FORD F-150 LIGHTNING ROD CONCEPT
Source: Ford Motor Company

The Ford F-150 Lightning Rod strikes at the 2001 Chicago Auto Show. Its hard-core, tattooed appearance is inspired by the resurgence of rock-and-roll and the current fascination with body art.

The Lightning Rod is an F-150 pickup truck - the number-one-selling full-size pickup for the past 23 years - which has been lowered and stretched. The roof has been chopped one-inch, the overhangs have been shortened, and the exterior body panels have been cleaned up and finished in a cherry red metallic paint giving the Lightning Rod a sleek, hotrod, performance look.

"Lightning Rod draws from the passion of the muscle cars of the 1960's, the hot rod industry and the current body art craze to take America's best selling pickup to a new level of performance excitement," said Ed Golden, Executive Director of North American Ford Brand Design. "It's just another example of how our versatile truck lineup can be personally customized to take on any kind of lifestyle."

The conventional headlamps and taillamps have been replaced with twin horizontal neon tubes. A deeply recessed custom aluminum grille features horizontal bars and is reminiscent of the popular muscle cars of the 1960s. The prominent powerdome on the hood hints at the possibility of enhanced powertrain performance.

A faster windscreen and hidden windshield wipers are in line with the clean, uncluttered exterior look. Lightning Rod features a stainless steel, dual straight-pipe exhaust system that exits from underneath a rollpan at the rear of the vehicle.

The leather-wrapped tonneau cover features a traditional Maori tribe tattoo that is die cut into the leather with black cow hair in the cutout portions. The Maori are the Polynesian people of New Zealand. In moko, a type of Maori tattooing, shallow colored grooves in complex curvilinear designs were produced on the face by striking a miniature bone adze into the skin. Tattooed designs are thought by various peoples to provide magical protection against sickness or misfortune, or they serve to identify the wearer's rank, status or membership in a group.

"In Maori culture, an elegantly tattooed face was a great source of pride to a warrior, for it made him fierce in battle," said Golden. "The F-150 has a great history and has consistently been the leader among full-size pickups - it is certainly fierce in battle."

Lightning Rod's strong wheel arches house custom Goodyear - 295/40 R20 tires in the front and 305/40 R20 tires in the rear - which carry the Maori tattoo theme to the treads. The rear tires are slightly bigger, supporting the hot rod feel of the pickup The five-spoke custom-designed 20-inch cast aluminum wheels are a medium gray, satin finish.

The cherry red exterior color is carried through to the interior. The leather-wrapped dashboard features an exposed, natural aluminum color instrument panel that houses only the bare essential instruments. The three-spoke milled aluminum steering wheel is partially wrapped in red leather.

The Maori tattoo theme is carried through to the leather-wrapped bucket seats and headliner. The die cut pattern is filled in with the same black cow hair as the tonneau cover.

Lighting Rod is powered by a supercharged 5.4L SOHC Triton™ V-8 that produces 380 hp at 4750 rpm, and 450 lb.-ft. of torque at 3000 rpm.

With more than 50 years of development and product expertise behind it, the Ford F-150 is trusted for its strength, durability and flexibility - yet continuously innovating and bringing new ideas to the market. With multiple engine, drivetrain, cab style and pickup box variations, customers can create a virtually unique truck tailored to their work or leisure requirements. The latest innovation top grow from the Ford F-150, is the all-new four-door SuperCrew, which offers SUV-like passenger room combined with pickup truck utility.