Based on the contemporary F150 Ford pickup, long the industry’s best-selling model, the Lightning Rod concept evokes, in the words of the manufacturer, the “passion of muscle cars of the 1960s, the hot rod industry and the current body art craze.”
Lowered and stretched, the Lightning Rod has been given a one-inch top chop, a faster windshield and hidden wipers. Twin horizontal neon headlamps flank a recessed aluminum grille. The horizontal light theme carries through to the taillights, which are also neon tubes. Cherry red metallic paint gives it a sleek, hot rod performance look.
A leather-wrapped tonneau cover is die-cut with a traditional tattoo of the native New Zealand Maori tribe. Moko, a specific type of Maori tattoo, features shallow colored grooves in complex curvilinear patterns, originally produced by striking a miniature bone adze into a person’s skin. In some native cultures, tattoos are thought to ward off sickness or misfortune; others use them to signify the wearer’s rank or status. An elegantly-tattooed face was frequently a great source of pride for the warrior. The Maori theme carries through to the leather bucket seats and headliner.
A “powerdome” hood hints at performance modifications. Indeed, the truck’s 5.4 liter Triton SOHC V8 is supercharged to 380 bhp and 450 lb-ft of torque. Stainless steel straight-pipe dual exhausts exit beneath the rear roll pan. Twenty-inch, five-spoke cast aluminum wheels carry radial tires with a tread pattern matching the tonneau cover tattoo.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
380 bhp, 5.4 liter supercharged SOHC V8 engine, four-speed automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic power disc brakes. Wheelbase: 119.8"