information from Ford, following our earlier conversation this morning
with spokesperson Wes Sherwood.
will be able to order the Tough Box at Ford dealers by the end of
March. Pricing will be subject to dealer discretion.
Tough Box project came together in less than a year. In June 2006
Scotts Miracle-Gro, the well-known fertilizer company, requested
an order for pickups to meet new federal regulations requiring the
separation of liquid and granular fertilizer in the same space.
Ford responded by delivering this new 'midbox' concept.
were able to do this so quick because it didn't require any structural
configuration changes. We run a long wheelbase F-150 down the [manufacturing]
line but instead of installing an 8-foot box we put a 5.5-foot box
on instead, leaving a space behind the cab for the Tough Box. These
trucks will be built at our Kansas City, Missouri plant and shipped
to [second stage manufacturer] Decoma in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Decoma uses the existing frame holes to install the Tough Box where
the end of the 8-foot bed would have been attached, then they are
shipped to dealers," says Sherwood, describing the integrated
three-step manufacturing and delivery process with Magna International
subsidiary Decoma and Ford sales outlets.
#2: 03-09-07 07:45 PT
spoke with Ford Truck Communications rep Wes Sherwood this morning.
Sherwood officially confirms that, "[Ford] will begin offering
the 'Tough Box' this spring as a 2007 [model year] option."
a very cool feature but also very functional. In addition to storage
on the inside, you can also add sliding tool drawers that extend
back into the bed. You can also install a cap over it and the rest
of the bed. We're trying to offer as much flexibility as possible,"
will be able to order the Tough Box option on 145-inch wheelbase
regular cab pickups with a 5.5-foot box, or on 163-inch wheelbase
Super Cab models with a 5.5-foot box.
waiting to hear back from Ford with the Tough Box option code to
present to dealers when ordering and its cost. This information
is expected later today.
#1: 03-08-07 11:32 PT
received information confirming several comments posted on Autoblog
and Jalopnik in response to
this article. In late January Ford gave a sneak preview of a new
"midbox" or "Tough Box" option at its Claycomo,
Missouri plant. Apparently what we're seeing in these photos is
the production intent Tough Box expected to be available as an option
for commercial buyers on the F-150 by late spring 2007 - not for
model year 2009. Thanks
to Brenda Priddy for this update and her contact that forwarded
of Ford F-150 prototypes didn't capture anything as wild as this pickup
- a super long wheelbase extended cab with six, count 'em, six doors!
doors have been added to this mule's cargo box, immediately behind the
cab. It's difficult to tell though what exactly the doors open to, or,
rather, into. One of the photographs shows what looks to be a lock box
lined-up flush with the extra portals. If so, the enclosed storage area
might serve the dual purpose of protecting groceries and tools while helping
to stiffen the truck's body, given the extra length and bed cutouts.
the first time we've seen such an idea. As recently as 2003 there was
Cheynne Concept Pickup that featured two side-access doors granting
easy access to its open bed. The Cheyenne also bristled with all sorts
of side-box storage options, but not a dedicated trunk like this mule.
And if you go back far enough you'll also encounter the 1961 Corvair Rampside
pickup that offered its owners a fold-down bedside ramp to allow all sorts
of payload to be rolled or carried into the back.
that Ford is running such a mule around without side cammo covering the
rear doors. It's likely the Blue Oval Boys are out to hear what you have
to say about a 6-door pickup!