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65K Mile Muscle Truck: 1999 Ford F-150 Lightning

Every once in a while, the bean counters at the major manufacturers are held at bay and the gearheads manage to run wild.  At Ford, those gearheads made up something called the Special Vehicle Team.  From 1993-1995 and 1999-2004, this group of enthusiasts produced a high-performance variant of Ford’s full-size pickup.  This 1999 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning pickup for sale on eBay in Miami, Florida is a well-kept example of these supercharged show stoppers.  With just 65,445 miles on the odometer and in great condition, the bidding on this truck is currently sitting at $17,500.  With just 28,124 Lightning pickups produced over a six-year production run, is this Oxford White tire shredder a collectible worthy of a place in your garage?

If you are looking to produce a high-performance vehicle, the traditional method is to start with a rear-wheel drive chassis.  At Ford in the late 1990s, that limits you to Mustangs, Rangers, Crown Victorias, and F-150s.  SVT engineers decided to raid the Ford Performance catalog and turn a short-wheelbase version of America’s best-selling full-size truck into a fire-breathing pseudo sports car and a halo vehicle to lure customers into showrooms.

The recipe was simple.  Take a single cab step side short wheelbase pickup with rear-wheel drive, add a supercharger with an intercooler to an internally beefed up 5.4 liter V-8, and route the power through a heavy-duty R400 four-speed automatic transmission.  Connect that transmission to a 3.5-inch aluminum driveshaft on one end, and, on the other end, send that rotating power into a 3.55:1 rear.  That engine produced 360 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, which were big numbers for 1999.

To help with handling and braking these trucks were lowered and beefed up with bigger front and rear disc brakes, fat roll bars, performance shocks, and large low-profile tires riding on aluminum wheels.  A body kit was added to give them a sporty look to match their raucous performance.  Customers could have any color they wanted, as long as that color was Black, Bright Red, or Oxford White.

To help justify the large premium they paid over a standard F-150, Lightning customers were treated to 60/40 bucket seats swathed in micro-suede with leather inserts.  SVT logos were embroidered into the headrest area and a special instrument cluster with white gauges was installed in the dash.  If you didn’t want to caress your ears with the sweet sound of eight cylinders of supercharged American badassery, a 6-disc CD changer was standard.

If you are looking to add a Lightning to your Ford SVT collection, the truck we see here may be a good candidate.  The mileage is low at 65,445, and we are told by the seller that there is no evidence of rust.  The paint and interior are described as clean, and there are no mechanical issues.  Sadly, other than the words “good rubber,” that is all the written description we have to go on.  We don’t even have a picture of the engine.

Looking carefully at the pictures, the only concerns evident are a little scuffing on the suede driver’s seat bolster and a gap between the bumper and the grill/headlight area.  That gap may be an optical illusion or some sort of modification.  If any reader has an educated guess, please explain it to us in the comments.

As a whole, this is a very good-looking truck and a rather rare collectible.  Bidding has been steady, with 39 bids at the time of this writing.  It will be interesting to see where this truck tops out, and if a sale is made.


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Good write-up Jeff. I always thought Ford hit the sweet spot with the Lightnings. Performance upgrades, styling upgrades which were attractive but not overdone, interior upgrades. The market agrees, they bring good money. The mileage on this example isn’t too high to assume lots of repairs are pending, or too low to not want to drive it. And it looks good. Might make your springtime plant run to Home Depot a bit more fun.

    Like 3
  2. BA

    Is micro suede the coveted Mouse fur from the 1990’s? Im sure it beats the fat on the fryer hot vinyl ! Is that a 2 valve or 3 valve motor? I thought these got 351s? So many questions about this truck but do love a step a side short wheel base Ford. Have you driven a Ford lately?

    Like 0
    • Cadmanls Member

      That’s a 2 valve engine, as an owner of an 03 with abot 80K on it now. I can attest to the fact the SVT group know what they doing, it’s been a great truck, have replaced almost all the suspension components as the urethane and the sealed ball joints and tie rod boots failing. Engine has been trouble free except for a failed PCV hose behind the blower and had to pull the blower off. Still enjoy the drive even if it only gets 15 to 16 mpg. It’s all about smiles per mile.

      Like 3
  3. Dan

    I do find the loose-looking front bumper strange but nothing a competent body shop can’t fix. The only things missing from these are a 5 or 6 speed stick and all-leather seats. Like the SS454 and Ram V10, these will only appreciate in value and this is a turnkey example that I would love to see in my garage. Get a Marti Report to verify authenticity and you’ll have the complete package.

    Like 0

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