Performance Pickup: 1994 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

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The 1st generation of the F-150 SVT Lightning appeared in Ford showrooms in 1993, and in Ford’s own marketing words, they said that “For all intents, the F-150 Lightning is a Mustang GT with a cargo bed.” SVT managed to endow the Lightning with rugged good looks, and while its performance wasn’t in muscle car territory, it was still pretty impressive for a fairly heavy pickup. This Lightning is located in Pasadena, Texas, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Lightning has now reached $15,000, and at that price, the reserve has been met.

In 1994, the Lightning was available in a total of three exterior colors, and this one wears a color called Oxford White. The body looks to be in very nice condition, with no signs of any rust or major scrapes or dings. The distinctive front spoiler, which sits pretty low for a pickup, appears to have survived the past 25-years without any damage, while the original alloy wheels are free of curb strike. Apart from the obvious visual enhancements that came as part of the Lightning package, this vehicle is also fitted with the optional sliding rear windows. The 1994 model Lightning also featured some fairly minor styling changes over its predecessor, and you can pick up the two most obvious in these photos. The most obvious is the revised external mirrors, which had a more aerodynamic shape to them. The second was that 1994 marked the introduction of a high-mounted brake light.

The Lightning marked a number of “firsts” for the F-Series, and one of these was that it was the first such Ford vehicle to feature bucket seats. These extremely comfortable items featured power adjustment, which adds a luxurious touch to what really started life as a commercial vehicle interior. This Lightning looks to be quite nice inside. The owner does identify some damage to the driver’s door trim, but the rest of the trim looks really nice for a 25-year-old vehicle. There are some non-original items fitted to the interior, including an upgraded stereo, and new speakers. Creature comforts provided a step up for the Lightning when compared to a regular F-150. In addition to the power seats, a Lightning comes equipped with a driver’s airbag, power windows, power locks, cruise control, and air conditioning that is said to blow ice cold.

In addition to “show”, the Lightning does provide the owner with a bit of “go.” As previously stated, this isn’t a muscle car, but performance is still pretty reasonable. Under the hood is a fuel-injected 351ci Windsor V8, which is mated to an upgraded E40D 4-speed automatic transmission. The engine received some useful upgrades thanks to both SVT engineering and a visit to the Ford parts bin. The result is an engine that produces 240hp. That sort of output might sound puny by today’s standards, but it did allow the Lightning to accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.2 seconds, and cover the ¼ mile in 15.6 seconds. As I said previously, this isn’t muscle car territory, but we need to remember that we are talking about a vehicle that weighs in excess of 4,500lbs. This Lightning looks quite tidy under the hood. There is an aftermarket air cleaner fitted, but the original is included in the sale. The owner says that the vehicle starts, runs, and drives perfectly. He also holds a fair collection of receipts for work and maintenance that has been performed on the vehicle over the years.

In 1994, Ford was able to sell a total of 4,007 Lightnings, and of these, 1,460 were finished in Oxford White. Values have taken a bit of a rollercoaster ride over the past 3-years, but they have risen consistently over the past year or so. Having said that, values vary widely and are heavily dependent on condition. You can find examples for sale today for as little as $8,000, but these are usually pretty rough examples that have led a hard life. At the other end of the scale, a truly pristine example can sell for prices in excess of $30,000. This one occupies a nice middle ground and is nice enough to stand out in the crowd, but not so nice that you would be afraid to use it. That makes it a pretty practical classic.

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  1. CanuckCarGuy

    Beautiful truck, best body styling for the F150 IMHO and a Lightning to boot…wowsers. The brute power of the later supercharged version is very appealing, but these early Lightning models bring an air of class to the party. I’m a diehard Ford truck guy, and this is definitely a bucket list vehicle for me.

    Like 6
  2. 70SuperSport

    I had a ‘93 I bought new – loved it. The 4:10 rear made it accelerate great. A unique trait on these is they were built on a 4×4 snowplow option frame for added rigidity.

    Like 6
  3. Bakyrdhero

    I’m not sure I e ever seen a white lightning. It looks great and it’s refreshing after so many red and yellow ones pop up.

    Like 3
  4. JOHNMember

    I liked the owners ad… ice cold A/A and “scorching” heat, haha!

    Like 2
  5. Troy s

    Maybe not considered quick now, plenty quick for a pick up in the early to mid nineties. But it was the handling where it shined more, better than the Mustangs. Like all true muscle cars of any given era the stock performance was just a baseline really, all kinds of hop up stuff for these. I remember a lot of these getting supercharged, full on exhaust….just like the 5.0 Mustang craze that was in full bloom at the time. Hardly see them anymore.

    Like 3
  6. Marlon Smith

    I had a 93 great truck.

    Like 0
  7. SidneyMember

    I had a 94 F-150 , with a 302 and a 5 speed. I took the muffler off and put cat-back duals, what a sound, the only thing, it would not get over 12 mpg, no way. Noticed a spot of rust behind left front fender that required a fender replacement, later I found similar spots of rust on left side behind front wheel, under door and by rear wheel, so she had to go. Truck looked good, white short bed with Mickey Thompson wheels, and red interour.

    Like 1
  8. stillrunners

    These were a hot truck for years of their production and this looks to be a nice one.

    Like 1
  9. Mike

    I’m a GM square body guy to the bone! However, when my 78 K-35 was down for it’s 2nd restoration in my shop about 20 years ago, I picked up a 90 F-150 4×4 as a driver. A few months later, my dad, who didn’t even own a pickup, decided to buy a 36′ 5th wheel camper. The camper was located about 300 miles away. Longer story shorter, the old school, over the wheelwells, 5th wheel hitch from the dually (with a bit of 6″ channel and some good ol farm boy fabrication), was transplanted into the bed of the Ford. The ol girl and her 351 Windsor backed under the camper and pulled it home without complaint until…about 10 miles away, someone blew a stop sign, causing a panic stop! Did I forget to mention that the brakes on the trailer didn’t work? Talk about a pucker moment! Luckily, there wasn’t a crash and the F-150 managed to limp the last 10 miles home…front brakes grinding at every stop. No, my truck, which I regret selling to this day, wasn’t a Lightning, but, that 351 W was a great engine! Once we got home and I got the brakes pulled down, that one panic stop, pulling a camper that I should never even have hitched onto, had LITERALLY broken one of the brake pads in half! Like the old saying goes-sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good! I do miss that truck though, especially now since my K-35 is ready for another restoration. I’ve got my eye on a 91 F-250 for cheap!

    Like 1
  10. Troy s

    My ’96 Ford F 150 extra cab I owned for quite awhile had the mass air version of the 302, good for an advertised 199 horsepower. The ’95’s on down made around 180 or 175. Automatic, 4.10 gears, lifted with 11.5X32 tires, clean white paint, buckets up front with the rear seat removed to store my tools, had a 3 inch exhaust, KnN oem filter.
    Great truck but it did eat front tires up a bit, got 11city, 14 at the absolute best on the highway. Strong runner and very comfortable to drive. A favorite amongst the pre-runner and off road folks, … these really are the last of the classic squarebody truck as Dodge and Chevy/GMC had modern(ugly) styling by then.

    Like 0
  11. PRA4SNW

    Sold for $15K

    Like 0

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