PickupTruck.com Interview with Chip Foose
While attending the 2007 New York International Autoshow, PickupTruck.com sat down in the front seat of the new 2008 Ford Foose F-150 to interview its creator, hot rodding design legend Chip Foose.
PickupTruck.com: Chip, tell us, what makes this F-150 a Foose F-150?
Chip Foose: Well, it was quite an honor that Ford asked me to do this truck, and even more so, to put the name 'Foose Design' on it.
When I started this project I approached it as if it were my own truck. I already own a 2005 F-150 that I've built. I lowered that truck, put 22-inch wheels on it, and where you see a silver stripe on the side of this truck, I actually built a molding out of brass, chromed it, and bolted it to my truck. That was going to be cost prohibitive for this project, so I pulled that same line from my truck, made it into a graphic, and gave it more of a performance feel because we're putting a blower on this one. I don't have a blower on my personal truck - yet. I'm going to put it on now. The blower brings it up to 450-horsepower and 500 lb-feet of torque. It's a blast to drive! (laughs)
PUTC: So, you've already driven this truck?
CF: Yes. This is actually my personal truck, that we built in and shipped out from California. It's just a monster on the road! A lot of fun!
PUTC: And is this a duplicate of what people will be able to buy early next year?
CF: This is still a prototype. I'm not sure exactly how we'll finish up the graphics. I'm hoping that we can actually spray them on (the final trucks). The graphics on this truck are vinyl. If we can spray them on, it's going to be great. But even if they're vinyl, it's going to come in two colors - deep charcoal and silver. Plus, the border stripe is going to get a little bit thinner around the big stripe. We're going to do the silver stripe with a bright red border, which will work on the maroon truck, as well as the other (Foose F-150) colors. I believe they're going to be white, silver, black, gray, maroon, and a bright red. And there's a charcoal with maroon stripe, for the bright red truck. All together will the different colors, each color can use both stripes, but the red and maroon trucks will have the the charcoal and the silver. Using the two stripes give us ten different color combinations.
PUTC: Sounds nice. What about pricing?
CF: I personally don't know what the pricing is going to be yet. I know that we were asked to keep it below a certain number. The second stage manufacturer, Tecstar, has been doing all of that research and development. I just gave them my wish list and built the truck the way I would build it for myself.
PUTC: Was the target to keep it below $50K? $40K?
CF: I believe it's below $50,000.
PUTC: Can you tell us a little more about the components?
CF: The ground effects are from a company called 3DCarbon. They'll be producing the lower front fascia, that bolts to the front bumper, the rockers, and the rear fascia bolted to the back bumper. The tires are from Pirelli. There's also a suspension kit on the truck to bring it down a little bit.
PUTC: You chose the suspension kit for it?
CF: Actually, we are still developing it, so it will meet all of Ford's warranty requirements.
PUTC: You also own a Ford F-100. Can you tell us more about that truck?
CF: Yes, I do have an F-100, that's also black (like this truck). It's got a gray stripe on it. But that truck, I've had it since I was fourteen. My dad bought it in 1968 and it's been in the family since then. I redid the truck twice growing up. And then - being involved in the Overhaulin' show - Bud Brutsman, the producer, stole it from my shop. He had my dad involved running an A-team. They found drawings I had done, built my dream truck, and gave it back to me in the Roush booth at the SEMA show. Now it has an all aluminum Ford 427 motor in it. That truck is also a blast to drive!
PUTC: If I'm a truck enthusiast and can't swing buying a finished truck like the Foose F-150, where would you recommend I start?
CF: I'd start with a base model Ford. That way you can save up and buy the parts one at a time. You could buy the blower, or you can buy the ground effects, or you can buy the wheels. Whatever you wanted to do to your truck.
The Ford FX2 F-150 is also a great truck to start with. That's what we started with here. You could start with a standard cab. That's where I would go depending on how much money I was going to spend and then I'd look at the aftermarket industry to see what I could do with it.
My hands are tied a little bit with having to meet all of Ford's engineering requirements. Personally, you might want to go to a 24-inch wheel with a taller tire. Pirelli makes a great tire for the truck. That's what I had on this but Ford asked me to bring it back down to a 22. So we had to do that. Still, the truck looks great with it.
If you're buying a base model truck, it's your decision. There are no rules in hot rodding. You get to build whatever you want. That's the great thing about America!
PUTC: Getting back to the truck for a moment, there's no tonneau cover. Is that going to be an option? Anything else?
CF: Yes. I had a tonneau cover on it. It was pulled off when the truck arrived. That will also be an option.
I'm hoping that all of the components will be available off the shelf from a Ford dealer, so it can be installed by them, or it will be something you can buy and take home to install - including the supercharger, the graphics kit, the ground effects, the springs, and the wheels and tires. Pirelli is actually going to make tires that actually have ' Foose Design' embedded in the side of the tire. Everything that I'm doing that's a production vehicle, Pirelli is going to make the tires.
PUTC: What do you expect the performance to be on this truck? 0 to 60? Quarter mile?
CF: In the quarter mile, hmm, boy I have no idea where that's going to be yet. I haven't driven it on the quarter mile yet. I don't want to speculate what it might be. I need to get it on the road and get some real data.
PUTC: When do you think that will be?
CF: As soon as I can get this truck back to California, I'll be driving it and probably take it to a track - unless Ford does it before I get it. We may make this a press car and do it that way.
PUTC: Is a Foose F-150 going to be a long term offering from Ford, or just until the end of the current F-150's lifecycle?
CF: In my meetings with Ford, they have told me that they expect this relationship to be extremely strong. We're in the infant stages of it but we're looking forward to this being a long lasting relationship. So, ten years from now, if you're thinking of Foose, you're thinking of Ford.
PUTC: Chip, thanks so much for your time.
CF: Thank you.