Handsome Ford F-150 SVT Lightning is unquestionably cool
Is this Ford's greatest ever pick-up?
We all have our own reasons for falling in love with certain cars, and many of my reasonings stem from two of the most fundamental automotive establishments from my childhood: the Fast and the Furious series and the Granturismo games. Whilst both may be a far cry from what they once were, memories and attachments are what condemn me to continue to support them.
Fast and Furious 1. Image credit: Product placement blog.
One of my favourite fictional characters of all time is a certain Brian O'Conner (portrayed by the late Paul Walker) in the F&F films, and in the first film, one of the cars that he owned and used as his daily runner was a Ford F-150 SVT Lightning. Post-film release, the demand and popularity of the car went through the roof, and let's be honest, this truck is still so cool (in a laddish sort of way).
Debuting back in 1993, and since spanning 14 siblings, the F150 lineage is one of the world's great family tree's - and the second generation SVT, built from 1999 to 2004, has a shout for being the best of the lot. Not only did it look ahead of its time, and come fitted with everything that the modern American needed, but as an added bonus, its beating heart was also quite special.
Housing a 5.4-litre Triton V8, that was paired with an Eaton Supercharger, leading to an output of 360bhp and 440 lb-ft of torque, the low-riding blue collar worker came with the necessary grunt to challenge even the fastest muscle cars of its day. The power was sent to the rear wheels through a rather unconventional four-speed automatic, but it was enough to thrust the Lightning from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds - a time which is even impressive 20 years on.
Image credit: Bring A Trailer.
Other notable additions over the first-gen model include a limited-slip differential, heavy-duty batteries, upgraded engine cooling capabilities, and considerably bigger shock absorbers at either end. It's a shame that this was what Ford's idea of the SVT was in the noughties, because these days it's become a rather mellow chap. Ford have even announced that the 2020 editions will be electrified - joy of joys!
The new F150's .. boring. Image credit: Motor Trend.
The happy news is that there are still plenty of examples of original SVT Lightning's up for sale all around the globe. They've held their value remarkably well, with Brits able to pick up a pick-up for around £30,000, with some having as low as 30,000 miles on the odometer. This may sound silly, seeing as there are some seriously good alternatives for that sum of money, but that should only serve as a reminder to you that you won't just be purchasing any old truck, but you'll be taking home, quite possibly, the greatest one ever made.