bonspeed banshee F-150: It's a Screamer!
By: Mike Magda, Editor, PickupTruck.comPosted: 05-02-04 19:51 PT
© 2004

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Many concept vehicles—especially those built outside the factory—are one-off podium poseurs that rarely see a full tank of gas. These dainty trailer queens roll up most their mileage being pushed through convention centers and show arenas. Considering that these vehicles often cost more than $100,000, it’s easy to understand the pampering.

But when Brad Fanshaw was asked to build a new Ford F-150 pickup for the 2003 SEMA show, he developed a Pro-touring strategy that included a long road trip to prove the truck’s power, handling and drivability.

Fanshaw’s company, bonspeed, is a design and engineering group specializing in wheels, gauges and automotive-influenced accessory products such as watches. Bonspeed had built a stylish Thunderbird for the 2002 SEMA show. For the next project, Fanshaw wanted to combine speed, utility and luxury.

“The truck was scheduled to appear at SEMA when Ford was celebrating its 100th anniversary and introducing its new GT,” says Fanshaw. “The F-150 was Ford’s biggest seller, and we wanted to combine it with the racing heritage of the GT.”

So bonspeed’s design focused on stuffing a GT-inspired engine under the hood, fabricating an aggressive nose, smoothing the bed and installing a tunable 4-wheel independent suspension. Finishing details would include a unique paint finish, high-quality interior materials and a killer sound system.

“Although the concept was steeped in racing heritage, we wanted all the accoutrements of a luxury car,” adds Fanshaw.

But wait, there’s more.

“From day one we wanted it to handle and be a road-worthy vehicle: a show vehicle that’s capable of being driven. That’s why we chose a regular cab for handling. We didn’t want the extra length,” explains Fanshaw.

The bonspeed F-150 will get its first road test in June when Fanshaw drives the truck in the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour. The tour starts in Ft. Worth, Texas, and ends in Wisconsin. Cruising alongside 500-horsepower Chevelles, Mustangs and assorted street rods should give Fanshaw plenty of opportunities to test the truck’s prowess on the asphalt.

In order to make the SEMA show, which was held in Las Vegas in November 2003, the truck had to be built in 45 days. Delivery was first made to Detroit Speed and Engineering in Brighton, MI. Led by Kyle Tucker, the DSE crew transplanted an independent rear suspension assembly from a 2003 Lincoln Navigator.

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