For a company that’s been in operation for over a century, it’s impressive that Ford Motors hasn’t lost any of its market appeal.
It makes sense, considering the company’s wide range of available vehicles, that they’ve managed to keep hold of their popularity.
Ford’s F-150 truck is the runner up for highest selling vehicle in the world — second only to the functional, if somewhat boring, Toyota Corolla.
So, is the F-150 the best Ford of all time? That’s for you to decide. Keep reading for a list of the eight best-selling Fords over the last century (in no particular order).
1. Ford Mustang
Starting strong with Ford’s iconic muscle car — the Mustang. Launched for the first time in 1964, the Mustang brought in over 2 million units sold within its first four years on the market.
And it’s popularity has barely slowed down. They’ve seen resurgences in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and if you think Mustangs are old news, think again.
In 2017, there were over 100,000 new Mustang registrations, making it the world’s best-selling sports coupe for the third year in a row.
2. Ford Explorer
On the more practical side of things, the Ford Explorer crossover SUV has sold almost 8 million units since its first release in 1990 in the United States alone.
Known for its bulky reliability, the Ford Explorer has established itself among the most popular sports utility vehicles available on the market today.
The next iteration of the Explorer is coming out in 2020 and promises to be the most versatile model to date. They’re even hopping on the hybrid train for this one.
3. Ford LTD
An old school model, the Ford LTD hasn’t been in production since 1986. But it sold more than 5 million units in its 22-year run.
The full-size 18-footer was first launched in 1964 before Ford released a smaller, more practical mid-size version in 1982. The LTD was discontinued and replaced by the Ford Taurus in the mid-80s.
4. Ford Taurus
Between its launch in 1986 and its slow-down in 2005, the Ford Taurus was the go-to mid-size sedan for families all across America.
Prior to Toyota’s massive boom, the Ford Taurus was the best-selling car in the U.S. for years in the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s.
Ford announced last year that it would discontinue production of the Taurus in Amerca and place its focus more on the better-selling vehicles — trucks and SUVs.
5. Ford Escort
While Americans might not find anything too exciting about the Ford Escort, sales of the front-wheel-drive passenger car skyrocketed in Europe between its launch in 1968 and its discontinuation in 2003.
It was later released in the US, which only added to its overall sales. For a while in the ’80s, the Escort was Ford’s best-selling passenger vehicle, selling 20 million units worldwide over its 35-year lifespan.
6. Ford Focus
Production of the Ford Escort stopped in 2003, and it was replaced by the Ford Focus. The first notable success of the Focus was in China in the early 2000s when the company was selling approximately 1 million units annually.
It was a promising successor to the Escort, providing better fuel economy, a roomier interior, and more technical features. The Focus had its heydey of being the world’s best-selling car for a couple of years back then.
And though sales have significantly slowed down in recent years, the Focus has done well, selling over 13 million units since its launch.
7. Model T
Going way back, the Model T was Ford’s first mass-produced vehicle. Between its launch in 1908 and its discontinuation in 1927, this classic Ford model sold over 16 million units.
And sales weren’t the only thing that made this vehicle remarkable. The Model T was the first car Henry Ford used assembly line production methods on, making it the vehicle that forever changed automobile production.
Considering the Model T hasn’t even been in production for nearly a century, it’s wildly impressive that it’s still in the top 10 best-selling cars of all time.
8. The F-Series
Last but certainly not least, Ford F-Series trucks have dominated the truck market for decades. They’ve sold a staggering 40 million units since their first launch in 1948.
Since the first iteration, thirteen more generations have been released including the F-150, which is now the second all-time best-selling vehicle in the world.
In the United States alone in 2015, F-Series trucks accounted for 14 million sales, and new registrations are not slowing down.
Other Notable Best Ford Models
Now that we’ve discussed the best-selling Ford car models of all time, it’s time to mention some iconic specifics.
The Shelby Cobra 427 for instance, the muscle car of choice in the mid to late ’60s is now a highly valuable collector’s item. Fun fact: the Shelby Cobra and the Shelby Mustang were the first cars to display racing stripes.
We’d be remiss not to go into detail about the first of the F-Series, launched in 1948 on the heels of the Second World War. Anyone who still has hold of one of these beauties is in the presence of a true classic.
The Fiesta and Transit are also worth mentioning. The Fiesta Supermini is one of Britain’s top sellers and the Transit is one of the most popular commercial utility-vans on the market worldwide.
Regardless of the model, there’s no denying the company’s versatility and reliability. In the market for a new car? Shop Fords here.
The Bottom Line
So, what is the best ford? In terms of sales, it’s the F-150. In terms of history, it’s the Model T. If you’re thinking style and speed, it could easily be the Shelby Cobra 427.
For versatility and durability, the Explorer tops the list. For family-style, compact, fuel-efficient sedans, the Focus might reign supreme. It really depends what you want out of a vehicle. Because, really, Ford makes it all.
Ford has continuously released quality, reliable and stylish vehicles for over a century – 116 years to be exact. And many of the older models, especially the ones discontinued decades ago, are highly sought-after collector’s pieces.
After so many years in operation, the company knows what they’re doing. They’ve worked hard to gain and maintain the trust of their customer base. Ford lovers are loyal creatures. Just ask them about a Dodge and see what happens.
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