Well, I am not sure that I will credit the Nikon F with being the "grand daddy" of modern SLR cameras in 35mm film format. For one thing, Minolta came out with their SR-2 in September of 1958; six months before Nippon Kogaku K. K. brought out the Nikon F. And, we need to credit EPOI (Ehrenreich Photo Optical Industries) with their masterful marketing coup in getting the Nikon F into the hands of the major photojournalists whose reaction to this excellent camera produced the wave that started the Nikon movement. If we look at the history of 35mm camera development, the features of the Nikon F are found in other cameras from many different makers over the years, but Nippon Kogaku K. K. must be credited with collecting all of them together with their own production precision to produce a camera that even earned a place in popular music by being included in the 1973 song "Kodachrome" by Paul Simon.
The NIKKOR 2.5/100mm lens has been known for years to be a remarkable performing lens. Also, please note that the original price was much more in 1960s dollars than the $80 price that you mentioned. My paycheck for two weeks work in my first job after leaving school in that time period was $93.50.
Precision in framing and composition in your images? Give some credit to that 100% viewfinder image in the Nikon F.