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Ford F-Series mixes with cars

LeMay car museum shines a spotlight on trucks

The LeMay - America’s Car Museum’s latest show is not cars, but Ford F-Series trucks. Photo courtesy of LeMay - America's Car Museum

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One by one, the 22 iconic Ford F-Series trucks that will be on display at the LeMay - America's Car Museum for the next six months were rolled into place.

And Scott Keller, the museum's chief curator who spent nearly a year organizing this exhibit, watched with contentment.   

"This is one of my favorite times," Keller said, smiling as he watched. "You actually see the trucks roll in. This is a fun time."

The exhibit opened Jan. 10 and will run at least through June at the Tacoma museum, depending on interest.

For the last 38 years, Ford's F-series has been the top seller for trucks in the United States. Since last spring, Keller has been talking with and looking for owners of these classic Ford trucks from around the state, asking if they would loan their trucks for this exhibit.

"The truck has evolved with the times," Keller said. "After World War II, the country was on recovery. Now the technology, the attention to detail, is just unbelievable for the 2015 Ford truck."

From where the F-Series started to where it is now, tells a story of the country, reflecting a recovery from a depression to a more prosperous time.

For many of the visitors to the museum over the next six months, seeing these Ford trucks will be like seeing an old friend. It's the truck their dad or grandfather drove.

The granddaddy of the exhibit is the 1948 Ford F-1, which is owned by Don Martin. He bought it in 1991 from the owner in Enumclaw, who had bought the truck in Minnesota. The original six-cylinder engine was replaced with a 1952 Mercury V-8. In 1998, the owner drove the truck to Glacier Park in Montana.

The rarest truck of the exhibit is the 1951 Ford F-1 4X4 Ranger, which is owned by Bruce Leven. There were only 54 of these trucks made and just 11 exist today. Leven found the truck on Whidbey Island and did a complete restoration, and it is now in prime condition.

A 1960 Ford F-100 that is owned by Charles Keller of Bainbridge Island was used as a work truck in Arizona for 40 years before Keller bought it. Leroy Alan Dyer is the original owner of his 1969 Ford F-250 and drove it nearly every day until he died in 2004. His family now owns the truck.    

THE TRUCK THAT GREW UP WITH AMERICA, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, through June 2015, LeMay - America's Car Museum, 2702 E. D St., Tacoma, $8-$16, 253.779.8490

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