If you wanted to build a special edition Ford Super Duty truck to compete with the new Dodge Power Wagon, what would you call it?
How about Bigfoot?
No other image says Ford off-road prowess like Bigfoot. Bob Chandler's monster creation is a legend in 4x4 circles and has a huge, enthusiastic following dating back to the mid-'80s. While some may find monster trucks to be a crushing bore, there's little doubt that the big-tire movement was a major force behind the popularity of trucks and SUVs in the '90s.
While Ford devoted most of its exhibit at the 2004 SEMA show to the hot, new Mustang, there were a few trucks. We spotted this high roller in the back and it didn't take long before visions of a Power Wagon fighter came to mind. Look at it: Big winch up front, raised suspension, hopped up engine. This truck has all the makings of a future special edition that could appear in the showrooms.
Chandler's Bigfoot shop built this truck in just three weeks after taking delivery of a bone stock F-350 Crew Cab Amarillo edition. The truck was stripped down and frame painted. A Superlift 6-inch suspension lift was installed along with Knight Stalker nitro shocks and Bigfoot traction bars. The huge Interco 38x15.5 tires are plugged with Weld 20x10 wheels. Under the hood, the Power Stroke diesel engine is enhanced with a Gale Banks Six Gun system.
The body is customized with a Suncoast Creations ram air hood, Bushwacker flares, Smittybilt rollbar, KC Lights, Buckstop bumpers and a Milemarker winch. Unlimited Customs handled the paint and Dan Patterson squirted on the flames. The interior gets equal treatment with leather seating and custom entertainment.
Obviously this truck couldn't couldn't make it to production in its current configuration. But this Bigfoot concept clearly shows the potential of an extreme off-road package for the Super Duty and the name-drawing potential. If done properly--meaning that engineers spend considerable time testing in brutal off road conditions--then Ford could have a respectable, high-dollar exclusive package. The key is to develop an integrated package that really works, not just bolt on parts out of convenience or whatever marketing thinks will sell. And worst of all, don't let the bean counters kill a modification because they think it's too expensive. Build a better truck than the Power Wagon, one that truly deserves the name of Bigfoot, and the off-road community will respond with purchases.