Our list of cool old Ford trucks would certainly not be complete without the Ford Lightning. This performance truck was launched as a response to the Chevy 454 SS and it was not only a looker but cranked out some power as well.
That didn’t stop this shop from stuffing the lower-compression street version into a 2012 GMC Sierra single cab truck, a vehicle which, as you may know, has almost no weight over the rear wheels. That must be a hoot to drive.
The Ranchero was a big hit with both consumers and automotive critics but is not as popular with collectors as the El Camino, so it is still possible to find a fairly affordable project car. The Nite was Ford’s first attempt at putting a performance special edition pickup out on the streets and while it wasn’t a huge success, it led them to create the Lightning (we talked about this one earlier) a few years later.
This isn’t the 350 that your neighbor pulled out of a C10 truck and slapped a hot cam into. No, this is a 110-octane-only race crate engine built exclusively to win races at the local 1320. GM advises that the LSX454R comes with no warranty and is “not for road use”.
There’s nothing like a quick and dirty slapdash lift job with some pucks to get the lifted look. However, this won’t hold up when push comes to shove on choppy surfaces or hard slopes. You will need suspension travel as well as flexibility and rigidness at the right times. When starting your Jeep mods, hard plastic pucks won’t give you the response and dependability you need.
This Bronco came with a part-time four-wheel drive system and a V-8 under the hood. You could choose from a 5.8L 351M and the 6.6L 400. A C6 automatic transmission came standard or you could pick the optional 4-speed manual. This is the last generation of the Bronco to have a solid front axle, making it great for off-roading.
It almost goes without saying but the weight allowance should give more than enough to haul your vehicle up or out. As a general rule of thumb, the winch should be rated for a minimum of 1.5 times the gross vehicle weight.
With bigger tires and heavier rims on your list of Jeep mods, the stock gear ratio may not be enough to get you where you want to go. This is where changing the gear ratio comes in handy and reduces unreasonable stress on the engine. If the wheels are too tall for the stock gear ratio, there will be a noticeable power drop off from its stock build.
The Nite was sort of a half-assed attempt at a special edition. The upgraded features were an upgraded paint and decal job along with some forged aluminum wheels. A blackout trim on top of a black paint job made it stand out and a decal running down the side that transitioned from blue to magenta gave it a menacing look, but that is where the upgrades ended. The suspension was also tightened up but this was hardly a performance pickup.
It also favors a hydraulic roller camshaft instead of the original’s flat-tappet cam. It makes a few extra ponies over the old model, too: 480 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque will melt any tires this engine’s hooked up to.
Check out this article where the Hot Rod staff weathers a ZZ427 to look like a 40-years-used L88. And if you have 12 minutes, let Tim Allen and Jay Leno walk you through the best of both worlds: a 1968 Camaro COPO clone with a modern 427 at its heart.
We do have to point out that the Sedona offers less cargo space than several of the used minivans on the list and does not offer removable second-row seating on any trim level. Those shortcomings are overcome in our minds by the generous warranty, low sticker price, and long-term durability of the Kia Sedona.
The Baja had a paint scheme that matched Stroppe’s racing trucks and was fitted with Gates Commando tires, quick ratio power steering, a roll bar, as well as a padded steering wheel. A 302-cid V-8 was dropped in with a C4 automatic transmission transferring the power to wheels.