands, and even Europe for nearly three decades. Like the modern Super Duty, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, the L-Series was produced exclusively at the Kentucky Truck plan in Louisville, KY.
Unlike many other heavy-duty trucks by Ford, and other auto and truck manufacturers, the L-Series was produced and sold by Ford — not a truck-specific brand. Dubbed the “Louisville Line” the L-Series was used for an infinite variety of applications, ranging from dump trucks to even fire trucks. Regardless if labeled L-Series, Ford Louisville, or Aeromax, the Class 8 truck was the same through and through.
The L-Series sported different engines throughout different generations. The first generation trucks existed from 1970 all the way to 1995, and featured several motors ranging from 138-horsepower Ford V8s, to 385-horsepower CAT and Cummins diesels. Depending on the commercial application, transmissions ranging from 4-speed automatics to 13-speed manuals were installed.
Upon the huge construction boom worldwide at the end of the century, Ford saw the opportunity to sell their heavy-duty truck division in 1999 for a hefty price. From that moment on, the L-Series became different models around the globe — such as the Acterra and Sterling A-Line.
In fact, the Acterra model still survives in the shape of a semi truck in some European countries, as well as the Middle East.
Do you have any memories of the mighty Ford?
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