The 10 Best Cars (and Trucks) Ford Ever Built

April 23rd, 2010

Late-model Ford Model TWhat do we define as “best”? Vehicles that have achieved a real advance in terms of automotive engineering, design, capability, and/or public acceptance. Of course, we are always open to your comments, comebacks, challenges, etc.

Ford has built an extremely wide range of vehicles over its lifetime. While some have certainly bombed, the company has a pretty high success rate in terms of public appeal. And a number of its recent cars have set the pace for the competition.

More than 16,500,000 Model Ts, shown here, were built from 1908 to 1927. Called the Tin Lizzie, the T was America’s first affordable car and opened the country for travel. As Henry Ford said, “I will build a car for the great multitude.”

Ford Model A deluxe RoadsterIntroduced in 1927, the Model A became very popular and was sold in a great number of body styles. Price was $385 to $570, top speed was a little over 60 mph, and fuel economy a surprising 40 mpg.

Ford ThunderbirdIn 1955, as a response to the new Corvette, came the Thunderbird. The archetype of the sporty “personal luxury car,” the first T-birds remain great classics, with brilliant styling and zip. Unfortunately, Ford made the car into a parody of itself after 1957.

Ford GT40Ford shocked the sports-car world in 1966 by winning the Le Mans race with a GT40. The car broke Ferrari’s string of six championships and finished 1-2-3. Subsequent versions of the GT40 were made streetable. One of these is pictured.

Shelby CobraIn the ’60s came the Cobras or, to be fair, the Shelby Cobras, especially the 1967 version with the 427 engine shown here (examples of which now command close to $1 million, if you can find one). Is it a Shelby, or is it a Ford? It’s both, of course, but Ford can take credit for the engine and drivetrain of one of the world’s fantastic sports cars.

Taurus SHOAfter some lean years, we saw the emergence of the 1992 Taurus SHO (super high output). One CG owner wrote: “Screaming yamaha engine, 5spd manual, Police dont notice you, insurance and taxes are almost nothing. Although its rated at 220hp, and weighs 3300 lbs, you can still whoop a wrx, 9-3 viggen, 3 series….”

Ford Fusion HybridThe 2010 Fusion Hybrid has won all kinds of awards because it’s fun to drive, has responsive handling, and is available in lots of configurations. Right now, this car is the state of the hybrid art, reasonably priced, and will give you 41 mpg city/36 highway.

Ford F-150The 2010 F-150, on the road since 1975, is the best-loved truck in America. There’s a lot of competition, but Ford seems to outdo its rivals in most departments. The F-Series has sold over 30,000,000 vehicles since its inception in 1948, making it the second-biggest seller of all time (the Corolla is first).

Mustang GTThe 2011 Mustang is a real improvement. Now with much better handling and performance, the 2011 offers new powertrains to keep its competitors hopping. The GT version is even hotter.

Ford FiestaBreaking news: The 2011 Ford Fiesta has outsold the VW Golf to become the best-selling car in Europe. There is a reason: It’s a very good small car now in its sixth generation, performs well, comes in a variety of configurations, starts at just $13,320, and is coming to the U.S. this summer.

Give us your candidates for the “10 Best” list of all-time great Fords.

—jgoods

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  1. June 30th, 2012 at 03:44 | #1

    Wow! This is the best Ford model cars I’ve ever seen. I love the body style and its built. http://www.ranker.com/list/full-list-of-ford-models/reference?page=1

  2. Josh
    November 9th, 2010 at 01:42 | #2

    In my honest opinion I’d have to say the best car in terms of reliability, power, and quality in equal balance ever built by Ford would have to be the LTD Crown Victoria. The 1980’s models especially (slightly biased as I personally own a 1986 LTD CV!). With the 351 Windsor option, an all steel body, and some of the best ride quality in any Ford vehicle in my opinion. It may not be as fast as a Mustang or as fuel efficient as say a Fiesta but It was built with quality and durability and comfort in mind. Properly maintained a Crown Victoria will outlast much of the competition as many a police officer or government agent will tell you.

  3. October 13th, 2010 at 05:30 | #3

    This would be great information for car dealers to know.i think the ford focus is very nice car fuel consumption put into consideration

  4. randy
    April 26th, 2010 at 07:37 | #4

    A correction for you…. I believe the GT40 street version had to be produced first to qualify the race vehicle in Group IV racing classes, such as LeMans. (Which it won that year.) Of course these homologations were produced concurrently with the race cars, but technically they were the first GT40’s.

  5. April 24th, 2010 at 16:33 | #5

    James is right about the Cobra its not a Ford. 1932 introduced a low cost V8 to the world it wasnt great but look whats happened since, 64 Mustang sold out as soon as it was announced, Australian 1971 Ford Falcon XY 351 GTHO a road legal race car limited to 141mph fastest 4door on the planet at the time, Turbo 6 Falcon real quick 6pack. Taurus shouldnt be in there its crap the one time Ford tried to export these as a Falcon replacement they proved so ugly and incompetent they were laughed out of the showrooms certainly not a great car.

  6. James
    April 23rd, 2010 at 22:39 | #6

    You definitely can’t count the Cobra as a Ford vehicle. It’s a 427 Ford engine, sure, but the car is made by AC and then modified by Shelby. I do not believe this deserves to be on the list. But it definitely is an amazing car.

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