The ninth-generation F-150 is quickly becoming a modern day classic to those who grew up with them. The styling is the perfect bend of old-school ’70-80s F150, with modern tweaks and features. It also gave birth to the first-generation Lightning, a muscle truck that could handle. Conceived as a direct competitor for the Chevy 454SS truck, it took things to the next level.
First, unlike the 454SS it wasn’t a one-trick pony; it was quick in a straight line, but its suspension was tuned for the road course. Also, unlike the Bow-Tie, it featured a small-block V8, rather than a large, heavy big-block. It put out roughly the same output, but it’s smaller and lighter engine helped the beefier suspension in the corners. It was a full-on performance machine.
Recently, our friends at Hagerty climbed behind the wheel of not only a Lightning, but one that’s been modified to the tune of 700hp. In addition, the host also performs a review of his personal 1992 Flare Side; a limited edition F-150 that was offered at the time. It’s worn, used and well-loved, but after nearly 30 years of daily, Midwestern, Rust Belt use, it’s holding up well — as is its 5-liter V8.
These days, the 9th-gen F-150 trucks are still quite affordable and offer plenty of ways for customization. We’d love to get our hands on a Flare Side, drop in a Coyote, implement heavy duty brakes, suspension and larger diameter wheels for some all-around performance.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of AutoCentric Media, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles; GM, Ford, Dodge, imports, trucks — you name it! When he isn’t clacking away on his keyboard, he’s building, tuning, driving or testing his current crop of personal projects!