Did Ford Really Try To Sell A Cab Over Big Rig As Aerodynamic In 1977? Yes, Yes They Did

Did Ford Really Try To Sell A Cab Over Big Rig As Aerodynamic In 1977? Yes, Yes They Did

One thing you just do not see on TV anymore are commercials for big rig trucks, right? When is the last time you saw a single name for a truck on your television? As we’d say in Boston it’s probably a wicked long time ago. Back in 1977 you’d see such ads like this one from Ford. They’d normally use persuasive stuff like horsepower and torque ratings to get your attention and perhaps sway a trucker or fleet manager to pay attention to their brand. They would also sometimes use wanton bullshit like calling a cab over rig which is like a two story house on wheels, aerodynamic. They’d also employ some random streaks of green to really convince you that they were telling the truth.

Meanwhile they were lying and their pants had caught on fire because of it.

Don’t get us wrong, we love this ad. The whole lineup driving across a dry lake and then splitting off to show the new boss of the Ford lineup like some sort of conquering hero? The bragging about the size of the cab that makes a Latvian prison look cozy? Love it. We love all of it.

Watch this and smile.

Press play below to see this awesome 1977 Ford truck commercial for big rigs –

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5 thoughts on “Did Ford Really Try To Sell A Cab Over Big Rig As Aerodynamic In 1977? Yes, Yes They Did

  1. Manny Papandreas

    Actually, VW did a bunch of research on bluff bodies and at the relatively low Mach numbers that trucks travel at they found that the most important aspect was that the corners were radiused sufficiently so that separation didn’t happen along the sides of the vehicle. When the edges are rounded the pressure all across the front of the vehicle drops and most of the air just goes around the sides. I realize that the big “bluff body” looks bad and you would think that it’s horrible, but when the edges are rounded sufficiently the drag is almost as low as a nice round nose.

    1. John Edgar

      When I was studying engineering in 1984, made a run down into Washington state to a test track facility… Could be wrong… Freightliner maybe? Someone out there may know of it, they were testing the full size trucks on their big test track oval. The COE corner radius’ were being experimented with, and as others here mentioned, they had good sucess, contrary to popular opinion.

  2. Jim

    If the windshield is tilted slightly back, slight curve to it too, round off corners of the cab compared to the year before then technically it aint BS.
    Look at recent changes to chase greater MPG. Wheel cover caps, trim all along the bottom to close the gap between the tractor and the ground, skirts on the trailer, tails on the trailer, all made incremental increases and all add up.

  3. Sjoerd

    Just check out the European market. Not long ago Paccar / DAF launched a revolutionary truck with very good aerodynamics. They even get better mileage then most comparable (in engine) Kenworths/Peterbilts.


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