ABOUT
HOME
GENERAL
DECODE YOUR VIN
TECHNICAL SECTION
MORE
MORE
LIBRARY
SITE INDEX

Ford's '61-'66 'Wrongbed' History
 
NOTE 1: You'll notice the terms 'Fridge' and 'Slick' used throughout this article. These are enthusiasts' terms which describe the bodystyles of two different generations of Ford pickups. 'Fridge' refers to the '57-'60 generation, while 'Slick' refers to the '61-'66 trucks.

NOTE 2: SWB = short wheelbase (NOT short wide bed!) LWB = long wheelbase (NOT long wide bed!)

 

This page will mention the following three styleside beds available from Ford between the years 1961 and 1966:


TYPE 1 - Unibody
The Unibody truck was produced from '61-'63
and featured an integrated cab and bed.

TYPE 2 - 'Wrongbed'
This bed was based on the '57-'60 bed
and used throughout the '61-'66 era.

TYPE 3 - '64-'66 Styleside
Designed in '64 to match the bodylines of the
cab as well as fit an extended chassis.



 

Since the introduction of Ford's styleside pickup in 1957, the bed and cab were two separate components, with a gap between them. This allowed for the cab and bed to twist independently as the truck was loaded or was crossing rough terrain. These were work trucks...plain and simple.

However, Ford planners took notice of the fact that by the early 1960s, light-truck buyers were purchasing pickups for light-duty use and even just as personal transportation. They determined that by combining the cab and bed into a single assembly (which they called the 'integrated body'), the truck required fewer stampings, fewer welds and was less complicated to paint. It also increase load space by 16 percent.

So in 1961, Ford introduced the 'unibody' (as it was called by the public, even though technically it wasn't) (TYPE 1), which was offered in F100 and F250 2WD models and was the only styleside versions available for those two models. However, both models were also available with a traditional flareside bed in 6' and 8' lengths.


1961 F-350 w/ 9-ft.
Styleside Express bed

Soon after the unibody's introduction however, reports started to trickle in that over-loading the bed in some cases would cause the frame to twist enough that the doors would be difficult to open. Urban legend even says that people actually fell out of the cabs after doors popped open (since lap-type seatbelts were an option that most trucks weren't equipped with), but there have been no substantiated reports of this happening. (In fact, Ford actually prided themselves on double-latching " Lifeguard" door locks.) There is some speculation that the single-wall design of the unibody truck's bed area contributed in part to the problem of the frame twisting when the bed was loaded down, and that perhaps a double-wall bed design would have provided more rigidity.

Regardless of the cause, to address the complaints, Ford pushed an alternate styleside bed into production for the '62 model year, utilizing the basic design and appearance of the '57-'60 'Fridge' bed and which was already being used on the '61 F350 (TYPE 2). However, since the '61 F100 and F250 wheelbases had each increased by 4", the actual '57-'60 bed wouldn't fit the new chassis, so the 'new' styleside bed (based on the older '57-'60 design) would receive a few tweaks. (See 'Construction' below.)

This bed would make it's official debut for the '62 model year as an available styleside bed option for the F100 and F250, and has since been dubbed the 'wrongbed' by Ford truck fans, because the character line of the bed doesn't match up with the line of the cab.


1962 F100 4x4

My research through the Ford Trucks Master Parts Catalogs seem to indicate that even though there were SEVEN different wheelbase lengths on Slick-era light-duty trucks (or nine if you count the crewcabs), Ford didn't make a version for each specific wheelbase in which a wrongbed was available. In actuality, there were only three different-length 'wrongbed' beds used, as shown in this chart. As you can see, they used the same bed for 120" and 122" WB trucks:
'WRONGBED' APPLICATION CHART
SWB 114" 1962-63 F100 4x2
LWB 120" 1962-1964 F250 4x4
122" 1962-1963 F100/F250 4x2
9-FOOT 132" 1961-1966 F350

WHEELBASE CHART
All available wheelbases during the '61-'66 era
Italics: wrongbed not available

114": 1961-64 F100 4x2
115": 1965-66 F100 4x2, 1966 F100 4x4
120": 1961-1966 F100/F250 4x4
122": 1961-1963 F100/F250 4x2
128": 1964 F100/F250 4x2
129": 1965-66 F100/F250 4x2
132": 1961-66 F350
NOTE 1: 1957-1960 truck WB: 110", 118", 130"
NOTE 2: The MPC show the '64 F350 as having a 131" WB, but this is a typo. All F350s from '61-'66 had a 132" WB.
NOTE 3: Chart does not include 147" 1965-66 F250 crewcab or 152" 1965-66 F350 crewcab

Ford would discontinue the 'unibody' truck around the middle of the 1963 model year (January/February 1963). The 'wrongbed' bed was available as an alternative to the unibody style starting in late 1962

All 1961-1965 F100 4WD and all '61-'66 F250 4WD trucks had a wheelbase of 120", and since the Fridge-style 'wrongbed' was the only separate styleside pickup bed Ford had available to fit that wheelbase, starting in 1962, these trucks got the 'wrongbed' by default when a styleside bed was requested.

