When did Ford first experiment with aluminum? What exactly is the alloy composition? How is the manufacturing process different with aluminum?

If you’ve wondered about questions like this, Car & Driver has a treat for you. They recently posted an in-depth piece to their blog highlighting many detailed facts regarding the Ford F-150 and all things aluminum. From Car & Driver:

Henry Ford’s Model T was the 20th century’s boldest automotive stroke. Like Lotus’s Colin Chapman and every other shrewd motorsports engineer, Ford—even way back when—identified weight as the enemy. Model T frames were made of steel containing vanadium for extra strength, and millions of T hoods were aluminum long before that metal entered the car-material mainstream. With only 20 horsepower under the hood, the T needed its weight to be kept below 2000 pounds to meet Ford’s ambitious performance goals. Now that 2015 Ford F-150s are finally in customer hands, inquiring minds wonder why it took a century for aluminum to leap from Model T hoods to the cabs and beds of America’s bestselling vehicle. Let’s explore that topic, shall we?

Car & Driver’s blog post is a thorough examination about the use of aluminum, from design to manufacturing to intended results. See the full piece at the Car & Driver blog.