What ‘Built Ford Tough’ Meant 50 Years Ago: Ford Flashback

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The 1968 Ford commercial vehicle line was ready for hard, dirty work across the pond.

Whenever you travel abroad, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the customs of the country you’re going to. Doing so can potentially make your visit a lot less awkward. A common word or hand gesture here in the U.S. may be seen as a vulgar insult in a faraway vacation destination. However, as this video shows, some things – such as hard work – are just universal.

It showcases Ford’s line of commercial vehicles available in England for the 1968 model year. The red beasts of burden range from a cabover truck to a panel van to a dump truck. After they wind their ways through a muddy British forest, they do what Ford vehicles do no matter what year it is or what country they’re in: get to work.

The color and brand may be different, but the whole spot is like an ad for giant Tonka toys. A dump truck (aka “tipper”) backs up through watery muck to receive loads of dirt from a bright yellow Ford front-end loader. It chugs off and away from the filthy job site and proceeds to show how robust its construction is by bouncing down a wet bumpy road at speeds that send some its cargo over the sides of the deep cargo bed.

ford-trucks.com 1968 Ford Commercial Vehicles

The Transit bus and van body styles get in on the talent show by bombing through the filthy terrain as the narrator mentions how Ford’s brawny commercial vehicles keep operating costs low and feature good looks at no extra charge. To highlight how safe Ford’s D-Series trucks are, the drivers in the footage slam on the brakes to bring their rigs to a stop with quickness and composure. That’s quickly followed by an eye-popping demonstration of the durability of Ford’s commercial vehicle suspensions.

“Built Ford Tough” may not have been an official company tag line back in 1968 (according to USA Today, it came about 10 years later), but it certainly was embodied by these burly British blue oval machines.

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Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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