2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Concept Turns Up on Craigslist

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2001 Ford Lightning Rod Concept on the Road

Lightning Rod Concept was sold at auction back in January and it is listed for less than auction price.

Back in 2001, Ford Motor Company wanted to use the popularity of the supercharged SVT Lightning while offering us an early look at the face of the all-new 2004 F-150. The resulting concept truck was called the Lightning Rod and it made its world debut at the Chicago Auto Show before making its rounds on the auto show circuit. At some point, the unique custom pickup was sold into the collector’s world, turning up at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction back in January.

The one-off 2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Concept must not be as exciting as the buyer had hoped, as after paying $27,500 to buy the truck in January, it has been listed on Craigslist of Phoenix for $27,000. If you have the ability to pay the price, this is a rare chance to score an official Ford Motor Company concept vehicle, but it was built without a VIN, so it cannot legally be driven on the street.

2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Front End

Lightning Rod Details

The Lightning Rod was built on a 2001 Ford F-150, but the body has been heavily modified to look more like the 11th generation truck that was introduced for the 2004 model year. This includes the face of the 2004 trucks, a chopped roof, a sharpened windshield angle, a rounded rear end with LED taillights, custom wheel flares, a hard tonneau cover and a set of classic-styled wheels.

2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Side

Oddly, while this concept truck was named the Lightning Rod, it does not feature the supercharged SVT engine, instead relying on a naturally aspirated, 5.4-liter Triton V8 that is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission.

2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Engine

Finally, the Lightning Rod Concept was outfitted with a striking interior with a custom dash, a spread of gauges in stainless steel or bright polished aluminum, matching metal door panels and custom bucket seats wrapped in red leather with black tribal trim on the centers.

2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Interior

Show Only

This 2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Concept is awesome, but there is one downside. It was not built for road use, so it does not have a VIN, it was never approved for crash or emission safety standards and it simply cannot be registered for driving on public roads. This means that the owner would have to trailer it around from show to show, but there is no question that this unique Ford concept truck would draw a ton of attention at any sort of car show.

2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Rear

More importantly, you would be one of the few people in the world who gets to brag about owning an official Ford concept truck.

2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Dash

"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

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