The Ford F150 Lightning is a name to stir the souls of petrolheads throughout the United States. We are not nearly as familiar with this sports pick up truck in the UK but we really ought to be. If you know about the Lightning, this article will help you find one. If you do not, this might just make you think.
Where the legend began
The Lightning is the seriously high performance version of the Ford F150 pickup truck. The ancestor upon which it was based first saw the light of day in 1948. For the 63 since then, it was the best selling vehicle in America for 24 years and has been the top selling truck for the last 34. The F-series step side pickup has changed considerably since its first conception but its full size roots are still apparent to this day. The Lightning was introduced in 1993 as an answer to the raft of sports trucks from other makers which were taking the market share. It was fitted with the 351 Windsor engine tuned to give 240 bhp. An auto box transferred this power to an uprated sports chassis. Second generation models came in 1999 and carried a new 5.4 litre 360bhp V8 (although this later became 380). Drive trains were uprated and equipment improved. The figure everyone was in awe of, though, was 5.2 seconds for the dash to sixty- just to finish the job it could really handle as well.
Where to find one
So now you want one, where do you find them? The largest stock is obviously in the US but this is not the hurdle it once was. If you do not fancy the idea of dealing with all the paperwork involved in importing your own, then you can always avail yourself of a professional service import service. They will locate a vehicle to suit you, handle the paperwork, liase with the shipper and take delivery for you. Companies like Newport Imports in Kent are very experienced in this sort of transaction. They also have a large UK-based stock of modern American iron and often have examples Ford Lightning and F150 for sale. Genre specific car publications are another useful source of these vehicles. American Car magazine and Classic American are always packed with private classifieds and trade advertisements and you are bound to find several of these for sale. These monthlies are also a handy way to find out about the many American car shows which occur around the UK (particularly in the summer). Visiting these will give you a chance to chat to owners and may well lead to sale if you are lucky.