In 1964, Ford increased the wheelbase on the F100 and F250 2WD LWB trucks by six inches each, meaning they finally had to design a bed which not only matched the new wheelbase figures, but also included body lines which matched the cab to fit the new chassis. And since they were designing new LWB beds to match the new wheelbase figures, they went and and made SWB versions of the new double-wall styleside bed as well (TYPE 3). However, it was only installed on 2WD trucks and the '66 4WD.

In 1966, Ford finally offered a short wheelbase 115" WB F100 4x4, matching that of the 2WD wheelbase, so it too got the new Type 3 styleside box.

This new double-wall bed design was only installed on 1964-66 F100/250 2WD and 1966 F100 LWB 4WD. All other 1961-66 Stylesides except Uni's used the Fridge-style beds.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: The wrongbed just looks strange! Why wouldn't Ford invest the time to develop a bed which lined up properly with the cab body line from the start?
    A:
    When Ford released the Integrated Body (unibody) truck in '61, they were banking on its success. When it became obvious to them that it wasn't doing as well as they'd hoped, mainly due to the previously-mentioned body twist issues, and also because they suddenly found a lot of buyers wanted the cab and body separate which they hadn't anticipated, they were forced to do what they could in a short amount of time. Since many of the needed parts and dies from the Type 2 bed were already available, there was much less monetary investment to adapt the '57-'60 box  for the limited number of pickups with a separate styleside box being ordered.

    The people who did buy these trucks back then were working people...there was very little need for "pretty". These trucks were made for work, plain and simple. In the case of 4WDs, the long bed with short 120" wheelbase allowed less "high centering" and " breakover angles", as well as optimal clearance for large tires/ wheels. And the it's been suggested that buyers of 'wrongbed' trucks did a little bit of a price break over the cost of a unibody truck.
     

Ford went to great pains to minimize the styling differences between the cab and the Type 2 bed, both in production and advertising. In 98% of their advertising, if a 'wrongbed' is pictured at all, like in the 1963 magazine advertisement above right (usually it's simply mentioned as being available), they'd always picture a Custom Cab truck which came with bright side trim, which tended to make the difference much less noticeable.

 

  • Q: Will a new-style 64-66 box bolt up in place of a 61-63 wrongbed without modifications?
    A: Short bed, yes... because the wheelbase is the same. Long bed, no...the long bed wheelbase is different between 1961-63 and 1964-66 2WD trucks.

     
  • Q: Will a '61-'63 unibed door bolt up to a non-unibed truck?
    A: Cab body lines line up, they just won't carry on the uniform angularity of the unibody line or the
    parallellity of the later Styleside character line. The picture at right shows how with the stepped door instead of the straight-line unibody door how it makes the truck look "bent", like some giant stepped on the very back of the truck.

    On a related note, the angled off-of-horizontal character line of the unibed necessitated different end caps for the tail lamp areas of the long versus short unis. This is a fact some learned "the hard way".

 



 

Construction

The side panels would be stretched out 4" between the back of the cab and the rear wheel and some reworking of the Number 2 and Number 3 bed supports (by the axle) was performed, which meant different mounting locations. The front panel and tailgate remained the same and still carried a 1957 part number. The bed floor was also the same style as the '57-'60 bed, just slightly longer.

As mentioned above, there are two different quarter panel extensions (bed endcaps)...one for the 6' box and one for the 8' box. The end caps on the short bed are longer than they are on the long box. If you compare a short to a long box from the side, the angle at the rear of the bed (behind the wheel well opening) is different. Also, the long box used a 2-piece cap.


Master Parts Catalog schematic
1964-66 F100/F250 4x4, F350

 

Copyright 2016 FORDification.info unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
All brand names and product names used on this website are trade names, service marks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
No portion or content of this site may be reproduced or otherwise used without explicit permission.
To report problems or provide comments or suggestions, please click here.