General Motors is the reason Ford got into the muscle truck business in 1993. Ford’s crosstown rival lit up magazine covers with Chevy’s 1990 454SS and then the all-wheel-drive GMC Syclone a year later. Car and Driver even pitted a Syclone against a Ferrari 348ts, and the contest didn’t end well for Enzo. Ford’s corporate ego could only take so much.
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If I read this correctly, the GMC Syclone put the Ferrari 348ts to shame. Yet, the Ford F150 SVT matched the GMC Syclone in acceleration which was 0-60 in 7.2 seconds. Does that mean the Ferrari was slower than 7.2 seconds in the 0-60?
The Ford was a "truck", capable of hauling a 5,000 lb trailer (midsize truck capacity now, but was about right in '93). But it did not run with the Syclone in a drag race (mid 4's to 60 if I remember correctly). However, the Syclone trailer towing was listed as "not recommended for towing" and only had a 500lb payload capacity (I think the Ford was 1,200).
The Lightning was a truck that went fast. The Syclone was a Buick Grand National with a truck body (well it had a 4.3L to the Buick's 3.8). In the early 90's 7.2 sec to 60 was quick for a truck, but about a second off Mustang and Camaro times. But the Syclone and it's cousin the Typhon was wickedly fast through the quarter (just don't ask them to turn fast).
We own one of each color First Generation Lightning sport truck, and have found them to be a very reliable vehicle with very little in the way of problems. Everyone who see's them is impressed with their look and performance sound. Other than the exclusive seats, engine installation, spoiler and fog lights the F150 XLT versions have all the replacement parts that you'll need if something should arise. Maybe Hallmark should produce an ornament celebrating the sport trucks.
We were at Indy in May of 1994, and a total of 6 were produced for use at the track. Those six were sold afterwards to a Ford dealer up north and then sold as used trucks. The White Lightnings were already available to the public prior to Indy, but one was previewed in December of 1993 at the unveiling of the 1994 SVT Mustang Convertible that would be the Pace Car for the May 1994 race. A rare truck indeed!
A friend of mine had one back in the late 90's and it was fast but the rear end was very squirrelly. He put on a couple of hundred pound steel plate in the bed and that helped.
I own a 2001 Lightning and will take it to the grave with me. It has everything you would want in a hot rod and all the extras too. Great mileage if you don't step on it with a cd /cassett and am/fm radio, a/c all electric windows and very reliable. Plus I can haul stuff to the dump or whatever. Mine is all black/lowered w/traction bars and modified engine/transmission. Dyno'd at 425 hp and 525 lbs torque at 70 degree temp outside. Stays in the garage and never goes out in the rain. I like my truck.
Suggest you continue the review through 2004. Last Lightnings were far superior. I own a stock 2003 Sonic Blue one and will never give it up. A performance sport vehicle that lets you use it as a weekend work truck. Love it.
I was blown away by the second generation Lightning when I saw one in the Ford booth at the LA auto show. In 2004 when they stopped production I knew I had to act fast. Searching the local Ford stores I found the last red one.......mine! Still have it. I love my truck. Very few problems other than the chrome peeling off the door handles and a blown spark plug at about 85,000 miles. My fault I should have changed them sooner.
I see that Greenlight just produced a copy of the 1994 White SVT Lightning that was used with the Indianapolis 500. I found them for sale on Ebay for around $7-$10. During the month of May in 1994 Ford also produced a smaller poster of the truck to compliment the 1994 SVT Mustang Cobra Convertible that paced the race that year. You can find copies on Ebay for $5-$10.