The hot rod-inspired Lightning Rod Concept that captured the imagination of the '60s has surfaced weeks after Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale Auction
The F-150 is Ford's triple-platinum equivalent and also North America’s favourite truck for 42 years in a row. The 2001 Lightning Rod Concept was an inspirational hark back to the days of chop tops and Torq Thrust alloys, with fiery tribal accents emblazoned on its Candy Apple-esque coachwork. It looks awesome, even if tribal tattoos have not stood the test of time quite as well. Notice the custom tire treads that match the tribal art? Now that is attention to detail.
Based on the 11th generation F-150 concept, the Lightning Rod, for sale here, was made as a show vehicle for Ford whilst the epic second generation Lightning had a further three years left in its life expectancy. Even Ford themselves agreed it was built to embody the era the cultural formula of “passion of muscle cars of the 1960s, the hot rod industry and the current body art craze”. With a lowered windscreen, flared sides and tubular neon tail lights it is quite the spectacle; perhaps the sort of thing we expect to roll out of Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage. We approve.
Gallery: 2001 Ford Lightning Rod Concept
Although most of us will naturally assume the tribal artwork found pretty much everywhere on the truck is just down to a fad of the 2000s, it actually has much more meaning than one would realise. The tribal patterns are sought from the New-Zealand based Māori tribe, and supposedly engulf a sense of well-being or signify both rank and status. The first points towards an exceptional excuse to your partner when convincing them to purchase such a vehicle, but perhaps that’s where the justification stops.
The vehicle is not road legal and never will be, despite offering a naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V8. The lack of VIN numbers, identifiers or adhesion to any legislative requirements means its fate is sadly no more than transport on your private property, or perhaps as a lovely ornament for your recently decorated lounge. The truck bed could certainly double as a bar - now we’re talking.
The vehicle is located in Phoenix, Arizona and is selling for $27,000. That's $500 less than it went for last month when sold at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale auction. Although expensive for a vehicle you legally cannot use, thus defeating its purpose, it is still pretty awesome. Plus, how many times do you get to buy company history from the manufacturer that made the industry what it is today? Now that is a justification to buy