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4 Cars That Completely Overhauled Their Body Styles

Written by Teresa Te on March 2, 2018

Car manufacturers are constantly working to create vehicles people will love to drive. From the comfort and convenience inside, to the body style outside, cars are a constant evolution of creativity and forward-thinking.

Here are four popular car companies whose vehicles have gotten a sleek, modern makeover:

1. Ford

If you’re familiar with Ford’s “F-Series” trucks, you may be surprised to learn that this series began in January 1948 and has a long history of modifications and overhauls.

The first generation of these trucks was produced between 1948-1952, and was promoted as the “Bonus Built Line.”

This first generation of F-Series trucks started with a light duty half-ton pickup and went all the way to an extra heavy-duty three-ton pickup. The heavy-duty three-ton pickups came with a redesigned cab and new front-end sheet metal.

The half-ton pickup was dubbed the F-1 and received the first revisions since 1948. Ford modified the front fenders, grille cavity, grille, hoods, cabs, dashboard, and made the rear window larger.

Options were offered for the cab such as foam seat padding, sound-deadening material, bright metal trim for the windshield and vent windows, door locks and armrests, and a dome light.

The second generation was produced from 1953-1956 and was completely redesigned. The hood got longer, and Ford began offering an automatic transmission. This is when Ford added a double zero to the end of the model numbers to give us the monikers we know today. For example, the F-1 became the F-100.

As the years went by, Ford continuously overhauled the front grille and fenders and in 1956, tried to match Chevrolet’s new body style from the previous year.

By the fourth generation, produced from 1961-1966, Ford’s trucks had a completely new, modern look. The cabs were separated from the beds, they were given two-tone paint jobs, and in 1965, Ford introduced a 4-door crew cab for the F-250 and F-350.

Today, these trucks don’t look anything like their predecessors. Today’s Ford trucks are sleek, stylish, and the cabs are equipped with all the comforts of a modern day vehicle. The only challenge is selecting your options.

2. Toyota

Toyota was founded on October 31, 1957, with its headquarters located in Hollywood, California. Their first year in business generated just 288 vehicle sales, but that changed when their all-terrain Land Cruiser took center stage.

Toyota has an interesting history, and despite several setbacks and challenges, has remained one of the top car manufacturers in the world. In 1986, Toyota became the first import brand to sell over a million cars in America in one year.

Believe it or not, the first popular Toyota in America was the Corona. Not to be confused with the Corolla, which came after. You can’t miss a Toyota Corolla from the 1980’s or 1990’s – they look like little boxes driving down the road.

Toyota also launched a luxury line of cars with the Lexus LS 400 and the ES 250. This line did extremely well – surpassing both Mercedes and BMW.

Although their body styles began as square, they have been rounded off over the years and today’s Toyotas are sleek and sporty. Even Toyota’s trucks and SUVs have that sleek, rounded look.

3. Minivans

Minivans have come a long way since the days of the VW bus. Minivans gained popularity early on for providing families with the space they needed. Before minivans entered the scene, families had to deal with the limited space of a sedan, or buy a huge station wagon or cargo van.

If you want to take a trip through time, here’s a slideshow of some of the coolest minivans ever built. You’ll notice that even today’s VW bus has been modernized.

4. Honda

The Honda Accord has been around for thirty years, and it’s changed immensely during that time. Much like the Toyota Corolla, the Honda Accord started off as a boxy little vehicle and has since evolved into a roomy mid-size sedan.

Check out this gallery from Edmunds.com with nearly 400 photos showing the evolution of the Honda Accord.

The future of cars

While we don’t know what cars of the future will look like, one thing is certain: car manufacturers will continue to evolve their styles and improve the features they offer to consumers.