Ford Old Body Style (OBS) is a term to describe beloved pickup trucks produced before the redesign in the early 2000s. Today, we'll take a closer look at the Ford OBS truck's history and production years to help you decide whether it is a good option for you.
The popularity of the Ford F-Series pickup is no coincidence. Created over a century ago, it has made its place in the American market by offering reliability and constant innovation. At first, it was a flathead V8 followed by front Coilover suspension, and more recently, Ford pickup trucks received an industry-first aluminum body and more compact turbocharged engines. But Ford 1988–1998 pickups have the biggest army of admirers for their old-style design, reliability, and availability of spare parts. These are Ford trucks that are considered OBS.
In 1988, an all-wheel drive modification of the F-150 SuperCab appeared on sale for the first time. In 1991, Ford released the Nite Edition for the models of the 1991 year to add some excitement to the lineup. These models were available only in a two-door cab configuration. All versions of the 1991 F-150 Nite were the all-wheel drive XLT Lariat, available exclusively in black with blacked-out trim. The 5.0-liter V-8 was standard, and the 351 Windsor was available as an option.
A sleeker, more aerodynamic front end and hood highlighted the 1992 Ford F-Series redesign. The Nite Edition returned for another year, and in 1995, the F-series trucks surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the best-selling vehicle.
Perhaps inspired by the success of the Nite version, Ford decided to throw down the gauntlet with the 1993 F-150 SVT Lightning. The sporty pickup was only available in a two-door cab short bed configuration in black or red. It received a beefed-up version of the company's 5.8-liter V-8 engine, producing 240 horsepower, 460 pound-feet of torque, and was mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.
The ninth generation of Ford OBS Trucks was produced from 1991 to 1996. Ford continued to work on rounding the corners to make the truck more aerodynamic. In appearance, the F-150 began approaching modern cars like all other models in the series but remained what we consider Ford OBS. This generation was the last when the full range of the series was produced - from the 150 models to heavy-duty modifications. In this generation, the F-150 received a sports version, SVT Lightning, equipped with an upgraded 5.8-liter V8 engine producing 240 hp.
The standard model's interior received many new comfort options - improved air conditioning, remote keyless entry with alarm, a CD player built into the regular stereo system, and a power driver's seat.
The Ford OBS officially ended production in 1997, but models were still produced until March 1998.
Unveiled at the 1996 Detroit Auto Show, the 10th generation F-150 represented the model's most significant redesign in more than a decade, ending the era of Ford OBS. It was also a totem when Ford decided to actively promote the F-150 to more mainstream users, leaving the Heavy-Duty F-250 and F-350 trucks for the commercial segment. Sleaker and more aerodynamic, the new F-150 used a new, lighter chassis that changed Ford's coil-spring front suspension to a torsion-bar setup.
Both Ford and Chevy offer a variety of pickups in different shapes and sizes, including obs trucks. When it comes to reliability, Chevy trucks consistently come out on top. JD Power evaluates the reputational reliability of each reputable manufacturer by counting the number of problems encountered for every 100 vehicles sold. Their research showed that modern Chevrolet pickups are superior in quality to Ford, but when it comes to obs trucks, it's safe to say that the two brands are about on par. However, there are other factors to consider. Chevy trucks are more expensive than Ford trucks, including rebuilt older models.
Over the past few years, we've seen the prices of all these trucks go up. It is now considered a classic, and people feel nostalgic about them. So, if you are going to buy a FORD OBS model, it may turn out rather costly.
If you are ready to change your vehicle to something more advanced, you can get a beneficial trade-in offer at Indy Auto Man. Browse our inventory of used Ford trucks in Indianapolis and schedule a test drive of your favorite model!