The F-150 Lightning Rod Concept – A Custom Pick-Up with Attitude
CHICAGO, February 4, 2001 – 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 pick-up truck – the number-one-selling
full-size pick-up 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, hot-rod, 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 pick-up 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 line-up can be personally customized to take on any kind of
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 pick-ups – 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 pick-up. 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