Although the Ford F Series was introduced to the American automobile industry in 1948, the Flareside bed style was not unveiled until 1957. Both the Flareside and Styleside were released that year, each having their own benefits. While the Flareside featured raised exterior rear fenders where the wheel wells extended out from the truck, the Styleside had a flat exterior and the wheel wells were incorporated inside the bed of the truck.
With the Flareside some thought that that the truck bed was not contemporary; however, though the Styleside was sleeker, its interior bed wheel wells took up space in the bed that could be utilized for extra cargo. Nevertheless, the 1967 model year debuted with a more aerodynamic F-150 exterior that lacked the badge of either Flareside or Styleside.
It was not until the 1980 model year that Ford reintroduced the Flareside badge, and the design stayed much the same. However, rather than the bulbous wheel well extension on the exterior of the truck bed, it was a more boxy design. In the 1988 model year, Ford dropped the Flareside style from its F-150 pickup due to lack of buyer interest and the popularity of hidden wheel wells in competitors' trucks.
It took almost ten years for Ford to reintroduce the Flareside style in the F-150 pickups. With the introduction of a complete redesign, the F-150 went back to its roots and the Flareside quickly became the most popular bed design again. This version of the Flareside went back to the rounded exterior wheel wells, and buyers were pleased with the extra room provided in the truck bed. Recent rumors have indicated that Ford intends to do away with their Flareside and Styleside badging once again, but the maker has yet to confirm or deny the gossip.
Over the years, the most popular truck in America has been featured in a number of blockbuster films and television shows. Some movies that have given a role to the Ford F-150 Flareside include an animated version in The Simpsons Movie, as well as the popular flick Cars. The Ford Flareside also held less prominent roles in The Horse Whisperer, The Sentinel, and The Fast and the Furious. Television shows that have featured the Flareside range from Prison Break to the CW's sleeper hit Men in Trees to the game show The Price is Right. One of the most popular television shows to prominently display the Ford F-150 Flareside was The Dukes of Hazzard.