Sunday, July 17, 2011

Car of the Day: July 17, 2011

Todays Truck of the day is a Johnny Lightning Ford F-150 Lightning

The Ford SVT Lightning is a sports/performance version of the F-150 Pickup truck designed by Ford's truck-division and eventually released and marketed by the then-new SVT (Special Vehicle Team) division. The F-150 Lightning was conceived as a product focus for the personal-use possibilities of the Ford F-Series pick-up truck, combining outstanding handling, comfortable ride, and spirited acceleration.

For more information on the Ford F-150 Lightning here is the link:

Ford introduced the model in 1993 to compete with primarily the Chevrolet 454 SS, in an effort to enhance the sporty, personal-use image of the Ford F-Series pickup. The Lightning shared its basic platform structure with the regular F-150, but custom modifications were made to many vehicle systems, including enhancing the Lightning chassis to increase rigidity. The stock Lightning was capable of achieving 0.88 g lateral acceleration, yet it was a full-sized American pickup truck with almost all the hauling and trailering capabilities of the parent F-Series. A 351 in³ (5.8 L) Windsor V8 producing 240 hp (179 kW) and 340 ft·lbf (461 N·m) of torque replaced the standard F-150 engine. The engine was based on an existing block, but Ford engineers fitted it with high flow rate "GT40" heads and used hypereutectic pistons to increase response, output and durability.

An upgraded Ford E40D automatic transmission equipped with an aluminum driveshaft was standard and the only available transmission. 4.10:1 ratio rear gears, special 17" aluminum wheels with Firestone Firehawk tires, unique Lightning badging, a custom front air dam with integrated fog lights, a 120 mph (190 km/h) speedometer and unique under hood treatments including a special "Lightning" intake manifold casting all differentiated the Lightning from normal F-150s. Bucket seats with electrically-adjustable side bolsters and lumbar supports were part of the package. Suspension modifications made the truck stiffer and more responsive, and provided a 1 in front and 2.5 in rear drop in ride height, lowering the vehicle's center of gravity and improving handling.

The 1993 Lightning, launched on December 15, 1992, and "christened" by Mr. Ed Hagenlocker, Ford's President, received more than 150 favorable articles in America's newspapers, magazines, and television outlets, and helped Ford regain leadership in the all-important personal-use truck market. Three-time World Champion driver Jackie Stewart was highly involved in fine-tuning of the Lightning's handling prowess, and Mr. Stewart finally announced to the motor press, "I love the Lightning!" Key Ford engineers, managers, and executives involved in developing the original Lightning Performance Truck were Jim Mason, Robert Burnham, Jim Englehart, Terry DeJonckheere, Rory Carpenter, Bob Hommel, Terrell Edgar, Dick Liljestrand, Deb Neill, Adolfo Mejia, and Fred Gregg.

I have to say I really like this casting. It does have its flaws but the overall it is worth the buy. I like that the tailgate comes up and down. I just wish the hood opened too. It is a pretty heavy casting with a plastic base. I'm sure the gravity track guys would love this casting if it had some hard plastic tires. I would still perfer the Chevy 454 SS over this truck in 1:1 scale...LOL

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