ride the lightning
This Vintage Ford F-150 Lightning Is the Sport Truck You Never Knew You Wanted
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The Ford F-150 SVT Lightning falls into a narrow niche: for people who want a pickup truck that can haul a load, but also want to set a decent 0-60 mph time. First introduced in 1993 (and then resurrected for a second generation in 1997), the SVT Lightning was a high-performance version of the F-150. The Lightning was never quite able to keep up with its closest competitor, GMC’s turbocharged Syclone, in a straight line, but that didn’t stop it from picking up quite the following. After all, the F-150 has long been one of the most successful pickup trucks out there, and the Lightning’s ability to remain an able-bodied work truck while also being a fun tire smoker allowed it to pull in its fair share of customers.
Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (a.k.a. SVT) put a 5.8-liter Windsor V8 making 240 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque in the first-generation Lightnings. That torquey Windsor was hooked up to the four-speed automatic transmission from the heavy-load diesel V8 model. Although the standard F-150 and the SVT Lightning largely share the same platform, extensive frame modifications and stiffened and lowered suspension were necessary to keep all four tires on the road in the sportier version,
This particular 1995 F-150 SVT Lightning currently listed on Bring a Trailer is from the last year of production of the first generation, and happens to be a very clean example of such. Surprisingly for such a niche country-road ripper, this truck appears to have been kept original, apart from updated stereo, re-painted tailgate, and drop-in bedliner. Standard maintenance has been kept up with and well documented through all of the roughly 80,000 miles on the odometer.
As of this writing, the high bid stands at $11,000 with four days remaining. These seem to have the makings of a future collectable — a short production run, special badging, a hot motor, and relative obscurity amongst the regular folks — so we say throw down a bid now. Worst case scenario, hey, you wind up with a used truck that’s also way more fun to drive than it should be.